Tag Archives: going home

Empty

Other than a few thrift-store-bound coffee mugs we saved to use until we leave and the appliances with UK plugs we can’t take with us, my house is empty.  Our things have all been packed away, wrapped up and boxed up and, as I write this, they are being loaded on a truck bound for a ship bound for America. 

My house looks like it did the day we arrived: a blank slate waiting to be filled up.

I know this house was never really mine, never really ours, but for three years we made it so and we loved it like it was.  It has seen us through one of the biggest transitions our family will likely ever know: becoming expats, finding our new selves in a new culture, creating this life in England and all the changes it wrought in all of us. 

Places become part of you, part of your story, and this wonky old farmhouse with crooked walls and wavy window glass and an 800-year old church next door is as much a character in this chapter of our lives as the people we met and came to love.

All I can think of as I look around the rooms stripped bare is the overwhelming anticipation and fear and hope I felt during our first days here.  The empty rooms were waiting then to see what story we’d write here, I was waiting to see what our life would be here, we were all waiting to see what would happen here.  And now, we’ve reached the end and the rooms stand empty once again.

We’ll stay in this empty house for the next few days, sleeping on air mattresses and eating off paper plates like we did when we first arrived, and I will say goodbye to all the things I love most about it: the light-filled hallway outside our bedrooms, the view of the sunrise from my window, the kitchen island where we have breakfast every morning and snacks every afternoon, the gorgeous fairy tale garden surrounded by the moss-covered stone wall. 

For the life we built in this place: grateful doesn’t cover it, fortunate doesn’t cover it.  Moving to England was, hands down, the best choice we ever made for our family. 

My heart is full.

America

Sometimes I think it’s silly to use up Matt’s precious vacation time going home for a two week trip.  Then I get there and see all the people we miss while we’re living 5,000 miles away and I remember why it’s important to come home occasionally.

We spent two weeks in the U.S. – we started off in MD, visited our friends in VA, made a quick stop in PA, spent one night in NY, and then finished up the trip with a few days in MA.  I called it our East Coast Tour and it was a bit of a whirlwind, but it was full of fun.

We saw family and friends, enjoyed some real summer heat, swam in the pool at Matt’s parents’, watched a baseball game, had rooftop dinner and a movie in NYC, kayaked at my parents’ lake house, played with the puppy, went to my faux 20-yr high school reunion (the real one happened in the fall), and saw all the cousins.

So. Many. Cousins.

It was so nice to travel somewhere familiar.  I wasn’t expecting that, but it was true.

We didn’t have to look for directions or restaurant recommendations.  We just went to the places we know and miss and love and loved them all the more for having missed them.

It’s funny how much you realize you love a place when you haven’t seen it in a while.

It was good to go home.

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