Laura Ingalls Wilder is the author of my title quote and I couldn't agree more. Well, I do have an affinity for onomatopoeia...but it didn't fit as well. :P
We arrived back in Maryland after our road trip through the Confederacy. ;) Preston has been SO eager to return to normality and to California. Honestly, I can't say for SURE where it is I want to be. I always very much imagined myself moving home to Maryland after a few years in California. I left things open ended before we left on our big trip, but to be truthful...I didn't think we'd return to California.
I feel 'done' with California. Been there, did that. I think it was a great place to spend a good part of my twenties. I found my independence in California. I built a self confidence I may not have if I hadn't moved there. But, I feel that story has been told. There's not much I feel is left for me out there. I had a wonderful job that taught me SO much, but I feel it's time to move on from that. I lived in a perfect town, but returning to the same thing after such an amazing life experience seems to be...eh? Friendships that I thought were genuine and true turned out-to my great heartache-not to be so. The majority of my friends...the ones that I wouldn't need to explain myself to, that wouldn't assume the worst of my actions even if they heard from someone else first, that would laugh off any questions of my character, that would be there for me in the fun times and the bad, that would get on a plane and fly even though it scared them (you know who you are;)), that believe in me and support me and love me...they are in Maryland (or at least close to). I still do have some terrific friends in California, of course...but we will be friends no matter what. I know that. I don't need to LIVE there for them to be in my life. They are real and they are true...just as my friends in Maryland have been. California is far. California is EXPENSIVE. California is going to fall off into the ocean ;), etc etc.
But, most importantly...for me, it comes down to family. My FAMILY is in Maryland and they mean OH so much to me. I'm incredibly blessed with a wonderful, loving, supportive, flawed, hilarious family that actually spends a lot of time with one another. I don't know many people that have the relationships with their cousins and their aunts and uncles that I do. My cousin is my very best friend. I mean, that's awesome, right? I want to be around that. I don't want to miss any more exciting or mundane days in their lives. California was never meant to be permanent to me.
Preston and I talked a lot about this before we got married...but I guess sometimes ideas are harder to accept when they become REAL possibilities.
As much as I love my home and my family, I can't 100% say it's the right decision for now or for us at all. I read somewhere that in order for your marriage to survive...that it MUST come first...above all things. Maryland might be the right place for me...but is it the right place for we? I can't answer that right now.
And so, my husband left for California the day after Labor Day. He feels so incredibly strongly about it...and he's followed my lead for these last 9 months, so I think it's time I followed his. California makes sense for Preston. We have a life there together. Our stuff is there. We can get settled and re-evaluate later. So, as much as it breaks my heart...it's back to California we will go. I hope it's not forever, but I don't know what the future will bring. It's not that I don't have a love for California...I do, I DO. I feel like I really subscribe to the lifestyle that is California...the flip flops and hoodies, the organic food, the year-round farmers markets, the sunshine, the beach, the mountains, the warm(er) weather...I love allllll those things and I can make the most of it and I can love it again, especially for now...especially for my husband's sake.
In the meantime, I got to spend these last few weeks in my home that I love with my family and friends.
It was glorious to have so much time in Maryland. Usually I'm in and out with only a little time for each person. It's funny how when you move away and come home again...you're forced to combine people in your life that may not otherwise be combined :P When you only have 48 hours...you squeeze in what you can. But, this time...I got to spend REAL time. One on one time. I got to be bored. I got to hang around in my mom's hammock and take naps with my cat. I got to do nothing with my friends and be there for birthdays and afterschools and pizza nights. I got to take my time and soak it all in. I got to watch stupid movies with my dad and get to know his dog. I got to sit around and talk to my cousins about high school and take my other cousin out for a drink, since he just turned 21 (!!) I got to sit on my Aunt's porch and watch the sunset and just talk, talk, talk with no where to be. I got to go on a date night with my other Aunt and talk with no pressure of later plans. It was great to feel like I wasn't rushing things; that I had time for everyone. I took hikes and bike rides. I made dinners and took long walks. I spent time with my best friends from childhood and my best friends from adulthood. Seriously, it was good for my soul. I got to celebrate my Uncle's birthday at Ruth Chris-where we celebrate all family birthdays (I've missed SO many). I got to spend time with my grandmother who flew in from Bermuda.
|Important conversations with my favorite baby <3|
|Me and Aunt Toni|
|Happy Birthday Uncle Kirk!!|
|Sarah and I would pretend play horses when we were 7 years old...she always knew she would have real ones. I told them both, 'your momma dreamed you her whole life'. hehe!!|
|Kaleb made us lasagna dinner!! (hehe kinda. Trisha and I mostly finished it;))|
The Frederick Fair is an awesome agricultural event that pays homage to the true roots of Frederick County-Farming!! Frederick has come a long way since then, but school kids in Frederick actually still get the day off for the Fair. It used to be so that they could tend to the animals there, but now it's mostly to ride rides and walk around with friends ;) I love to go and see all the animals (something that TERRIFIED me as a child. I would stand at one end of the barn and cry for my parents. ha!), check out the massive tractor displays, run into all sorts of people and relatives, and eat eat EAT!! My favorite fair staples are: bean soup, candy apples, lemonade, whoopie pies, and amazing ham and cheese sandwiches made by the PA Dutch tent. Heaven between two fresh baked rolls!! Mmmm mmm!!
|This was a 'red velvet' funnel cake. OMG. I love red velvet. However, I think it was just a dyed red funnel cake :P|
While I was home, Preston got settled in California, returned to his job, and found us a place to live. He wanted to set everything up for me, I think, as a way to repay me for everything I arranged on the trip. Pretty nice guy when all is said and done ;)
Tomorrow my momma and I pack it up and head our wagon west!!