While I love the idea of settling down, there is always something exhilarating about a change of place. Connor and I made the decision to move to Colorado in a matter of days. We were flying by the seat of our pants and it worked out well. We were incredibly blessed to have the support that we did, but people did think we were crazy when we told them the story of our courageous trip here with just one suitcase and a toolbox. I loved that adventure of the unknown, despite that I am usually a person who likes to feel in control of life. But, after four years of being disciplined in school, I guess it was only right for me to need such a drastic change of pace.
The story of us choosing to leave Colorado to move back to our hometown happened as quickly as it did when we chose to move here in the first place. I guess it was one of those things that you get a seed planted in your head and all of a sudden it is blooming. I wonder if maybe subconsciously I was thinking of another adventure the whole time. Or maybe, as much as I wanted to settle down in Colorado, I never felt like there was such a thing as settling down without being near family. It had been a hard realization to come to, but it made me that much more excited to be on my way to see them.
Last Thursday, we signed the closing papers to sell our house, packed the moving truck, and began the long drive back to Washington. We never stopped driving except to fill up the gas tank, buy snacks, and use the restroom. In a regular car, the drive is about 18 hours, but with the moving truck and our car in tow, it took about 21 hours. We drove the whole time, no stopping at hotels. We were hoping to stop in the northern part of Wyoming around midnight, but all of the hotels were booked (this happened when Connor and I came to Colorado!). We had no choice but to keep driving. I am so thankful Connor’s step dad came with us; him and Connor were able to switch off driving and taking broken, crappy-car-ride naps. Still, I was so nervous to keep driving, as we saw about 6 dead deer on the road, and I counted at least another 4 running near the road. In fact, we ran over one that was already dead, and it tore off the back bumper of my car.
I finally fell asleep around 3 in the morning, for about an hour or two, and then woke up to the most beautiful sunrise. The sky and mountains and fields were blurred shapes of pastel colors. It was the most amazing, peaceful way to wake up, despite being cramped and sleep-deprived. I loved watching the landscape change, throughout the time we were driving from sunset to sunrise and through each state. We saw rolling fields of green, mountains, and then we knew we were getting close to home as we began to see pine trees so tall they seemed to touch the sky. It has been so long since we have seen those and smelled the scent of the forest. I remember laughing at my friend who moved to Colorado from Spokane, saying she missed the trees. I didn’t think that could be possible or that big of a deal. It is. I am a woman of the woods.
Pretty dramatic change of scenery, right? I kept thinking to myself, how could I have ever taken this beautiful land for granted? How did I ever get tired of seeing the forests and the mountains and the blue skies? The only way I can describe my experiences is just saying it feels like a time warp. It feels like spending a year in Colorado was a small blip, or hiccup in time. It feels like I was there, but it also feels like I wasn’t. It feels like I have been here in Washington all along, despite having some memory of what it was like in Colorado. It feels like I am home again, and although it has taken a couple of days to feel that, I can say that with confidence now. I am so happy to be breathing this air full of pine and dirt, hearing the birds outside my window, and having my family in my arms and giving my sweet little nephew a million kisses and hugs. Those simple little moments mean the world and I am so happy to have them back.