Moving Into Our Nextness – Island County Here We Come!

Some of you have heard our news – The Bennett’s are moving!

This started a few months ago… Well, honestly it was before that. It really started in late winter. We were ready to pursue the answers of the complex questions, “Where to we want to be?” and “What do we want to do?” These were questions that Jen and I began to walk toward on quite Saturday mornings.  Armed with coffee mugs, prayer, honesty, and courage we began to explore what the next phase of life/ministry/work might look and feel like. Months passed.

One morning we got a shocking email which forced our hand.  Here’s the previous post about that. “…A couple weekends ago, my dad passed away. My bothers and sisters and I have decided to sell the house. Our timetable is 3 to 6 months, so you have some time….” That was not expected on a hectic Tuesday morning. After I could breathe again, I could only think this one thing “How are we gonna tell the boys.” After a few days the shock wore off and we told the boys over a homemade brunch buffet. There were many tears. I think we left them enough space to begin to grieve the move.

Segway: You might be wondering, “Why don’t just stay in the neighborhood? Why not keep the kids in the same schools?” Well in Queen Anne the houses that have 3 or more bedrooms are going for about $1800/bedroom. In the past 4 1/2 years housing in Seattle has skyrocketed. We rode the cheap rent train to the last stop.

After the news settled in with all of us we began the dreaming process as a family. We looked a different communities around Seattle.  For the most part we looked north of the city.  We asked ourselves “Where could be see ourselves living? Could we go to school there? Is this house a good fit for the people we are and want to be?”  We liked several of them of the places we looked, but we were left with “meh.” We kept dreaming.

Then came the Island. Someone suggested Whidbey Island to Jen. On a whim she checked rental prices. They were comparable to what we were looking for. So boldly we set up an appointment to see some properties around Oak Harbor. Our favorites were on or near the water. (I know, really? On the water, of course they were our favorites!) We decided on the one that had more space and has a community clubhouse with a boat launch and beach access. Here’s the view from the kitchen.



This is the first place we’ve felt at home since we left Michigan. Don’t get me wrong there’s things about Seattle I love. The food and beverage industry are overwhelmingly outstanding. It’s a foodie’s dream! At some level though I have not been able to land here deep within my being. We’ve made this house on W Raye St our home, but we always knew there was something missing. When we were driving around Whidbey it was like our hearts were singing.

Here’s a story about that day that I love telling. We were driving around our soon to be neighborhood and we met a man walking his dog. Instinctively the man and I waved at each other. From the back Joel asked “Daddy, do you know that man?” In unison Jen and I Sienfelded¹ him, “That’s the thing! People acknowledge each other in public! They just wave! They don’t stare at the ground and cross the street at a snail’s pace without looking.” We will be thawing out from the Seattle Freeze shortly.

While looking at homes we all embraced the dreaming process. Graeme scouted the biggest bedrooms and hangout spaces, Joel checked out the closets, and Levi laid on the carpet. I imagined where I could set up my homebrewing and tools. Jen mused about where she could create beautiful things. We all oogled at the expansive kitchens and living spaces we came across.

Today is moving day.  Our hearts are full of so much.  It is bitter-sweet.  Today we walk into our Nextness.

Thanks for stopping by.  Be Uncommon.



¹ We high talked/high yelled our response.