A few short hours after meeting my husband, I agreed to go home with him. But it is not what you think.
I was in law school and working at the County Jail, in the law library, helping inmates access legal information. This is where you start to suspect I married an inmate. Don’t worry. I didn’t.
Hubband was in law school too. The same law school. But we had never met, until there was an opening for a clerk at the library. He showed up for his first day of work, took up the desk facing mine, and began training for the job. I was training him.
It could be boring work, trapped in a dusty, windowless corner of a warehouse. So we passed the time chatting about ourselves, our lives, our families. Sometime before lunch that first day, he told me in great detail of his family’s farm in Washington. It had horses, blueberry fields, two ponds, the original barn and a windmill.
“Oh, that sounds beautiful,” I said.
“I’m going home for Thanksgiving. Do you want to come with me?” he asked.
“Okay,” I said.
Who does that?
Before we left, my father gave me a piece of advice. “This boy is proud of where he is from and he going to want to show that place off." he said. "You had better be appropriately impressed.”
My dad was right.
We drove north together in a dusty old Ford Bronco that smelled like dog and made so much noise I could barely hear Metalica playing. (This was a plus.) As soon as we pulled off I-5 Hubband began pointing out the highlights. “There is so-and-so’s farm. We helped them with their livestock when it flooded. There is the river. There is where my uncle used to live. My junior high Spanish teacher lived there. She kept llamas for a while.” On and on it went. He was so happy to be home.
With my father’s words in my head, I did the best I could. I looked where he pointed. I “oohed” and “ahhed”. I asked meaningful follow up questions. I was as impressed as a girl could be. The only problem was, I couldn’t see a stinking thing. It was nine o’clock, on a November night, in northern Washington. It was as black as pitch.
The next day, and in the day light hours of the weeks, months, and years that followed, I really was impressed with his home. It is beautiful. Green. Quiet. Quaint. With noise and activity not too far away, lest you feel too isolated. A good Bible teaching church right on the river. Good book stores, good markets, good coffee. A tea house. Many times since, I have taken that same drive with him, and each time I feel same way I did the first time (I could see anything).
I feel like I belong there.
Hubband is getting laid off at the end of June. We are moving back. We had planned on moving back soon anyway, but we had wanted to do it on our own terms, not un-employed and living in his parent’s attic. It’s like a dream come true but not the way we dreamt it. We are overwhelmed and in a place of just processing all that is happening and all that must happen.
It is sweet and bitter.