Ask and you shall receive

We’ve completed week one in New England and continue to be awe-struck. I hope it doesn’t end any time soon, because it is such fun to find so many cool things waiting around each corner. I do love the honeymoon phase of new things, don’t you??

This entire adventure started last summer as a strong sense of God wanting us to be here. “Our” plan was maybe 2+ years down the road to explore moving or snow-birding (a term familiar to Floridians where folks in the north follow the best weather—-winter in Florida and summer in the North—FANTASTIC concept if you can pull it off, and a lot of people DO!). Anyway, this pull to New England was incredibly strong and just seemed so insanely out-of-the-blue that Hubby and I discussed it, prayed about it and basically explored the idea that if we are meant to do it, God will work out the details. Welp. He sure did. That gorgeous hike in August snowballed into a series of events that had me quit my job and traveling as a CT tech by January 1. I can’t even list every single thing that “magically” fell into place during this time. In spite of all my doubts, second-guessings, and fears—-there is NO doubt in my mind that God is orchestrating every move. I don’t know why, but I am currently enjoying every second. Perhaps one day we will know why He wants us here, but for now, we’re going with the flow.

A few things I have prayed for and He has blessed us with abundantly.:

A beautiful parish to worship with, not just in the architecture but in the reverence shown by the priest and parishioners alike at all Masses. Bonus: so many young families!!!! Daily Mass available in the mornings and evenings—especially important for me since I work Sundays.
A place to take a daily walk. While our condo is lovely, it is located on a very short cul-de-sac off a main road; this is not conducive to a regular walk where I can just meditate, pray and de-stress for 45 minutes or so. We are hiking, but since we are working we can’t hike EVERY day, so I really wanted to locate somewhere nearby to walk where I wouldn’t get run over and could take our dog. God: check out the side road DIRECTLY across the street, approx. 1 mile of peaceful dirt road, complete with farms, old cemetery and picturesque views of the mountain, will that work? This road also has an entrance to a 75 MILE greenway hike/mountain bike trail. I mean. Seriously. God is just showing off at this point.

Just for funsies, we are treated with extra surprises almost daily…..

Pick your own blueberries. OK. Florida has this, too. BUT, not 5 minutes from my house and certainly NOT 72 degree temps to pick yummy blueberries. We picked about a two pounds and Hubby and the kids will go back this week to get more.
We explored a nearby town, finding a small bookstore to grab trail maps/books, a local tavern for dinner and a jazz band concert in the park RIGHT NEXT TO OUR CAR!! As we were listening and taking it all in, Hubby said, “is this a fairytale?” We both laughed and agreed it is.
Driving back to our condo, we swung by a dairy—(also minutes from the house)—that not only has out-of-this-world homemade ice cream (maple whiskey pictured above), but a petting zoo with free-roaming goat, gorgeous flower garden and breathtaking 360-degree views! OK, maybe the ice cream is mediocre and everything else makes it amazing——we will never know. What I do know is, we will be back.

Now, life is still life. Don’t get me wrong. We still have our daily ups and downs and worries about our kids, helping them through this transition and coaching them through life as well as our own concerns, family health concerns, friends with major life stuff, etc. Life doesn’t stop, but our perspective has changed and to continually see God work in our own lives, I have every faith that He has it ALL under control. I might not understand some if it, now or ever in this lifetime, but I do know without the shadow of a doubt, He IS in control and His plan is far better than anything I can ever hope for. Thanks be to God.

Until next time! Peace.

Rain showers

The other night after work we went down to check out a local swimming hole a couple miles away and take a walk. The intent was to walk about 30 minutes, check out the area and grab a bite to eat because we had not fully grocery shopped yet for our condo and we needed some grub.

Swimming hole view

The swimming area was quite large, not busy and the lake view was lovely with a mountain backdrop, and boat going past with the a summer water skier in tow—-a classic summer lake view—simply gorgeous. I am constantly mentally pinching myself here and this was a moment for sure.

Lake. Mountain. Water skier.

As we started to walk, it was overcast and breezy, a lovely 75 degrees—a welcome respite from the heat we brought with us from Florida. We started down one trail and it was very short and then headed down another trail. The breeze picked up. Hubby suggested we head to the car because the “breeze” was probably rain. I was hellbent on getting my steps in so I insisted we walk anyway since the trail was all under trees—we probably wouldn’t get that wet. I hate it when he’s right—especially when I know he’s probably right and I push for my own way. Sometimes I am still a bratty twelve year old.

It started to pour. Not rain. Pour buckets. And those dang trees were useless as umbrellas. We were already wet, so we kept walking until the temp started dropping and my stubbornness couldn’t take it anymore. Hubby was such a good sport about it and made me laugh—bless him. By the time we got back to the parking lot, the rain stopped. We were absolutely drowned rats with a small hand towel we used for the dog to share between the two of us.

And then. A rainbow. A Double rainbow with the bow ending in the lake ahead of us. It was absolutely spectacular and the pictures do it zero justice. Had we not followed my ridiculous stubborn self on that trail we would have missed it—what a beautiful gift. Not a gift for being stubborn, but a gift in spite of my stubbornness. Breathtaking. God has a great sense of humor.

The end of the rainbow is HERE

Dinner out turned into dinner IN—a smorgasbord of leftovers and a plan to complete grocery shopping the next morning.

