Our wonderful Wyoming family drove us to Buffalo Bill Dam where we explored and said our goodbyes and then we parted ways. As we embarked on this RV adventure, I didn’t take into account the many goodbyes we would have to say and the way it would tug at my heart. But, in the end the tug is worth the love and life shared.
We drove through beautiful Yellowstone hopeful we would see some wildlife. I think we wore out the phrase, “Keep an eye out.” Finally, Ollie who would rather be drawing, said from the back row, “Can I not keep an eye out? I brought things to do. Someone else can just tell me about it.” Though we did take the road that supposedly had a bear, we saw very few animals and Ollie did resume his drawing.
We stayed the night in Victor, Idaho and backtracked the next day to hike to Jenny Lake. Snacks and water and sunscreen were packed and we were enjoying the paved path to the trail head where we saw the sign, NO DOGS ALLOWED.
Irked at trying to be good pet owners by not leaving her alone all day, I volunteered to stay behind with Peaches and meet up with everyone else later. Walking away I didn’t know what I was going to do. Go to the car? Work on the computer that wouldn’t likely have internet? As I was walking away I saw another little dog coming up behind me. I slowed up so Peaches could have a buddy for a second.
The dog’s owner, Natalie, and I started talking. She and her pooch had been banned from the hiking path too! We kept talking and walking and 3 hours later had become fast friends and had enjoyed an awesome hike together. I learned the story of her family (at least tiny parts of it), that her dog’s name was Fred, that she was also from Utah and that she plays Ultimate Frisbee (also that she was super nice and fun to be with). Though we did say goodbye after I un-stuffed myself out of their car from hitching a ride back to the parking lot, we are still friends thanks to instagram and facebook and our banned-dog memories.
We came home to my parents house which is about 5-7 minutes from where we recently moved. The last time we went near our old neighborhood, it was too emotional for me. Now, a little more time had passed (3 weeks?!) and I wondered if I could manage. I missed our friends and neighbors. I wanted to be brave. I wanted to see them and meet the new twin babies.
The first trip over was for the kids to have a playdate with their best friends. My courage started to waver as we made turns getting us closer and a chant sort of burst out of me to rally the troops (me), “We are happy, adventurous and our home is when we’re together. We are happy, adventerous and our home is when we’re together.” We repeated it getting louder and louder the closer we got to “home.” It helped.
A few days later after Dave was home from work we trecked over again to visit and meet the twins. It was the first time Dave had been back. The new owners had purchased much of our furniture and decor and so it still looked so much like ours. The fence we built, the swings we hung (not to mention the home we built) etc. It was harder for him than he expected.
After we met the new babies everyone congregated out front on the lawn like old times. The kids running and playing and the adults catching up and chatting. I saw the new owners and considered saying something… I also needed some mail that had been delivered there. But… did I dare? We are happy, adventerous and our home is when we are togeteher. Before I could talk myself out of it I approached the front porch, my favorite “room” of our dear house.
They were so kind and warm and their little daughter wanted me to come in and see their house. Uhhh… what? Go inside!? Ok, I can do that for her. sure. She led me into the living room and I tried to see it with new eyes and comment on her things, her furniture, her cushy rug. I also tried to not let my eyes see further into the house. I didn’t want to see our stencil on the wall.
Contrary to what my neighbors thought I would do, I did come back out and the little girl brought me a gift bag with a water bottle in it. I was so grateful for the love I felt from the new owners and from our special friends and neighbors. That house blessed us to meet all these people but the house isn’t these people and people are what matter most.
While at my parents, we kept busy trying to prepare for our trip East. My parents selflessly ran errands, forgave Peaches for her very bad choice of where to go, and labored in the super-heated trailer to hang the curtains a new friend in Cowley had made. We had the lights fixed on the trailer, a trip to instacare for Dave’s lumpy swollen arm, Grandma’s birthday party, and an overnight visit from our favs, Cole and Trey. I also had one little getaway with my mom where we sat under a shady tree for lunch. There’s no one like mom.
Dave packed up his office of 6 and a half years and said his goodbyes to his friends and coworkers. We would be leaving the next day.
After a whirlwind 4 and a half days, the tug came again. My parents, these two beautiful people, stood at the end of their driveway to send us off. Of all the lovely and interesting things we might see, none can compare with being loved deeply. “I love you” to them means love in action.
Pulling away and crying for the first 4.7 miles into our new trip, we turned on the radio to try and get into the excitement of our adventure. “Nobody’s gonna break my stride, nobody’s gonna slow me down, oh no, I got to keep on movin…” Choked up I tried to sing along. Neighbors, family, friends cause the tug in my heart. While I am grateful for our adventure and I am grateful for the tug.
Ready or not, it’s hard, but good things are happening.