Fleeting Moments

OK, so I admit I have been sluggish at best with my efforts to write posts of late. Props to my lovely wife for keeping things updated for everyone. I would promise to be better about it, but I’m sure that I won’t be so I will instead diligently stay the course to the best of my ability.DSC00592

My motivation for sitting down to write today was really a moment of recognition as it relates to the fleeting moments in life. As we hang over the precipice between the United States and Belgium, I took a few minutes to reflect.

Since moving to the beach four years ago, I have been particularly enamored with, of all things, the pelicans. They are, in my most uneducated estimation, some of the most excellent formation fliers on the planet. Ducks and geese are pretty cool, but they don’t hold a candle to the consistency and grace of the pelicans. Their lines are always straight, their spacing even, and their seeming intuitive understanding of when a partner is going to descend from the formation for an abrupt water landing is impeccable. Before we left North Carolina, I was fortunate enough to see a team of four pelicans effortlessly making their way up the island with me as I rode my bike one last time on the long, flat beach roads. It was a quiet but strong reminder that our time at the beach was coming to an end and our view of the world and its inspiring moments was soon to be substantially altered.

Tracy and I seem to have chosen a life that revolves around and thrives on change. I think I have largely interpreted this as a hallmark of resiliency and confirmation of our self-awareness, but I also like to think that it means we try to appreciate the nuances and details of our current perspective better than many. I’m glad that I noticed the pelicans again the other day and I’m especially glad that I recognized their unique place in my perspective and my time living on a North Carolina beach.

20140706_192221I will step back from the serenity of that fleeting moment and focus again on the many chaotic moments since then. During one of the craziest, most stressful, and most sleep-deprived weeks of my life, Tracy and I packed and sent our belongings to Belgium, sold two cars, organized and reorganized our long term storage unit, said our final good-byes, and drove north to the Washington, DC metro area in a rental car for the final time in the foreseeable future.

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After a brief stay with family and few warm send-offs with some family and friends we packed (and re-packed) a few of our bags and headed north to Minnesota for a week of fun, sun, and fishing. It was definitely refreshing to spend a stress-free week in a beautiful location with Tracy’s parents, and of course the Malamutes! I was struck by the simplicity of our visit, we enjoyed good food, good fun, and good company without a worry for what time it was or what was left on our agenda. When I wasn’t trying to slalom ski behind the pontoon boat, I was fishing in a rowboat on the little lake. I can’t describe a much more serene setting than that for me!

20140722_204614Following the isolated bump in the road caused by a canceled departing flight, we headed south to a place where everything is bigger (especially the temperature) for a week with my family and a few of Tracy’s siblings. We toddler-chased, top-golfed, and ducked and goosed like there was no tomorrow. We took some much needed dips in the pool, enjoyed a slumber party fit for a princess, and caught up on some much needed Tex-Mex. Before we knew it, tomorrow was today and we had to say a few more good-byes before making our way back to Washington-Dulles Airport, no worse for wear but maybe a little tired.

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We’re now in the 48-hour window until departure and I think excitement is the name of the game. Tracy has told me several times that our move won’t be real for her until we find a place to call and make home in Brussels. I can and do appreciate her sentiment, but I think for me reality has already started to sink heavily in. We’re out of jobs, cars, and a home, and the only option is to continue on the course we’ve set. We’re ready, although I’m sure we’ll quickly realize what we could and should have done to be just that little bit more prepared.

I am particularly excited to have a few minutes tonight to reflect on the fleeting, but powerful moments that have transpired for us in the last few weeks. Thank you to all of you who took the time and made the (sometimes lofty) effort to send us off in style. For those we didn’t get a chance to see or say “see-you later” to, thank you for understanding that time was fleeting and we wish we could have found a way to link up with you all. We look forward to serving as hosts to all of you willing and able to jump the pond and visit in Brussels.

See you on the other side,

Alex