We are making a big move. After months of talking it over and waiting to hear about my new job, we are returning to Virginia in April! The pull of family is a strong one. We want Ford to grow up seeing lots of grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and my two grandmothers. We will be a long way from the MM's family, but in Missoula, we were a long way everyone.
My new job is in Staunton, in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, one of the prettiest parts of Virginia (IMHO). We are really excited, but of course sad to be leaving Missoula too. Staunton is home to Mary Baldwin College, which my grandmother attended, a farmers' market that runs from April until November, and the Blackfriars Shakespeare Theater. I hear it also has grown quite a local food/restaurant scene since we left four years ago. The MM is happy to be closer to his beloved rock climbing areas in West Virginia, although he will have to spend weeks at a time in Montana during the summer to continue running Wildland Trekking's Yellowstone Program.
These are photos of historic, downtown Staunton and the surrounding countryside. We'll be 30 minutes from Charlottesville, 15 from the Blue Ridge Parkway, and even a little closer to Highlands, North Carolina. It really feels like we are coming home.
Meanwhile, our life is filled with house showings, yard sales, hiring movers and cleaning out the cupboards. Ugh. I want to go buy a bunch of boxes tomorrow, but at the same time, I really don't want to start wrapping plates in bubble wrap. Where are the magical packing elves?