Emerging in Ocala

We’ve been living in a rental in Ocala, Florida’s historic district for three weeks.

We have icicle lights lining our roof, Christmas wreaths with red bows on our doors. Our 2015 Toyota Sienna van (Queen B) is parked outside, and if I remember correctly, a balance bike and two balls are still out in the front yard.

Moses just turned four, Estella is counting the days until her next birthday and is busy and creative, adapting adapting adapting so much it makes my heart swell and break. My, the world has turned upside down for us all, literally as well as metaphorically.

I, like most of you parents with small kids, have been treading water/suffocating/stifled/overwhelmed/underwhelmed/grateful/anxious/sad/furious/hopeful/lethargic/exhausted.

I’ll be forty in April 2021, and when I look back on my life since 1981, the last decade has brought the most changes and the least margin for myself. I am confused as to what I enjoy, what I look good in, what my metabolism or hormonal patterns are anymore. My hair is long and crazy and unruly, and I’ve been suffering from out of shapeness, as well as TMJ. I sleep with a mouth guard now and try to run at least twice a week to keep my butt where it once sat proudly.

My Dutch husband and children have just spent the last five months of their lives in the US, and have weathered a Florida summer, an international move, living with my parents, a 6 week green card-related separation, a job interview, and a move to Ocala, Florida, where Frans will be ordained to become an Episcopal priest sometime next year.

Last night I grabbed Frans’s head as he lay peacefully reading something on his phone in the bed next to me, and tried to see the man I met one summer nine years ago in Knoxville, Tennessee. He looked at me worriedly while I studied him, and I said, “Frans of the Tennessee river, did you ever think that you would be celebrating your son’s fourth birthday in Ocala, Florida on your way to becoming an episcopal priest?” We laughed incredulously.

I also laugh incredulously when I think that most of this year I’ve been homeschooling and that we moved with 10 suitcases of possessions.

Just trying to keep up over here. I know blogs are outdated and not what people are really doing these days, but when I don’t write, I am three faded copies of myself, and plus I have wise and smart friends who keep encouraging me to keep this thing going, so here is my written equivalent of the overalls girls of the 90s wore in high school that somehow came back two years after I’d finally thrown mine out. Maybe blogs will be so 2025 and mark the beginning of a better time for all of us.

10 thoughts on “Emerging in Ocala

  1. I do love hearing you in your writing. I hope we can chat one day and share as we have done in the past. I miss it someday! Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family.

  2. I do love hearing you in your writing. I hope we can chat one day and share as we have done in the past. I miss it someday! Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family.

  3. I do love hearing you in your writing. I hope we can chat one day and share as we have done in the past. I miss it someday! Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family.

  4. Lieve Erin,

    Wat goed dat je weer aan het schrijven bent! Ik ga het zeker regelmatig lezen.
    De kinderen zijn heel hard aan het hopen dat we jullie ooit een keer in Florida kunnen opzoeken, dus wie weet…

    Heel veel liefs en groeten uit Woudenberg,

    Annet (&kids & husband)

    • Jay! Fijn dat je hebt me weer gevonden. Ik probeer zo veel als mogelijk to schrijven. Heb je ook instagram?
      Veel liefs van ons!

      • Nee we hebben geen Instagram. Wel afgelopen zondag de dienst van Frans van 28 december gekeken. Heel bijzonder omdat we net deze zomer in Verdun geweest zijn. Heel mooie dienst zo! Doe Frans ook de groeten.

        Liefs Annet

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