A trip up I-81 and down memory lane

A panoramic shot from one of our friend’s houses where we watched a beautiful sunset.

A weekend in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

Hi, its me, Mel. I’m sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. Did you know that getting ready for a life changing move across the world can be stressful and take up lots of time and planning? Haha, well that’s where my brain has been lately. But I knew I needed to talk to you all a bit before I get back to preparing for Saudi.

Naomi a few miles in to our stop and go, up and down the mountains, trip that made her little tummy upset 🙁

A few weekends back, Joel, Naomi and I headed back to Chambersburg for a short weekend trip. Back story: for those of you who don’t know Joel and I used to live in Chambersburg Pennsylvania. Chambersburg is located about 20 miles across the Maryland border. Right after we got married we moved to Pennsylvania for a job that Joel got with JLG. We lived in Chambersburg for 4 years. We LOVED it.

Now if  you know us you know that we didn’t particularly love the city we lived in, but we loved everything around us. We were 45 minutes from Gettysburg where we would frequently ride our bikes, or just spend time on the battlefield, an hour and a half away from Washington DC, super close to so many wineries (doesn’t really get much better than that), and just so close to so many historical places and beautiful scenery. But this weekend wasn’t about that. We went back to see our second family.

Can you even drive on I-81 in Pennsylvania without getting stuck in traffic because of an accident?

Reuniting with our first friend in Pennsylvania

Before moving into our townhouse, Joel had been in contact with this guy who was going to be in his army unit. Joel didn’t know much about him other than he was going to probably be working with him quite a bit. On the day that we were set to move into our townhouse in Chambersburg it was quite possibly the hottest day of the year, and even though we had our moms with us to help us move, we still had to move furniture into a 3 story townhouse. We were attempting to figure out how we were going to tackle moving into our new home, when up pulls this guy in an old green Toyota Corolla, he jumps out, introduces himself as Brad, and says he’s here to help us move.

Yup, he became family on the very first day. He SAVED us when he helped us move. What a relief it was to have an extra set of hands. After our move we ended up spending quite a bit of time with Brad and his family. We went to their house in the summers for a few parties and to use their pool. Joel ended up not only closely working with Brad in his army unit, but also at a new job he got at Letterkenny Army Depot. We went to a few Thanksgivings with Becky’s (Brad’s wife) extended family, which ended up being some of the most memorable Thanksgivings we have had to date. So of course we had to spend an evening with Brad and his family. We went to their house for wings, chatted about old times, what we were up to now, and what crazy things we would be doing in the future. It felt like no time had passed since we had seen them last.

A much needed haircut

Ok, so when we left Appleton to come to DC in January I had kind of assumed at the time that I would just find a local place to get my hair trimmed and highlighted once while we were here to just keep my hair fresh. Let me tell you, Appleton prices are NOTHING compared to DC prices. I honestly could have cried.

So I reached out to my hairstylist in Chambersburg who also happened to be a good friend of mine to see if maybe, just maybe she would be around the weekend we were planning to go to Chambersburg to do my hair. Of course, she had that weekend off, BUT that saint of a woman came in on her  weekend off to do my hair and see me! So before meeting up with my hospital friends I got my hair done in my old hair place. It was so eerie how much it felt like I had JUST been there, not like I had left 2 + years ago. It was so amazing to see Tina, and of course she did an absolutely fabulous job with my hair. I will be back to see you whenever we are in DC again!

My Chambersburg work family

Joel is used to just picking up and making a new life for himself somewhere else. Me not so much. The farthest I had ever moved was from Appleton to Milwaukee for college. So this move, while exciting was also pretty nerve wracking for me. In Chambersburg I worked at Chambersburg Hospital, and that is where I met my second family. I worked on the Progressive Care Unit (PCU), I know its named something different now, but I’m sorry C-burg friends, I don’t think I will ever remember to call it that. It will always be PCU to me! Anyway, working on PCU granted me not only so many opportunities and amazing experiences as a nurse but it gave me something even more awesome, an amazing group of friends that I consider family.

After my morning with Tina, Joel, Naomi and I headed off to my friend Kayla’s house (an absolutely beautiful farmhouse) where the rest of my hospital friends who could make it met up with us. Paige, Megan, Trista, Kayla and I were all together again. I’m pretty sure my heart could not have been fuller than afternoon, if possible it might have exploded (thank goodness I was surrounded by a bunch of badass cardiac nurses haha).

We picked up right where we left off. We watched our kids chase after each other and play together. What a crazy thing, we all have kids now and they were playing together, seriously it was so awesome to see. If I could have, I would have frozen time and stayed with my girls for hours upon hours, but the fact that we had this little bit of time together I will forever be thankful for that. Honestly, if I could have stretched that weekend out indefinitely I would have gone around and seen every last one of my Chambersburg friends and coworkers that made such an impact on me when I lived there.

Now I know this post didn’t include any fun tips about great places to eat or visit around Chambersburg, or what playgrounds you should take your kids to if you visit or what wineries you should check out,  but this visit for me was by far the most valuable experience I’ve had since being in DC. It reminded me that I’ve done the whole living somewhere new thing and I made new friends that have become like family. So if I’ve done it before that means I can do it again. So thank you Chambersburg family for embracing us and loving us the way you did and continue to do so to this day. And to my future “families” in my future new homes, I’m really really excited to meet you!

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