Faith in Retrospect

 As you know, we moved to Florida with our dog, Toby, and two cats, Bear and MacyGray, last September. I left my job of 28 years, packed up our house of 18 years, signed the papers, left the town I loved and the state I was born in to start life over again. It was my version of an emotional BASE jump. And I crashed. Hard.
It was all too much, really. Too many changes all at once. Too many goodbyes, I couldn’t take it. I was afraid I would die, then I was afraid I wouldn’t. As soon as we arrived, I knew it was a lifetime mistake and it was all my fault, my choice, my insecurities of not being able to afford where I wanted to go, Vermont, to live closer to the part of my family who have lived there for over 30 years. Almost every year of those 30, I drove there to be part of their lives, I did not want my nieces and nephew to grow up not knowing who Aunt Deedee was. Every time I drove the route north along Rt 87, got off at Exit 20, motored through Fort Ann and crossed the border from New York into Vermont, I felt this is where my home is, these mountains, these hills, these sights, these smells. And yes, before anyone points out to me how cold it is in Vermont, I am no stranger to winter but the seasons are home to me too. Better winter outside the heart than inside.
The weeks have passed as I tripped over the pieces of my shattered self in Florida. We learned a shallow new routine, I walk Toby early morning and later in the evening to avoid the worst of the heat, we listened to the news of the brittle winter we were missing, I went birding, enjoyed a developing friendship with a young woman I met through her writings on dog training. Ken and I have EVEN BEEN GOING TO CHURCH ON SUNDAYS. It turned out to be a place to plant our flag of weekly survival. 
It is not as easy meeting people here as I thought it was going to be, many assume we are snowbirds and won’t be here long. The common question is: “When will you be headed back?” Meaning, heading back HOME, wherever you are from, invariably somewhere in the north. 
Now we have an answer: July 23. We figured it out, piece by piece, hope by hope, one decision at a time, one conversation at a time. Ten thousand prayers. We are going home. Home is now Middlebury, Vermont, where a condo in a quiet neighborhood waits for us, a home across the street from the trails of Battell Woods, where I will spend my days among oaks and maples, birches and pines. HOME.
Faith really does happen in retrospect. I can see the path only after I have blazed it; oh, that was the fork I should have taken, I ended up here instead but if I did not have to double back and add mileage to the journey, I would have missed…it’s too soon to finish that sentence. More blog posts to come on that. I am still on the path. 
But today is a new day. And I am grateful.

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2 Responses to Faith in Retrospect

  1. I guess sometimes we have to take the path that seems like the right choice at the time. If it works out that's good if it doesn't there's always an alternative. Vermont is beautiful and I think you will be happy there.

  2. cynfern says:

    I am glad to hear you are moving home to Vermont. Your Florida move never felt quite right to me. I know that sounds silly — I only know you from a BlogHer session many years ago — but still, that’s what I thought. I mean, how can you enjoy riding a horse or going birding in that kind of heat?

    I am also glad to see that you are back to blogging. I am retiring and starting to look at resurrecting my long-dormant blog as well.

    Best wishes in your new home. I have family in NH and get back there periodically to visit. Maybe I can swing up your way sometime.

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