Some good friends of ours moved away this past weekend. It all happened kind of quickly. A surprise job interview for the husband in mid-July turned into a position that started the beginning of August. Their house went on the market, the husband went to Austin to start his new job and the wife stayed here with their son to sell the house. Depending on the day, their son is either Gumby's best friend or practically his best friend. In almost no time their house sold, they bought a new one in Texas, the wife has worked out her job situation into a telecommuting position and, as of Sunday, after a going away party Saturday night, they were gone. On the road. Driving southwest in a blaze of anticipation.
It's all very strange.
I'm old enough to know that physical proximity to people doesn't really mean much. Friends stay friends, whether they're next door or halfway across country. I worry about how the kids will handle it, but I think they're going to be alright. They'll see each other. I'm sure of that. Plans have already been broached about a kid swap of some sort next summer, and as most of their family is still here, I know they'll be back. It's not that.
What's strange for me is my reaction.
It's a gorgeous sunny fall day. I'm looking out the window of the house we moved heaven and earth to buy, in the town we handpicked after a nationwide search, in a state that surprises me daily with it's amazing (unexpectedly good) quality of life. And all I want to do is pack everything up and move someplace new and different and exciting. I want to go. I want to throw a dart at a map and just move to a town where we know no one and nothing. (For optimal fantasy value, the dart will land someplace coastal on the Eastern seaboard). I'm restless, twitchy, looking for some kind of fabulous adventure for my family. Everyone, not just me. I want to go - with every little bit of my being.
Do I even need to mention that my entire family thinks I've lost my mind? My kids looked at me curiously when I said hey wouldn't it be fun if... and then walked away, shaking their heads and speaking to each other in low voices, glancing over their shoulders at me the entire time. My husband, bless his heart, suggested that I head out to my folk's lake house by myself for a few days while they have a "guys weekend" here. He thinks maybe I just need some down time. It's not a bad idea. But it's not what I want. I want something else. I don't know what I want.
When we moved here it was such an adventure. We really did pull out a map and make lists of all the places we would and wouldn't live. The FG and I each had preferences that, for the most part, the other one respected. I was the guilty one here, since one of the places he really wanted to look into was, coincidentally, Austin and I flat refused. It isn't anything against Austin (or Texas in general, for that matter). I just thought that if we were going to uproot our entire family and move someplace completely unknown, we should move someplace different. I wanted four clearly defined seasons. I wanted snow. I wanted wild, blistering thunderstorms that took your breath away. I wanted a calmer, quieter pace. Austin was too much like LA for me. I wanted a 180 degree change. Luckily for me, the University of Texas at Austin wasn't hiring at that time. It might have gotten ugly if they had been.
I know there were aspects of moving to a completely unfamiliar place that were sheer hell, but I still remember the thrill that I felt when we actually got here. We had a whole town to learn, an entire outlying area to explore. Every week we picked up the newspaper and laughed ourselves silly over the real estate prices. We leisurely looked at houses that we ended up really being able to buy. We were able to immerse ourselves in a brand new experience. During our first year here, every weekend we would pile the kids into our battered Volvo station wagon, pick a direction and explore our new home. It was a time full of anticipation, discovery and adventure.
It was fabulous. And on some screwy level, I'm chomping at the bit to do it again. Oh, maybe not really. We have put together the most wonderful extended family here, an amazing group of friends. The FG and I both love our jobs. He has a thriving freelance business here. I adore the people I work with. The kids have great schools and deep friendships. I love our house, our neighborhood, our town. In every sense of the word we're in a good place.
But as I listened to our friends planning their move I just wanted to pack our whole family in the car with them. I wanted us all to go. Even Austin looked good.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Posted by the rotten correspondent at 12:02 AM