One summer evening in 2013, Emilija was fast asleep while Joe and I daydreamed together in the living room. We had both been feeling tinges of restlessness and were looking for something new. We had been long considering a relocation and had been looking for new jobs .... really, anywhere. Our top choices were near family but we were open for anything. We were waiting and ready for something to hit us over the head.
Part of the decision was considering Emilija and where to raise a family. With that in mind, this particular evening Joe and I started to reminisce over our own childhoods. We both were raised in small towns. We grew up with salt-of-the-earth people. Everybody knows everybody and is never too busy to chat. Places where countless hours of your childhood are spent outside with nature. We realized in this moment we wanted the same thing for our children.
I paused and reflected. But I was swiftly pulled out of my own thoughts with those of Joe. He was thinking out loud and going on and on. Smile smeared across his face, he talked endlessly of his juvenile memories. I stared at him with appreciation of this being the first time in months he genuinely seemed happy. He loved where he grew up, no denying it. And then something happened that I will never forget. As Joe spoke, for a split second, I saw a twinkle in his eye. I double-glanced because it caught me off guard. A twinkle in his eye? Isn't that like love at first sight? It sounds whimsical and straight out of a fairytale and completely imagined. Regardless of doubt, I saw the sparkle and I knew in that moment that we were well on our way to New Hampshire.