And We’re Off!

DSC_0083Check out the side of our U-Haul…Stowe on it!!!  For those of you that have only known me since 1999, you may not know that my maiden name is Stowe.  How cool is that?  When Marc pulled into the U-Haul dealership in Indianapolis, they walked him over to our rental trailer and he belly laughed when they pointed to the Stowe, Vermont trailer and said “that’s yours”.  Pretty neat.  Here’s my dad, loving the name on the trailer…bird

Sorry we haven’t had a blog post in awhile.  This whole packing, moving, driving lots of miles, saying goodbyes and Christmas thing has kept us pretty busy.  Last Wednesday we packed up the apartment and put everything from the APT into the storage unit, the U-Haul, the dumpster or Goodwill.  Marc says the storage unit is so packed that when we go back to it a year or 2 from now, we’d better be careful because it all may come tumbling out when we open the garage door.  So Wednesday through Friday we stayed with Marc’s parents in Indianapolis and the kids finished up their last week of school (their blogs on this to come shortly).  We also said goodbye to family and friends in Indy.DSC_0077DSC_0053DSC_0048family

Friday we picked Joellen and Camden up in the car pool line at Cherry Tree Elementary with the U-Haul on the back.  It was the last day of 1st semester and it felt like a receiving line at a wedding as we said goodbye to friends and teachers.  Even Cam’s Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Vance was waving goodbye and yelling “safe sailing” from her Kindergarten hall doorway.  It was a strange feeling as we pulled out of the school.  We were on our way.

Friday after school we drove up to Toledo, Ohio to see my grandma Ruby and all my mom’s side of the family.  Good golly there’s a lot of us now with all the great-grandchildren.  With an overwhelmed and over-tired 2 year old, it was hard to sit down and catch up with all the relatives, but it was so great to see everyone and for the great-grandkiddos to play together.  Here is a picture of Maria with Grandma Ruby.DSC_0089While in Toledo, we stayed at our good college friends’ house.  Brian and Jen Gruber (forgot to get a photo with them) were great friends of ours in college at Miami University.  And every time we come to Toledo we stay with them (not enough room at grandma’s house) and because of it, we have become even better friends.  And what’s even better is that our kids have become great friends with the Gruber kids.SONY DSC

Sunday we left Toledo and were headed to my parents house in Marietta, Ohio when a lightbulb went off.  Let’s stop in Cleveland on the way and visit another best friend from college.  I called my buddy Erin Foster  and her hubby Jeff and asked “Hey, Erin, what are you doing in 2 hours?  Can we stop over for a restroom break, snack and a hug?”  She of course said yes and we put the minivan on autopilot to the suburb of Bay Village.  I haven’t seen Erin in years but of course it felt like we’d just seen each other.  That’s how you know you have a friend for life.  Here we are in front of Erin and Jeff’s Christmas tree…DSC_0092

We are now back in my hometown of Marietta, Ohio.  We got to see my other grandma, watch lots of Christmas specials and drive my parents batty with the fracas and commotion of three kids. Last night we spent Christmas Eve at the church where Marc and I were married.  St. Mary’s Church in Marietta is so beautiful and looks like a Catholic church you’d find in Italy.  They just don’t build ’em like this anymore.marymary2

Well today is Christmas and all is well here on the homefront.  But this Christmas we are praying for our good friend Jacob Bol Bul.  When we lived in Richmond, Virginia we met Bol and he became part of our family.  Bol is from South Sudan and is one of the Lost Boys.  As you may have heard, South Sudan is in turmoil again, on the brink of civil war.  Bol returned to South Sudan not long ago to get married and is now caught in the middle of the current violence and conflict.  Bol is in hiding and I’m getting updates from his fellow Sudanese friends in Richmond.  This Christmas Day our family does not wish for presents or even warm, sandy beaches.  We wish for peace and to our friend Bol and all those in South Sudan…Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.bol

20 thoughts on “And We’re Off!

  1. Pingback: All the fixins…… | Love at First Sail

  2. Gosh, it was incredibly hard saying goodbye to you all and sitting here I can’t believe you’re actually on your way! Although still a little sad (where did these past few months go??) I’m truly happy for you. You guys really did it! Amazing. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for you all. Prayers for Bol. XO

  3. I so love reading your posts and following your journey! Dreams only become reality when we make them happen! We are moved by your faith and endless desire to make a difference. Thanks for allowing us to experience a bit of your reality!

  4. When do you guys plan to sail out from Lauderdale? We may well be there to meet a fellow early in January. If you’re in port, we love to lunch or whatever? Anyway, we look forward to following your travels.

    • Bill, we will be in Ft. Lauderdale next weekend through mid-February. Yes, let’s do lunch! We’ll have you on the boat if you’d like! Just message us on the blog when you want to get together.

      • Cool, so long as we can bring the sandwiches and wine!

        We’ll need to coordinate with the fellow who we’re going to visit, but I suspect (and hope) it will be before January 21.

        Best to your family for the new year. Did your boat have room for Mark’s golf clubs? Surely!?

      • Bill, that sounds good. We will see you in January sometime. We’ll be there. Marc’s golf clubs absolutely did not make the cut. We need the room for kayaks!

  5. Last year at this time I was reading the “Spark your Dream” book Ken and Mel gave me for Christmas….This year I am reading the start of your adventure…..very COOL……

  6. Merry Christmas Jen(Twin), Marc and family! When I received your Christmas card and jumped on the computer to check out your blog I thought “wow, that is awesome” You all are going to have such wonderful family memories and unbelievable stories. Wishing you safe travels ahead and Happy 2014!

  7. Merry Christmas Jen and all the Konescos and Stowes! We are so excited to follow your adventure… Safe sailing and happy travels!!!

  8. I’m so sad to say goodbye to all of you (even though we said goodbye months ago) but am so thrilled for your new adventure. If you get time before you sail away, have Jo call Lexi! She wants to say Bon voyage! We love you!

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