After I left the Fetzer Institute this summer, both Stuart and I began to feel an eastward tug. Our life together has followed this path: VA, TX, IN, Haiti, IN,VA, IN, Ivory Coast, IN, NC, IN, MI, VA. Love has taken us to a circle of new places, and now love calls us home.
Forty-four years ago, we fell in love with each other in a very special place, the Shenandoah Valley, the place where Stuart grew up. We meet at Eastern Mennonite University, located in “the valley,” in 1966. The picture in color below was taken along the Skyline Drive, probably in 1966 or ’67. The black and white photo was taken at the Maple Sugar Festival the year after we were married, spring of 1970.
The same mountains that surrounded us then have wooed us back again as we enter the last third of our lives. I’ve described my own childhood home in Lititz, PA, when I wrote about my mother and the farm where I grew up. We will be closer to our children, my mother and all my siblings when our move to VA is completed this week.
When Stuart’s mother died, I wrote a blog post about her and about Stuart’s family also. The older both of us get, the more we appreciate the deep roots our families have to land, landscape, and each other.
Friends have been asking us about our decision with regard to why VA, why now, why move so soon, and what will you do in VA? We’ll tackle all these questions in the next few days.
“Home for the Holidays” holds new meaning for us this year. We closed on our new VA home the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. We will celebrate Christmas with my PA family in three weeks, and all four of our children (and our grandson in utero!) will join us for Christmas week in the new home. The tree stand and all the trimmings were the first items to arrive from MI.
We start and end our circle of love with deep gratitude for family, friends, freedom, and fun! Praise God from whom all blessings flow.