Two Years and Two Thousand Miles

June 1, 2021

Two years ago today, after traveling to the Nashville area—often multiple times a month—for nearly two decades, I was finally able to convince my wife (and her brother, Brandon) that we should call this amazing area our home… So that I wouldn’t have to travel so much anymore—is that selfish?

I joke a lot, but moving our entire operation and respective families two thousand miles away (and all that followed) was no joke at all. There were a lot of adjustments and a lot of tears. The timing for everything was both perfect and strange. Though I could fill a book, I’m just going to give you the table of contents.

It’s Just Temporary

We arrived the first day of June in 2019 because the school we wanted to enroll our kids into required a face-to-face meeting with our whole family. Our previous school year wasn’t even finished and neither was our new house. No big deal, we’ll just stay in a hotel for a few days. It’s just temporary. Sparing the details, those few days turned into a few months.

That’s right, our temporary stay in a hotel where all four of our kids shared just two beds lasted over 90 days. Our kids started their next school year while still living in a hotel. My wife made school lunches with a mini-fridge, the top of a dresser, and a bathroom sink.

We lived out of suitcases filled with summer clothes long into winter while the rest of our clothes rested peacefully in a full-size semi-trailer at a storage yard somewhere in Nashville. They wouldn’t let us access anything at all, not even some of the kids’ toys to play with or a jacket as things cooled down. The only way we could access our stuff would be to have the trailer delivered and for us to unpack it in its entirety. I don’t think the hotel would have appreciated that.

A Welcomed Blessing

After three months, our house still wasn’t ready. But we were absolutely ready to be done with a hotel. So we moved into a rental house. You already know that we couldn’t access the furniture we owned, and since this was only going to be temporary, we didn’t want to move a trailer full of stuff twice. Continuing with my theme of being wrong, we ended up being in the rental for another few months. Although I am convinced that I did permanent damage to my body by sleeping on an air mattress for three months, having privacy again, and enjoying home-cooked dinners as a family in our makeshift dining room (consisting of a folding table and folding chairs) was a welcomed blessing.

Finally, after half a year had passed, we were finally able to move into our house. Construction was still happening, but this too would only be temporary. Besides, we could finally have the trailer delivered. Our kids had forgotten about so many of their toys and other things that had been stored for six months, that it was like Christmas. Which I thought was providential since it happened to also be the Christmas season. I thought we might be able to get away with no new presents, however, the wife wasn’t feeling that idea.

Finally Settled In

Anyway, we’re finally settled in, right? Seriously, are you seeing the pattern here? After being vagabonds for half of 2019, 2020 started off with a bang that I am going to skip over to avoid PTSD. And you all already know what was beginning to brew beyond just our own family’s situation.

Before we even had a couch set up in our living room, furniture stores, churches, and restaurants were already shutting their doors. But this would only be for a couple of weeks. You know, temporary. So, no big deal here. I fear the word temporary is starting to lose its punch.

The plan was to get my family all settled in and then get to work on where the Syntax headquarters would be as well as hire the additional help that we needed. The fine folks at Syntax had been working from internet cafes, public libraries, Brandon’s house, and really anywhere that we wouldn’t get the cops called on us for loitering. Because, again, this was only going to be temporary, right? I’m exhausted.

Why don’t you watch this video instead:

The point is… Two years in, we finally feel settled. That feels good and we wanted to share that with you.

Thank you

There are so many people that helped make all of this possible. Here are just a few that I’d like to mention by name: Tiffany, Tremon, Tolan, Tabytha, and Taylanor Trudeau. Steve & Renee Trudeau. Grandpa Bean. Brandon Musser. Ephraim & Tavin Trudeau. Kevin & Kim Sparkman. Doug & Marisol Piete. Ron Ozog. Todd Burns. Sunny & Carrie Hicks. Jake & Becca Avila. Richard McDade. Colleen McDade. Pete Jameson. Dan & Jeanie O’Dell. Edgar Manuel. Guy. Zach Jameson & Crew. Ian Polanco. Stuart Breeden. Jeremiah Bonds. Jim Clark. Greg McKinney. Greg Davidson. Scott Wagner. Melissa Riddle-Chalos. Rick & Margie Padelford. Jerry & Susan Merica-Jones. Perry Hamlet. Jim Coffer. Tom Loch. Tyler Allen. Todd Jackson. Calvin Bishop. Mark Mankey. Trisha Shoulders.

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CEO of Syntax Creative. I like to build things and hear people laugh. I should have worded that better.