It started in Virginia.

Tears streaming down my face.

I was driving and looking at the beautiful expansive land of the Shenandoah Valley and comparing it in my mind to the cluttered and cramped land of Piscataway, NJ. I was remembering the nights we spent on our back porch in the mountains looking at the thousands of stars and wondering when I would see them again.

I was reminded of the kindness of the people in the mountains. They smile in the grocery store and wave you thru at a four way stop. The folks in the service industry welcome you into their restaurants with a slow southern drawl and a lack of suspiciousness, which I’ve come to expect up here.

Patience is a virtue and the South just seems to do it better.

But then we arrived back to our hotel where we have spent almost 3 months and the staff was excited to see us and catch up. Our breakfast crew welcomed us with open arms hugging and kissing on Isaiah and Eli.

A random stranger complimented me at the grocery store on how impressed she was with me at the store with four kids.

Another woman at the store encouraged me by telling me that she had also moved here kicking and screaming 10 years ago and has learned to love it.

We were driving back to the Embassy Suites and I could see the Manhattan skyline in the distance.

I was reading the local newsletter and came upon lessons for fencing for Samuel, art institutes for Sarah, summer camps for Isaiah, and toddler story times at the library for Eli.

I started to notice the variety of restaurants in our new town. Thai, Indian, Mediterranean, Greek, Mexican food. All on one block.

I got an email today offering tickets to the New York Mets games for $10.

My mind starting thinking again and comparing it to the remote mountains. I began to consider the opportunities that we have here.

At first I was overwhelmed and uncertain about my feelings. Would I like it here? Would I really fit in here?

I don’t know. But I plan to find out.

It isn’t my plan to live in New Jersey, as Gary well knows, but I will make the best of it while I can.

This is a season in life and I’m going to grab the chances we are being offered.

And who knows, maybe I will like it after all.