How appropriate that it is hurricane season. Life has been whirling and swirling for the past few weeks. The latest whirlwind was this week’s trip to Albuquerque, the boys and my very first time, in order to house hunt. Believe it or not, we saw about 16 houses, 4 for a second time, met with a mortgage lender and put an offer within 48 hours. At first the boys had fun checking out each house, but after the first 24 hours, Ethan was understandably saying, “NO MORE HOUSES!” By the time we landed back in Chicago, we had an agreement which became official before the day’s end. WHAT?! Crazy.
If it’s not apparent, I am in love with Chicago and this process is heartbreaking for me in ways. For the most part, I have been largely distracted with the busyness of moving, saying goodbyes, and planning for the future. But every now and then there will be a moment, and it will most often be filled with mourning.
I will say that the mountains are majestically beautiful. It is broadening my horizons to be in another part of the country with its unique character. The people we happen to have interacted with were all very friendly whether it was our hard-working real estate agent or two random moms at a park. I drove past a Trader Joe’s, Costco, and Whole Foods. If there’s a Costco, I can live. 🙂 I walked through a couple small shopping centers with a couple of favorite stores. The weather was supposedly hot, but it felt much more bearable than the equivalent here. The mornings and evenings were deliciously cool.
However, there is no Nordstrom! Yes, sad but true. In the entire state of New Mexico, not one single store. Mike would suggest it is only further confirmation that God is leading us here! Sigh. Superficial silliness aside, I also found myself counting the Asians and African Americans. After 24 hours without seeing either, I finally spotted a Black man with his daughter. I almost jumped out of the chain restaurant into the strip mall parking lot to give them a hug. Another 24 hours later, I saw 2 Asians (technically 4 but 2 I saw returning their rental car at the airport), and 2 African Americans. Contrast this to landing at O’Hare and being surrounded by such amazing diversity in races, languages, religions, and cultures. Walking through the terminal was feasting in a way I hadn’t before when returning to a home that won’t be home for much longer.
Yes, it was surreal purchasing a new house in a new land. Yes, it was sometimes difficult letting go of what has been. Yes, I am sure the adjustment will be long. But I must say, seeing my beloved husband so giddy was (annoying at times but) heartwarming. He was busting out unicorn talk while posting his “enchantment” on Facebook. He would walk into almost every house falling deeply in love with each, “Wow! This is nice! I like it! It’s our new number one choice!” Repeat that 13 times each time with sincere enthusiasm.
We stopped for lunch with our agent who ran into a couple people he knew. Mike, the introvert who usually makes close friends falsely wonder if he is mad at them based on his quiet, expressionless exterior, was striking up boisterous conversation with them, laughing and joking with total strangers. I stared in utter disbelief. He drove us by his work site and spoke of how excited he was to start on Tuesday. This change, although grief-filled, is welcome because of what it means for Mike and in turn our family. I would move to Mars and live in an oxygen-filled bubble if it meant Mike’s health and our family’s happiness. Looking back, it is all more than worth it. It is definitely His caring on us, and we step forward with trust and gratitude. Not to say the tears won’t come. They will. But the purpose of our move will propel us through the transition and open our hearts to a new place to call home.