My husband surprised us with a surprise vacation. There is very little which surpasses such a level of happy for me than that. We needed to get away, we needed to be somewhere else together. And we did so. It was felicity! If you love someone, show them by taking them somewhere, it doesn’t have to be elaborate or very costly (it will cost something, everything does), but it is well worth the effort and planning and will result in a refreshing of the soul and deeper bond than before. We all needed that and we so appreciate it. Thank you, God!!
What follows appears tedious and has a point, though silly. It is a list of all the places I have called home, some for short periods of time and some for considerably longer.
1. Trailer in Buchanan, MI on Red Bud Trail N (10 years)
2. Farmhouse in Buchanan, MI on Chamberlain Rd. (7 years)
3. Campground in Bloomfield, IN at Beechwood Lake Camp with Adventures in Missions. (2 summers)
4. Campground in Niles, MI at Michiana Christian Service Camp. (1 week at a time for years).
5. Modular home in Buchanan, MI on Chamberlain Rd. (2 years)
6. and 7. 2 different Dorm rooms in Johnson City, TN at Milligan College (1 year)
8. Dorm room in Kalamazoo, MI at Western Michigan University (1 year)
9. and 10. 2 different Studio apartments in Kalamazoo, MI in town (1 year)
11. Bedroom of a home in Portage, MI with the Bannisters (2 years)
12. Church in London, England at Manor Way (2 weeks)
13. Church in Bielsk Padloski, Poland (2 weeks)
14. Bedroom of a home in Bellarus, Russia (1 week)
15. One bedroom apartment in Kalamazoo, MI (1 year)
16. One bedroom apartment in Kingston, PA (3 years)
17. One bedroom apartment in Boca Raton, FL (1 year)
18. Townhouse condo in Coconut Creek, FL in the Township (3 years)
19. One bedroom apartment in Glendale, CA (9 months)
20. One bedroom apartment in Clearwater, FL (5 months)
21. 3/2 House in Lakeland, FL in Wellington Green (4 1/2 years)
22. 3/2 House in Lakeland, FL in Country Oaks (6 1/2 years so far- current location)
This is documentation for my children to prove that I am truly as insane as they believe that I am and proof positive that I understand and embrace moving when the need arises to do so. I have friends who never have moved, still live really close to their birth place, who do not even have any natural curiosity about the world outside their town or city. I have other friends who have moved more times than I. Regardless of how much travel you do, reading can suppliment travel in many good books but some form of reading or travel or speaking to travelers must take place to grasp the enormity and diversity of the world as well as the smallness of it all. Communication is extremely important and somewhat easy in other places for everyone has similar loves- family, food, sleep, pets, entertainment. Communication has differences everywhere you go in the states or abroad but always is read best through body language and eye contact or lack thereof. And when traveling and moving, it is a beautiful understanding you get quite quickly to simplify your life, belongings, clothes and take with you what you need to live not want to beautify. It is important to appreciate God’s world He made to worship Him the best way possible. It is difficult to praise the Creator when we see little of His creation, in my belief. The more we see and travel, the better we understand some degree of His greatness and also His richness, that He owns it all and so much more. These are beautiful things to ponder. I have traveled much also while living in these places, many road trips, many vacations, many beach days, many many hikes. It always points me back to quietness and simplicity and God’s amazing greatness and attention to detail and love for differences. But home should always be where you feel the most comfortable in the world with those you love. And never underestimate the power of a decent bathroom and kitchen!
I have a dear friend who likes the song Runaway. The fun part of that is that said friend has no idea how often I really have done so and would like to run away. I love road trips. When stress pushes me in too hard from all sides, I used to and still want to move forward, to a new place with new faces that I don’t know are meanies or judges or alarmists or liars yet. Somewhere new and fresh and start over. Not that I am a coward or not brave but that I value life and freedom more than accepting less than what that should be. I have run many many times, sometimes in the guise of work, sometimes temporarily on road trips or vacations, other times much more blatant, but never once since having my children. Kids have a way of grounding you. You face things for your kids that you will not ever face for anyone or anything else in the world. You stay. You don’t run away. For them, you fight battles and adult up and handle business. For their benefit and stability and roots, you ground in, dig deep, take all the mud flown at you, accept the attacks, wrestle deep. For them, you postpone even other loves, even really really strong ones that hold you deep in. You put them on hold for an unspecified amount of time so these precious angels in your care can grow to believe the world is safe and ideals are important and they are important and well looked after. Before children, my view was significantly easier to traverse, much quicker and easier to maintain, my needs easier to meet. After children, my needs are the last thing on my list of goals. Someday, I may run again. I will remain close to my children as they need me. Maybe one day my priorities will change and my needs will resurface when they need me less. Maybe. The road beckons me, calls me to journey, pushes me on, whispers sweet temptations into my ear so softly with the breeze. My curiosity awakens within me a desire to know what is around the next corner, over the next hill, through those woods, in that water, up that tree. It is the mind of me, the heart of who I am, a traveler going through this journey of life at breakneck speeds, suddenly slowed by the detour of children, a beautiful detour to enjoy along the way, taking you down unplanned but amazing new worlds you had not considered. The wonder of their minds and hearts comes alongside your own and the journey adds passengers. You meet people, face triumphs together, face pain together, work through things, an application of advice given now acting out yourself. Live becomes this reason to stay and not run. Mostly. But some amount of running is necessary to maintain serenity. Too much life in one space limits the will and traps the mind. Sometimes, being a little, albeit temporary runaway is the healthiest thing on earth. My friend has great taste in music. 🙂