To our beloved Grand Rapids. Our beloved Michigan.
Today is the first day of Fall, and with the mark of a new season it seems appropriate that we tell you about our new season too.
Sometime within the next 40 days Clay and I are going to sell everything, pack whatever will fit in our VW Tiguan, and drive until we hit Seattle*.
There are so many facets to this story that I could share. Most of them stem from our Sabbatical in Lisbon and the new brand of confidence we returned with. With this confidence also came an adventurous curiosity and openness that we never had the courage to explore before. We sat in that season for a year, prayerfully waiting with ears up and our hearts and eyes wide open. Neither of us knew what we were waiting for, but eventually we were startled out of waiting, and here we are.
What started as a ‘maybe someday’ conversation blossomed into full on reality overnight. Don’t ask how because I’m a bit hazy on those details myself. It’s all scary and new and overwhelming but above all there is a pulsing certainty that this is right for us. There are nudges, and affirmations, and omens lighting our path; and all the quotes from The Alchemist.
The selling and packing and driving part is pretty much the extent of our plan. Beyond that we are hoping to find a long term Airbnb and take our time looking for the right apartment. Clay has a job prospect that we are waiting to hear back on this coming week, and I may or may not try and start my own thing from scratch; we shall see. Regardless of employment, we are commited. Especially because we invested in Epic Season ski passes and I get unreasonably giddy every time I look at them.
Until then, we are still here. The Fulton Street Farmers market is still a bike ride away. We can still run laps through Aquinas’s pretty campus. We are lucky to be able to eat the Trenton sandwich from Marie Catrib’s one last time before they close. We can still drive 40 minutes and see our families. We can walk to Vandermill. Also, dear friends are vowing their love to each other today and we didn’t need to fly back for it.
On top of that we can smile knowing that we summered hard. We embraced as much as we could wrap our arms around and bear hugged this beautiful state all summer. Our Michigan love letter, we kept saying. One last dive into lake michigan, one last boat ride, one last backpacking trip. Game nights, dinner parties, and last minute group texts to see if anyone could meet for a beer. All of these things have kept us in this bear hug posture for months. We love you Grand Rapids, you have been so so good to us. And when the time comes, please don’t be frightened by my ugly cry face. Because we can not deny that letting go is going to be very, very hard.
(*Denver, I wanted you to be the one. You were the safe choice. The least expensive option. You have big beautiful ski resorts that hand out warm cookies. We know people there. Also, Red Rocks, and Boulder, and rock climbing. And that one restaurant with the biscuits. Despite this…relax Denver. At ease. You are too hot for us, among other things. We won’t add to the population of your city, this time.
Seattle, you are expensive, hilly and we know no one. But you enchanted us from the get go with your giant trees, big bodies of water, and ski areas that average 600 inches of snowfall. People stop for pedestrians and you have an impressive network of bike lanes. You don’t believe in disposable plastic straws and neither do we. I can’t tell you how happy we are to trade in our snow shovels in exchange for winter rain. We also can’t wait to visit Whistler and Portland and Vancouver. I know you are protective of your head count too, but it’s okay. We met lots of people who ironically moved from Seattle to Grand Rapids so it all evens out. I hope we can be best friends.)