So while I was slicing cheese in preparation for tomorrow’s Ladies’ Clothing Swap at the church, I was thinking about England . . . šŸ™‚ I first started thinking about it, because I was cutting Monterey Jack cheese and remembering how I so missed American cheese when we were England. At one point, towards the end of our time there, we found Monterey Jack cheese at some shop, and I inhaled it. It was like gold; it made my Mexican recipes so much better. šŸ™‚ Anyway, so that led to the following train of thought:

Things I miss about England –
The huge used bookstore in Carlisle.
Walking up into Shrewsbury town centre from our flat, which provided my daily exercise. I remember thinking that when I could walk up the hill and not get winded, then I had arrived. I don’t know if that ever happened, but it did get a lot easier.
Window shopping as I walked. Shrewsbury has some great little shops that I could never afford to buy from, but I loved walking past the windows.
Feeding the swans on the River Severn – this activity was our regular date night. Swans are quite mean you know . . . and their babies are adorable.
Driving to the different villages and towns to explore on Mark’s days off. This was especially nice when we were living in Carlisle in the Lake District.
Spending a lot more time with Mark.
Listening to the rain.
Getting the monthly free magazines from ASDA, Tesco, and Morrison’s that featured whichever fruit and veg were in seasons and recipes for them.
Listening to Keane every night as I cooked and hoped that Mark might be home in time for dinner.
Walking home from work and smelling all the Indian takeaways as they began their nightly cooking.
The Oxfam bookstore where I could easily find a good (or decent book) for as little as a pound.
Chatting with the customers in the bookshop and laughing with my co-workers, even as they constantly teased me for my expressions and accent.
Volunteering at the missions organization in Carlisle.
Chatting with Mark’s nieces and nephews.
The beauty and history of England. I would walk over the English bridge into town and picture how it would be 1000 years ago.

And lots more . . . did I mention chocolate, or the Starbucks overlooking the castle in Edinburgh, or all the flowers??? šŸ™‚

The grass is certainly greener in England.

As I look back to how hard of a time Mark and I had in our decision making regarding whether to move back to Colorado or not, I realize that really, we could have gone either way and been happy either way. I told Mark that I could have lived in Shrewsbury forever. Yet we never considered it, because we knew that it was our gift from God place where we were supposed to spend our first year of marriage. It was our time to cement our relationship (which is biblical by the way. In the Old Testament, husbands stayed home from war for the first year of their marriage to be with their brides.) So as happy as I was working in the bookshop and as much as we loved the beauty of Shrewsbury, we knew it wasn’t where we were to live forever. And interestingly enough, neither of us really ever wanted to live in Carlisle, but the 6 months that we spent there were really great. We loved the church there, we had friends there, I was happy volunteering, we loved being around Mark’s family, and we could see ourselves settling in one of the villages nearby. However, two issues stood in the way – a.) a lack of work for Mark and b.) Mark’s old life was Carlisle. And seeing that he was still a young Christian at the time, he didn’t want to settle in a place where all the old stuff existed. I understood that.

So we moved to Longmont . . . where I spent all of my years from age 13 to 21. šŸ™‚ Kind of funny. I have very good memories in Longmont. But I don’t love it here. This is not my home . . . we’re just passing through . . . and I weekly tell Mark that I don’t want to live and die here. šŸ™‚

Yet I am making more good memories here. I’m not attached to our house, but I love the memories we’re making here. I love how Zoya and Ryder have a big backyard to explore and make their own. I’m thankful that we’re warm and have what we need. I appreciate that my parents are 5 minutes on one side of us and Grams is 5 minutes on the other. I like having a short drive to work. I’m thankful. And I’m realizing that no, we’re not going to live in Longmont till we’re 80 (Lord willing), but the grass is as green as we make it. We’re learning that both literally and figuratively. šŸ™‚ England will always be a part of us, but where we end up is up to God in the end. How I make the most of my time in that place is up to me really.

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