Do you like surprises?
I do. I love them, actually. One year for my birthday, two of my best friends dropped by unannounced with a piece of cake and coffee. During the course of our visit, one of them said, "Just to clarify... we stopped by without calling ahead because we knew you wouldn't mind." She paused for effect. "Don't ever do this to me." [mental note made]
On the other hand, there's something romantic -- poetic even -- about anticipation. About knowing the plan and looking forward to it.
The last couple of months were filled with hard conversations, some angst, and a decision which has changed our original plans.
To give you a little backstory... (I received a letter from a dear friend this past week and was embarrassed to discover she didn't know where we are and what we're doing... oi, talk about failure to communicate!)...
In August of 2014, we got to move from Spokane, Washington back to Germany. LeRoy took an assignment on Ramstein Air Force Base, in the southwestern part of Germany, situated about forty minutes northeast of Saarbrücken and the border of France.
(*Trivia: Ramstein Air Base and the surrounding region has the largest concentration of Americans living outside of the States at a population of about 100,000. They call this area Little America.)
The assignment was a three-year commitment with an option to apply for a two-year extension, meaning we'd get to live here for five years.
You might know this about me, but I adore living, exploring, and traveling in places outside of my cultural norms. To revel in foreign languages, foods, and sights... to take in the romance of cultural nuances, touch history, and experience life outside of my comfort zone. Though, I admit, it's not quite the same living in an area saturated with American culture. Still.
You know how your heart beat quickens and, captivated by the moment, all your senses come fully alive as you breathe deeply, wanting an experience to last as long as possible? That moment when you're in your sweet spot?
That's what living and traveling abroad means to me. Also, I love how exposing our children to different places and cultures provides a unique education. So, when my husband arrived home a couple of months ago and suggested we cancel our extension and return to our hometown of Spokane, Washington two years earlier than we anticipated, well... we struggled through some hard conversations until we arrived at the decision to return this year instead of 2019.
So, the new and revised plan is to arrive back in Spokane at the end of this August. We'll keep you posted as we arrange flights and dates.
Right now, I'm joyfully embracing the reality of "Surprise! Plans changed!" and vigilantly working on creating my romantic and dreamy list of all the things to anticipate as we transition to yet another chapter in this adventure. (After all, life is intensely romantic and Grace-filled and adventurous... no matter where we are in the world. There's nothing quite like living headlong into the suspense and adventure and uncertainty and poetry and romance of it all.)
What about you? What are you anticipating? What's surprised you recently? How are you seizing the romance and adventure of your life right now? Your turn. Hit reply and let me know. Or comment below.