Oh the places we’ve lived

At the end of this month, we will mark 10 years of living in southwest Indiana. It ties with our time in Kansas City, Missouri. One time when my kids were younger, we visited a museum (where? I can’t remember) and in the shop there were flags for each of the states. They had little stands you could put multiple flags in, so we bought flags for each of the states they had lived in – Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Texas, and Indiana. Iowa could be added for me and my husband.

That is six states I’ve lived in since I got married. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought we’d move as much as we did. I grew up in the same town. Lived in the same house from the time I was about three. My husband grew up in the same town he was born in and lived in the same house from the time he was quite young, also.

I have fond memories of each place we’ve lived. I also have some not so fond memories of a couple of places. But, whatever the memories, it has been very interesting living in such different cities and locales. We’ve left behind some wonderful friends. There are also houses I wish I could still be living in. Too bad you can’t pick up the house and have it go with you. There is one thing I know for sure—God has been with us each and every place we’ve lived and He has sustained us during some difficult times and provided much joy during many more times.

As I walk down memory lane, I thought I’d put them to paper (or cyber-space, more correctly).

Ames, Iowa—Kent was still in school (boy, it takes engineers a loooong time to get that degree!) and I was working as an editor on campus. We lived on macaroni and cheese and Ramen noodles. Adding hamburger to the mac and cheese was a treat for us.

Kansas City, Missouri—First new car, first house, first furniture purchase, first church home….and two babies. We lived in our first house for eight years. We have yet to own a home for that long of a time. We also experienced what fun it is to be good friends with your next-door neighbors. I’ll never forget Kent coming back to the hospital after he went to get some food and a change of clothes when our son was born and exclaiming “the neighbors had a boy, too!” Thus began our two boys watching for the trash truck, “mowing” our two yards (through all seasons, snow didn’t stop them!), kicking soccer balls, and generally a lot of little boy fun. Then our daughter was born and that little 1950s brick ranch became too small.

Our second house in KC, MO was, we thought, the home we’d raise our children in. It had a finished basement and was the perfect place for those two to play. Of course, it was also the perfect place for big brother to give little sister a haircut without mom knowing until she saw it! My husband thought one of them had been stabbed the way I was crying on the phone. But our time there was to be a short three years.

Highlands Ranch, Colorado—Loved the weather. Sun most every day. Mild temperatures. Snow that was beautiful when it fell and then would be gone within a day. I thought I’d love Colorado. But, my husband struggled at work and it became a terrible place to live for us. On the bright spot, we had probably the best small group ever. We loved our small church there. For living there for only 18 months, we made some great friends and had some great times with them.

Overland Park, Kansas—back “home” for us. For Kansas City has always felt like home. When I think of that warm and fuzzy feeling of home, I think of Kansas City and not Iowa. Don’t know why, but that is how it is. We only lived in OP for one year, but we quickly got back into the swing of things with our church family and friends. Our daughter made her first best friend with the girl who lived behind us. They went to Kindergarten together and it was fun to watch those two—BFFs before we even had the term.

San Antonio, Texas—As my husband likes to say, there are only two seasons in San Antonio, hot and hotter. As much as I loved the climate of Colorado, is how much I disliked the climate of Texas. San Antonio was strange. It was hard to make friends and our small group from church struggled to stay afloat. I’ve often wondered why the two years in San Antonio didn’t seem like that long and Colorado seemed like much more than 18 months. I think it has to do with friends. San Antonio is a military town. People come and go. Whatever it was—climate or level of friendship—Texas is my least favorite place we’ve lived.

Southwest Indiana—We first moved to Newburgh. Probably because that was the area our realtor seemed to concentrate on. We liked our house. It had a big back yard. But for some reason, we just never felt quite at home there. We found a great church. I started homeschooling and quickly started making connections in that wonderful community (my husband and I would let other homeschoolers in Indiana know that our area was homeschool heaven). We made friends fast and quick here. Kent and I were immediately taken by how nice people are here. I don’t know if it is “southern” hospitality since we are 1” away from Kentucky (on a map!). Or if it’s because we are in the northern reaches of the Bible belt. Not sure, but genuine niceness is all around us here in southwest Indiana.

After three years in our Newburgh house, we decided to look around and see what else might be out there. I loved the area in Evansville where our kids took piano and guitar lessons and found a house there for sale. We looked at it several times and finally decided it was the one. We had always wanted an older home (from our days of watching Bob Villa and “This Old House”) and we got one. We have lived in this house seven years. Wow!

Evansville has been great. We’ve been privileged to be in two wonderful small groups and to led one small group made up of homeschool families from our church. I suspect this will be the place our kids call “home.”

God only knows if we’ll add another state to our list, but that is a part of our family history which has helped shape and mold us. Moving is not fun, but it certainly can be an adventure and a learning experience. For now, I’m just surprised to realize that we’ve lived in one place for 10 years once again.

Those are my thoughts for today

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