A year ago this week, we arrived in Montana to a place where we knew no one, a town with no family and house we had never seen in pictures or in person.
We left a home we took ten years to build, our family living within blocks, and friends we loved. It was a crazy thing to do.
Why did we do it? We almost didn't. The year before the move had been hard, the house wouldn't sell, money was ridiculously tight. How could we leave after such a year?
We had been thinking about leaving for four years and then the house sold, neither of us was tied to a job and even though the waiting had been hard, there we were. With much prayer and seeking of wisdom, we made the choice.
We gave away many belongings, packed a U-haul to full capacity and bawled as we drove away from our home town. The truck broke down three times on the way, it took twice as long as we thought to get here.
We told the kids we would go for a year, see what we thought, then we would talk about it as a family.
HH is an easy sell. This place was made for him. We boated and wake boarded all summer, two weeks ago he was riding the trails on his mountain bike and today he is skinning (hiking on his skis) up to the top of Big Mountain to ski down in fresh powder. He loves the guys at the Fire Department.
Mister Luke loves it here. He has an amazing group of friends, the kind I can see him hanging out with when he is in his twenties and thirties. They are tight knit. They won State in baseball, he has incredible teachers and is getting close to straight A's. He gets to ski, wakeboard and play in the snow. He even has friends who have fathers who hunt. His dream is to hunt. Don't ask. We have no idea. HH and I have only killed spiders and bees.
Jackie Boy also wants to stay. He loves the mountain biking with dad and has quite a knack for it. He loves the hikes and jumping three feet off the wake in the summer, meeting up with friends on the lake. His teacher adores him and he is close to straight A's too. ( Yes, I am more than a little excited about their grades this quarter... forgive me... I am a teacher at heart.)
Toots and Little Bear are happy too. Less able to articulate their thoughts on the move though. Still, they are the ones I worry are missing out on the extended family loving up on them.
And me. I think the move was probably hardest on me. This surprised me because I have always been so adaptable. It took time to make friends, to make connections. But I think that was necessary. The biggest gift Montana has given me is room to write. The space alone, the lack of crowding of buildings and people along with the solitude, let me grow in a way I needed. Now I have good friends, people I trust, girls to laugh with.
So what do we think? We think this is good for us. That we have bonded as a family in this new adventure. That God has a plan for us and it included Montana. Everything isn't settled, there is a lot we are trusting Him for.
But... so far, so good.