I’m in a roll-with-the-punches sort of mode. I’ve done this about 8 times in my life, and it never gets any easier. In fact, as I get older, I’m much more cognizant of how relocation impacts me, my pocketbook and my social circle. It’s not a decision I take lightly any more. When I was younger, I was like, “Woohoo!! Where’s the wind blowing me now?” I still have some of that feeling. The breeze of change is messing with my curls and making me feel like a free spirit, but I’m on an emotional roller coaster. I’ve spent as much time this weekend sobbing as I have with this gigantic smile on my face, and I know both are perfectly normal. The next two weeks will be brutal and amazing and sad and incredibly exciting.
My phone has been blowing up for four days with calls and texts and social media notifications from here in Louisiana and Texas and there in Michigan and Indiana. One group of friends is dreading saying goodbye, and another group is asking how they can help me get settled. Technology makes this so much easier. The first six moves I made, I knew I was leaving friends behind that I would likely never see again. We’d chat on the phone a couple of times, maybe send some letters or emails, but the friendship would fade away as new friendships took their place. As I was leaving my Meetup Group friends today, we decided we should have some virtual coffee dates when I get up north. It’s not exactly the same, but I can tell you it’s pretty darn close. That’s very comforting.
My friend Autumn and I are already planning on heading to Jolly Orchards this fall for apple pie. That place makes the best apple pie I have ever put in my mouth. As I was sweating my butt off today walking at noon, I imagined the leaves turning colors, sipping apple cider and eating a big old piece of apple pie with ice cream. I spent 20 minutes with my friend AnneMarie debating whether we should get snowshoes or cross-country skis for winter hiking. Cross country skis are more popular, and I can more easily find companions, but snowshoes are more stable and less likely to cause an injury. I don’t know… I’m thinking I’ll get both. What the hell?
I’m already looking forward to stopping at Cafe Tosi’s on the way in to work to grab a mocha on snowy mornings. I’ve asked my girlfriends here to plan a trip to Chicago on the City of New Orleans for Christmas shopping on Michigan Avenue. We’ll get hot chocolate and mess up our boots with street sludge. I can’t wait to see their faces when we go by the fabulously decorated windows at Macys (formerly Marshall Fields). Oh yeah, and my sister is coming up next summer so we can do the Lake Michigan Circle tour. Maybe we’ll even take the ferry across Lake Michigan just for kicks. I’ve never done either.
My mouth is watering thinking of Garrett’s popcorn, Chicago-style hot dogs, and double-dipped chocolate-covered peanuts from South Bend Chocolate Company. I want to ride the carousel down at Silver Beach, ride my friend Marv’s Harley down the coast and head over to Ann Arbor to visit with my friend Nancy. And I want to meet Veronica in Grand Rapids and my cousin near Kalamazoo. Oh yeah, and Ann comes up every other week to work, so I look forward to hanging out with her frequently. To boot, there are several St. Joe folks that have become acquainted with me via my blog, and I’ll be meeting them for the first time soon. This is going to be so fun!
It tugs at my heart when I turn to leave my friends here because I’m not really sure if I’ll see them again before moving. I don’t know the relocation plan yet, so it’s all up in the air. I visited my friend Jean Ann this weekend, and I was sad when I left because we just didn’t do this as much as I would have liked while I was here. There’s no time to make it up now. My family is planning get-togethers to say goodbye, and I know my schedule is going to get full quick. For the next little while I’ll have a permanent frog stuck in my throat. My normal ration of Kleenex will at least double. And I dread the actual moment of driving away. That is usually the hardest part. It will not be pretty.
I remembered yesterday that I needed to check the expiration date on my passport. This job will require my presence in India and Mexico as well as Michigan. But don’t tell my parents. They think it’s Indiana and New Mexico, and I’m not telling them otherwise. I also have to start purging my house of things I don’t want to move, decide if I want to buy or rent and head over to the Dillard’s Outlet center to get some bargains on winter boots, coats and sweaters. Nobody needs that stuff here, so I should be able to get them for a steal!
I feel really blessed that Whirlpool will make this move easy and so much less expensive than the one 3 years ago. They want me to concentrate on work, so they take care of virtually everything. Of course, there are things they can’t do like deal with utility companies, get my new Michigan driver’s license and vehicle registration and close on a house. But I’ll only need to pack a bag and my fur babies for the drive up.
Change is in the air. And it will be quick. I start August 8 and work virtually until I get settled. So, I’m rolling with the punches until I find myself settled in a house near Benton Harbor. It’s my favorite way to roll!
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