This is not easy. It should be. After all, I have waited 22 months for this day.

I'm standing in the kitchen admiring once again my gas cook top. Six burners with hefty burner grates. The cooking area is framed in stone and it has a nifty pot-filler too. Was it just five years ago that I thought the pot-filler odd and frivolous? "I doubt I'll ever use it," I recall saying to Rocket-man back then.

Now it's a kitchen staple that I'll miss, along with my fabulous pantry with it's utterly-cool decorative glass door.

Sigh.

So here we are….officially packing-out of our middle-earth abode….the very house that has been absolutely lovely in every way…the one we cannot seem to sell. Makes one wonder if someone up above is trying to tell us something.

I'm bone-tired today from work that is inevitable when moving. Perhaps this is why my emotions have been all over the map these last few days. For sure, I will not miss the constant battle with the scorpions (killed two just yesterday) nor the large black snake that often drapes itself over the backyard water spigot blending in ever-so-nicely with the black hose attached to said spigot! But I will most certainly miss my neighbors. I'll miss their friendly waves as I walked up and down the hill with The Poodle. And, The Poodle? He is sure to miss his swimming pool fun with the folks behind us. While he dove into their pool after a squeaky ball till near-exhaustion we'd catch up on life events over wine, beer and delicious food. Sadness too tugs at my heart over the imminent loss of Monday night get-togethers with the Girls Night Out bunch. And life will surely be different for quite a while without those evenings with my Rocket-man on the back patio…a glass of wine in hand as we watch flames dance in the outdoor fireplace.

Yes, indeed: We finally have another place to call home, returning to where it began nearly twenty years ago for the two of us. And with that, we've got two mortgages and peanut butter sandwiches for the foreseeable future. Fortunately I love peanut butter (I'm partial to the crunchy variety) so I'm good. Rocket-man? He'll happily eat anything…well, except for eggplant.

I am ever cognizant of the fact that I have a roof over my head and good food on the table. In fact, I am grateful beyond words, and most of the time that feeling of gratefulness keeps me quite happy. But for the grace of God, things could have gone proverbial south for me…and still could! So many souls around the world have neither house nor food in their belly. Still, I'll admit to some negative mutterings under my breath those first few days walking around the new abode over my issues with the house. It's a house that is a far cry from our Alabama beauty. I slap myself on the forehead for this: I knew things would be different. In fact, I was sure beyond doubt that I had mentally steeled myself for it. I was practically giddy as a school-girl over moving again….that familiar military-wife state-of-being over the prospects of a fresh start in a new place. Knowing that the cost of living in Northern Virginia would be much higher we lowered our expectations considerably. And while most of my brain gets it, there is that tiny part that takes over when I least expect it; a menacing cloud that threatens to overshadow all that is good and positive about our new situation.

Oh I'm ever a work in progress.

So, the new place is twenty-four years old (which isn't that old) but with the original kitchen appliances and fixtures. The refrigerator must go along with the dishwasher. The gas cooktop will need replacing before any serious cooking begins. We don't have a pantry nor a lovely wine closet. Floor tiles are cracked in multiple places and don't get me started on the dated bathrooms. And the yard? Oh my heavens the abysmal state it is in! It's not a large yard but it must have become too much for the previous homeowners as it is a jungle of overgrown everything!

Fortunately, there is beauty to be seen in our new abode. And even better yet, my favorite peeps in the whole world are less than a blink away from our front door. Once I dry these tears and get my head back into it's happy place I'm certain my heart won't be as heavy as it feels in this very moment as I stare out into the rain-soaked yard.

I catch sight of The Poodle. He's sitting next to the St. Francis statue, surveying something in the trees in front of him. Ahh…he's back in his kingdom and seems happy for it. He even slept in our bed last night, something he hasn't done for over two months.

I let out another heavy sigh as I get back to the business of sorting stuff for the movers who'll be here in less than 24 hours.

I tell myself change is good and I believe it wholeheartedly. In fact, it's absolutely necessary…even though in the moment, it feels like I'm suffocating in a shroud of fear.

I make a mental note to hold back a jar of chunky peanut butter from the pantry for the drive to Northern Virginia. As I do, a smile creeps in as I think of a certain nine year-old who is waiting for our return.