Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why does it take a minute to say hello and forever to say goodbye? ~ Author Unknown

Michigan. What do I know about Michigan? I know how to pronounce it. I know it's in the eastern part of the upper midwest, that outside of its southern border it's pretty much surrounded by Great Lakes. Detroit's there. Its capitol is Lansing. My dear blog friend Judy lives in the Grand Rapids area, on the western side of it. It's one of the 50 states.

But, beyond that....not much. At least, not much until about a month ago. That's when my son approached me and told me he'd been offered a huge promotion at work. The only drawback would be moving to Livonia, Michigan, which is where a new warehouse facility the company he works for is located. He was being offered the position of plant manager. And I could tell it was something he really, really wanted to accept. When it was offered to him he told his boss the only obstacle in the way was having to take the grandboys away from me, and me from them. They've been with me from the time each of them was a month old. They're with me about 55 hours per week. Those of you who've been reading my blog for a long time know how deeply bonded the grandboys and I are. I know it would be devastating to no longer have them a part of my daily life, and I'm an adult. I can't imagine how it would affect two little boys.

My son's boss is someone we've known for around 30 years, give or take a few. Dear Hubby has done occasional odd-job work for him. Before the grandboys came along I did quite a bit of free lance data entry for him. He knows where our son's hard work ethics have come from. He knows what kind of people we are. Besides hard working, we're dependable. Trustworthy. People of our word. So...he counter-offered. He asked our son, "If I offer your dad a job back there, do you think he'd move, too?" Our son told him he'd ask. He did, and at first Dear Hubby was adamantly opposed to the idea. He'd worked at his current job for almost 32 years, 16 of them as the Supervisor. He had his seniority, his vacation time, excellent benefits. No way was he going to give all that up! But the little seed was planted. A few days later our son's boss called....would Dear Hubby and I meet him for breakfast that Saturday to talk it all over? Dear Hubby said sure, and he and I did a lot of praying about it that week. We made a decision between the two of us that if thus and thus was offered, he'd take the job. As we sat there in the restaurant and talked with the boss, it was made clear to us what decision to make.

We are all moving to Michigan, our adult daughter, too. She'll have a job there as well. The target date for the move is around the end of January, the first part of February. I have 28 years' worth of living in this house to sort thru, purge, and pack. We'll be moving in the dead of winter. Dear Hubby wants to drive across from here in Portland to Livonia, almost 2400 miles. I am willing to do it, too, if the weather isn't too drastic. I want to see America.

It was in 1946 when my newlywed parents packed up everything they owned into my dad's car and set out across America, only that time it was in the opposite direction, from Nashua, New Hampshire, to Olympia, Washington. My mom was 18, my dad was 24. He was a WWII veteran, just back from serving in England. Housing and jobs were hard to come by on the east coast. One of my grandfathers told them if they'd come out to Washington State he could guarantee them jobs and a place of their own. So out they came. They settled eventually in Grays Harbor County, where my three brothers and I were born. My mother never returned home to see family until July 1968...22 years without ever seeing her mother. In those days handwritten letters were about the only way you could communicate. No modern techie gadgets. Long distance telephone rates were exorbitant, a luxury. And now, 64 years later, I'm retracing their paths. Also launching out into the great unknown.

I could be scared to death. I could be anxious and uncertain. I could be full of doubts and second thoughts. But I'm not. None of those. What I do have is a deep-settled peace in my heart. You see, when all of this first came into the picture, we began to pray. We asked friends and family to pray with us. We asked God to open the windows wide if it was His will, to slam the doors firmly shut in our faces if it wasn't. And every little detail, every question that has come up has been answered in such marvelous ways. The windows have been flung so widely open it's a wonder we haven't fallen thru them all. It is God's will and we know it.

And that is why I've been away. And why I might not be around much in the ensuing month or so. I'll be busy sorting and packing and purging. I'll be taking many trips down memory lane along the way, in preparation. I'll shed more than a few tears. I'll say goodbye to many beloved friends and family members. Some I will never see again in this lifetime, I'm sure. I will try to find time to climb to the top of Mt. Tabor once more, maybe on my birthday. I would like to go see the Pacific Ocean one more time. It is my mother's eternal resting place. I am going to die a thousand deaths, saying goodbye to my best friend Lizzee. I'll be leaving her the same month I met her, 44 years ago. And my baby brother. Kids who grew up with my kids, who I consider kids of my own. And as I look at my house one more time, as we drive away down the street, my heart will break.

