Sunday, April 15

Home Away from Home

Yesterday, Friday, was Mark’s last day in the hangar at MFI, which meant packing up and now making the long drive back ‘home home’. In many ways the time has gone really quickly, yet it seems like a lifetime ago we drove down there and got settled into our 'home away from home'.

I'll have to admit I was a little apprehensive about the thought of living in a 'trailer' for three weeks with the girls but then almost 8% of all Americans do it every day, roughly 6.8 million families/indiviudals, including friends of ours ... so I knew it was going to be a lot better then I expected and it totally was! 

Living in a trailer doesn't have the same connotations here that it would in the UK and to be honest made it feel more like a holiday. It was a really well equipped and made it easy to settle in and enjoy. As much as it was a work trip for Mark, before we left Coshocton and while we were there, the Beckwith girlies were often found referring to their time in Florida as a holiday ... as with sunshine, beaches and new playgrounds to try out every day it really did feel like one! (Sorry Mark!)

While we only had to be there for a few weeks, it was a first taste of how we will be able to adjust to somewhere new as a family of 4, which we will have to do within the next 12 months. With no buddies of my own down there, it required a lot of effort on my part each day with the little ones, exploring new places  for fun and finding the shops etc for the more practical side of life but it was so worth it ... and we got to see Mark every day instead of when he took his trip to PNG!

While we've been driving back I've been thinking about what I will miss (or not) about our time in Florida ... some really obvious and some not so!

I will miss ...
  • the sunshine
  • the beaches & play parks
  • fresh Florida orange juice from Al's Red Barn
  • the air-conditioning (it was the real deal, not boxes in windows!)
  • being near to 'Real' shops and not having to drive 45 mins+ to go anywhere but Walmart!
  • the really delicious chinese take away just 5 mins away
  • having the washer and dryer easily accessible rather than in the basement
  • putting the girls to bed and not having to worry about squeaky floorboards as we creep in and out of their room!
  • Not having the big ongoing 'to do' list from home in the  back of my mind and just being able to have fun with the girls more
  • the multi-cultural population of Florida ... I love Coshocton but it's not very diverse and I felt a lot more at home with people of all different cultural backgrounds around!
  • setting the alarm 45 mins later every morning because of the MFI start time and living just around the corner from the hangar

I will not miss ...
  • having to write all blogs in a word document so Mark can upload them the following day in the hangar ... internet access was limited and frustrating at times (which is why this post is a little late!)
  • the army of ants that made the kitchen area their home
  • the very squeaky bathroom door right next to the girls bedroom!
  • the week and a half that it took for Naomi to settle into sleeping nights
  • lack of friends ... as we were only there for 3 weeks, I chose to enjoy the time with the family rather than forging new relationships which was fine for the short term but I'm looking forward to catching up with my friends when we get back!

There are good and bad things about everywhere we find ourselves living ... I just tried to make the most of all the opportunities we had to enjoy ourselves and the girls seemed to appreciate that. Now we're almost home I find myself thinking ahead to both packing up and settling the family again ... wherever it is we will find ourselves! One blog I enjoy reading is called My Perfect Mess. Mandi Miller and her family have just moved to St Kitts in the West Indies as missionaries and she writes really honestly both about the emotional transitions of saying goodbye and settling in somewhere new. All things that we will experience ourselves once again all too soon!

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