Last Friday, Sir Joshimus and I rented a car and drove to North Carolina. We spent the weekend with our cousin and her kids and it was fantastic. We got to meet her new squeeze, and then float down the river – something I haven’t done in years. We spent time with her oldest son – he was a boy the last time I saw him and, while he’s still got some growing up to do, he’s a man now. And one that I like almost as much as the little boy I first knew. And I absolutely ADORE his girlfriend – who is possibly too good for him, but I’m glad she doesn’t think so. The weekend was amazing and exactly what I needed.
And then we took a drive west. Out of the Piedmont and into the mountains. There is something that has always spoken to me in the mountains of North Carolina. I first caught glimpses of it as a kid when we spent a week outside of Cherokee, and it’s something that has always stayed with me. When we first left Chicago and drove into the mountains, it was like breathing again. Even though Murphy wasn’t right for us, those mountains were. There is something about the sweep of land, the misty clouds rolling around their peaks. Something about being out there that makes my spirit expand. Driving through on Monday, I found that anew.
We checked out several towns that we have been looking at over the last few years – cutting one from our list and adding a couple more. We’ve settled pretty firmly on the Asheville area. I wasn’t aware until this past week that Asheville is only the size of my hometown – much smaller than I had originally thought – and is something that I can quite happily live outside of. So long as we’re in our mountains. There was one town in particular that really struck me, nearly in tears – though I don’t know if that town is THE town, or if it’s just that was where I realized we were in the home area.
It was a vacation that my soul needed – and having nine days with my husband all to myself were a necessary blessing. He is and has always been my best friend and we together needed this vacation. And being in the mountains fed a part of us that has been starving for the last few years. I’ve been searching for home my entire life and, in his way, so has Joshimus Rex. We are an odd pair – the military brat who has lived all over and the small town girl who lived the first 23 years of her life in the same town, same county, same zip code. But we found home in each other – anywhere he is lies the place that I belong. Now, we think we have found a place to call home, as well. I pray the Gods help us to land in a good place for my husband to find work that fulfills him and a place where we can build our own place. I’m ready to settle down – and I’m ready to explore what North Carolina has to share. I’m terrified. And I’m ecstatic. And I’m ready for what the future holds and the work that will have to go into getting us from central Alabama to western North Carolina.