When people talk about home, they talk about their roots, their childhood memories, and that feeling of total familiarity.

There is also that cliche saying that people don’t know what they have until it’s gone.

After spending four years away from the home I grew up in–apart from a few short visits–I came back, and everything seemed so different. Instead of this just being home, I had an appreciation for each and every moment. It was so much more than a house or a small town; it was the place I was rooted, the place that encapsulates my childhood memories, and the feeling of total familiarity.

I could ramble on about the joy I found in my three short weeks in South Dakota because there were so many little things that brought contentment to my soul. I could write about how today is much more bittersweet than I imagined. After all, today is not only the day I am driving my car 600 miles to a new home; it is also the day I leave the place I called home for 18 years…and the last three weeks.

I am excited for another new start, for the doors God will open in this new place. I am excited to start a new job, to meet new friends, and to climb many mountains (literally and metaphorically).

However, it will all be new. And to be honest, sometimes I just miss the old. As much as I can’t wait to hike my first 14-er as a Colorado resident, I will miss walking out my backyard to a hilly, gravel road where I have walked and ran and biked so many miles. I am ecstatic to start my new job, but I also have so many memories of my past clients, and I miss them dearly.

Today is very bittersweet.

I know I will cry as I pull out of my driveway and say goodbye to my family members, so instead of being sad, I have decided to reflect on my last three weeks and that feeling they gave me.

The last three weeks reminded me of who I am: a daughter, a sister, a child of God. I enjoy going on walks, sitting on my front porch, and staring at the stars. I love ice cream, but it is even better when I get to share it with the people I love. I would watch my brother coach every single baseball game if I could, and I love talking with my sister about anything and everything. My parents are such a large part of who I am, and I am so thankful for everything they have done to support me in this life.

I am a happy girl. And that is the best place to be.

After all, how could anyone be unhappy with skies and views like these?

I am one proud supporter of my brother, and sitting on the bleachers watching two major comebacks couldn’t have brought a bigger smile to my face.

As much as he will be embarrassed by this photo, I have loved eating meals and running errands with my dad. It’s the little moments that make me appreciate the time I can spend with the people in my life.

I spent more time with my dog than ever before since I was home most of the day every day. We went on morning, lunch-break, and evening walks, and seeing her tail wag when I grabbed the leash was yet another little thing that brought me joy.

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I’ve done my fair share of doodling on the front porch, listening to the birds sing, and feeling the fresh breeze brush past my skin.

I was able to visit some tourist attractions in Sioux Falls since my fiancé had never been there, and to be honest, I gained a new appreciation for those things too.

Most importantly, I spent time with the people who have made me who I am. And for that, my heart is so full.

Goodbye to the gravel roads. Goodbye to the place I have called home. Goodbye…for now.

 

 

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