Thursday, June 10, 2010


Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.
Stand up and walk out of your history.-- Phil McGraw

I was asked why we moved around so much.  The answer is complicated, but it is part of our history and since I am looking at our life without flinching, I have to write about it.   Aside from the drinking, James' itchy feet was one of the great issues of our marriage.  There is a country song that describes our relationship perfectly, titled My Elusive Dreams:
       You followed me to Texas,
       You followed me to Utah,
       We didn't find it there so we moved on.
       Then you went with me to A-la-bam',
       Things looked good in Birmingham,
       We didn't find it there so we moved on.
       I know you're tired of fol-low-ing
       My elusive dreams and schemes
       For they're only fleeting things,
       My elusive dreams.....
In Twelve Step Recovery they called moving around "geographic cures."  The truth is that Jim was always ready to move on when things weren't going well.  And drinking played into a lot of decisions--he'd get caught up in a dream or idea, or he would get mad at a family member or his actions on the job would be about to catch up with him.

I have to say that I played my role in this.  At first I'd fight the idea of moving, but once the die was set, there was nothing I could do but pack up and go, I'd get caught up in the adventure of being "enroute," and believed that maybe this time things would be better.  The first move was the hardest because I had spent the first 19 years of my life in the same town, but he was persuasive, and he was, after all, my prince and what else could I do but jump on his white steed and charge off into the future?  We took a dog and a cat with us.  I remember the cat kept running off at the rest areas, so Jim hooked the cat to the dog by a leash.

Sometimes we were crazy--taking off not knowing where we were going or how we were going to get there.  If it occurred to us that this was not normal behavior, and that we probably could use some professional help, we ignored the thought.  However, God always seemed to watch over us and we landed on our feet, though we scared ourselves at times.

It wasn't until after I started college and got into Recovery, that I was able to put a stop to the impulsive moving.  We had been in Amarillo Texas for several years and he decided to move to OK, again.  I told him he could go but I wasn't leaving school mid-semester.  He stayed.  I didn't know that all I had to do was refused to go to stop him in his tracks.  I could have used that information a long time ago.  After he went through alcoholism treatment we moved to Arizona for 9 years before we returned to the Northwest.

By the grace of God, we recovered from the insanity of our youth, and we settled down in to more normal behavior and bought a house.  I always yearned for a home of my own, but James was happy as a renter--a mortgage would tie him down, even though we had pretty much settled down.  I had to talk him into looking at this house, and amazingly, when James saw it, he made up his mind immediately that this was the house for us; we made an offer on it without looking at anything else.  We got a very good deal and put a lot of work in it.  It turned out it was the perfect house for us.  I am sooo grateful for my home, and that I can be part of a community and church.  Rolling stones gather no moss, and they don't make many friends either.  The best gift I have for staying in one place is many friends.  I am grateful.

(The picture is of Jim and the kids when he was a trucker; he did look good in a cowboy hat.)


  1. It sounds like the two of you really stuck it out and grew together. I'm glad both of you were able and wiling to do that, because a long history as a couple is such a valuable thing to share in a relationship.


  2. In spite of all the moves, James was obviously employable, enabling you to finally buy a home! Great picture of him and all your cute little kids!

  3. Just spent some time reading your blog. Honey, you have a great gift from God for writing. Your writing is seamless, moving, understandable. You are generous to share your gift.