365 days ago we began a new chapter in our lives. We moved 609 miles away to a place completely unfamiliar. We knew things would change, but we were unsure how. We didn’t have an address to move to, but I was sure God still knew where we were.
It’s been an awesome year.
It’s been the toughest year.
I have had so much fun exploring, meeting new people and sharing about why we are here. But I have also faced feelings of loneliness, doubt, concern, and sadness.
You know I like lists, so here goes. Ignore the superficial parts of this list. I thought about not including them, but decided to keep them all because it’s me.
- When shopping or enrolling online, I no longer have to scroll to the lowest part of the alphabetical states lists to find Virginia....Connecticut is so much closer to the top. I have saved a whopping total of 3 seconds over the course of the year this way.
- I live in the brick house I never knew I wanted.
- I have developed an affinity for the dozens of varieties of birds that live on or around our property; everything from hummingbirds and bright orange orioles to woodpeckers and owls.
- I reeeealy like living closer to major shopping. (Although, it is still a 22 minute drive.)
- Learning and living in the history of New England. One day I'll write about my favorite New Englander, a dead guy named Titus Cone.
- I find it hysterical when my kids explain that they live in Connecticut now, but used to live in a place called “Farmbill”.
- Gaining a wide-eyed view of a church culture far different from that in Virginia. All the essentials are present, but the size, personality and frequency are different. That’s an entire blogpost in and of itself.
- I have enjoyed living in a place that is very focused on maintaining good health.
- In response to the previous statement, I have found myself making more sweet tea, cornbread and biscuits than ever before.
- A recent visitor from VA asked me, “So do you consider yourself a Yankee yet?” I had a hard time answering...because I kinda do.
- I find the directness refreshing, albeit a bit alarming at times. I know what people are thinking and don’t worry about hearing a different story later on. (Or other people hearing a different story than I hear.....YOU know what I mean!)
- Judah is so much happier living in a cooler climate.
- We’ve all added to our boot and jacket collection; one of my most favorite forms of love.
- We are so thankful for a nice big field to grow our own food in. (Despite our rocky start, we WILL become better homesteaders!)
- Dairy Bar. Dairy Bar. Dairy Bar.
- New friends. And hoping for 28,000 more.
- The array of cultures.
- Living so close to so much.
- New writing opportunities!
- Serving in different ministry capacities than I have previously; I’ve enjoyed the creativity required and learning new things.
- The opportunities for my kids and freedom in homeschooling.
- We began this year in CT with a bad burn on my youngest’s left hand. And celebrating our first anniversary of being New Englanders with a bad burn on my left hand. A lesson in dealing with physical pain.
- I miss living in a newly built home...older homes have loads of lovely character and lots of places that need lovin’. (And by lovin’, I mean hours of hard work to repair or bring to new life.) A lesson in sweat equity.
- Gas and grocery prices. Yuck. A lesson in frugality.
- I miss my friends. My family misses their friends. A lesson in having a heart that feels something.
- I miss knowing my oldest brother wasn’t too far away. I never knew I ever thought about that. A lesson in letting myself need someone.
- I have ached deeply when dear ones in Virginia have dealt with hard things and I haven’t been there to offer support. This was so hard. Probably the hardest part of this year, by far. A lesson in mourning for those that mourn and praying, because that’s all I could do.
- The familiarity of knowing our campus, inside and out. The ease of being known on campus. A lesson in patience.
- We no longer live across the street from campus. This has it’s benefits too (land and space, etc.) but the convenience of walking to campus was nice. A lesson in resource management.
When I asked my youngest what she liked best about moving to Connecticut, she listed the following things:
- Her room and the chance to play in it and in her school room.
- Campus, because she likes the pizza in the restaurant nearby and how they serve the pizza.
- Swinging on the tree swing next to Mirror Lake on campus.
And the same question asked to our oldest, provided me with this response:
- Playing with my new favorite friends.
- My school work.
- Going swimming,
- Playing and picking [veggies] in our garden.
- Going to the student bookstore on campus.
*Tuesday, August 9, 2011, (@4:30pm) is the day we drove away from our sweet home in Farmville, VA. Wednesday, August 10, 2011 was the day we stepped foot onto Connecticut soil. Come back tomorrow to read about the biggest lesson I learned during the first few months of living here~