We wanted to take in every last paid-for-minute in Coeur D’Alene…and post-pone the inevitable end of our journey. So, we had breakfast on our balcony, soaking up the view:

Both Jeremiah and I took turns taking a run on the trail by the water and taking the girls swimming.


Then, reluctantly, we packed up and said our last goodbyes.

I sent my family a text that said, “I think I’ve found paradise…Who would have ever thought it was in Idaho?!”
Only 300ish miles left to our new home. When Jeremiah went ahead and set the clock back in the car, it was a stark moment for me. Wow, this is permanent. We’re changing the clocks to Pacific time…
I will say this, I have decided that a lot of our country looks arid, in the summertime at least. In the South, I think we don’t realize how many trees there are, how the grass is green and not sparse–showing the dirt underneath. How all that humidity we complain about, is part of what makes our home look filled with life, instead of limping along through it. I enjoyed our road trip and the diverse beauty God has created all across it, but I found I love my home too. Our mountains might not tower as high and our streams may be cushioned by sand instead of stone, but it feels different from everywhere else. A good kind of different, to me.
As we entered Washington, I was happy to see how green it was. That part, at least, felt a little more like home. I don’t think Jeremiah agreed with me, but the mountains looked even bigger here. In Wyoming and Montana they went on and on; in Idaho they were crowded and tall, but in Washington–they looked like big green giants. Wide, tall, some snow-capped, but all covered in lush evergreens. They seemed to echo the overall feeling inside our little car–intimidation. This is where we live now, I kept telling myself. It’s breathtakingly beautiful…and frightening.
Jeremiah asked if I wanted to pray, and we did. For a long time, really. It felt like something big was happening, beginning, but neither of us knew what it was. All of life is divided up into segments, but very few of those segments are a single, concentrated year. I believe God has brought us to Seattle for a reason. In Jeremiah’s understanding it was for the best spine training he could get. For me, it seemed like a chance to finally write. But, I’m not sure either of those obvious purposes is the true purpose. I know it sounds strange, but as we held hands and wove between those big green giants we prayed we wouldn’t miss whatever it was God was trying to do with our lives.
And suddenly we were here. Getting our first glimpse of Mount Rainer:

Trying to navigate through a big new city:

We made it to our home for the next month (our house that we’re living in for the year won’t be ready until September 1):
And it suddenly seemed like the God who had been beckoning us forward a few minutes before, had dropped us straight on our butts. Nowhere could we find a single parking place, much less two in a row to park our car AND U-Haul. When we finally did find a partially burned down building that had some pay-park spaces underneath, we saw a man being arrested who, according to the screaming store-owner, had “tried to shop-lift and then tried to KILL one of my customers.” We saw several cross-dressers, pink hair with leather leggings, tattoo parlors, homeless people, and not a single restaurant that wasn’t a major bar where we might get a bite to eat with our two small children. It was horrifying. Especially after ten days on a nature high 🙂
I’d been able to smile at the Washingtonians on our way in. Instead of “Rest Area/ 5 miles” their road signs said “Tired? {Have you ever seen a question mark on a road sign?}/ Rest Area 5 miles.” Instead of “Litter $100 fine,” they wanted it to feel a little more personal “If you litter, It will hurt.” I thought, “Ok. They’re kinda touchy feely out here, but I can dig that. I can handle different.” There’s a big difference in choosing to accept that people are different and having those difference all up in your personal space, in the eyes of your wondering children. I wasn’t so sure I could handle it any more.
We were able to find a pizza place, where we sat outside and ate with the girls, and while we felt like deer in headlights, we were laughing about it enough that Jeremiah said, “I’m not sure the culture shock could have been any greater if we’d moved to Kenya.”
That was Saturday night, so we’ve been here four and a half days now. We are doing a LOT better now, and I plan to tell you why and get the ‘ol camera out and take some pictures, but for now I want to wrap up the journey blogs. Thanks for coming with us, it was the greatest adventure I’ve ever taken 🙂


14 Responses to “Day Ten–The New Home Stretch”

  1. Brandi Bartee says:

    I know God does have a plan for your family and I appreciate you taking us on this wonderful journey. Hope you all enjoy your time and we can't wait to see what the future holds for you all.

  2. Susannah says:

    I definitely know that feeling Abby. Moving to a new city that is large or small is scary….especially if it's really big. You will find your place there and I'll bet in a year you will not want to leave. God has you already doing very important work, supporting your husband through his fellowship and raising two little girls. Can't wait to see pictures of your new home in Sept.!!

  3. hannah says:

    what wonderful adventures you are having!

    check out

    looks neat!

  4. Laura says:

    Abby you don't know me and its a long story of how I came to see your blog. However, I do know Jeremiah from many years ago (Laura Hitchcock) in Dothan. I have read each of your travel blogs and you seem to have such heart. God bless you on this new time in your life.

  5. Laura Maddox says:

    Abby, you don't know me and it's a long story of how I came to see your blog. However, I do know Jeremiah from long ago in Dothan (Laura Hitchcock). I have read each of your travel blogs and you seem like such a neat person, with such heart. God bless you on this adventure!

  6. mitzi says:

    Can't wait for the next chapter.
    You are an awesome family.
    Know we are here for you, whatever.

  7. Rhett, Megan, Claire, Ford & Gus says:

    Thanks for the beautiful story of your journey across our amazing country. Praying for peace as you deal with culture shock (it's no joke). Enjoy this adventure with your family!

  8. Kellie says:

    Thanks for sharing, keep searching, praying and living each moment (and sharing them with us:) – the year will be gone before you know it!!!

  9. Gail says:

    We felt the same way…1978' and moving to –with two small kids. It was different, daunting, shocking…..but…you do adjust. Ashley,too, like you, was from BAMA…She made it for five yrs. living in Seattle. You will, too! Embrace what you know…and don't let the new make you fear anything! You will see and learn a lot on this fellowship! The earth is just ONE BIG CLASS ROOM!!!! :O)

  10. Love Being a Nonny says:

    Have loved *traveling* with your family. I too moved away from *home* many years ago. I found my place in a new home. It didn't happen over night…but it DID happen! God bless you!

  11. Konie says:

    Abby….looks like your writing is about to begin:)) I can tell by the end of your "traveling" blog:) Can't wait for the rest!!

  12. Kendall Boggs says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!! Can't wait for you to write more! Be safe sweetie and miss and love you!

  13. Nancy says:

    I still don't know how I found your blog, but I'm glad I did! I'm going to keep your family in my prayers! What an adventure!

  14. becca scogin says:

    hi! this is so random, but we have mutual friends (brown and katherine johnson–i grew up with katherine) who forwarded me your blog bc my husband and i moved to tacoma about a year and a half ago. welcome to the pacific northwest!

    let me know if you have any questions about the area or if you'd like to see a friendly southern face one of these days 🙂




    best of luck getting all settled in!

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