It has been five years since Stan's job brought us to Richmond. Five years ago I was looking at houses, schools and different areas of the city trying to decide where we might best fit in. Five years ago in May we bought our house here on a whirlwind weekend. I spent two days with our realtor, "One Eyed Betty" (so named because during our house hunting excursions she developed a tear in her retina while we were driving through Richmond. I wasn't sure if I was going to make it out of her car in one piece due to her lack of sight while driving. The next day she showed up with a patch on her bad eye and a driver in the seat of her car to complete our house hunting expedition. All of these adventures caused me to name her "One Eyed Betty.) On the third day Stan was finally able to accompany "One Eyed Betty" and me to look at houses and it is then we purchased our house. The three day house-hunting tour was complete. Our journey to Richmond was just around the corner.
We left Louisville, Kentucky in July of 2006 amid many hugs and even more tears. Louisville had been our home for seven years. It was the only home Claire had ever known. It was her birthplace. The boys were young enough when we moved to Louisville to believe it was the only home they had ever known as well. Louisville treated us well and we were leaving behind many special people who were part of so many fond memories. It was a tremendously hard day for all of us, leaving Louisville.
But Richmond was waiting for us, beckoning us with the promise of many new adventures, new friends and new memories to make. We made the trip to Richmond an adventure for us and the kids. We counted down the miles and we had a party atmosphere in the car. We kept a lookout for our giant moving van, wondering if we would beat it to the new house. As we pulled in the driveway of our new house, the doors of the van burst open with the kids fighting over who would get to see the whole house first. They all tore through the garage and went careening through the house, each one's face full of wonder at which room would be theirs. With the house tour done and the moving van still not here, reality set in and we faced more tears with our thoughts of what we left behind. Thankfully, the moving van arrived to distract us from the sad thoughts which were starting to crowd out all the thoughts of adventure we so carefully planted on our journey here.
With the house settled and the kids getting restless, we started to explore this great city we call home. We did a couple of touristy things ~ like going on the canal cruise in downtown Richmond. We checked out Churches, shops and restaurants. Our explorations found us with new favorite shops, a new place to share our spirituality and many new favorite eateries.
Today, after Church we went to our favorite place to eat brunch after Mass. We headed to Boychick's Deli to enjoy those dishes we have grown to love. I don't think the kids even cracked their menus, they know exactly what they love and they never vary. After our bellies were full, we made our way to the front to pay the check. The boys and I headed outside leaving Stan and Claire to pay the bill. One of our regular waitresses says to Stan, "You all have been coming here a long time and your daughter has grown up so much." Five years worth of growing up.
The adventure of moving to Richmond has been replaced by roots we established in this place we call home. We are blessed to have such wonderful memories of places past and we are blessed to be part of such an amazing present. Our journey to Richmond began five years ago. Five years has gone by so quickly. The kids have grown so much in these past five years.