It's moments like that in life that make me think that everything happens for a reason.
While Mike and I talk a lot about how we always knew that Greenville wasn't ever really our home, the four years we spent there were some of the most important in our lives. I guess I can't speak for Mike, but for me I feel like I really learned a lot about being a grown up (or just learned how to pretend a little better). For the first time in my life, I was more than an hour drive from anyone in my family. I started my first real teaching job. I even got my own health insurance! And even though some days I was so homesick I would fantasize about hopping in my car and driving straight back to Michigan, we stuck it out. We made friends. Our vocabulary expanded to include words like "y'all", "hose-pipe", and "dark-thirty". We drank sweet tea and ate fried green tomatoes and developed a deep, deep love for good barbeque. And even though we said things like "pop" and "you guys", we were welcomed with open arms and made to feel at home. I learned probably one of the most important lessons of my life - that even though I may not always agree with someone's political or religious beliefs, and even though I may feel like we come from totally different worlds, there is always a chance for a connection, for shared laughter, and for friendship.
I was reminded of all that last weekend, when we went back to Greenville for the first time in about sixteen months. We spent the three days we were there reconnecting with old friends, visiting favorite spots, and reminiscing about our time there. It was wonderful to be back in city where Mike asked for my hand in marriage, and where our sweet girl came into the world.
|Checking out the planes|
|Goofing around with Dada on the plane|
|Ashley and Anna|
|Enjoying some BBQ|
|I'm on a boat!|
|Lake Jocassee. I think Mike and I were out on this lake every weekend the summer I was pregnant with Anna.|
|Crashed. (The baby, not the boat!)|
|Ashley & Jeb|
|The only pic I made it into - sorry for the crappy quality!|
No, Greenville was probably never going to be the place where we put down our roots. But it's definitely a spot where we let our branches grow.
A special thank you and shout out to everyone who made our trip so lovely, especially Jeb and Ashley for putting up with our messes and letting Mike eat all your deviled eggs. We love you guys! To my Woodruff peeps - The Runyans clan, the Wileys, the Shavers, the Baileys - it meant so much to see and laugh with all of you again!