Living one hour from your family and living 23 hours from your family are two completely different things. Weekly visits and trips to Walmart or lunches out for the fun of it is different than week-long visits and site-seeing.
There’s no doubt our decision to move came as a blow to our friends and family. Jarrod and I didn’t ask for advice or thoughts, we already knew what they would say. It was not an easy decision. There were/are pro’s and con’s on each side. When the choice boiled down to safe and familiar or complete unfamiliarity and potential disaster, we chose unfamiliar and potential disaster. The potential mistakes we would have made at 18 or 19-year-olds were flip-flopped with pacifiers and formula. There was something in both of us that still craved that adventure that we never got.
My parents coming here last month was such a blessing. My sister and nephew being here at the same time…her being able to come at all was a double blessing. It’s different having family that you were used to seeing every week staying for a week. Your time together is different. But yet again, it’s not. You pick up where you left off but add a whole new element to your time together.
Like exploring a new area together. There’s no shortage of things to do and see in Asheville. My dad is definitely a sight-seer, he goes on long motorcycle trips by himself and sees the whole US, so we knew we had to show him around Asheville…there was not a lot of sitting around.
From nothing simpler than a nature hike to the glam and glitz of the Biltmore house, we did it. We collapsed into our beds every night and did it all again the next day.
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There’s something I’m learning about different; it is just what it says it is. Different. You can’t add to it, you can’t take away. South Dakota is definitely different than North Carolina. Different not meaning one or the other is better or worse, just different.
Shopping carts have morphed into buggies. “Hey guys” into “Hey y’all.” Mashed potatoes for grits (even though there’s still plenty of the first), tea for sweet tea, “I appreciate it” for “I appreciate you.” And my heart is so “blessed” it may have burst just now.
Asheville is teaching me that
1.) Different is ok.
2.) Unfamiliar can be scary, but it can also stretch you.
3.) There’s an even better restaurant around the corner and you never thought that was possible.
4.) Beauty is almost always in the eye of the beholder.
5.) People are weird, but God loves them all.
6.) I should too. And I’m learning to do just that.
7.) Drugs are bad.
8.) I can homeschool my kids, protect them from harmful things, but still show them the ugly things and teach them all along the way.
9.) Banjos and accordions are a perfect duo.
Asheville is a crazy weird town, that is no secret. Native Ashevillians would not be offended reading this, since they coined their own city’s motto: Keep Asheville Weird…and they’re doing it, y’all. Eclectic is the prim and proper word, you can also call it weird. But it’s amazingly catchy and beautiful at the same time.
Asheville is weird in an artful way.
Take every Friday night’s Drum Circle, for example. For sure an eclectic affair, but at the same time you’re tapping your foot and spinning in circles with your kids and/or that guy in the fur coat and Converses. Just bring your camera, that’s all I’ve got to say.
Now all four of our parents have been here. I think we all feel better knowing we all know where we’re at. We’re starting a new kind of normal. One that may or may not take years to get used to, but it’s happening all the same. It’s not the same at is was before, but like I said, different is just different…not making the prior or the latter better or worse, just different. No doubt we’ve created some waves with this endeavor of ours, but the way I see it, that means vacations for all and a broadening spectrum.
Waves can create destruction unless you grab your boogie board, because they can also be a hell of a ride…how’s that for a metaphor?
Happy Tuesday, my friends and fam.
PS: This might be the weirdest thing I’ve ever said, but does this white guy look like Roger Sterling in the face?