Check 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…
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.
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.While 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.
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…
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.
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.