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.