Monday, July 20, 2009
Monday Memory: Moving Day
I almost let this anniversary slip by, but this morning I realized that 10 years ago last week, we packed up our little family in a very big moving van and headed into our new life. I think in many ways we thought of it as "our real life."
For 10 years we'd been working toward this life. I'd already graduated from college when Dr. H. and I got married. He had dropped out but then returned to finish his last two years the fall after we were married. And then the next 8 years consisted of three years in Ohio for his master's degree (and a baby boy) and five years in Iowa for his PhD and my master's degree (and a baby girl).
It's not that we didn't relish those years of our life; we did. But we always knew that we were pushing on toward something else. We had a goal. Until he received the call from the University of Tennessee 10 years ago, we were caught between the world of kid and adult. Those last couple of years in Iowa, we were trying to step over the line into full adulthood, but it took a job to really get us there.
That moving van somehow solidified our new status. That thing was huge! And movers—compliments of our new employer—came to our house, labeled our boxes, and drove the van down to Tennessee. We made that 17-hour stretch one last time, with Randy in his little Toyota and me, the kids, and my teenaged niece in our brand new mini-van.
We arrived in Knoxville on a hot July day, and I'm pretty sure we bent down and kissed the ground. We were home. We were overwhelmed with gratefulness that God opened up these doors for us.
Neither of us grew up in Tennessee, but we met in college in upper East TN and fell in love with this beautiful place and its people, well, and with each other. For us, there were no greener pastures than East Tennessee.
Our little family has grown a bit since then. Jesse's as tall as Dr. H. now, and my girl and her little brother are rapidly catching up to me. A lot happens in 10 years, but our sense of wonder and delight in being here has never changed. I am still thankful every single day that God directed our path here, where I can look out my front window and see a long stretch of mountains, and breathe freely.