Monday, November 17, 2014

The gift of Omaha and neighbors

Omaha was hard. Now that my smile is coming so easily these days and I laugh about silly things a little more often, I'm realizing just how hard it was on me. Not woe is me. People do really hard things every day. Things I can't even imagine or think about because it makes my head spin and my chest constrict. Just hard because I am a homebody and I crave community and I didn't have a home or a community.
But I'm also realizing how necessary that pitstop was. I love Evergreen. I love its mountains and its friendly people who wave when they see me running, (yes, that trudging thing I do up the mountain is my attempt at running. I hear it'll get easier once my legs and lungs acclimate. I sincerely hope this is true) and the unique events at the library. I love the sunshine and the absolute silence outside and the depth of darkness that blankets our little corner of the world each evening. I love the hiking opportunities and proximity to skiing and elk in the neighbors' yards.
Lake Evergreen. Seriously, this is in our town.
And I don't feel bad about it.

If we had come here straight from Minnesota I would have compared everything here to everything there and felt bad about liking it and wondered if we were doing the right thing and if my loving somewhere new would hurt anyone's feelings.

Instead we're here and I've had a little time and distance from a place I love and miss terribly and I realize it's okay to love it here, too. (side note: Last night I had a really long and sad dream about how the people who bought our house were ruining it and being mean to our friends and I wanted to kick their butts. My heart still loves that place and those people.)

It isn't home. We don't have friends yet. I messed up and forgot to take the kids to book club at the library today. I don't have any running buddies. The driveway still intimidates me. The kids get nose bleeds from the dry weather.

We're easing into life here and it feels really good. I think we'd have had more reservations without our pitstop. So, thanks, Omaha, for bridging the gap and easing the transition.

And thank you, Evergreen, for welcoming us. We have a few neighbors up the mountain, but we haven't met them yet. The neighbors right next door stopped by over the weekend. I met the husband while getting the mail and on Saturday his wife brought a lovely little gift basket over. Jim and the big kids were at the library and Asher and I were finishing up snack when I saw her carefully walking down the driveway. I invited her in, so happy for a welcoming, friendly face. She told us about some local hikes and places the kids would love to explore and gave us the lowdown on bears, cougars, and the driveway. We chatted and laughed and she offered us free use of their trampoline and playhouse since their kids are grown and gone. She welcomed us fully and wholly and I needed that so very badly.

Then when her husband got home they came over with shovels and shoveled our entire driveway. All of Death by Driveway, cleared by the kind hands of our nice neighbors.

It felt like a gift. More than the gift of a basket with cracker jacks and coffee and hot cocoa in it. More than the gift of conversation. More than the gift of a cleared driveway.

It felt like the gift of acceptance and possibility and hope. The gift that this crazy thing we're doing isn't so crazy after all, but it's just the next chapter in our Big Love, Epic Fail life. The gift that God is watching out for us and knew just what we needed and sent out a helper, aka our neighbor, to love us in a real and tangible way.
We're doing just fine. Life just works out. I love that about life.

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