Houston, TX holds a special place in my heart. We moved to this humid and hot city after living in the idyllic town of Sequim, Washington following our return from South Africa. I thought that living in Houston was going to be miserable, instead our life there was filled with magical moments.
The greatest gift that Houston gave us was Casey, our late Golden Retriever. We found Casey in one of the wonderful parks of Houston. Someone apparently had left him there and Eykis. our African Rhodesian Ridgeback, started to play with him so we took him home and tried to find his owner. Casey filled our lives with joy for the following seven years.
Now, there we were in Houston again; this time serving as our gate to Cuenca, Ecuador and the next step in our journey. We drove to Houston to minimize Star's exposure to planes and to the stress of traveling. And it was nice to be there again. Bob and I reminisced about all that has happened during the years since we left this city and were amazed at all we've done in just 11 years.
In July of 2000 we moved away from Houston to Norwalk, CT and I worked in NY City for a while and took the train every day. I thought I would hate doing it; and, as it turns out, I loved everything about this experience with the exception of the job :-)!
After just six months we moved to Oakville, CT about an hour away from Norwalk and I started a job I loved deeply. Careerwise it was the most rewarding time of my life. Bob got a Masters degree in Education during this time, something he had always wanted to do; he taught at the local middle school and high school and then at the local college and he also continued running his franchising practice. We were both very busy and accomplished a lot while in Connecticut. We had wonderful neighbors and loved our home.
However the journey had to continue and in December 2003 we moved to Tallahassee, FL. I always had said I would never move to Florida and here we were in Tally and loving it. We made so many wonderful friends there. Bob taught at FL State and continued with his practice while I took time to reflect. It was during this time that the idea of The YES Effect was in September 2006. This time we headed to Greenville, SC.
Greenville is a nice place, but we had two of our greatest losses while living there. October of 2006, just a month after we arrived, Casey died. Eykis died May 2007. These were very sad times. Yet, we also had some wonderful moments and made great friends. I got involved with a great project called Dream Catchers and worked with aspiring business owners with The YES Effect. I also rejoined Bob's franchising practice in a more involved manner. Greenville is very close to Asheville, NC and we went there every weekend. In 2008 we decided to move to Asheville and build a house there...
My love for Asheville grew with every second I spent there. This is my heart city, no doubt. And, as I have shared in another post, part of my heart will always be there.
Do you see a pattern? With the exception of Asheville I initially tend to say NO to wherever we move. You would think that once I found a place that validates my beliefs and engages my joy at so many levels that I would never leave. Yet, it's easy to be joyful under those circumstances and I was. The trick in life, however, is to learn to be joyful at all times and regardless of the situation. To learn to say YES to life is my journey and with Asheville it was easy... But easy is not always what we need in order to grow.
11 years since we left Houston... 11 years packed full of love, work, friendship, adventure, change, challenges, losses, and magic! Cuenca, here we are for more... May you teach me how to say YES to all.