Please join this weekly meme. Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.
Is it possible to be over-the-moon excited about something and petrified at the same time?
That's how I'm feeling these days.
Our plans to sell the house and move to France are progressing. Downstairs right now, some men are updating the bathroom and installing a new floor in the main room.
We are slowly getting rid of furniture, a bookshelf here, a spare refrigerator there, trips to Goodwill each week with books and clothes and kids' items that we no longer need. School papers, pictures, and books that we can't bear to part with are tucked into plastic bins. We'll probably go through them again and again, slowly releasing items that we can't possibly move overseas.
The purging of belongings feels marvelous, freeing.
The living room is painted and free of clutter. I could definitely feel secure showing the living room to potential buyers, but there's much more work to do.
So where's the fear?
Every time I think about that day when we climb onto the plane leaving our three children behind, my heart clutches. Can I really do that? Say goodbye knowing that I won't see them for six months, a year?
Of course, when they went to college, Grace in New York, Spencer in Florida, I survived without seeing them for three months. We managed to stay in contact.
Maybe it would be easier if they had moved away. Then the twinge of guilt wouldn't eat at me.
I guess I'm always the one who has left. After grad school, I packed up and moved to Florida, 1200 miles from my parents. We didn't have cell phones so once-a-week phone calls and letters had to fill the daily gap of contact.
My two oldest children encourage us to go. My youngest, 21 now, has accused us of abandoning him, but that has been a few months so his feelings may have changed. He has his own apartment, but I guess the idea that we wouldn't be here as a safety net seems scary to him. To me, too.
I am sad to sell this house and leave our community. It's like a 1950s enclave, except liberal. It has an incredibly low crime rate and excellent schools. We walk to the library and an array of coffee shops and restaurants. An Irish bar blares out music on St. Patrick's Day and the latest California-style bar celebrates Cinco de Mayo. Pretty much everything we need is within walking distance, including Earl's job, 3 miles away and my job, 4 miles away. We can bike into downtown Columbus, or walk when we have an extra hour.
But I've dreamed of living in France.
We've visited over and over again. In May, I'll take my 12th trip to France.
And Earl's dreams are filled with retirement plans. He has worked as a reporter for 40 years. It's a grueling business that eats up his days -- sometimes 12-hour days, and causes his eyes to pop open in the middle of the night, worried about making a mistake in a story.
He allowed me to stay home with the kids and I only worked part-time jobs while he carried the brunt of the financial burden. I owe him this. I need to support him in his retirement and carry the financial load for a bit.
Once he retires, we couldn't afford to stay here in this house, plus to pay for insurance and student loans and other expenses. So a move is in our future.
Setting off on an adventure is challenging. In every Disney movie, the main character dreams of what could be out there and something propels her.
I guess it's time to be my own Disney hero, no matter my fears.