However, we have finally closed a chapter as we are knee deep in the middle of the next.
We travelled to Maryland this weekend for a quick in and out expedition gathering the last of our belongings in the old house. When we rolled out after spending literally less than three hours in the state of Maryland, we breathed a sigh of relief. Nothing against Maryland (and certainly nothing against the sweet folks we befriended in our short time there), but we were ready to head on back to the comforts of North Carolina.
We were away from this place we call home for roughly 72 hours. But being away from home means little to this travelling crew. Departing on Thursday evening, my kids were travel ready. Equipped with snacks, car toys, and a pillow to rest their tired heads... they travelled with ease. We spent two nights in Richmond, enjoying the luxury of the indoor pool and took an evening trip to Barnes and Noble before dinner. Saturday morning, the crew skillfully collected all their belongings from the hotel room and loaded up for the four hour drive north to Westminster. Michael and I were busy loading the small U-haul trailer, and cleaning up the remainder of the mess in the rental home. The kids happily played, ate lunch in the carport, and entertained one another (Alena included). When all was loaded, they buckled in and off we went for a 6 hour drive south, stopping in Danville for the night. With ease, they tumbled out of the Suburban into one more hotel. After getting up, attending our old church, and eating lunch with my sister and best friend... we finally pulled back into the place we pay to call home and without skipping a beat they were out and back to their chaos ways.
Three different states, two different hotels, a total travel time of 16 hours, way too much fast food, and one filthy Suburban later and I was dutifully reminded that home ain't just one building, home is wherever we happen to be at that moment.
My kids are the same kids in public that they are in private. We laugh, cry, argue, discipline, and play no matter where we happen to be. It's a gift, this sort of family transparency. Truly, with the chaos... what you see is what you get.
As we ate in a busy Outback steakhouse, with five adults and five kids... we were loud and we were ourselves.
Winston-Salem is where we call home at this stage in our opportune journey.
But I find great comfort in busy weekends like we had.
Because along with extensive travel time and eating out, I was reminded that my husband and my children are all I need to be "home". They are where I am comfortable, needed, loved, entertained, and cared for.
We closed a chapter in Maryland, are in the midst of writing one in North Carolina, and prayerfully looking forward to all the chapters that follow... as long as we write them all together.
|Photo collage made by my best friend, Sundi from our time at Outback for lunch.|