There’s nothing quite like pulling out of your driveway for the last time–all your belongings packed tight on a truck, leaving behind what’s been your life for years.  It’s a surreal feeling really.  I knew yesterday would be hard.  So many times, I have prepared mentally for the hard I phase into “Stonewall Jackson” mode, as my sister would so affectionately tell you.  This time, this move was different.  I knew there wouldn’t be any stonewalling.  I’ve allowed myself some time to grieve.  The tears came in waves, welcomed almost like a necessary cleanse–a mourning time that needed to happen.
Moving to Minneapolis is a completely welcome move–we want to live there.  (Now though, with the polar vortex that seems to have returned, we’re reconsidering.) But like everything in this life, there is no easy decision and no clean and easy break.  There’s jagged edges–and they hurt.  The friends–these amazing people we leave behind have changed us, helped us grow, loved us deeply.  These are not only friends, but neighbors that will notice our car is gone from the driveway today, find the toys we’ve left behind in the grass, and collect our stray mail. 
Two years ago, I thought if we moved, no one would know–we were disconnected–one foot in NC and another foot moving on to who knows where.  We didn’t have roots yet.  But over these last two years, those roots have grown deep.  Uprooting yesterday broke my heart, I didn’t try to keep the pieces together.  They will heal at one point, but for now, I’m just letting my it do it’s thing–taking time to be present for this middle place.
The excitement of the newness to come is on it’s way.  House hunting, exploring together, finding new favorite spots–it’s all coming.  We’re just riding out the mourning first.

I read the best quote yesterday:
” Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world.
For, indeed, that’s all who ever has.”
-Margaret Mead
Thursday and yesterday were full of endless packing of boxes, goodbyes, laughing, and of course tears–but all good things.  All the time I thought about what I really would miss about this place.  It all came down to the major thing: these people.  This folks who’ve embraced us and let us borrow eggs in a pinch and babysat our kids.  These few caring people who listened to us, celebrated with us, ate with us, and loved on us. 
We have a sweet babysitter that has grown to be a sweeter friend and she has watched our kids and cared for them for countless hours.  Before we left, she brought the kids this book by Cynthia Rylant about being young in the mountains.  Yes, our Blue Ridge Mountains.  It’s beautiful and real and her handwritten note inside will make me smile every time we pull it out.

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Being the celebratory neighborhood that we are, we had to have one last going away party.  My girlfriends came over for wine and snacks while the kids watched a movie in their jammies.  Before that though, my sweet friends lugged over a huge box full of the sweetest meaningful gifts for us: photos of our adventures together, favorite chocolate that we had shared together, coffee–because every important friendship involves lots of coffee, favorite local brews and wine, and then the Jenga game that they insisted we play right then.  What looked like a regular game of Jenga turned out to be so much more.  Hand written notes from all the neighbors, telling what they would miss about each of us.

Sophie, I will miss drawing with chalk with you.  Love, Mya
Alicia, I will miss running in the park.  Love, Miranda
Jarrod, I will miss your grilling skills.  Love, Jordyn
Jack, I will miss your sweet smile. Love, Karina
Noah, I will miss playing in the forest with you.  Love, Max

I will miss…
I will miss…
I will miss…

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What these few caring people have done is change my world.  They’ve taught me things, been there for me, and added so much to my life  They’ve also set the bar set pretty high for our new neighbors. 
Thank you, sweet people for being the few caring people in our world.  We are sad to leave you.
Today we’ll arrive in Minnesota.  We’ll be there underdressed and freezing, but we’ll be there.  We are so excited for this next phase, but we will never forget what we’ve left behind.  


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