By Bruce Stambaugh
In a couple of days, the moving truck will arrive. Men I’ve never met will pack our selected belongings into the straight bed of a box truck. A couple of days later, they’ll reverse the process, and we’ll begin life anew in our new home in Virginia.
I have looked forward to this event. I have dreaded this event. I am excited to be close to our daughter and her family. I’m sad that we’ll be six hours away from our son and other family members along with a lengthy list of lifetime friends.
That’s the dichotomy of uprooting yourself after spending all of your quality years in one geographic location. A time to dance and a time to refrain from dancing as the scripture goes.
We recognized that this major decision came with both good and bad consequences. We will spend time with our grandchildren, watch them grow from adolescence into young adults, the good Lord willing.
We’ll also help out our daughter and her husband with their hectic work and household agenda. The grandkids’ and their parent’s schedules aren’t mutually exclusive of course.
We recognize, too, the friends, neighbors, and family we leave behind, the relationships that will forever change by not being able to commune together regularly. We will dearly miss that.
We have lots of folks to thank for their faithful support for us as we worked in the local public schools and the various community service endeavors in which we participated. We know we gained far more than we were able to give.
Church, school, fire department and rescue squad, township, thrift store, friendships, neighborhood and family activities and gatherings all pieced together the crazy quilt that formed our active lives. We can never repay them all for the kindness, patience, acceptance, and including us in their lives.
We anticipate this transplanting will take some time for our roots to take hold in our new community endeavors. Virginia friends and new acquaintances have already begun to make us feel welcomed, and we haven’t even moved yet. That’s southern hospitality for you.
I’ll continue to write and share what I encounter as we settle in, explore our new surroundings, meet new folks, and experience all that is in store for us. My words just may develop a southern accent.
Friends and family have given us an extended send-off. These last few days have been bittersweet. We have been showered with hugs and kisses, tears and celebratory well-wishes. The fellowship we have experienced added spice to the already delicious meals we’ve shared with dear friends and relatives. Close neighbors even held a carry-in and gave us an unexpected monetary gift as goodbye presents.
Even the vegetation around our house blossomed a flowery finale for us. The flowering trees, shrubs, and plants bloomed the best and brightest that they have in our 38 years of living here. As the daffodils faded, the dogwoods and lilacs burst with vibrancy. Their fragrances were intoxicating. It was as if they had conspired to ensure us a very colorful goodbye.
The backyard birds joined the party, too. The Red-headed Woodpecker, White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows, the Pileated Woodpeckers, and even the resident Bald Eagles took turns bidding us an avian adieu.
Thanks to each one of you for all of your help along the way, and for your blessings as we begin this next phase of our lives. I’ll say goodbye, but not farewell. That has too much of a final ring to it.
I’ll see ya’ll later.
© Bruce Stambaugh 2017