Sort of like the beginning to all of those great mystery stories . . . it was a dark and stormy night.
The moving truck was packed. Maile was out in our mini-van, parked on the street and pointed in the right direction. The van she was driving, like the moving truck, was stuffed – it looked like the migrant workers’ vehicles from Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, loaded down with food and suitcases and mattresses hanging over the side (minus the dead grandparent in the back).
We had to shoehorn the four kids into their booster and baby seats. The rain started to pour down, and the night seemed very, very dark. Maile’s parents were parked behind her, their headlights illuminating the street, their windshield wipers fighting off the weather.
I waved at Mai to wait and ran back through the garage and into the house. My wet shoes slipped and screeched on the hardwoods. The stillness in the house seemed surprised at my entrance. I walked up through the empty floors – the home to which we had brought Abra and Sam after they were born. Lucy’s favorite hide-and-seek spot was in that top bedroom closet. Cade’s first bus stop was just up the road.
What was God trying to do with our lives? Why had he brought us to Virginia – was it just to straddle us with more financial debt, only to bring us new friends and then uproot us once again? Why had he, with such seeming felicity, helped us buy this house, only to put us in a position where we had to give it back?
I just didn’t have the answers. I locked the front door, put all the keys on the kitchen island, and walked out through the garage, the door coming down behind me.
It was true what Tolkien wrote in one of his books – adventures seem wonderful in the daylight, when the weather is good for hiking and the wind is at your back. But at night, when it’s cold and it starts to rain, memories of sitting in your warm house beside the fire can make you homesick.
I climbed up up up into that huge moving van and turned the ignition as the beams of light from the closing garage slid down on to the wet street. The deisel monster grumbled to life. We hit the road, and soon we were cruising north on Route 15, roaring towards our new existence.
Our new adventure.
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