Take the bull by the horns …
Today, in honor of our good friend, Laura Drake, I begin a three part series talking about the trauma and the joys of moving. Often in equal measures, moving can be compared to death, getting married or shedding old skin to reveal a new under layer. It’s saying goodbye and starting over.
Two weeks ago, Laura posted pictures of her house in various stages of “moving.” She didn’t move across town, down the street or to a near-by city. She moved a thousand miles from California to Texas.
One of the things she talked about having to leave behind was the Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers of America, a chapter she has talked about many times over the years.
The week before she left, this chapter gave Laura a Farewell Party, and looking at all the smiling faces of her chapter-mates and seeing the photos of their celebration on Facebook, I understood that behind all the smiles and laughter, there was a tinge of sadness.
I googled Dancing Bull, which was on the label of a bottle of wine she received from her chapter mates as a parting gift. The symbolism of course, harkens back to her Sweet on Cowboy series, a series you should take the time to find and read. (The link will bring you to the Amazon page with Laura’s second in the series, Nothing Sweeter.)
How do we forge bonds and friendships that become as important as our family ties? For some the bonds we have with our close friends are stronger than those we have with family.
We are especially blessed when the chemistry of a group, a partnership or a kinship works, makes us better at what we do, makes us stronger, and gives us the courage to believe in ourselves.
The virtual life we live on-line can get very strange. This past week Jenny Hansen threw a virtual birthday party for Kristen Lamb. We have involved correspondence and “visit” or “talk” as much to our virtual friends as we do to those we can actually break bread with.
Laura Drake is one of those for me. I wish my friend the best in her new home. I know I do not have to wish her the best in her new career, her talent has already taken care of that.
I’ve done it twelve times in my life and each time I felt the same way, like something was pulling at me, dragging me kicking and screaming.
I didn’t want to move as a kid. It meant I had to go to a new school, make new friends, figure out how to fix my own space. I moved to four schools before sixth grade (two schools while living in the same house) and moved a total of twelve times before I settled in my little cottage (four of them with the kids and various pets.)
Twelve times to different locations, schools, jobs, cultures, and circle of friends, and no matter how happy or sad I was to take the next turn around the corner, it never got easier.
We didn’t always have “our own” rooms. We shared rooms or slept in living rooms or closet-sized bedrooms. We curled up on cots, folding beds, scratched under Army blankets and protested if our tiny corner of the world became invaded by a sibling or parent.
With the kids I moved from a ten-room house in New Jersey to a small one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. I managed to squeeze in all of the essentials … and leaving the husband behind, gave us a great deal of extra space to move around.
On moving day, my son and my husband had a long discussion about the larger than life rocking horse which sat between the dinning and living room of our house. Made in the image of a vintage carrousel horse, this was no tiny little pony with shaky seat. This was a wonderful masterpiece that took the hubby ten hours to construct on the night before my son’s third Christmas.
After hours of negotiations and arguments, the dog and the rocking horse came with me to Brooklyn, the big red fire engine and four boxes of toys went with daddy to Staten Island.
This apartment building was my first venture into multiple dwellings. In winter, the halls turned into a giant day care, with a gaggle of kids who found their way into my long, narrow hallway, otherwise known as the kid’s playroom.
The dog barked and the newly acquired cat jumped, the kids ran in and out and mom tried to monitor the door and count heads. Several times as I ran to answer the bell, I ran toe-first into our classic rocking horse. Four times in five years I broke one of my toes. It was the middle one two times, the little pinky toe once, and the week we moved, I broke three at the same time.
That last time we were in the middle of a blizzard. The dog escaped and ran in circles in the hall chasing four kids, the cat jumped on top of the stereo speakers and hissed at everyone and the next-door neighbor yelled, “Can’t you do something about all this noise?”
I looked down the hall at the man and spotted one of our summer beach balls rolling on the floor between my legs. In an effort to kick it, like a soccer ball at his head, I missed the ball, and hit the base of the rocking horse, breaking not one, but three toes.
During the same record-breaking blizzard, the rocking horse, the dog and the cat found new homes, and the three of us moved to Manhattan’s, Washington Heights. My middle toe still aches when the weather changes.
I don’t mind because it conjures up the best memories of them growing up, crazy, free and happy in Brooklyn.
What say you, reader?
What major move in your life was the most significant?
Which one was a life-changing crossroad?
fOIS In The City
Stay tuned for Parts Two and Three of … So long, it’s been good to know you.