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Twenty Years Ago

March 12, 2003

Twenty years ago today I boarded a plane and stepped into a new life. Twenty years ago today I strode into Bostonís Logan Airport, to be met by people I had never seen in person who were expecting a shy little country mouse. But I had left her back in my old life. Twenty years ago I started my life in New Hampshire.

Was I scared? No, I was not. Excited, yes. Nervous, yes. But sometimes everything falls into place, and you know with absolute certainty that you are exactly where you are supposed to be, doing exactly what you are supposed to do, at that moment in time.

It wasnít perfect, ever. There were disagreements and misunderstandings and crummy jobs and mistakes made by me out of sheer inexperience. I never saw a sunrise or sunset, never felt the wind in my hair, never saw the horizon, and sometimes desperately missed the wide open prairies of North Dakota. And always there were lonely holidays. But it was glorious. There was friendship and laughter and Christian fellowship. I saw breathtaking red and gold and yellow fall foliage and incredible sparkling ice storms and waded in the ocean and climbed mountains. I learned that even a country girl can come to enjoy living in a big city. I did cat shows and craft shows and horse shows and Star Trek conventions. I made friends who became family. 

And then I came back, but it was not the same naïve, excited girl who returned. The woman who returned knew sorrow and heartache and loss, and the preciousness of family. The woman who returned was a country mouse hidden beneath a city mouse attitude. And I realized that, while I left my heart in New Hampshire, my home was in North Dakota.

And today I know that this is exactly where I am supposed to be at this moment in time.