This is not a good picture, and it isn't even my "usual" coffee drink, and frankly this particular one gave me such a case of her jitters that took the entire day to shake off, BUT it is here because of the fact that when I pulled up to the window the gal inside leans out and says "you want your usual?" And I just said "yes but make it iced this time, please". And that's the point where I know I've come to be a part of a town. Usually right in time to move. The thing I've learned about moving is that the hard part isn't leaving friends; those stay close in our hearts and Facebook pages. It is much more difficult to part with favorite routines, familiar cashiers, friendly (yet anonymous) faces that become part of our days. And don't even get me started on the kids' teachers, or my dear midwife who delivered Matthew. Sniff sniff.
The best thing I've come to realize is that while these partings are hard, they only mean that there are new faces, places, and favorites yet to be met at the next home; I wouldn't have known any of them if we had just stayed in our little newlywed apartment ten years ago.
One more picture, from Friday, on a related note:
Dear husband patiently smiles while I take casual photos trying to capture the vibe of this little breakfast restaurant we go to from time to time. This has been as close as we get to a date out here - taking the smallest ones and going out to breakfast while the big kids are at school. It is lovely. This place is full of locals and local conversation, and has such a throw-back feel for me - a sense that I was at a place just like this many times before, somewhere.
And that's the beauty of it all. There are some wildly different places throughout this great country but in each one there is a thread of the familiar and always a chance to feel at home.