It’s been over seven months and 1200 miles since I’ve last visited you. I came across an interesting quote from Katie Couric a couple of months ago, “Life is a series of reboots.” Reboot is one way to describe our family’s last months; for me, it might be closer to describe it as a return. In the pleasant cool of a sunny southern Illinois morning in mid-September, I found myself packing the back of my 2010 TDI Golf (including spacious accommodations for our two dogs) for the journey from O’Fallon, IL to Strafford, NH. Our youngest, Emily, was similarly packing her Golf (my previous car) to make the journey with me.
Flash back to 1981 when my much younger version packed my 1978 Champagne Edition VW Rabbit to the gills with all my worldly possessions (except for my piano) for the move from Dover, NH to Brighton, MA to live with my friend (and now my stepsister) to reboot my nascent professional journey in the big city of Boston.
In the first days of spring the following year, I packed my car and moved on again, this time leaving New England to embark on my new career in the Air Force. The intervening years were full of change including marriage, children, moves to the midwest and west coast punctuated by time overseas in Turkey. While we had settled in the St. Louis area after David’s military retirement, we had not truly decided on our “home”, often discussing selling our home and moving. Exactly where that might be, we weren’t sure — maybe a smaller home, maybe closer to a town center. The result was that we simply stayed, unable to define a true focus or muster the energy to put our house on the market. Little did we know that in just a few short months, everything was about to change. In late June, for many reasons, including being closer to family, we decided to test the waters on a possible move to New England. After a few frenzied weeks clearing, repairing, and staging our home of over seven years, we put it on the market in mid-July. In eleven short days, we accepted an offer, about the same time David found a new position as a high school math teacher just a few short miles from my father and stepmother. Allowing only a few days for advance househunting, I flew out alone and found our new home in just a few days — a picture-perfect cape on several acres just minutes away from the beautiful lake where David had spent many childhood summers as a camper and counselor.
It still hasn’t quite registered that we are now here and this is our home. It’s one thing to pack and move possessions; it’s another to put down roots and establish your new life. Having lived in the area so long ago, and in a very different phase of my life, things are familiar and strange all at once. Viewing my packed Golf, though, I had to smile, thinking of my life as more circular than linear.