Moving Home: (Memoirs of a Teenage Author)

(This is post #6 of the My Journey to Gritty: Memoirs of a Teenage Author series)

Mom and Dad had been talking about moving to Oklahoma for a long time.
They were both born and raised there. I was born there. My brother was born there. We had moved to Kansas because of Dad’s work, and we had lived in the Sunflower State the last twelve years, but in our hearts we still felt like transplanted Okies.
The only thing currently keeping us in Kansas was Dad's job.
Even though Dad had been in constant pain the last couple years, he was still the college’s best teacher. He had an awesome assistant that took over when he couldn’t stand (literally) anymore, and the two of them brought students to national competitions on a consistent basis.
That hard work was what helped him keep his job for so long.
But, one day, the college just wouldn’t stretch any longer. Dad brought home his awards and medals in a cardboard box. The career that he passionately loved was over.

After that, we didn’t have much to keep us in Kansas anymore. Most of our family lived in Oklahoma. A fresh start sounded good. My parents talked more and more about “moving home”.
Then, we received a college advertisement in the mail.
“Don't you think it's about time to move home, to Oklahoma?” it said.
I very clearly remember the look on my Mom’s face as she looked at it, then gave it to Dad.
Apparently that was the nudge they needed. We started packing up our things.
The hardest goodbyes were those at Messiah’s Branch. We cried in anticipation of that, and Pastor Dan and Sister Linda struggled with tears every time they looked at us. Everything was sweet and solemn.

After prayers and hugs though, soon we were off, returning to our homeland.
Most of our family lived in OK, so we visited often, but I can still remember my five-year-old brother’s observation at a gas station a little south of the border. He watched a man in a ten-gallon hat open the door for an older lady, and he commented, “Look at that! The people are nicer here...”
That was the truth. We were moving from a place that “gave the birdie” freely, to a place that was a little gentler, a little kinder, a little better.
The trailer park chapter of my life was ending, and a new chapter was beginning.

He knows what it’s like to ride up high on a tractor… my spirit whispered as we drove past acres and acres of farmland. Your husband was a farm-boy once. He still is actually, at heart…
I smiled and peered out the window, hoping to maybe catch a glimpse of him.
Moving to Oklahoma was exciting to me for that reason most of all. My husband lived here… somewhere…  I could feel it.

Hours later, my grandparents welcomed us into their home. We were going to stay with them while Mom and Dad were searching for a house of our own. All of our things were stowed away in their garage. We slept on spare beds and blow-up mattresses. The future was a wide-open, mostly empty book, waiting to be written in.
I didn’t know it, but my writing was about to take off like never before.

Click here to read the next post in this series: The Woods

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