Tuesday, March 27, 2007

March 27, 2007

Today is my dear friend Hope’s birthday. I’m so glad it is because it gives me something lovely to think about; otherwise I will simply obsess over the fact that today also marks the two-year anniversary of our move from everything I’d ever known, loved or held dear, to Michigan..

While the daily outpouring of tears has stopped, I find the tears are not packed away for good; I still occasionally well up thinking about home: good friends, the fact that the kids don’t have weekly interaction with their wonderful grandparents, that my sister finally moved to Greenville just as we moved here, the dearth of Chick-fil-a’s in Michigan… And I still cannot sing in church without crying. I don’t know what it is, but singing in church still, after 730 days, brings me to my knees. Which, I suppose, could be the reason I’m up here.

Anyway, it has been two years and I am happy to say I have made a few friends. Okay, one really good friend, and two or three in the making. But that’s pretty great. After the first year I was convinced I’d experienced all the friendships I’d ever have. But thanks to my realtor I met Molly, and I honestly don’t know what I would have done without her. We both moved at the same time (used the same realtor) and we went through the “figure out the new place” phase together. The bonus to Molly is Jeff – he and Sean are also friends. It’s not often both spouses hit it off, but they have, and for that I am eternally thankful.

We were back home two weeks ago and I must admit I don’t think I could move back. At least not to the exact place we left; the traffic is insane. Actually, insane barely covers it. Living here in farm country has definitely cut down on our time in the car. Well, we may spend the same amount of time in the car, but we’re actually moving. I couldn’t believe how much time I spent just sitting in my car, waiting for lights to turn green. The sheer volume of cars on the road was astonishing. But I certainly wouldn’t mind being a bit closer than 13 hours.

Thirteen hours. That is just a picking long time to spend in the car. And for this girl who grew up flying everywhere (Dad’s a retired Delta pilot) I can barely handle such a long car ride. A long car trip for my family was the 40 minute drive from our house to the airport. (Mom and Dad like to tell the story of the time we were driving from Stone Mountain to Gainesville, a 50 minute trip. Heather and I were incredulous that we were driving; didn’t Gainesville have an airport?!) But I have gotten better at riding, although by nine hours I usually have a bit of a meltdown. I bang on the dashboard for a few minutes, and then I’m able to get it together and ride almost pleasantly the rest of the way.

When we first moved I was convinced we’d only be here a few years, then Sean could get transferred to Spring Hill, Tennessee or Bowling Green, Kentucky. Either would be so much closer to Mom, and both are south of the Mason-Dixon Line. But it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. And I’m almost okay with that. But with that realization comes the letting-go of many dreams, like the fact that Rebecca won’t remember much about her life in Atlanta. Michigan will be her memories. She’ll be accustomed to snow and sub-freezing temperatures, and won’t bat an eye when people call Coke “pop.” Michael and Amy will think wearing winter coats until May is normal. They’ll all think walking on frozen ponds is safe and will think there’s even more “up north” to see.

As for me, I’m pretty sure I’m as far up north as I need to be. But I’m also pretty sure we’ll be staying here for awhile. And thankfully, that’s not as devastating a proposition as it once was.

So happy birthday, Hope! And happy anniversary to me.