We are here in Charleston! We actually haven’t truly been to Charleston yet. Ever. North Charleston and Summerville, but not technically Charleston. We were in Savannah last November and that’s the closest we have ever been to South Carolina until now.
What a wild ride it took to get us here! I wish I had written sooner but we honestly have been going nonstop since Annabeth’s birthday party (which she still talks about constantly). T.J. accepted the position on February 5th, while in Louisiana interviewing at two other separate jobs. We planned a birthday party, packed up the house, and reduced our belongings by at least half in 8 days. Movers arrived early on Valentine’s Day. We knew things had been going too smoothly for comfort… I found T.J. in the garage being told that the original quote was tripled. We went inside for a couple minutes because he was so upset that his fists were clenched. After a call to the guy who built the quote, we found out that they brokered out the move because their crew was stuck in the mountains. We decided to cancel the movers and reschedule with the original company after we arrived in South Carolina. I rushed to Home Depot for a few boxes and we reorganized everything! We went next door to eat dinner with the neighbors, who have become our dearest friends. Then, we hurried in the dark to shove our luggage into the car and head out. We shared a tear-filled goodbye with our friends while we waited for a load of laundry in the dryer. An hour later and it seemed just as damp as before, so we stuffed it in a duffel bag and left.
I didn’t know it was going to feel that way. Driving away from our home and life for the past 5 years was more than bittersweet, it was heart wrenching. T.J. was taking the truck he’d borrowed from his father back to their house while I stopped for gas. I grabbed some stuff out of the back and threw it in the trash. We decided to pack our Hyundai Tucson to the brim and I refuse to drive without a view through the back window, so it had to go. We had already given away so many things. I kid you not, we lined the curb with boxes and furniture for at least a week. We gave away everything we could even vaguely fathom replacing. Eliminating a few items from the car was natural at this point.
I met T.J. at his parent’s house and we all hugged. Annabeth was so excited to see Grandma and Pop Pop. That brought on the tears. I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest. I couldn’t breathe. That was the moment I wanted to drive back to our house and pretend none of this was happening.
Next thing I knew, it was 10:20pm and we were on our way to Memphis. We made a stop in Wichita, KS at the best Cracker Barrel I’ve ever been to! I drove through a couple hours of freezing rain while T.J. slept. I needed a rest, so we stopped for gas and I gave T.J. tips on how to drive through freezing rain (not at all like snow, Colorado people!). We pulled out of the gas station and the sky opened up to sun! Seriously!?!
One more stop in Sallisaw, OK at Braum’s Ice Cream and we were halfway to our final destination. We pulled into an old friend’s driveway just before dinner time. I haven’t seen her since 2002. We’ve communicated occasionally through Facebook and she shared a bunch about various places she’s lived when we announced we were looking to leave Colorado. That’s it. There I was with my husband and unruly toddler walking into her house! We ordered pizza on GrubHub and there we were chatting like we’ve been in each other’s lives this entire time. Now let’s talk about ordering food on an app, or even having food delivered to your house at all… It’s been one time in 8 years. We ordered Pudge Bros pizza once when we lived in Henderson and it took over 2 hours to arrive. My neighbor in Hudson just told me today that the grocery store finally delivers, which would be the very first food delivery option the town has ever seen!
Anyway, this was yet another piece of our journey that unexpectedly turned into something special. We often get asked how we could possibly make such a drastic change in our lives. These are the moments that have given us the peace and assurance to move forward. Through all of the fear and uncertainty, our faith has been nurtured by blessings that come when we least expect. A pit stop turned into a renewed friendship. Sunshine bursting through clouds of freezing rain. Uncovering ourselves, our joy and purpose with each step.
Never stop seeking. Do not get stagnant. REFUSE to be in a place that does not inspire your absolute greatest self. We were consumed with stress, debt, and obligation. Now, we are busy unveiling our future happiness. Whatever that may be. We won’t know until we find it!