If you could see my house right now… On a good day there are bits of clutter here and there as we have lived in the middle of a re-sale business while homeschooling, living, and often watching Masterpiece Theater.
But now? With price tags on possessions and Post-It notes announcing “eBay”, “Craigslist”, “ Estate Sale”, and “Donate” the flotsam and jetsam of our life, for the past 20 years, is disappearing one tailgate conversation, email exchange, and box at a time.
The American Dream of the “fixer upper car” turning into Isaac’s first car dissipate likes so much smoke when the guy took the 1987 Landcruiser away the other day and we tucked a cashier’s check into the bank hoping to turn it into plane tickets and meals I can’t pronounce, yet. The Roland keyboard I wept over when music was restored to me all those years ago sits shiny and bright, ready for her close-up, and then silent and untouched as the internet ogles her. Waiting until someone bites.
The collected things that were dreams and “Someday”, ready to send to a little girl in Idaho who is living that dream.
20 years in boxes is slowly taking shape: Three small boxes of pictures, 4 mid-sized boxes of books, his love-letters kept safely in a small wooden box. All of it no longer available to show tangible proof of our life here with you, my local friends.
This is such a big thing, a beautiful thing, even a faith-filled thing we are doing. At least I keep hearing those phrases.
I mean, we think so too, but this is also a hard thing filled with memories of seasons held so tightly and the times endured with no grace whatsoever. It is looking at the treasures in my life, the kindnesses of friends and loved ones, the lady at Richard’s Donuts who has known my boys since they wanted the cinnamon twist that was bigger than their head… And always gives us free donut holes.
This big, beautiful thing is also about giving up the comfort of my high thread count cotton sheets and the memory foam topper on my tall, American bed for spare rooms, cheap hotels, night trains, and airline seats built for munchkins with abnormally short legs.
This plan to go boldly in that vast unknown is about constantly making new friends while trying to keep our hearts safe and holding out hands transmitted on bits and bytes, through data plans and images of parties and dinners that happened without us, so we stay anchored and steady in both the vision outward and the identity inward.
This adventure is all about living thousands of miles away and feeling powerless while those we love struggle, while familymembers fade…
This enterprise of ours is so many things and, yet, all of them are chipping away at the self-sufficiency of independence carefully constructed through years of brick and mortar made from determination and the luxury of indulging in introspection long after it had been drained dry of its purpose.
The clarion point, the key to all of it that makes me get up early to pack another box, put more belongings up for sale, write rambling thoughts, in the gray-sky, orange tinted morning instead of spending that time planning camping trips and sleepy summer afternoons?
I have such peace. This is what we are intended to do. I couldn’t do anything else.
A text exchange the other day, between Brian and I, sums it up perfectly.
Within the smiles and joy, the confidence and realization of long-held dreams, pieces of my heart are all around me. They sparkle from a deck in Lincoln City, sprinkled in an abandoned golf course where a golden-eyed rusty colored dog gamboled about as my friend and I shared our lives. I have shared, with my sister friend, vision and passion in the Portugese place hours after lunch had disappeared. I love the memories of that small coffee shop next to the river where I made some new friends and welcomed the challenge of identifying with a diverse group of thinkers.
The time clock says 1 month. One month until we bid a temporary adieu to the park where my chubby boys climbed trees and rolled down hills. Farewell to the bike path and the scent of camp drifting down from every juniper in our yard.
This is hard. This is beautiful. This is obedience. This is faith.
But the most astonishing thing of all?
This is happening to me.