19 November 2015

All The Things That Won't Be

Hector and I once had a dream to retire in a little Eastern Washington town. It's a beautiful little town with minimal population, full of fruit orchards and cows. We had lived in the Yakima, Washington area for some time on and off through the years, fluctuating between Yakima and Portland. But our happiest times really did happen in Yakima.

Yakima is not what some people call a "nice" town or a "nice" place to live. It has a pretty ugly crime rate, and we never went out very far after dark. A lot of the people were plenty poor, money wise, but I found that the people who live there are some of the kindest, richest-in-heart people I would ever hope to meet. In Yakima we could drive out old dirt roads, through an apple orchard, and just admire God's creating. Mt. Adams, in the Cascades mountain range, loomed in the background of every happy memory. It snowed all winter, and our favorite activity was "making Subaru commercials". In the spring, the crop work would restart and the fresh fruit and vegetables started pouring in from every friend in every direction. Asparagus season began in March, and everyone was busy throughout the summer into the late apple season of November. Fresh cucumbers, chiles, beans, apples, pears, peaches, tomatoes, onions, and almost every kind of fruit or veggie overflowed everyone's tables every summer and fall. We'd spend every Sunday afternoon with good friends and their families, laughing, eating, and enjoying life.

Taken on the road to Yakima, US Highway 97, just entering into
the valley. It used to be a place of excitement for me; I knew we
were almost "home".
Even when Hector and I were in Portland, we'd find ourselves in Yakima, visiting for a weekend, hanging out at the local pool hall/bowling alley, or just stopping in to say 'hello'. Nothing made us happier than driving out of the city, into the country, past fields of flowering trees that stretched on for miles and miles. For a moment, everything was right in the world. Then that moment ended.

I've ventured back to Yakima a few times alone, to visit old friends, but the place has lost the same feel. Hector and I had plans to be there forever, and now our forever home is somewhere else. It is heartbreaking to smell the dirt, the clean country air, and know that I will never return to live there. The Rattlesnake Hills that roll down the valley, the sight of Mt. Adams- both bring back an aching nostalgia for all the plans that we had that will never be.

Sometimes I am okay with losing these plans, and am excited to live in Mexico and just live whatever life the Good Lord has in store for us. Other times, I mourn the loss of country living; the idea of living in a huge city for the rest of my life repulses me. Often, I find myself feeling this feeling of hiraeth, being homesick for the plans we had, the life we could have lived. The friends we had, the sense of belonging, the hope that came with the spring every year- those dreams and feelings now have to be found somewhere else. It's a sense of loss that I had never expected to feel through this whole process. I've mourned Portland, I've mourned what we literally had. I've mourned the experiences that we had and shared. I've mourned the loss of my family and the loss of my childhood home. I never expected to mourn the loss of the home I had hoped to have had, the memories I had hoped we would have made. Sometimes these things are easily pushed to the back of my mind, other times these things are brought to the forefront.

This November I'm thankful for my time in Yakima, and I'm thankful for all of the experiences that Hector and I got to have there. But I am now more thankful for Mexico, which has given me the ability to maintain my family together, and has given me the opportunity to create a new home, new dreams, and a new life. Perhaps Hector and I are meant to live in Tijuana forever, and I will have to accept that I may be a city dweller for life, or maybe some day Hector and I can move the country. It will not be the same country. There probably won't be white Christmases or rolling hills covered in apple orchards or wineries, but the ideas for a country home might still be feasible. Only God will let us know through time.

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