Saturday, April 10, 2010

Over the Meadow and Through the Woods

Pulling out of the driveway, the car loaded for bear, felt surreal. After planning for this move long enough to throw in a Leap Year, it was finally happening. It's hard to describe how leaving behind a chunk of your life feels. Good, bad, happy, sad, memories that come flooding in. But life is made up of constant motion - the ebb and flow of days and weeks and years - the people that come in and go out of your life. We wanted a big adventure and it was finally time to begin. So no tears, no looking back, just drive.

Our daughter phoned right after we hit the road to tell us the grandkids were following us on a US map and would we please give reports throughout the day.

PA - done. West Virginia was a blip and then we hit Ohio. Columbus, Cincinnati and we meandered our way into Kentucky. Is there anything as lovely as Kentucky in the spring? Acres and acres bordered with white fencing and newborn colts playing tag with each other, pausing from their play for a moment to nuzzle their mothers' undersides for a sip of milk. We met our driver son-in-law in Bowling Green for dinner. He'd agreed to drive the Uhaul for us, all 1300 miles bless his heart. By himself, nobody to give him a relief from the driving. After filling him up with warm bread and a large steak, he climbed back in the truck. He'd keep going - we turned in for the night. He's 30 years younger than we are; those days of driving after the body begs to stop are behind us.

We sipped morning coffee while crossing Nashville and then drove through Memphis. All signs in Memphis seemed to hint that Elvis had NOT left the building but was still very much present. Then into Arkansas. Driving into Arkansas has a unique feel to it - the terrain changes quickly, and so does the pace. Crossing Arkansas takes a chunk of a day, but it's a pleasant chunk, and I thought of my friend, Diane - her love for gardening and camping - as we drove across. A beautiful state with miles and miles of woods coming up to greet you on each side of the car as you drive along. I can imagine camping in Arkansas. Or gardening. That red soil is bound to be good for growing tomatoes and such.

Every single state we entered greeted us with a billboard - 'Welcome to....' except Texas. After waiting almost four years to move there, and finally, finally hitting the border, the 'Welcome to Texas' sign had been taken down while they were busy putting up a highway. Seeing the lone star symbols embedded in the side of the retaining walls of the underpasses, we still took a moment to high five each other - 'we did it! We're finally here!'

Having reached at least the right state of our destination, we found a hotel and were under the covers as fast as possible in Texarkana, Texas. The next morning we ate breakfast in the hotel lobby, listening to a broad-shouldered man who already had his cowboy hat on, talking about the ins and outs of breeding cattle. The size of the buckle on the belt holding up his well-worn jeans told me he knew what he was talking about.

Pulling into the driveway of our home, that has been sitting semi-vacant for the past 1 1/2 years, looking through the carport and seeing nothing but blue lake, indescribable. My home state, my favorite state, the beginning of a brand new life that we're hoping will be bursting at the seams with family and good times and friends and memory making - indescribable. Seeing our son and a daughter and son-in-law and one sweet three year old grandson running through the yard - truly indescribable. This will be home. The beginning of carving out a new life that will be whatever we make of it.

We're not in Texas, we are officially Texans!


boomama said...

I'm thrilled for y'all!

Becky said...

Ain't it perty?? I sure hope them bluebonnets 'r bloomin'. It's high time for a spring for y'all. I'm glad yer gonna find it in Texas. Have fun!! And don't ferget to write.

Kelly said...

Yay! Now to enjoy it all!
I was actually in Pittsburgh yesterday, for the first time ever, and of course thought of you. You will be glad to know that while you were enjoying the sunshine of TX it actually snowed in PA, while we were traveling the turnpike back to VA! We had only packed shorts since it had been 90 degrees the day before... when we stopped for dinner, we looked crazy compared to everyone else being bundled up in scarves and coats!I know you aren't missing that aspect:-)

Hope you are loving your new home- I can't wait to hear about your adventures!

Karen said...

Yeah! Yeah!! YEAH!!!!!! So glad you're here! Love and blessings, Karen

Diane@Diane's Place said...

I've thought of you every day for the last week, Bev, knowing you were on your long journey to the rest of your life. If I'd known when you were driving through on I40 I'd have waved at you and Don, lol. Memphis is about 60 miles from me here in NE Arkansas, and Little Rock is about 120 miles from here, give or take.

It already feels like you're a neighbor. :o)



Kelli said...

I am so happy for the two of you! This has been a long time coming, and sounds like the wait was mor than worth it.

Cannot wait to hear all about your new lives, once you get all unpacked and settled in.



Chris said...

I can imagine it all seems surreal, exciting, and exhausting all at the same time. The joyful reality will probably set in about the time the temps creep up into the 90's!

Susanne said...

So thrilling for you Bev! I'm you all arrived safe and sound. Let the retirement begin! :v)

cheri said...

Welcome home! Take your time unpacking. Stop and smell the bluebonnets!

Val said...

Congrats! Glad to read that everything went well! Can't wait to see pictures of the new place.

AnnG said...

Once you get settled and come up to dfw for a visit let me know. I would love to meet you in person!! Sounds like the adventure is going well so far!!