Our Adventure: Part II

6:45 wake up call. Ready. Continental Waffle. GPS, programmed to Howell, MI.
The drive out of KY was misty, foggy, and cool. The sight of the dewy clouds resting inches above the green horse pastures was refreshingly serene. As we drove closer and closer to the MI border Daniel kept asking, “Where are the mountains?!” The landscape, though beautiful, is so different from our Southern homeland. We do hate the thought of leaving our mountains when we move, to who knows where.
To pass the time, we chatted and discussed possible interview questions, talking about Daniel’s greatest strength and weakness {classic questions}. I missed most of the Ohio landscape as my Migraine buddy insisted on hitching a ride with us, even though I told him to take a hike back in KY. Stubborn fella. Woke up in time to see the Michigan border sign. They changed it since I last drove through. Looks good. A piece of me leapt for joy upon entering my childhood state. Sweet memories met me at the border, and I grew more and more anxious to arrive at our destination.
My Beloved, sweetly passed up Ann Arbor, where we would be staying, and drove an additional 45 minutes just so I could revisit the dearest house in all my memory, the house my daddy built. Driving in to town, I focused hard and tried to imagine the landscape as it was 12 years ago. Less merchants, less traffic lights, fewer cars, more open land, and a black suburban full of rambunctious siblings singing, “This is the road the never ends, yes it goes on and on my friends” at the top of their lungs as they turned onto Latson road, the longest road on our way back home from town. Pass the familiar landmarks, a church where we met a homeschool group to play basketball every Friday night and all the beautifully distressed antique barn structures along the way.
Then our road. Still gravel, still bumpy, still the same. Take a left into the driveway, but drive another ½ mile before the house is in sight. Remember running up and down the driveway for homeschool “PE” in September and trotting to the top with berry picking pails in hand in July. Then the house. The mere sight of the log and chink beauty that was once home caused a shocking rush of emotions. I wish I could describe them. The stain on the house is darker but the evergreen, birth trees, and Chinese maple tree remain, unmoved, growth unhindered.
Walk the same stone pathway to the house where my 14-year-old self walked out on the last day there. Knock on the door and timidly explain to the owner that your Dad built this house and were wondering if they would mind you taking a walk around. The dear house hosted a party the night before so we were urged to explore the exterior but to return in a few moments for an inside tour. A patio and pool had been added in the back. Perfect. And two horses now called the 6 acres home.
Walk through the garage and through a door that didn’t previously exist. Explore the children’s bedrooms. “So small” was all I kept thinking. Were they really that small?! The living room, brightly lit by large, magnificent picture windows, was warm and inviting as a wood burning stove had been added in. How I wanted to just sit and rehearse the many Christmas memories held in that room, the glorious 12 foot evergreens, the Adidas Christmas, the year we got our first computer, Mom in carharts wielding a chainsaw. But there wasn’t time. The kitchen looked exactly the same and was decorated in a style much like my moms. Man, did those 70+ cherry cabinet faces take a long time to polish, but they sure are beautiful. Last we visited my parent’s old room, the master bath shocked me again with another jolt of emotion. I could almost envision my mom standing next to the tub, showing me how to use a razor for the first time. She was so excited she took a picture, a picture that I will one day find . . . and destroy.
The dear owners were so sweet to allow us to intrude on their life and house that way. They gave me a precious gift for which I am so, so grateful. The woman is an artist and has turned the bonus room above the garage into her art studio, a perfect use for that room, with it’s beautiful wood flooring and bright atmosphere.
Seeing the house so loved, so well taken care of put me at ease as to my concern for its future. How sweet it is to know that something you love so much is also cherished by another. And yet, how good to know that our dearest earthly possessions are not eternal and their end matters nothing compared to the final destination of the soul.
The rest of our day was spent locating the hotel, the hospital, the interview room, and the pre-interview dinner, which was scrumptious. I got all dressed up in my shimmer leggings and new dress. I knew it was a little fancy for the occasion, but I enjoyed the fun of the outfit nonetheless. It was loud and hard to hear more than the conversation you were shouting with the person immediately across from or next to you. So I was on my own as Daniel held conversations with those around him. It was fun to get to know some of the residents and other interviewees. Everyone seemed laid back and friendly. They all thought I had quite the Southern accent. Strange. All my southern friends think I have a northern accent. Who knows what kind of accent I have anymore.
I was almost more excited than Daniel as we fell asleep that night, anticipating the interview of the next day. Part of me wished I had a suit to wear and an interview to go to as well. So with thoughts of how proud I am of Dr. Hubs, the sweet Skype date I had with my Ali, and the fun of wearing gray shimmer leggings I fell asleep.

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