I haven’t yet determined when the next chapter actually begins; leaving California, leaving Washington or leaving North Carolina. What I do know is that today marks the first day Diana and I are out on our own in uncharted territory.
The last two weeks have been a blur of packing, preparing and most importantly farewells. Emotions have been swinging back and forth between total excitement and a fair amount of sadness. Diana and I had great send offs from work, cake, gifts and many heart felt discussions; we are truly blessed to work with such great folks and find immense comfort knowing that someday we will return. Dinners with friends have been great and happy occasions for the fact that many will be coming out to visit with us in the not so distant future.
The most difficult goodbye has been our neighbor Tom. Diana and I, well mostly me, have developed a very close relationship with our elderly neighbor that lives alone across the street. I’ve grown accustom to coming home, walking across the street and talking to Tom about work, history, family or any other topic; he frequently joins us for dinner and is just a constant presence in the neighborhood. Since Tom does not have a computer, nor does he know how to use the internet I have committed to send him hand written letters and make the occasional phone call. So let me point out the moral of my life lesson; you know that single elderly man or woman in your neighborhood?. . . reach out, you may make one of the most meaningful connections of your life.
Alright, enough of feeling sad; Diana and I drove up to Seattle on Friday, April 12th. We had the truck packed to the gills and towed my old Nissan which made the well used Budget truck work pretty darn hard , it took us 15.5 hours which normally takes close to 12.
After trying to sleep in after a 15+ hour drive we had to unpack the truck and get ready for the entire family to descend on my mother’s house. It was a great Saturday; grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all came by to wish us good luck. The bizarre thing about this gathering was that everyone got along! I’m not sure what was going on with the stars this past week, but the regular family arguments never developed. I also got to reconnect with my cousin Nathan whom I haven’t seen in probably 15 years, that was a lot of fun and I hope to rekindle that relationship.
Sunday was spent watching McKenna mop up the competition at her dirtbike race. I was hoping to see her soar off of jumps, but the race we watched went through the woods and did not have the motocross type jumps I was hoping for. After the award ceremony where she got her 1st place trophy we were able to enjoy special Washington style Mexican food with Shannon, Blake and Amber. . . Sooo good! Where else can you get enchilada sauce and cheddar cheese??
We waited out a few extra days due to crappy weather east of Seattle that allowed us to spend a bit more time with friends and family as well as deal with bank and insurance tasks.
Today’s drive was fairly uneventful. We left my mother’s house in Maple Valley at about 6:20am and got into Bozeman MT at about 6:00pm MDT. The truck ran great, we saw some amazing scenery and just powered through. I think Diana took some cool pictures that I’ll post along with some others from the past few days when I get some more time and energy.
We’re both super excited to be on our way!