While I've already written about 14 separate topics, there are still so many things that I could write that I'll miss about San Diego.
I'll miss the abundance of year-round fresh produce. I'll miss the beautiful and huge cumulus clouds that develop over the east county in the summer. I'll miss the palm trees. I'll miss sitting in our backyard and watching the sunset with Charlie.
I'll miss our church. I'll miss the eastern sunrise that floods our home with soft light. I'll miss the view of a blooming hydrangea from our bedroom window. I'll miss apple picking in Julian in the fall. I'll miss taking the train up and down the coast. I'll miss camping with our good friends.
I should have started this in reverse order, counting down to the #1 thing that I'll miss the most about San Diego. But when I started, I had no idea how many "things" there would be, although I did always know what would be on the very TOP of my list.
This past week, as we were wrapping up the final details (that! never! seemed! to! end!) at our home and preparing for our drive cross-country, the doorbell and telephone rarely stopped ringing. Much like a funeral, there was a steady stream of people coming to say goodbye and it was very difficult. Much more difficult than I expected.
Thankfully, I didn't cry.
(At least not in front of anyone.)
(Because it's unlikely I would have stopped.)
(And I'm not really a "quiet" crier.)
Over the years, while Charlie and I have lived so far from our immediate family, we have developed some very close friendships with a number of people. People who would come to our home on all of the big holidays - and gather around our table - or invite us to sit around theirs.
People who would offer to watch the children so we could go see a movie, or spend some quiet time regaining our senses. People who would drop in with pizza and wine. People who would offer to help move large pieces of furniture, install cabinets, or watch the house while we were out of town.
People who welcomed us in to their lives and hearts.
I will really miss people like our soft-spoken neighbor, Sydney.
And our fun and encouraging neighbors, Tom and Dawn.
I will miss the inspirational Wheelers.
And the awesome Pultoraks.
I'll miss the wonderful Fousts.
And Virginia, who has become a surrogate mother and grandmother to our family and always came to visit, with a pie or cake in hand.
I will also miss my friendship with my fellow triplet moms and the people in their lives.
I will miss the extra hands and abundant cheerfulness of Grandma Shirley and Stevie.
While I've been fortunate to connect with a lot of incredible triplet families....
The relationship that I have developed with three triplet mothers in particular, who have children the same exact age as ours, is almost beyond words.
While I'm sure I would have survived the first five years of my children's lives without their friendship and support, they have made this special time in my life much so much more fun.
The four of us have been getting together routinely for play dates since our children were infants - and over the years - we have forged a bond that I never dreamed possible.
With 14 children between the four of us, we have celebrated countless birthdays together.
(Actually, it's been about 15 - give or take a few w/o parties).
We have toured all over San Diego County in search of adventure.
We have participated in home school studies together.
And while our husbands were home with the children, the four of us have consumed our body weights in much-needed sweets (and wine) at some of the finest restaurants in town.
Thank you (and your wonderful children) for everything.
Thank you for your friendship and your camaraderie. Thank you for listening and often, howling with laughter, at the stories I could never write on my blog. Thank you for talking and sharing and for at least those times we're together, making me feel normal.
Thank you for being a part of our lives and helping to develop such wonderful childhood memories for our children.
Thank you for sharing the fun with us.
Thank you for opening your homes to us.
Thank you for working so hard to keep our friendship(s) alive and strong.
Of all the things that I'll miss about San Diego, what I'll miss most of all isn't a "thing." What I'll miss the most are the friends and neighbors that over the past 16-years, have become our family.
Friends are the family that we choose for ourselves.
- Edna Buchanan.
Now you know our door in Virginia is always open and we fully expect you to come visit, right?
Okay then. We'll see you in January.
Don't forget your mittens.