Cashing In

26 Feb

I looked south out of my kitchen window while making dinner and was happy to see blue skies peeking out between puffy clouds. I dashed to the north facing window above the stairs and saw the same.

Time: 5:15 PM Dinner: Almost in the oven.

When the Oregon coast hands over a big fat check made out to you in the amount of sunset run with the memo perfect weather, you cash that bad boy in. Immediately.

I took Hank, but he wasn’t feeling it. So we goofed around on the beach and I put him back in the car. You can lead a newf to the water but you can’t make him run or swim.  Drinking is a different story. He will always drink.

I, on the other hand, was totally feeling it.

I ran feeling the creaks and groans of tight hips and knees. I stopped and stretched. I haven’t done much running since we went on vacation. I started again and found a comfortable rhythm, legs loosened – my mind following.

My thoughts went back to my sad Friday and afterwards I replayed the week in my mind with the final thought: maybe I’m renting to own.

I’m not ready to abandon my East coast roots. I like it back east. If I’m being completely honest, I’d move back there tomorrow if I could. It’s a big part of who I am, a part I can’t always completely explain to people that have never lived there. It’s where I breathe my sigh of relief, where everything just feels right.

But if we are being completely honest then I must also confess the other part of this renting to own life I have. Sometimes I feel guilty when I feel like I’m moving on, each day growing more distant from our life in Virginia, however natural it may be. Their life goes on, so does yours. You still care about each other, but you are not each other’s every day. And it can be gutwrenching, but it gets easier.

Much like a tenant, I have realized that there are people I can count on to make it easier to be here, to fix things – my playdate friends, my without kids friends, my book club, the (gasp) potential babysitter. They all do things without realizing how much it means and they make me oh so happy here – like helping a long day at home go a little faster or drinking a glass of wine and talking about things other than children, making me laugh so much at our once a month dinners I feel like I’m back with my old friends or just letting Ryan and I have a little break.

I reached the turnaround and stopped, taking stock of what I owned, what I wanted to own, and what I rented. It was hard to sort it all out. So I didn’t bother.

Instead I watched the sun set, while sprinting back to the start. I was tired when I reached the end. Instead of rushing home like I always do, I laid down right there on the sand – its cool dampness soothing my tired muscles.

I walked the last few feet, past a bottle. It didn’t belong there so I picked it up and threw it away.  Part of renting to own is gradually taking over that ownership.

I’m going to work on writing my own check, made out to Oregon in the amount of an indeterminate number of happy years signed Sarah.

Time: 6:11 Dinner: Served.


7 Responses to “Cashing In”

  1. Mom February 27, 2012 at 3:58 am #

    That’s my girl!! As always, thinking it through, “owning” your feelings, finding positives in all situations, and coming to good conclusions. Love you!

    • Sarah February 27, 2012 at 6:43 am #

      Love you, too, Mom. Thanks for supporting us all the way out here.

  2. artoornstra February 27, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    I think a part of will always miss Michigan (where I used to live). It will always be a part of who I am and a big part of “my story.” I will always miss my sister who still lives there. But now after five and a half years I’m to the point where I don’t want to go back and live there. Because I am not sure I could ever settle back into “my Michigan life.” If we were ever to move back there–it would have to look different for us. We’d have to live in a different town and make a new life for ourselves. Even after five a half years of living here I still have “down days” where I say “Why did we do this?” I see simple answers to that question if I look for them. Blessings on you as you continue to embrace “home.”

    • Sarah February 27, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

      Thank you for this. That is a very interesting and very true perspective. As much as I question our move I, like you, know it was the right thing to do. There are so many “what if’s” that play out in your mind. I’m working on being present with the hand I’ve been dealt.

  3. Carole Calle February 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    My dear little Sarah, you are living such an amazing life. One day you will look back and see it in all it’s glory, all those little pearls stretching out behind you, with Virginia at one end and Oregon at the other, or maybe Oregon somewhere in the middle. Who knows? The future is out there waiting for you and your sweet family to discover. Run on, sweet girl, run on.

    • Sarah February 27, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

      Oh Carole. Your wisdom and beautiful words touch my heart and soul. I miss you and your terrific hugs. You have a one of a kind viewpoint, one that I greatly respect. Thank you for caring about me and taking the time to write what you do. It means so much.

  4. Heather Cavaliere February 28, 2012 at 6:21 am #

    Sarah…there’s a super big plan…way bigger than you or I can ever imagine or reason through that someone already wrote. His plan for you and Ryan and Abigail and Hank is perfect. I know it doesn’t always seem that way, but His hands are on you. Feel that embrace. I think a lot of our talks after the VT shootings and still have that letter you wrote me. That was a hard time, but you worked through it. This is a hard time–but you are strong. And God has a plan. I love you friend!

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