I’m a pretty adventurous person. My earliest memories are of a cross-country road-trip from Atlanta to California when I was three years old, and I’ve been drawn to the thrill of the open road (or airport) ever since. My roots are in the South, my heart is in California, and I keep a suitcase partially packed to go wherever the wind takes me. So when I say that I never saw this coming….
We’re being moved to New Jersey. We’ve become part of the diaspora of Americans being displaced by “the Economy” because of a company reorganization that closed the headquarters office here and relocated the staff to Chicago and New Jersey. Of all the places in the world I have ever imagined visiting, traveling through or living in, New Jersey never entered my mind. It’s so …..opposite.
ETA is about two weeks away. We’ll be in a short-term apartment until we find a place to live. Since we got our orders, I’ve been trying to get ready to go, trying to come to grips with this monumental change in my life, trying to say goodbye. Saying goodbyes are the hardest. It’s saying goodbye to favorite views (the bay as you emerge through the Caldecott Tunnel) and drives (coming home from the coast along Highway 37 at dusk), a beloved beach we discovered way way back on our honeymoon, a favorite farmers market and the strawberry farmer who always says hello when I walk by and never lets me pay for a basket of berries, the mountain that has been the backdrop of my everyday life for ten years, my favorite Peets shop and the guy with the Jimi Hendrix tattoo who talks to me about music and knows I prefer my coffee in a real cup, my favorite pho shop where the waiter knows our order before we even sit down (#12 with tendon, small) and the taqueria where they make fresh chips just for Scott and our favorite torta (with carnitas). It’s saying goodbye to my garden and all of the other community gardeners who have treated us young upstart gardeners with kindness and welcome. It is saying goodbye to my beloved friends who have made our hard times easier and our happy moments sweeter, who have brought so much life to our life. It’s saying goodbye to my life as I know it. My heart seems to have broken a thousand times in the last month and I’m sure it will continue to until we take that one last look in the rearview mirror and head East.
I know that there is light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m not sure how I feel about that light being New Jersey. Whatever is coming next in my life is nothing I ever expected but I know the grace that can be found in the most painful moments, and the treasures found in the most unexpected places. My plan is to take each day and build a new life one piece at a time, taking all of the adventure I can from it. There is a whole new world for me to discover.
While you may not be able to find me in California, you will be able to find me here at Cognitive Leeks. I’ll be posting as often as I can while we are in transition, but plan to get back into the swing of things with more regular posts when we see how things shake out with house-(and town)hunting. Catch you on the flip side….
Kathleen told us what you are going through. I am sure she will miss you, esp in the garden. It is a pleasure getting to know you and seeing you in HK.
Thank you, Gerry. With your wide-ranging travels, maybe we’ll see you in the NYC area!
Looking forward to reading about your Right Coast adventures.