Kirsten and I planned to leave Kansas before we arrived. In 1995, while I was in Air Force technical school, we received orders to McConnell AFB and vowed to leave after my four year enlistment was over. After a year in Wichita we purchased a house. Then Skye was born…then I started school at WSU…then Jenna was born…then Hayley arrived. The four years we planned to stay turned into ten.
We have many memories of the years we lived at 2151 South Poplar and will miss our small house. It is, besides our friends, the only thing about Wichita and Kansas we will miss.
Last Saturday we picked up a 22 foot Penske moving truck and began loading it. We planned to leave Sunday morning but that turned into Sunday night. My great friend Neal helped us load the heavy furniture and appliances and the rest we did ourselves. The truck was packed when we lowered the door for the last time. We ended up giving many items to our neighbor and making many trips to the dumpster.
Sunday night we stayed in Kansas City. When we drove out of Wichita it was just nice to see the city disappear in our rear view mirror. When we got to Missouri we were elated to finally be out of Kansas. By Monday morning those feelings had changed to excitement for our future. The second night we stayed in Indianapolis and, because of difficulties with the hotel manager in Niagara Falls, we drove all the way to Portland the third day. It was nice to watch the trees grow in number and size; the flat plains turn to undulating hills and valleys; and the wheat fields turn into varieties of orchards, fruits, vineyards, and vegetables.
We arrived in Portland very early Wednesday morning. The Hampton Inn here in Saco was kind enough to let us check in twelve hours early so we could eat breakfast, shower, and have much needed naps. Later that day we drove to Cape Elizabeth to see Portland Head Light and then into Portland to check our mail at the post office. We also had fresh chowda at Gilbert’s Chowder House.
Kirsten has been using rent.com, craigslist, and the local paper to find apartments. We were becoming discouraged after seeing the first few until yesterday when we visited an owner-occupied four-unit in Saco. It has hardwood floors throughout, a small island in the kitchen, and a brook running behind the beautifull kept lawns. The owner called yesterday after we got back to our hotel and said we got it based primarily on the excellent behavior of the girls. Yippee! She still has to check references but it looks like we’ll be moving in early next week.
Friday we drove to Old Orchard Beach. The girls LOVED it! At first I thought we’d just look at the beach and told the girls they could roll up their pants if they wanted to wade in the water. Big mistake. After a few minutes they were in up to their necks. So we drove back to the hotel so they could change into their swimming suits. They are super excited that this isn’t a vacation–it’s our home. I’m excited about that too!