Fifteen years ago if you would’ve told me I would settle down in Muncie, Indiana, I would’ve done a spit-take. I was going to live somewhere with mountains or oceans or, more than likely, both.
Over the decade that Annie and I dated, I tried to convince her to move to the Florida Keys and Hawaii. I tried to convince her to put her life in a backpack and hit the road with me. I followed her to North Carolina where we lived for two years. She worked as a nanny. I worked retail at an outdoor equipment store (think backpack and tents) and as a SCUBA instructor. I also wrote and got paid tens of dollars per month for my writing. While we enjoyed being somewhere where it was just us, I think the experience confirmed for her that she wanted to live in a 60-miles radius of where we grew up in Union City, Ohio.
Muncie is in that radius. So we live here, but we don’t have to live here. Annie stopped worked when Griffin (2) was born and I could work from anywhere. But we’re here and we’ve planted roots for the first time in our adult lives.
We’re moving. At least we hope to move. Our house is for sale. (Here’s the listing. We love our house. We just wish it was on more than .24 acres. We both grew up with acres of yard and want more room for the kids to play. If we could attach a bunch of balloons to our house and, ala UP, relocate it to 1.5 acres, we would.) In the process of talking about selling our house, the “we could live anywhere” conversation came up. Annie wanted to stay in the Muncie area, and in a surprise twist, so did I.
Today, Harper is having a birthday party with some of her friends, and tomorrow night with our family. My brother and his family are heading from Oxford, Ohio, to stay with us. We’re all really looking forward to it.
Muncie is home and it may not have mountains or oceans, but it is close to the people we care the world about.
I don’t think we’ll ever leave.