For the last few months, my family and I have been singularly focused on where we’re going. My husband was transferred and for us that means less travel for him and the chance to build a new home.
We signed the cornerstone of our house 🙂
And so, we found a lovely small town in Delaware to build. We’ve been tracking the progress of the house. From the groundbreaking to the framing to the walls and the shingles and now the floors, carpet, and appliances. Yes, it’s all coming together. We’re within three weeks of moving in and we’re so excited.
With any new beginning, there has to be an ending.
When we moved to New Jersey nearly three years ago, I never dreamed we’d grow to love this place. After all, we’d lived in the suburbs of Syracuse for the past eight years – the only home our now 10-year old daughter had ever known – and we were heartbroken to leave.
The friends we’d made had become like family.
Beak and Skiff apple orchard, 2008
We went to the same farm every year and rode the tractor out to the orchard to pick apples.
For eight years we ate fried dough, eagerly awaited the unveiling of the butter sculpture, and rode elephants at the Great New York State Fair.
We drove the Lights on the Lake every year, including the time about ten minutes into the drive when we quickly discovered our daughter had the flu. Don’t ask.
My point is, we grew to love Syracuse. And much to our surprise, we’ve grown to love New Jersey, too. Why were we surprised? Because this was supposed to be a stop along the way. We’d only planned to be here for a few years, before finding a more permanent place to settle. We’re not living in a traditional neighborhood; we’re renting. We’re among transients and people navigating the in-between.
First day of school, 2013
First day of preschool, 2013
And yet, community is what we found. We found friendships and unexpected kindnesses among the neighbors in our rental community in the days following SuperStorm Sandy when, like hundreds of thousands of Jerseyans, we were left without power. We found it at the bus stop where we met new friends, confronted the neighborhood bully (an eight-year old!), and waved good-bye as our little ones headed off on their first day of school. We found it at two elementary schools, two preschools, one dancing recital, two years of cheerleading, three years of Girl Scouts, mommy-and-me swim lessons, Zumba classes, library storytimes, and numerous choral concerts and school plays.
The common denominator in all of these experiences? People.
Every experience we’ve had in New Jersey has been a good one. And it’s because of the people we’ve met.
Right now, we’re filled with a weird combination of nervousness-excitement-anxiety-anticipation.
Delaware looks promising. The schools our girls will attend look terrific. Our neighborhood seems great so far.
Delaware means the end of what has largely been a nomadic lifestyle for us: my husband is from Texas; I’m from Massachusetts. We’ve both lived in Florida and Illinois. Our older daughter was born in Massachusetts; our younger daughter was born in upstate New York. And we’ve lived in northern New Jersey for the last three years.
In about 18 days, we’ll leave Jersey and drive two hours south to our new home. And we’ll take with us three years of special memories. It’s become another home in our journey as a family.
Thank you, Garden State 🙂