Six months ago, I wrote this in a journal:
Under the staircase, you can see the bare cement where there was once piles of things stored. There are no longer any books on the bookshelves. But heavy-laden boxes piled upon each other instead. Ruby’s closet is empty and her suitcase full.
Last night I filled out a forward address form on the USPS website. I hesitated just a moment when they asked me to declare whether this was a permanent or temporary forward.
We’ve booked a U-haul and my parents arrive a week from today to help us load and move.
Before bed last night, Jason and I were talking how everyday the move feels more and more real. It’s not that it didn’t feel real the day before, but there are somehow layers to the reality that keep growing thicker.
So today, I pack. While the kids entertain themselves as best they can. And I take a million breaks to kiss away “injuries.” And I find new things for them to play with or watch.
Judah packs his very own box full of his most essential items: favorite toys. I have to convince him not to tape it up, because I know in five minutes one of those toys will be needed for another adventure.
It has only been six months. But it feels like a lifetime ago. Six months ago, Jason worked for a nonprofit. The snow was up to our waists outside of our house. The days were short and below freezing.
Six months ago we left friends and a home seven years in the making. We left the house we brought our babies too. And the fire department down the street that Jason was on-call with during his “off hours” from work. We had a dog. And everyday we headed out back to gather eggs from the chickens.
There has been so much forward motion since then. New job. Selling the house. New house. Reconnecting with family and old friends. But as the dust settles and change is no longer our constant, I’m starting to look back. Man, we loved that place.
The other night, Jason and I were talking about Minnesota. And how we want to go back to visit someday, but not yet. It just feels too soon.
I have nothing but gratitude for the land of 10,000 lakes. For the people we love there. For the harsh winters. For the short summers. For everything they gave us and taught us. I miss our favorite places. The farmers markets. The Guthrie. The Minnesota Zoo. I miss our church. And the regular everyday places we went: Cub foods, Eddingtons for soup, the libraries, the nature centers.
Lately I’ve noticed that I have started to refer to where we were as “up North.” Because “Minneapolis,” or “Robbinsdale” seems to small of a container to hold seven years. “Up North” is just about big enough to hold all of it. The trips to Northern Minnesota or across to Wisconsin. Downtown. St. Paul. The outlying suburbs. The small towns. The farmlands. The toughness and tenacity of those we knew. The walks around the lakes. The slow still moments where God poured his love out.
Six months ago, we packed up and headed towards change. And I’ve yet to unpack all the North gave us.