I had the realization recently that in the last five years I have moved ten times. I’ve updated my official address with the U.S. Postal Service ten times with each of these “permanent” moves. I stopped unpacking our pictures three moves ago and we’ve lived without the pillows and coat that serve as padding. We hoard every appliance box, our large plastic totes, and the uhaul boxes Andrew’s family bought for us when we made our first across country move. I quickly discovered if I leave the labels on all of our boxes, we can just go down the list and return things to their rightful place, no thinking required. Andrew knows the exact tools for disassembling and reassembling our surprising amount of furniture. We really do have this moving thing down to a science.
Yesterday was the first time I made any real effort to move us in to our new place. I discovered while unpacking the kitchen that I think there is a benefit to living somewhere for a little while before finding homes for all your things. The story about the college that built buildings and put in grass for the first year to see where the students naturally walked and then put sidewalks in where the grass was trampled comes to mind. At least that’s what I thought about while I was unpacking for the tenth time.
I have a little dilemma because in ten-or-so months when Andrew finishes his masters we could be on our way to another school for his PhD. Or we could be staying here for five-or-so years while Andrew gets his PhD here. Do I unpack the picture box? Or do I just re-tape my red string to the wall and clip our 4×5 walmart prints on? This is a literal question, nothing metaphoric about it. I learned long ago to jump in with both feet, make friends, serve along side those you live with, and see the town.
While I agonize over my picture box, we did decide to spend the $100 to get walmart blinds for all our windows. Andrew has kindly put up all but one over the last five days in his spare moments. It seemed like the right thing to do if we will be staying for five years.
Despite all my inner turmoil I am really excited about this place. Our new carpet and freshly painted white walls. Double the space (650->1300 sq feet!!!). Neighbors that are already friends. Proximity to the rest of the town. I am so grateful, so very very grateful. And that is part of the inner turmoil – I really do want to stay. To make this place our own. Put down some roots and admire the tree for a couple of years.
Bottom line, we’ll go or stay where ever God wants us to be, just like I’ve done the last ten times, and it will be a marvelous adventure.