Monday, October 19, 2015
The paths we follow
When my husband and I first married, we moved to Virginia. The DC area. It was part of the deal when he proposed. I refused to move to his hometown--a town with one tiny grocery store and a population of maybe 400. Okay, maybe 500. Or less.
He re enlisted into the Marines. A career he just left. And didn't really like. That's how much he loved me.
Two years later, he got out. We moved back to PA to Scranton so he could go to school. Nothing against that place but the first thing I noticed was the trash along the roads. Our house was a duplex in an alley with our landlords right next to us. Polish. They screamed at people when they blocked the parking with garbage cans. Today my rental home is a condemned property.
Another two years passed and we moved an hour north to Tunkhannock as I was driving too far to my job. We rented another house that touted peeling wallpaper and woodburners. Our water froze in the toilet that first winter. We installed another woodburner. Built a back porch and hung fresh paper. Even adopted our first dog. Panda. A cat wandered by and I adopted him too.
Our life was forming. We were becoming adults.
And then I got pregnant. The dog went outside. We longed for our own place. We finally found land and after begging three banks to give us a chance, we secured our construction loan. After months of grueling work, we moved into our house on the hill that promised me a kitchen and cupboards someday. Plus carpeting and doors. But we loved it.
Now we felt grown up. We had a mortgage. Jobs. A child. A church.
What more could we want?
Evidently not what we had. I still remember the day. Fifteen years later, my husband stood at our bedroom window. "I can't take this cold weather."
And so it began. The search. The packing. The crying. The move to Florida. New beginnings. New friends. New schools. New jobs. New churches. Everything new again.
We adjusted. Were warm. Bought a beautiful home. Watched our only child move across the country away from us. Watched the recession choke Florida in its grip. Lost our careers. Lost friends. Grieved.
But grown ups don't give up. Even though we felt like children again.
We tried everything. Part time jobs we hated. School. New business. Cashed in our savings. Finally moved to Texas. Sold our home. Hated both choices--the job and the state.
"I have to go home, " I told my husband. He loved me enough to agree.
So we made the long trip across the country back to PA. Now everything would be fine, or so we thought. It wasn't. I cried when I walked into our new rental. Was I twenty-one again? We stacked our boxes in the spare rooms. Prayed for strength. Prayed that God would once again see us through. Started building a house in that town I first refused to live in. Started a business. Hope sprang.
A year and a half later we worried we were going to starve. No work. Bills. Cold.
Then another opportunity. Florida. Again. The job my husband left years ago. Really God? Move again?
We left our half-finished home, packed the small UHAUL and made the trek to a rental we found online.
We couldn't give up. There was no other choice.
No one ever promised our path would be straight. What made us think that so long ago? Today I find myself dreaming about another return to PA, to my house, to another pet, to a slower lifestyle. To friends and family.
But I can't hack out my own path. I must just go with it as it opens before me. Climb when we need to climb. Swim, run and drag each other when we get weary.
And thank God we can do all of it.
What's your path look like today? Are you preparing for the twists that will come? Are you thanking God for the cleared path in front of you?