This adventure of ours is off to a very cool start! It’s going to be epic!!!

Vacation mode

After a 2-day drive broken up by a glorious 5 hour nap and shower at Candlewood suites (clean, convenient and dog friendly) we made it to Vermont. Our little slice of rural Vermont life at our AirBNB has us in full vacation mode and it will be a bit before it clicks that we are here in New England to stay. At least for a while.

Our Airbnb is great, has a 10 acre meadow on one side, another expansive meadow on the other side and tons of trails surrounding it; our dog is in leash-free heaven. He chases the robins, explores endlessly and samples various nap locales. Surprisingly, he joined us willingly for a car ride in search of covered bridges and exploring some nearby towns today—the epic drive in his car prison long forgotten.

It’s a little warm (it IS August) but not as warm as home and we have a nice respite at night and in the mornings. The views are worth it and almost make me forget that we don’t have A/C—but we do have ice cream. and fans. Again…..vacation. Should we have a clear night we will drag our quilt onto the meadow for some star gazing—fingers crossed!!

We will continue to do the hard work of resting and relaxing a few more days, for now we are pinching ourselves and giving thanks for this gift of time and opportunity and see what God has in store for us along the way.

Enjoy a few pics—-it doesn’t even come close tho….you’ll have to come visit and see for yourself!

Our Meadow view from our bathroom (you can see one of three windows)
Our backyard view and Bandit’s romping grounds
Mountain View coming in from the trails behind the property
Town center
When you just don’t know what to do with those old bikes…..
Our Lady of the Snows
Public library in Woodstock, VT
Woodstock Inn and Resort
Our first covered bridge (of many to come)

The mountains are calling

Wrapping up another assignment and tonight is my LAST Night Shift for awhile. Never say never and all that…..

This assignment has been a local treat. Home each day, good people to work with and the opportunity to get in a lot of “last things” before we head north. “Last” for a little bit anyway: visiting friends, family, enjoying the beach, paddle boarding, our favorite restaurants, my fave wine bar, etc. Soaking it up.

I had to fight to get past the break a little more than I expected but it was a nice start to our day, I even caught an awesome wave on my way in—on my belly, so fun!

As I wind down my work commitment, the excitement is building and overcoming the nerves. I am sad to be so far from our family and friends—the ONE downside that I see. Technology is a wonderful thing when it allows us to FaceTime our kids and share our daily adventures. Air travel is relatively inexpensive on the no-frills airline and we have space to share. To be bound by the what-ifs and worries about life is to let fear drive our decisions—I don’t want to live like that. Life is too short.

A little over 5 days to get prepared and packed and squeeze in a few more dinners, beach time and hugs with family and friends and off we go. Stay tuned……who knows what lies ahead??

Summer is HERE

Three months since my last blog post….so much for “more time” to blog with this traveling gig. Honestly, though, I have the time, but haven’t had the inspiration. Thoughts come in through the day and then….POOF….gone when I sit to blog. but here I am today, so let me catch you up real quick like!

Hammock spot on a recent overnight camping trip

My assignment in Gainesville finished up and it was a great foray into travel. I definitely brushed off any rust on my clinical skills and felt overall good. My current assignment is a local travel and Night Shift. The good news: The main facility I work at is 7 minutes door-to-door. The bad news: nights. Nights are a double edged sword, generally GREAT people and none of the drama of day shift, but as I get older, the swap from days to nights and back again is far different than it was in my 20s. Overall though……I’m handling it and it’s a pretty decent shift, location and ER team, so truly no complaints.

Birthday pizza from my company sent to my work!

My next assignment is bringing us to New Hampshire in August to a small town, and somewhat rural facility so this should be interesting. I did have a great conversation and interview with the manager so the vibe is a positive start. Housing proved challenging, however, we were able to secure a SWEET location and townhouse through October. Hoping future housing will be easier since we will have “boots on the ground” and can search in person.

With a month to go until we scoot north, we are doing our best to check a lot of boxes off:

1. Moving our son home from college to finish his remaining classes online and settled at home. Gives him time to transition as well as become familiar with the expectations of home maintenance with the girls while we are gone. Wish us luck.

2. Buttoning down the house to be as little maintenance as possible while we are gone. Thank you Hubby! This has been ALL him! As well as trying to infuse all our “house” knowledge to the kids so that they can keep the house up and troubleshoot any issues when they arise. Most recently a plumbing issue. sigh

3. Visiting with friends and fam as often as possible until we go. We took a trip to North Florida last weekend to meet up with several friends and it was a fantastic time visiting and catching up—-well worth the drive time!! Bridge walks, sunrise beach walks, hanging by the pool, beach and dinners are all taking place in the weeks ahead! Friendships are so important in life and like anything else, need nurturing and attention. The benefits to your heart, soul and mental health are priceless and I will gladly make that effort every time!

Boat time with friends

4. Work on finishing compliance items for the new assignment, doctor’s appointments, car maintenance and vet and nail appointments for the pupper to prep us all as much as possible for our trip.

5. We’ve purchased a few things such as hiking shoes, boots, and winter coats and we will see how much we can cram in the car and if we will need to ship anything up. It’s going to be interesting……and all part of the adventure. YIKES! I hate packing though.

Hopefully it won’t be another 3 months before I blog again—we know I go in spurts! So stay tuned as we head north!

Getting lots of beach time in before we swap this view for the mountains