Recently in the move of '09 Category

I'll miss you

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Dear Oneonta,

If it were January, eyebrow deep in snow, slush and ice, I might leave you without a backwards glance.

You've been my home for eight years and I've grown into you. Love you like a well worn pair of jeans or the perfect dress. I've scattered you with memories: memories that have grown root into brick, asphalt, earth.

The day I met you I was nineteen, eating French Onion Soup at the Corfu Diner watching traffic slide down Chestnut and turn left and right onto Main. I wondered how you'd fit me.

That fall I met my husband in an October fall of snow on your sidewalks.

I graduated from SUCO, still SUNY Oneonta to me then. You were supposed to be a phase: a place I tossed off with my cap, peel off with my gown, but you grew on me. You clung.

I became a local. You saw me married. Your bells rang out at nine, noon, and six through our window on Watkins Ave.

You housed our business, The LAN Gaming Center, where I met some of the most amazing boys, boys who are now young men. I got to make a difference, to be part of you.

After my son was born, you became even more of a home. It was in you I made my family.

Others may complain of your smallness, your winters, that you might be dull, but you are home of the kindest people.

In Oneonta, you can have conversations with cashiers, bank tellers, strangers on the street. In Oneonta the owner of the small Laundromat comes out to your car to help you carry in your clothes and holds your baby son for you while you fold them. In Oneonta your Yoga instructor holds a class for you even though you are the only student and it really isn't worth the money for her. Here, people know you by name.

In Oneonta, small enough to make us all close, you find family when you have none to turn to. Other mothers help you raise your child. Coworker become sources of comfort, have you over for dinner and maybe teach you to knit. Perhaps you are introduced to their pig and are given some of him in the fall!

Oneonta, I'm afraid that you've changed me for the better- made me a kinder, more generous person. One who is guaranteed to make more than a few city folk uncomfortable when I get a little too close and strike up conversation in the grocery store.

I may be going, but I would have been happy to stay. I'd like you to know that I'll take pieces of you with me. I hope you keep a few pieces of me too.

And Oneonta, I promise to visit, just not in the winter.



Spring out my kitchen window

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Baltimore has a few weeks on upstate New York. While we were there the leaves were just unfurling, tulips were crazy red all in a row, and I was sweating in the heat. Today is my first day in New York that feels like full on spring. Baby leaves on my favorite plant, the lilac bush, which I will miss bloom this year. 

We live next door to a gardening center so every kind of flowering everything can be seen out the windows that face the left. The whole yard over there is full of daffodils, butter yellow to white. The brave little shoots survived the snow and a few tentative blooms opened a couple weeks ago. Now they are all open. Last year the owner let the grass grow long and wild just to avoid lobbing off the flowers. 

There is also a koi pond that has a beautifully delicate flowering tree that leans out over the water and scatterers its petals on the surface. 

One day, I tell myself, one day I will have a little house snug in the woods surrounded by trees. My favorite sound is the noise the wind makes moving through the leaves. It is a sound that takes all the tension out of my body and makes me feel at peace. My favorite smell is lilacs. 

Right now the sun is setting in that slow, sweet way it does when the days are getting long. It's blue dusk, my favorite kind, with the music of frogs coming up from the water and birds sitting high in the branches. So different from the golden slanting glow of the fall sunsets. 

I'm going to miss these hills and the smallness they create like we are all cupped in their creases, hidden. 

I miss every place I leave and can't wait to find somewhere I never have to. 

A mock interview

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Q. How would you describe your current state of mind?

A. I feel throughly exhausted and have no idea why. Sometimes this happens on rainy days. No sun and I'm drained of all energy or it might be anemia since I have failed to take my vitamins for the last two weeks. Also, lack of vitamins, stress, and probably a hex from some warlock has given me the worse canker sore since before I was pregnant. My lip is swollen and mouth pain just makes me irritable. Imagine having an ulcer in your mouth and then a toddler who tends to slam various parts of his body into your face, crushing this angry ulcer into your teeth. 

Q. How do you feel about the move?

A. I'm still a little boggled because we never intended to move and certainly not to a city. I'm also feeling completely blessed by the support of friends here in New York. I've had many offers of assistance, company, and ears to whine into about my stresses. Family has been the biggest stress as they don't like the idea of me moving even further away. Granted my phone bill is $40 higher this pay period because of moving.

Q. How are you moving all your stuff?

A. We're hiring movers. Let me tell you, I'm a little weirded out that burly men (at least I imagine they will be burly men) are going to come into my home and pack up all my stuff, bring it somewhere else and then unpack it. I simply have to pack valuables and breakables and anything I want them not to take to keep with me for our own traveling. Part of my ill ease is that people are going to be TOUCHING MY STUFF. What if they steal my stuff or break my stuff, or put icky, dirty hands...ON MY STUFF?!

I try to sooth myself by imaging Vin Diesel and The Rock handling my books. Burly men and

Q. How are the cats going to be traveling?

A. We thought maybe we could gag them but that seemed inhumane. So then we figured if we gave them extreme amounts of catnip they'd roll around in stoned bliss inside their crates, but we don't think even the allure of catnip would spare us from their incessant pissed off yowling.

