We did it.  A month and counting … we’ve transplanted to rural life.

For the last several years the summer routine has been to pack a couple of suitcases (well … two suit cases for me … Mike was satisfied with stuffing four shirts, a pair of jeans, and just enough unmentionables into a reusable grocery bag). Then we’d head to the “East Side” for a few weeks of sun, family, and fishing. “We should stay here,” we’d say to one another.  “We may need to,” we added as we watched my mom age and her needs grow.

But, about the time that school supplies filled up store shelves and hungry combine blades gobbled down the wheat each year, we headed back to our city home, city jobs, and city church.  That was the routine.

Until now.

This time we skipped over the suitcases, opting for a game of Tetris with all our belongings.  We squished dressers, beds, photos (why so many, many MANY photos), spices (it’s tempting to think someone cooks at our house), and crafting items (never throw anything out … who knows what amazing thing I might create) into U-Haul trailers.  Six back and forth trips and all our stuff has a new home. Everything including the cats … although one was a little iffy due to naughty behavior.  But … we gave in and brought him as well. Now we are a family of empty nesters and slightly deranged felines.

Yes, here we are … swimming through the torrents of learning the highs and lows of loving someone with dementia, job hunting (Mike said yes to a teaching position last week), and explaining to people why we’re here. (Lots of layers to that answer.)

I think I understand Abraham and Sarah from the Bible a little more. Would I really pack up and go like that? Without knowing where I’m going exactly?  Well … I guess that answer has come.  I (We) are doing it, and there’s only one way to take life now … one step at a time (or in our case … six minutes at a time). Truthfully … as anxious as I feel every now and then, I don’t know that I’ve enjoyed life this much since I first left home for college a decade or two ago.

“I always get to where I’m going
by walking away from where I’ve been.”
— Winnie the Pooh

So this is a new life.

It’s been a month of bumping into childhood friends, meeting new neighbors, and learning to sing contemplative hymns instead of the contemporary sort of songs that you raise your hands to.

A month of a full heart, yet a heart that aches as I sit with Mom and think of conversations we’ve had in the last year.

A month of learning to be thankful every single day … no matter what.  Of refusing to waste any more of my life letting fear ruin a day … also, no matter what.

It’s a month of adjusting to the daily siren that signals lunch time (promptly at 11:57 am every day).  In the city sirens always meant trouble.  They can mean that here too.  When there’s danger instead of the single, noon(-ish) time reminder, an urgent hurry-and-help blast carries on and on, bolting the town volunteers out of their beds. Whether on the tail end of a lightening storm late at night or a house fire at 5:30 in the morning, neighbors rush to see who might be in distress.

That 5:30 AM call was a real thing this week.  Scroll down for a picture of the house that burned. Thankfully, the woman who lived there woke up and was able to escape.

Kindness happens all over the world … it’s cool to see how it comes together in a small town where there have been a lot of newcomers of late.  Old or new … everyone worked together.  By early afternoon, a new place to live had been secured. By evening a list of needs was up in the grocery store and several boxes of items already overflowed one of the register areas.

It’s been a month of enjoying small community moments like this.

There is so much more  … a lot of to write about is percolating in my heart … but I will leave the thoughts and the stories for another (or several other days).  For now, I will let pictures do their share of the talking.


This is the view from the town’s golf course.


The cats were mad for about two days. Since then they have claimed their personal favorite spots to keep an eye on the humming birds and robins that frequent our yard.


Spy in the sky.


Our new yard has few plants and gardens at the moment, so we were thrilled to see these volunteer hollyhocks spring up along the alley.

1-HaybalesThe beauty of early harvest speaks for itself.


Sunset in full splendor.

1-BurnedHomeThe fire mentioned above.  We are all so thankful that the woman who lives here woke up when she did.

1-HuskyWelcomeWell, well, well!  There are reasonable people in Pullman (where Mike will be working) after all. Saw this sign in a yard near the WSU campus yesterday.  Sorry Cougar fans … there’s another Dawg in town.


He’s looking good, feeling great (thank you, Lord), and ready to work.  Just signed on to work at an area High School.  Way to go, honey, and go Greyhounds!

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A final PS … My guy still caries stuff in grocery bags.  I caught him with this ensemble as he packed up for our anniversary trip the other day.  The funny thing is, I don’t think he had any idea what the bag said!  HaHa!!