But changes are coming, and changes are good.


Judy said...

I cannot begin to tell you how HAPPY I am that you are ALL moving to Michigan!

Michigan will certainly be glad to welcome you!

And so you know, people in Michigan NEVER drink soda. We drink pop. This will save you strange looks in restaurants.

I'll be sure to pass on more interesting tidbits about Michigan.

I'm loads of fun like that.

Loretta said...

I remember friends in Michigan laughing at my southern accent and sayings. I thought they sounded funny!! I learned people are people no matter where you are, if you treat them right most people will treat you the same. Good Luck!

"Highly Mobile" said...

I'm a lurker who's been reading your blog for a while, and I enjoy hearing about your adventures with your grandsons. As a fellow grandmother I know how much joy the kiddos bring. Your decision to move to keep the boys in your life, and help your son, is proof what a loving family you have. I have a good friend who did the same to help her daughter and son-in-law open a business. They all worked hard and my friend was their "Nanny" in order for her kids to build their business. In these times it's so nice to know that family values and love haven't been completely lost. Best wishes to you all!

ps...If you ever get a chance to visit the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn jump at's wonderful.

Donna said...

One of my regular blog reads is Fernan, a shorthorn farmer in Michigan. It gets COLD up there! But then, it does here in Missouri, too. Single digits are forecast for tonight. It's nice that your whole family is going!

Betty said...

I´m so happy for you and that your family will stay together. What a great way to move. I wish you all the best Kris and totally understand, that you will be missing on the blog. My thoughts will be with you!

Rob-bear said...

Whoa! Talking about a major change, for everyone. I finding the whole experience a bit hard to absorb.

Good luck with the whole process. I hope it is truly what will make your heart sing — everyone's heart sing.

Anonymous said...

You did it again, I am always crying when I read that your leaving. I know that this is God plan for you but still....:( 44 years I have had you close, your my bff, and I know God will keep us in touch and we'll see each other someday either in Michigan or in Heaven. Looking forward to seeing up this coming week. Lizzee

Anita said...

Such a heartfelt description of what's upon the horizon for you and our family.

So bittersweet.


Linda said...

Kris, Enjoyed you blog. I know beyod a shadow of doubt that the Lord will be with each of you. Enjoy your drive across america. Mark and I did a road trip two years ago and we had the time of our lives.

Love the blog. Keep it up. I have a couple more I read daily to so don't forget to write.

Pam said...

Congrats to all of you on your new jobs! How wonderful that not only was your Dear Hubby offered a job, but your daughter as well. What a fabulous way to move. I am sorry, though, that you will be so far from your BFF. As someone who has moved cross country twice, I know how hard that can be. Hugs to you my friend.

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

Yes, that certainly sounds like a God thing. That the whole family can relocate together is a blessing. I do not envy you having to sort, organize and pack up after over 30 years in the same house. Just moving my kitchen almost sent me over the edge!! :)

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I lived in Michigan for seven years. Tell your grandsons that Michigan State is the best university - and not just because I went there.

Lovely places to visit all over the state. Western Michigan - Lake Michigan. Fruit belt. Beautiful beaches and warm enough to swim. Canoeing on the rivers. Museums. Zoos. Lots of places for you to explore with your grandsons. Best wishes for a smooth move.

LC said...

Oh my! What an adventure you have begun. And once again, your sharing is inspiring and affirming . . . you and dear hubby started praying FIRST, before any decisions were made. I know that God will be right beside you when you are bone-tired from purging, packing and remembering; when you are on the road, and when your mind transports you back to the left-behind friends and loved ones in the midst of your becoming acquainted with your new home and its surroundings. God bless!

Danielle said...

Oh my goodness!!!! What a change!!!!

Anita said...

Well I found the beginning of the is all I can say. I read the recent post, all worried about your grandsons etc, and now I'm so very happy for all of you. I can't wait to see what awaits you!!