Guess what? We moved again. This time it wasn't from one house to another in the same general area. This time we packed up the biggest U-haul with the biggest trailer, and moved our family five hundred miles to the east. Our agates, which tumbled around on the Oregon coast for eleven years, are now scattered in farm country. Instead of waking up to coastal fog and marine air mornings, we wake up to a full, hot sun and the fresh smell of a nearby onion field. What makes it all worthwhile is that we once again live near family. Now we are able to be a part of the day-to-day with Adam's side of the family and my family lives only seven hours away (much closer than 12 hours!). My kids have fifteen cousins to play with and I have their moms and grandma.
We lived in this area when Grace was a baby. It was in the earliest days of our marriage while Adam trudged through nursing school and I worked as an elementary school secretary. With familiarity and family community, it's been a pretty easy transition for us and I'd say we are happy with our decision. So far it feels just right.
After eleven years out on the coast, it was not exactly easy to leave. Time fertilized the soil of our friendships and the roots grew deeply and got entangled. It took some ripping and tearing to transplant and I'm sure dirt and dust will cling to us forever. Part of us, many happy memories of raising babies and the beginning years of home school, will remain over on the coast with our friends we left behind. I am pretty confident in saying this move may not have happened if not for signs that nudged us, one open door at a time, from years of comfort to what many have told us is crazy.
Actually, when Adam first proposed the idea to me around Thanksgiving of last year, that's exactly what I told him, that he was crazy! The crazy part of this move is that he commutes back to the coast every other week to work. So basically he works a week and then is home a week. Adam is very comfortable in his job and has never had any intention of leaving it, so this idea seemed to come out of nowhere. We had not even lived in our house for two years, and I thought we were going to remain there until the kids were raised. Many ideas of moving had come and gone for years and so I figured this idea, one of the most outlandish, would go away with the rest of them.
But it didn't.
By and by, I began to wonder if this was Adam's St. Joseph moment. After Jesus was born, an angel spoke to St. Joseph in a dream. He told him to "take the child and his mother, [and] flee to Egypt..."(Matthew 2:13). Scripture also reveals that St. Joseph was afraid, but he packed up his little family and moved to an unknown land. It was crazy to uproot, leave his home, his family, all he had known, and move to a foreign place because of a dream. Yet, he did it without hesitation.
Since this plan continued to tumble about in our minds and conversations, we decided it may possibly be from God. It seemingly came from nowhere, then wouldn't go away, were strong indicators to us that maybe the Almighty had planted the idea. In order to be faithful to Him, we made the decision to make steps towards moving. We would walk through every open door, and if any door closed, we would accept that as God's will.
One thing that would have slammed the door tight would have been if we could not sell our house for an amount that would allow us to move with ease into another. We figured out the amount of money we would need to get out of our house (Adam set the bar pretty high because he was beginning to get uncomfortable with this idea) and our jaws dropped when our realtor told us we could put the house on the market $40,000 to even $60,000 more than we had estimated. Door number one was wide open and all the doors to come.
During this time of discernment and door testing, we prayed a few novenas. As a family we prayed novenas to St. Joseph and Our Lady of Perpetual Help. I prayed a couple on my own to St. Francis Xavier and eventually, I implored St. Rita, the patron saint of desperate situations (because by this time, I really wanted this move to happen and Adam was holding back).
Our friends in heaven pulled through for us. First, the offer on the our new house was accepted and I discovered this from a text and immediately told the person next to me. So, the first person to hear the news happened to be friend who had randomly ended up back in my life for baseball season: Rita. It also just so happened to be on the day of the feast of St. Rita!
In the final days before all the sales were supposed to close, we hit a few snags. This was a lesson of trust and patience because all of our plans had been made. The house was packed up and the U-Hauls ordered. It ended up that the closing dates had to be pushed back on each house and we had a short window before Adam had to return to work. Thankfully, builder/owner of our new house was generous and let us move in a few days before the closing date. That day just happened to be the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help!
The day we moved in, our very friendly neighbor in his late eighties came over to help unload the U-Haul. We carefully set aside the lighter bins for him to stack in the garage and he brought over strawberries to refresh us after unloading. This sweet, generous man's name is none other than...Joseph, but we affectionately call him St. Joseph!
There has not been any obvious signs from St. Francis Xavier. I had never asked for his prayers before. I just had a feeling he wanted me to enlist his help. I had to look up his story because I didn't know much about him. It turns out he was one of the founders of the Jesuit order and, more importantly in our case, from the Basque region of Spain. Forgive me for not exactly knowing why this is so, but there are many Basque descendants around here. I figure St. Francis has some relatives here that we are going to come across at some point :).
All in all, life is good. Crazy, but good. We are happily snuggled in a brand new neighborhood with a mixture of retired couples and families. Grace has started school at the public high school. Clare and Eli have a very happy, comfortable home school group because it is made up entirely of their cousins and Matthias gleefully crawls along with them. We do miss Adam when he is at work, but we missed him when he didn't commute as well. Now we don't have the extra stress of staying quiet during the day while he sleeps. With all the kids often out of the house with cousins or school, I have discovered part of myself again while Matthias naps. I have a bit of quiet time now to read, write, pray, dream and decorate (at least until we start school in early September).
Thanks for reading! Leave a comment and make me smile. :)
I titled this post "Just Write" for a reason. Two of my friends I had to leave were a part of a my mommy bloggers group. Actually, the three of us were the group. Mary Beth and Jenny are both photographers and share amazing photos of their lives. I, on the other hand, have very few good pictures. It has stopped me in the past from posting very much here because I know how visual our world is nowadays. At our last mommy bloggers meeting, we sipped margaritas and encouraged each other in our blog endeavors. I was encouraged by these two creative gals to not worry about the perfect photo, or any pictures at all, but just write. And so I did. Thanks Mommy Bloggers! I look forward to seeing you online.