We moved two miles from our last apartment to this current one. The following happened: Brody walked happily into small crate and waited to see where we are going. We got fat Mao and Do Baby into a huge dog crate and then went after Babette. Jason tried to get her since this cat never ever hits that man. She went rabid, insane on his hands and shredded them into bloody ribbons. Second attempt, trap her in Jason's bathrobe. Yoweling, hissing, spitting, flailing wrapped in cloth and restrained, barely, by two grown men, Babette lost control of her bladder just as she is being lowered into the big crate. She sprayed Mao and Do Baby with  pee. For two miles 1/2 the cats meowed nonstop, very loudly to let us know just how not pleased they were One small cat let out questioning little mews that translate to, "Why do I smell like pee? I don't remember peeing..." Brody is like, "Are you taking me to the vet again? I like the vet!"

Our solution is for Jason to go down with the cats. They will be sequester in our room, which will be moved of all things but stuff we are personally driving down, while the movers are there. Then Jason will leave with them in our car, arrive to open the door for the movers, and have the cats sequestered in one bedroom in which the movers shall be forbidden to enter.

River and I will get a ride down in the evening with a friend.

Q. Is there anything else you'd like to add?

A. Yeah, anyone want a cat or two?

Hello Baltimore

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  • traveling with a toddler is not fun
  • spending most of your weekend in the car...also not fun
  • looking for a new home...not very fun
  • thanks be for friends who know what the hell they are doing
  • thanks be to the generosity of others
  • thanks be for advil
  • bow down to GPS

Saying Goodbye

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Yesterday I stopped by the downtown laundromat to say goodbye to Phil, the owner. Phil used to help me carry in my laundry and/or hold River for me while I dealt with the laundry back when I used to have to go to the laundromat EVERY OTHER DAY to wash our cloth diapers (back before we got our own washer and dryer).

Phil is like most residents up here, someone you can just sit down and have an easy conversation with. Part of the package that makes this place my home. Comfortable as a favorite pair of jeans. 

I am so going to miss this place.

Then we went to a local small business that makes homemade ice cream. Yesterday was the first day of their new season and I'm ever thankful that I got to get some of that creamy goodness before we left the area. It is, hands down, the best damn ice cream I have ever had. Though River went there with us last year, this was the first year he got to try it. He couldn't stop signing for more and was really into sitting himself down at the child sized table. 

One scoop for me and make it snappy!

A year ago Jason was able to balance River on one hand and they both were able to be in the photo below together. This year that just was not possible with all the growing he did.

River knew it was a cat, even minus a face.

He needs to work on his pecs. They look a little saggy, wouldn't you say?

This weekend we are heading down to the Baltimore area to look at some apartments I was able to set up via email and over the phone. We'll be staying with our friend Heather in her new home. Thanks be for friends, their generosity and their assistance. 

While Heather is acting as our scout, another close friend of ours, Amanda, is taking a bus up Friday and driving down with us as moral support. 

At home we have had nothing but well wishes, expressions of sadness, encouragement, and offers of help from friends. I feel very blessed and almost unworthy of this generosity. 

Next week expect photos and much news! I'm thinking that once I have some visuals of the place we're moving too, I'll be able to get over some of my anxiety and enjoy this change.
This is one of those times in my life when it feel like a giant scooped up my existence and gave it a good shake. Or maybe a better comparison is the proverbial fork in the road.

I've lived in the same little upstate New York town since the late summer of 2001 when I came here for college and then never left. It is rich with memories, with love, new beginnings, growth and change. To put it simply, I love it here. This is home. This place is friends. This place has some of the nicest people I have ever met, ever. People are friendly, from the cashier in the store to the laundry mat owner, to the old lady waiting to cross the street and the old man pumping his gas. 

The winters stink, yes. There is a lack of diversity, job opportunity and money. All that I could and have lived with and loved it regardless. I imagined living here forever.

Trace this thread to an older one. To sitting in a seventh grade Math class and alphabetical order. To a set of last names that plopped one after another on a list. I was first, she was second. Heather and I often sat by each other in the classes we shared. Somehow the tenacious strands of high school friendship formed around a 10th grade lunch table was resumed as adults and most of us still get together when we can around holidays and such. 

It was Heather who handed me the first book in a series of books that would later place me in a chat room about said books in which I would first talk with my future husband. 

Some might call such twists of fate the hand of God. 

Now take these threads, the tapestry of my life so far, and add a new one. An unknown. It's called a job in Baltimore that fell out of the sky and knocked Jason on the head. Something unlooked for that Heather brought his attention to, something applied to on the off chance that it might happen, something that after six months of silence turned up an interview and three weeks later a yes. 

Now watch me bend over and rub my tears into a collage of years, to the strands of threads that are the relationships that touched and wove with mine, of people I won't get to see much anymore, of children I will not get to see grow, to streets and faces that I will no longer pass while walking. 

Why is leaving always so bitter sweet? 

It often feels like my heart is breaking. That I want to go run up and down the sidewalks that hold the memories of my passing feet--endless pairs of sneakers, of time, of events. I want to scoop it all up to my chest and hold it like a baby, rock it, tell it, "I love you."

But it is true that it is better to have known love and lost it than never have loved at all.

I loved. I loved many and I still will, even when I'm five hours south in a strange and foreign land.

Let's just hope those left behind don't send me hate mail when they are locked into sub zero winter temperatures and I'm able to walk outside with my coat unbuttoned!

It hurts so much.

I'll miss you.


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the the move of '09 category.

teaching is the previous category.

Wednesday: read a damn book is the next category.

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