September 24 marks the anniversary of our move to our home in Clarkston — my 33rd earthly dwelling, and my ninth as an owner. I happily share our anniversary celebration with our friends Heidi and Ruben, who this very week are settling into their first home. It has taken us a year to arrive at the level of aesthetics and organization it has taken Heidi and Ruben a week to attain. Some couples are blessed with godly contentment; others resort to pneumatic nailers, pickaxes, sledgehammers, and other fine-tuning devices associated with gentle home reconditioning.
I have not once missed a city, or an interstate highway in the year we have been an inconvenient distance from both. I haven’t missed Trader Joe’s or Nordstrom, or even, a little surprisingly, salt water. After a month here, I noticed I had stopped doing a quick look-around before getting out of my car in a parking lot. Come to think of it, it’s very rare to hear a car alarm. I haven’t missed the months on end of sunless Puget Sound weather, or the miles on end of teriyaki-nails-Blockbuster strip malls. Most of all, I have not missed my husband’s life-attenuating commute between Tacoma and Seattle. His office now is a few traffic-free minutes from home.
I miss my friends, and our former church. Our attraction to the Lewis-Clark Valley included the existence of our present church, a sister church of our former one. I love our present church, and I am at home with my new friends; but bonds of more than seven years’ duration are not interchangeable. I minimized separation anxiety by thinking of congregations as interchangeable, but the fact that individuals are not soon sinks in with a grip.
I love seeing the hills out our windows, and crossing the Snake River to attend church and run errands in adjacent Lewiston, Idaho. It’s all so easy and so pleasant to get around. If one must feel one’s age advancing, it’s good to be in a place where one can age in relative safety and pleasantness.
I know I’ve said it before: it’s been a good move. And I miss you. And you know who you are.