We have lived and loved here for more than five years. It was our move to the country that turned out to be a Total Lifestyle Makeover, a journey 23 miles from town but worlds away from what I now see was a relatively materialistic existence.
I've never thought of myself as loving the mall, per se, but the allure of spendy coffee shops and the urban thrill of a great antique find or of an amazing night at the theater... these are in my blood as much as the ponies and the garden (again, this year, with the 'kick me off the homesteader show' garden) and the free-range children.
I wrote a bit about the move here and its shifting of our resources, to put it plainly, to more time spent on fencing and more money spent at the feed store. We drank fewer lattes and the pricey children's boutique owners can hardly remember my name anymore. We brought home two babies to this house. We baked bread and we homeschooled and we started a little bunny business.
Living in this little, tiny, unincorporated rural village has been an enormous blessing. Living in a restored heritage church building has been a dream realized, even in light of the spotty heating and the all-too-open-while-tiny floor plan and the propensity of ranching old timers to stop for coffee as they used to do when the home was owned by a multi-generation founding family.
We have learned to make do, to make the best, to make joy and realize it.
We have walked to the post office, to the wood-floored, wood-heated general store-slash-deli, to the school, church, grange, to neighbors' barbeque parties, to rural art center events and to the abundant blackberry patches. We have spent entire weeks without opening the Suburban doors. We have loaded the shop and the barn and the entire small acreage with memories.
We have watched the fire hall's weekly training sessions from our front yard. We have watched Cycle Oregon's two thousand participants gather and marvel at our front porch. We have watched weddings at the next-door B&B and we have given countless directions to wine country tourists.
And now we are moving again.
My father-in-law gave me a little bit of wisdom that I want to share even though it's not fully sunk in. Yet.
Even in the face of exciting new adventures, it's okay to take a moment or two to appreciate what's passing, to mourn the loss of the known, to recognize what's been good before planning the new. In fact, it's probably counterproductive to start planning before recognizing that this change, though welcome, is hard.
Our new home, also a century or so old but without the known history of this place, is a grand gift and a new chapter to be sure. I just have to finish the last few pages of this one before the story can move on.