How ironic that we are crossing over into the States to camp today, June 26th. Two years ago to this date we said good-bye to America, crossing back into our home and native land to live again, after six years in Tennessee. We haven’t been over the border since. It’s a rather monumental and emotional marking for us. And we didn’t even plan it this way. We only realized this a few days ago.
Saying good-bye to friends, and Tennessee, sure wasn’t easy. The busyness of packing our belongings, selling what we could on Craigslist, holding a massive garage sale, dividing plants among friends, and last visitations with dear ones, held off the inner angst of the realities of saying good-bye.
These faces mark life how we knew it in Tennessee. I’m always amazed when I think on the what ifs, and how if we’d never gone down there, we’d never have crossed paths with these wonderful folk. It’s always mind boggling to me to think on that, and to think they’d just be going on with their lives and I’d never have known what it was to go to fancy Balls and Ice Cream Socials, and Poetry by the Pond days, and small town southern festivals, and appreciate music and lessons, and visiting the assisted living home, and even to enjoy eating at the farm and making butter together the real old fashioned way. Y’all will live on in our hearts, holding many treasured memories for us for years to come, you know.
Besides all the sadness of good-byes with people, I admit to being very sentimental and sappy about saying good-bye to property. I hugged my tulip tree we named Christina Rossetti. I walked out to the cows we also had a plethora of poet and author names for, to wish them well.
And I remember standing and staring at this land, this view that was our very own, saying good-bye and thank you in the same breath.
And then to my big round garden plot I finally filled in after my first year of endlessly weeding the empty plot, I walked the stepping stones and sat on the tulip bench beneath the tree. My little getaway, hideaway, when my mind needed cleared, or things went wrong. I was able to divide many of the plants among friends, of which I’m happy to think of my garden going on in cherished friends’ yards now.
And the garden that dear mum and dad came and dug up and planted for me, even though they were outdone with heat and thirst. I said good-bye, and wished the next owner happiness with my parents’ part in their garden.
And I know this might sound strange, but the play structure. Oh my, the play structure. It was erected the first summer we arrived in 2007, and was worn out to raveling, having been used as a ship, a castle, a house, a barn, you name it. Memories of dress-up plays acted out on that structure, and many children strewn atop, below, and hanging off the rafters, are what I see when I look at this picture now.
And the pool we thought we didn’t need when we first moved in, and then realized, through sweat and grumpy heat rashes, oh, that’s why next to everyone owns one down here! We packed it up, said good-bye, and sent it off with that excited young family, looking just like we did when we first discovered the solution to a hot summer.
And the table around which we gathered for many an outdoor meal, and many a homeschool morning or afternoon, and many a gathering of friends on the back porch. We had our back door entrance right here where the table meets your eye, and I always said, good friends come through the back door. I’m glad for so many who did. To this I also said good-bye.
And my wee garden. We didn’t have it in us to create anything too much larger than this because, as I’ve mentioned before, we’re from the north, and Tennessee heat doesn’t sit well in our bones and veins. We snuck out as little as possible in those dreadful heat waves to tend it, and that’s why it remained so small.
And our vivacious front yard splendour. We named the large maple, Henry VIII. His daughter, Elizabeth, was a young red maple we planted in the back yard. This was the picture from my front door every November. I’m glad I remembered to photograph it in it’s brilliant display. I said good-bye to what I would imagine come November.
And these are the days I will hold to from Tennessee in our sweet dwelling place.
Though emptied of it’s contents, our minds are full of the memories.
This is our beginning in the new abode back in 2007, followed by the same set up on our last day in front of our southern roots home, a houseful of memories to sift through, saying good-bye six years later.
The almost ready stage. And a lump in my throat.
I don’t know exactly where were are in this photo en route north, but I’m remembering opening up the American gift bag you saw me holding up there in one of the first pictures, standing between the moving pods. I was overwhelmed with joyfulness and gratitude over the thought-filled contents that meant something personally for each of us. I won’t go into every detail that was in that bag, but the biggest thrill for me was opening a hand-made tea cozy with a story behind it.
We sold some furniture to friends, and one particular chair we sold, our friend wanted to re-cover for her library. She took the fabric off it only to discover another lovely fabric, Toile de Jouy, underneath it. She set to work sewing me a tea cozy from my own chair with this fabric of which I’ve featured in other posts so if you want to check that out click here or here.
And our most embarrassing moment of the trip north is captured right here. Yes, this is us, and our Tennessee plates, pulling into the hotel in Ohio to check in for the night. Oh my! Two cats, kitty litter, a violin, a Safe, a gargantuan sized Mac computer screen, clothing, food, belongings, belongings, belongings…you name it, we had it. And yes, all six of us, and two cats did indeed fit inside this seven seater jalopy of a van!
And now here we are, two years later, Canada becoming home. Mum once gave me a photo frame with the slogan along the top exclaiming, “HOME IS WHERE YOUR STORY BEGINS” So here we are, having had starts and stops up here in the great white north, but we cling to this truth that home is indeed where our story begins. And we begin it again here in Canada.
Saying good-bye sure was hard. But knowing we’ll meet y’all again, and knowing your thoughts and prayers and love still extend these miles upwards, means mounds to us.
Y’all make sure you come walking with us sometime up here, will you? Our new abode awaits your visit. Our back door will stay open because that’s where good friends come through.