Saturday, August 1, 2015

A warm welcome

Despite what you may think, trekking 3,000 miles across the plains is actually pretty straightforward.  All you need is your sweetheart, two angels, a couple of rascally dogs and a best buddy.  Once that’s squared away, just fill up your air-conditioned minivan and stuff every last available inch of space with everything that wouldn’t fit in the moving truck (which was surprisingly more than we had anticipated) and you’re ready to roll.

If I had to use two words to describe the trip out west, I’d probably use “a blur.”  It’s not eloquent, but it’s an accurate overview.  Time passed, the sun came up and down, rain fell, the sun shined, wind blew and thunder rolled.  And all the while, we pressed forward – Casey and Bryce switching off driving duties while the girls held things together in the back and I kept the navigating responsibilities locked down in the front passenger seat.  My directions were clear and infallible, “go west,” I said.  "Go west."

And we did. 

And as we did, this is what we saw...

In crossing the plains and seeing the sights, sunsets and majesty (yo, Nebraska, I’m being generous) of it all, I couldn’t help but contemplate my life.  And maybe it was the boredom of cornfields (yes, Nebraska, I’m still talking to you) or the tiredness that accompanies this type of trip, but I found myself thinking about everything that has led me to this point and feeling ever so grateful for having been on this wild ride of life.

Yes, it’s been rocky (to say the least) at times, but mostly it’s been wonderful.  My friends are true, my family is dear and my experiences have been transformative. 

Many years ago, I had a choice to make: I could get bitter or I could get better.  And having made the right decision, my life, despite its challenges, has been a joy.

Now, back to the trip...

Days 1, 2 and 3 were long.  We logged anywhere from 8-12 hours per day until we landed in Utah where we hunkered down for a few days. 

Utah was a welcomed respite as we visited family and got to catch up with friends from Virginia (all those miles to hang with friends from what’s now the old neighborhood).  What can I say?  It’s a small and crazy world.

Time passed quickly and before I knew it, we pushed off to California.  And 11 short hours later, we made it “home.”

Pulling up to my mom’s house (which is where we’re staying until we get set up) we were greeted with hugs, kisses and even a sign.  To say we felt welcomed was an understatement!  In fact, with an outdoor temperature of 108, it was the warmest welcome I have ever had.

And so it is that our voyage ended and our new journey began.  If it’s anything like where we’ve been or half as wonderful as what’s come before then I know it’s going to be a trek well worth taking.

And that, my friends, is a welcome feeling.