I meant to post this on August 9th, but somehow the 20th anniversary of the Walshes moving to Virginia slipped my mind!
|In front of my grandparent's house before the trip|
It was twenty years ago that my family packed it's bags and took the drive over the mountains with three kids, two cats, two cars, one hamster and one friend for my dad to start his job as Professor of Social Work at VCU. I remember the drive because it was the only time we took two cars to and from Ohio, and I remember making a sign while I was in my dad's car (I believe it was an 80's Ford Tempo or something to that nature) that said "Bomb on Car" (think of Speed's "Bomb on Bus" sign) that I pressed against the back window to play a joke on my brothers in the van. I am sure they thought it was hilarious. I also remember the cats were miserable and could only eat ice so as not to throw up in the car and meowed most of the way. Then we stayed the night in a hotel in Richmond before my parents closed on the house and my brother's hamster, Gus, got lost in the house overnight. We found him a week later with a gash in his eye. He died shortly after. Don't worry, he replaced him with another hamster after only a few days.
We moved from here...
|The shutters were blue when we lived here.|
(sorry I have to use google maps- apparently I don't have any scanned pictures of the house)!
It's crazy to think it has been that long. I distinctly remember skateboarding down our new driveway colliding with all the boxes we had, the first time visiting our new schools, making fun of people saying "ya'll" because it sounded SO southern (of course I say it all the time now), and wondering how long it would take for Virginia to feel like home.
Virginia has been a home and has been a great home since 1993. It gave me my wonderful set of friends, the great teachers I had growing up, soccer, swimming, singing groups, UVA, VCU, and the great historical sites and vacation destinations. There were times when I was growing up that I wondered if my life would have been different or better if we had stayed in Ohio, closer to family and the friends that my parents had met over the years (they are both born and raised in Ohio). Would I be doing the same thing I do now? Where would I have gone to school? What other people would I have met? What activities would I have gotten into? It's fun and mindbending to think about the What ifs but that can be said for any decision or path you take in life. You simply never know what the alternative would have been like. That's life. I know the move was hard for my parents and middle brother, but time heals all wounds, and I know that we have all come to love and call Virginia home. It's been nice to feel like I have had TWO homes for so long.
I was thinking on my run today about if I identify myself as an Ohioan or Virginian, midwestern girl or east coast gal, and I honestly identify with both. I think I have more of an east coast mindset in terms of needing to be busy, working fast, and loving to travel and explore, but I am definitely not southern, so many of my mannerisms, dialect and views are based on my early years in the midwest. So I guess I am a mutt- a Virohian! I still defend my two states any chance I feel they are being downcast, and I love Ohio State and Columbus. I could see myself moving there someday (if only it wasn't so far from a beach...)!
I am who I am because of moving to Virginia on that fateful day twenty years ago, and that is the best thing of all.
|Marge and I visiting the KAO house on a trip to Columbus for a game in 2008.|