Tuesday we move away from Seattle. We have lived in this area for 18 1/2 years. Longer than any place we have ever lived before.
When we moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1995 we had already lived in six different States, experienced other climates and cultures, from Alaska to Florida – Pennsylvania to California. And we grew to appreciate everywhere we lived and strived to appreciate all the unique beauty of both the scenery and the people where we were planted.
Today I sit in a local coffee shop. I am taking in the sights and smells of everything that is truly unique of the Pacific Nothwest. Rain and fog outside my window, eclectic music, people talking or reading, the hustle and bustle around me. Coffee inside, the fall chill outside. Seattle. I realize other places have coffee shops – but somehow Seattle has that certain edge over all others.
It is a strange feeling to sell furniture, downsize, walk through an almost empty house in preparation for a change. I remember each room and what happened in each through the years. I still see 10 year old Shawn running up and down these stairs – too “grown up” for a tree house left by the previous owners. And the time he and his friend Connor were going to spend the night in that same treehouse even though it was infested with spiders and wasps!
I remember Ashlee's sweet 16 party with her friends from High School. I remember many late night talks with both kids when they were teenagers. I remember “break ups” and happy moments with both of them. I remember when both of them moved out to begin their own lives – and I remember when Ashlee met Drew and the day she became engaged. I remember getting ready the day of her wedding. Each memory I will hold onto and take with me.
We've seen many changes in this house over the years with each other and our children. They are a myriad of bittersweet. Time has a way of being kind and softening even the most uncomfortable recollections. And I will take the bittersweet with me – loving both the joys and adversity and finding a way to reconcile them both.
I'll be seeing you on the other side.