Monday, November 17, 2008

Starting to wrap things up

We’re still taking it one day at a time but we can count how many weekends we have left on one hand now and it all feels a bit surreal.

It’s weird because obviously when we came here we knew it wasn’t permanent and we don’t want it to be. Yet some part of us feels like traitors for leaving. Whenever you go to these going away parties and prepare to say good bye to people you always have mixed feelings and a little bit of a sense of sticking it out while others abandon ship. “They’re leaning but we are still here; we’re tough. We’re real.”

It’s not really rational or fair and you don’t really feel that way, but there’s an element of something there percolating around.

And we are loyalists to whatever our cause is. We are put-down roots people. And it feels all wrong to be on the “traitorous” side of things. Even though I know no one really thinks we’re traitors, it still feels wrong.

Does that make any sense at all?

I’ve had some interesting conversations with people. My friend Dierdre, who is an expat lifer, said to me, “I’m just surprised you guys are going back to where you came from.”

“Why?”

“You just don’t seem the type.”

“What do you mean?”

“You travel every chance you get. You love living here. You love all the adventure. I’ve seen so many people who spend all their time abroad pining for home. And I’ve seen people like you who take advantage of every minute they are living somewhere else. And it is really hard for those people to go back where they came from.

“I’m sorry but I think you are going to struggle. Be careful.”

I guess I could have been insulted by that, but I really welcome having frank talks with Dierdre, who is generally insightful and always refreshingly open, honest and straight-forward. And I know what she means.

We have thrown ourselves into life here and we have never lived like it was temporary even though we knew it was. I think that has really been a key to our success, and I’m nervous going back about not throwing myself back into life there. I don’t ant to live in the past there anymore than I did here.

I need to be careful about that. I’ve never been a nostalgic “those were the days” guy and I don’t want to start being one now. Feel free to smack me if I ever say something like “did I ever tell you about the time my band Woodie Alan played this big festival?”

Anyhow, we are moving along.. shopping for furniture, overseeing some work on our home back in Mwood, booking final gigs, and planning a host of going –away parties…There should be enough so that people will be sick of us by the time we leave…. An official transition one for the paper, with sources, officials, etc, plus a bureau party for the bureau, plus our own farewell bash.. plus the kids all want them, which I think is a great idea. Plus Thanksgiving here, which will be just in front of the moving truck and packers.

Also, we are headed to Tibet next weekend.. kids will stay here with friends. So that’s exciting.

Obviously, before we know what hit us we will be back in Maplewood.

We are also going to have problems with our shipping because we are WAY OVER our weight imit.. among the things we are returning with that we didn't move here with:

two couches, two large chairs, huge dining room table (solid wood), eight dining chairs (solid wood), huge solid wood buffet and hutch, three large Chinese antique tables... three or four semi antique dressers/buffets.. approx. 10 large paintings...two or three mid sized stone statues, a bunch of small ones...

And so it goes….