“Where do you want to live?” he asked.
“Wherever feels like this,” I replied, gently placing a hand over the still-vivid scar bisecting eight inches of his chest. “Other than that, I don’t care.”
“Then we’ll live everywhere, and nowhere in particular.”
And so it began…
It was our ninth anniversary–nine of the best months of my life in the only ways that matter–and we were still trying to find solid ground after the energetic wrecking ball that was 17 September 2017.
James was down physically, recovering from double bypass heart surgery. I was down mentally and emotionally from too many rugs pulling away all at once.
I felt like I’d lost my compass, that I had no idea where to turn now, what to focus on, or what the next step should be. His green eyes looked through mine. “You always check to see if the engine is still in the car when, maybe all it is, is you need gas or you need to clean the windshield. We’re still on the road, babe. We just hit the motherf***er of all speed bumps and pulled over at a scenic vista.”
Both professional writers, James is a technical writer and editor with decades of experience, while Mia is creative writing expert and published author. Additionally, Mia prepares online marketing plans and social media campaigns, and James is a portrait photographer and teaches workforce development skills. If we can support your entrepreneurial or small business needs, contact Inquiry@ThePlaceWeAre.net
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Picturing the pollen-dusted glass on my Mitsubishi Outlander, I realized that, no, the windshield hadn’t been clean in a while now. I haven’t had my own place since 2014–staying instead with family or friends–so the concept of “home” means the world to me: A place to call my own. A place to feel safe and welcome and comfortable. A place to always come back to. A place to be myself.
I smiled at James, remembering the message from a friend when shit went sideways ten days ago: ‘Keep reaching for love. Reach for joy.’ I took his hand, felt the familiar current jolt beneath our skin. “Let’s start at Monticello. And i think New Orleans with you would be awesome.”
“How about Savannah, and Atlanta, and St. Augustine?”
“Yes. And I want to go west to Santa Fe and to the Grand Canyon and up to Colorado.”
“We could drive. I started looking at fifth-wheel campers. We freelance. We write books and take pictures. We teach.”
“Every day, we see what we can learn and who we can help. We make up the next chapters as we go.”
The more we talked, the more clearly I could see us traveling the country, exploring and discovering, laughing and sharing. The more clearly I could see, the calmer I felt both in my mind and in my heart.
There were one thousand steps between us and this vision, with plenty more speed bumps, no doubt. And how crazy was this going to sound, taking off like this at our age? But we didn’t need the accumulated stuff that would have to given up, one way or another, either sold, donated or stored.