Chapter 3

When John and I moved to New York, I wrote a blog post called Chapter 2. Now that we’ve circled back to Minnesota, I figured it would only be right to follow up with another reflection and record of anticipation about our next phase.

It’s a Monday afternoon, a wet and miserable day. The rain isn’t hard, but it just keeps falling! It’s been raining off and on for about a week. On the sunny, in-between days, I got some yard work in. Good thing, too. The weather is really dictating what I get done. Every morning that I wake up to sunshine instead of rain, I immediately grab the rake or pruning shears or Roundup. I’m still waiting to till a spot for my garden and the rain just keeps taunting, singing, “Welcome back to the Midwest, Emily!”

Our new house is only partially put together, despite long work days, help from my mother, and an easy drive to Walmart and the Home Depot. I forgot how systematic decorating and homemaking is! You can’t do Part B until you finish Part A, but as fate would have it, Part A is not in stock at the store and your order won’t arrive for two weeks. Grrrr. So a less-than-desirable amount gets accomplished while I wait for everything to arrive in the correct order. Lucky for me, my last job was editing for trade magazines, so I have been practicing this very type of patience.

Despite my dismal rant, Chapter 3 continues to fill me with excitement and anticipation. How could it not? Everything thus far seems ideal – and Bemidji itself is quite picturesque. Last night was the first in several without rain and John and I broke out our bicycles. We found the bike trail that circles Lake Bemidji but we only made it part way around, stopping at a park instead. We spent dusk sitting in plastic Adirondack chairs watching the chilled lake lap towards us, waves coming within feet of our tennis shoes. Enjoying the sounds of nature while not moving a single muscle is my new favorite type of exercise!

I’d be dishonest if I claimed the only thing I feel is excitement, though. I am less innocent than when I left for New York and common sense and maturity warn that there’s plenty ahead to make me nervous, too. In New York, I sometimes felt like my life was on pause; that I was on an extended honeymoon and nothing I did had consequences because it wasn’t part of my overall character arc.

But we’re in full motion now – and in a big way! Chapter 3 is a more permanent plot point. This isn’t just a scene to establish the personality of the characters. The first turning point is here. The risk happens here. I don’t expect failure; I’m too confident for that (or just cocky). But I know I will need to make adjustments, because I anticipate that this will also be the longest chapter thus far. So I must train for a marathon when I prefer to sprint. And learn to write entire novels instead of blogs and short stories. This chapter will be about patience and pacing, both of which are predominant weaknesses of mine.

To summarize: I enter this phase gladly but carefully, testing the ground a little, because roots sink deep and seeds either drown or grow too fast when the soil is as wet as it is here.

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