It's hard to believe it's been 10 years today that I set out in a U-haul truck, my brother-in-law behind the wheel, for the great unknown...Kentucky. I really didn't know a single soul, aside from a high-school/college friend living in nearby Richmond, in Lexington.
I still remember the weekend I left and started this new chapter in such vivid detail. I remember driving out of my sister's driveway, waving to her and my mom - fighting back tears for miles and miles, yet so excited to see where the journey would lead.
After two days on the road and David H. leaving a pair of wet shorts (he'd gone swimming the night before and left them in the hotel dryer) at the hotel in Paducah and almost running out of gas in the U-haul between Paducah and Etown on the barren W. Kentucky Parkway, we finally arrived in Lexington. We moved everything in and realized that the cable and phone would not be turned on for awhile. The next morning, I drove David to the airport and inadvertently left my debit card there. I drove back to my apartment, sat on my bed and cried, wondering what the heck I'd done and how I could be so insane.
Then the very next day, Oklahoma experienced the worst tornado outbreak ever, with an F-5 touching down not too far from where my mom works and lives. I was so out of my mind with worry. I didn't have a phone yet and I had to keep driving to the payphone and even then it was so hard to get through. Each time I did get through my mom or sister was telling me how they were needing to get to the shelter. I didn't get much sleep that night and showed up on my second day of work with what most Okies know as "tornado eyes." I questioned my decision even more at that time, wondering how I could do such a thing; how could I leave them so far away...for what?
But really, that's how I've lived my whole life...getting into things I've never done, going to places I've never been, trusting that God really does have a plan for it all. I've questioned that plan so many times since I've been in Kentucky, but for some reason He still has me here and hasn't allowed me to go "home" yet. I say "home," when in reality, this day actually puts a shadow of question on that word. I've never called Kentucky home and always said that I've never lived any one place more than 10 years...well after today, I have....so does that make Kentucky "home" now? I don't know, I'm still trying to get my mind around that one.
I think home to me will always be me and my sister dressed up in our Easter dresses, holding our baskets and posing for a picture for mom at Ma and PaPa's house in Dallas.
Home will always be trying hard to wake my sister up on Christmas morning to remind her that Santa came and she absolutely needs to come see what he brought.
Home will always be me and Lori trying to outrun a tornado to get to Dallas when Ma died so we could be with our mother when she buried her own mother. Home will always include outrunning a tornado period :)
Home will always be crying like a baby each time I have flown back from Oklahoma to Kentucky...putting on a happy face before the security gate and then ducking into the nearest bathroom to weep.
Home will always be welcoming so many of my family to Kentucky for my wedding a week shy of 5 years ago, even my pastor and his wife from CHBC and Barbara T! Oh what a glorious home feeling that was that day to see everyone in the same place and long for the ones who couldn't come to be with us.
Home will always be the surprise of an early baby Zachary, who was done baking a few weeks before we thought we should turn the oven off. And then waiting and worrying as MawMaw trekked across 3 airports and two airlines over an 18-hour period to be with us within 24-hours of the birth.
Home will always be watching that sweet baby boy grow up and amaze me in new ways everyday.
Home will someday be the culmination of ALL these things and so much more as we gather around our heavenly Father and make new, PERFECT memories together.
Basically, the old adage is true...home IS where your heart is....not neccessarily where your physical body resides.
However, I do hope that my physical body resides closer to my heart in the near future ;) it sure would make things a lot more bearable!