Me crying anytime someone brings up Eugene.
There is this Mat Kearney song that says, "I left my heart in Oregon" and I tear up even thinking about it.
We still don't know where we are going. That anxiety can wait for another post. This one is about my last week in Eugene.
I got to go on a gorgeous 20 mile run with three of my dearest friends. They ran all the way to the top of Spencer's Butte with me so that I could kiss it goodbye.
How can I describe how much running in Eugene has meant to me? I don't know how I would have survived without long runs and walks with the best, truest friends a woman could ask for. They have inspired me to run longer and better. They have taught me to be a better mother, and a better person. We have laughed and shared so many stories and wisdom with each other. Even though I am the weakest athlete of the group they always make me feel strong and encourage me in my small victories.
When I was depressed they took me to breakfast and pulled me out of it. What is said on the run stays on the run.
It has been an honor running on the same paths as Olympians and elite runners and recognizing that even though I am never going to win any races that I have my own place in Track Town USA.
I love the beauty of Eugene, the feeling of community, the hippies, the students, the Saturday Market, VooDoo Donuts, and Duck games. All of it has become special to me. It is also where I learned how to be a mom, to cook. to play the ukulele, to make crafts out of garbage. I realized that I have always been a feminist and that I dream one day of being a writer. I learned how to live on a tiny income and still have great joy. I learned by living in student housing that neighbors and ward members can become family.
Nicole and I tried to act normal and the night before she left for her trip to California we went out and checked all the dumpsters for good stuff left out by people moving out. Usually this is one of my favorite things to do, but it was just too sad. We stopped and got ice cream sandwiches and sat in the car until it was late talking like we always do, and then I went home and bawled my eyes out. I can't stand it. I will miss the Wilks too much! And it's not just them. I will miss all my Spencer View family.
|Emily and Katie|
|Audrey and Capri|
|Katie and Ike|
|Kimberly my first friend in Eugene|
|Johnny, Rocky, Leona and Emme|
|Anna and Katie|
|Spencer, Laura, and baby Eleanor|
|Ike and Doug|
That pool party was delightful. I don't remember when I have had so much fun. I can't get over how much I love all those people.
|The sweetest gift|
We moved in with a 4 month old baby Rocky and now look at us.
That apartment was small and dark and not every day was perfect. We experienced a lot of tantrums, sickness, and sleepless nights.
But that isn't what I will remember. I will remember Friday night movie nights, and making pizza, and playing Uno with my babies. I will remember riding bikes to the library and swimming at Amazon pool. I will never forget when we fought to stop Roundup being sprayed where our kids play, and secret book clubs in the community room. I will remember that the bathroom in the community room was haunted, and Thanksgiving meals, and Superbowl parties, Bachelor nights and workout sessions where we were all spread out on our mats. I remember the spirit walk in Eugene that made my Spencer View friends into real friends, hot days in the kiddie pools, and walking together to eat free lunch at the park or at the high school. And I will remember hours sitting together on blankets with incredible people watching our kids grow and being so grateful that I had a village to help me with mine. I loved filling #220 and #73 with friends and I cooked so many big stews so that we could all squeeze in together. I will remember meeting people from all over the world and finding out that even though we had a lot of differences we had so much in common. I will remember how many of my friends supported me by coming to my church, and having dinner with the missionaries and asking questions about it because they wanted to show their love for me.
I will remember laughing so hard that I cry, and crying so hard that it turned into laughter. Every year graduation was like a sword in my soul and this one is the worst of all.
Thank you to everyone who made this experience so wonderful. Thank you to everyone who gave me hand-me-downs, and shared their homes, and mentored my children and made room for us in your lives.
We aren't sure what the next chapter for us will be, but I sure hope it is as great as the last one.