Fly Away Home

One reason I make a lot of jam and can a lot of tomato sauce is to preserve my sanity.

This morning was this typical opening gambit from one person I see in my office:

"I think they should make a list of all the ways the world is going to end and put them in order of how soon and most likely to happen."
"For example, did you know that people are losing a potato chip of weight a year?"
"No. I didn’t know that." (I reflected that, I personally, have been putting on about 8 bags of Lays every year for the last four or five.)
"Well, actually, it’s not weight. It’s gravity."
"Gravity?" (when in doubt repeat the last word and add a question mark.)
"Yes. Everybody is less stuck to the earth by about one potato chip a year. We’re losing gravity."
"Oh. Does this mean at some point we will just float away?"
(I’m still trying to get this to fit with my impression that I am more firmly grounded than ever to the chair, the floor, earth in general. Closer to worms, too. See?  My mind, under the influence of others, is capable of wandering off on tangents of it’s own.)
Against all the laws of gravity, Rich took off for Oregon this morning in one of those 747-300 jumbo jets that holds, give or take, 496 passengers and weighs in the ballpark of  775,000 pounds. That’s almost a ton a person if you divide up all that weight but it makes sense- I’ve seen people trying to put that much in the overhead compartment. Actually, I’m guilty of this myself. Trying to retrieve your checked luggage in Detroit, where they think it’s a fun prank to change your luggage belt from #2 to #15 and not tell you, ever, is your rock bottom worst nightmare. I read all of Angels and Demons while waiting to get my suitcase a couple months ago. So, I too, try not to check. Anyway, in the overhead or down below, that’s too much weight to get off the ground. I’d rather think about the time when I lose all my potato chips and can just float to where I want.
But I dally from the point of my post. My future is at stake. It’s on the line. I’ve turned my life over to the care of another person. What could I be thinking?

All these years, mistress of my own fate. My own home, my own cottage, my own practice, my own parenting, my own garden and birds. All my own decisions, made of course, taking others into consideration but nevertheless- mine.
And now I’ve turned the decision making, roughly speaking, over to Rich. It appears that tomorrow he will be offered an opportunity, probably quite a nice opportunity, to move our lives all the way across the country. We could abandon the Midwest, home for 4 generations of my family. We could be packing up and leaving the town where I came to college and stayed, raised my family, lived my professional life.Hummer

In my garden I have a Bleeding Heart plant that I brought from my grandmother’s garden when she died 30 years ago. It has been moved around Ann Arbor eight times (the first five were student apartments where it grew-barely- tucked next to weedy parking spaces and garbage cans). I have David, our Tidal Basin Cherry tree, which this summer came to life from a dead-looking twig and is 4 feet tall and lush. Each year the next generation of hummingbirds shows up on May 4th and spends the summer near the honeysuckle vine and leaves Sept. 28 (next week!). Yes- they are of a single family and they are that predictable.

So, when Rich asked, "What are your thoughts about the University of Oregon?"
I said, "okay." Okay? OKAY?!?

And so, okay. I imagine he will make the right decision, whatever that is, and then I will have ample opportunity to weigh in, right on up to nixing the whole deal. We will discuss logistics. I will call around until I find a moving company that will handle the taxidermy with care. We’ll pull a giant U-Haul of plants across the country. We’ll fly back and pick up McCloud and Sophie and Millie, the pig, if she continues on with her record-setting life span and put them all in little zip bags under our seats much to the annoyance of fellow passengers. The finches will move to a retirement community or hospice. And we’ll all float on out of here.
Pardon me. I really need to go can something.

20 responses to “Fly Away Home

  1. Wow. Wow. Oregon is, as you know, incredibly beautiful. But wow. Keep us informed.

  2. Vicki's sister, Betsy

    Yikes. Scary, exciting, a tough decision if it comes to that. And Oregon is indeed incredibly beautiful. Good luck with this — Bets

    P.S. And I’d be happy to keep some of Grandma Moe’s bleeding heart going in the Midwest.

  3. Aw rats. I just got to know you and, you know. You’re right here. Says the selfish me who’s all about me me me. But then again, I’m hoping to uproot and go off to New Mexico as soon as I get the nest empty. Congratulations to Rich, though. That’s always lovely to be offered quite nice opportunities.

  4. No way, no how, not gonna let it happen. You love to travel, and traveling to Oregon is a wonderful thought…….. but I vote that you not live there. Vicki stays. Nuff sed!

  5. Oy. So many emotional responses to this post, Vicki.

    First of on a light note, I don’t buy the potato chip thing. Aren’t we all getting fatter? I’m confused.

    Then I wanted to ask you if Angels and Demons was worth the read. I did like his other book… know the one that NOBODY has read. Kidding.

    Then the move. Gosh, I can see how it would be so hard to move from Ann Arbor. But then I started thinking, maybe they’ll come near me. But instead you chose Hoss–and Bonnie (sort of). I can understand why. It’s okay. More reason to make a visit up there one day.

    Very exciting though. An adventure. I’ll bet the University of Oregon has a lovely community. My guess is that it is more relaxed. But what do I know?

  6. See, now, I was inwardly delighted when I read the sentence that you would be moving all the way across the country. Being an easterner, I naturally assumed that meant you would be moving here. I was planning my new social life. But no! You’re going The Other Way. Bah.

  7. I daydream about picking up and moving across the country…just don’t have the guts to do it. In a way, I’m envious of the new opportunity and adventure! Good luck making your decisions…it’s a tough one.

  8. So many things to consider. I don’t envy you. I know your mom and her husband weigh heavy on you mind and being further away from your son and daughter. But if anyone is prepared to adapt,, really thrive in a new environment, I believe it is you. I believe that there is a purpose for everything. Somehow, the answer to “go” or “stay” will show itself and the pieces will ultimately fit. Please remember that there are friends out here in the blogland that will be thinking of you and wanting the best for you.

  9. How exciting Vicki!! I am excited for you and your new adventure:)

  10. Very tough, Vicki. Your sense of self and your memories are tied up there, not here. As everyone else has said, Oregon is marvelous. I live in Washington state and love it; if I didn’t live here, I would move to Oregon in a heartbeat. However, it won’t feel like home to you. I send you positive thoughts for things to happen as they are supposed to, whatever that is.

  11. “And we’ll all float on ok.
    And we’ll all float on alright.
    Already we’ll all float on.
    Now don’t worry we’ll all float on.
    Alright already we’ll all float on.
    Alright don’t worry we’ll all float on…”
    ~Modest Mouse from “Good News For People Who Love Bad News” CD
    (Modest Mouse is from Issaquah!)

    Throw caution to the wind and begin anew in the beautiful Pacific Northwest! Raehan will visit us! I do respect your regard and dedication toward the Bud and Jan show!

  12. yes, i think WOW is absolutely the correct response here. ann arbor would seem like one of the harder hometowns to leave, especially given all the history that you’ve amassed there. i’ve always said that it i ever left michigan it would be for the PNW, but i will selfishly say that i’m glad it’s you and not me faced with that choice right now. i wish you balanced sight and a clear head!

  13. We Oregonians thank all of you for the nice praise. And we will take all the Vickies and Riches we can get; they are in short supply.

    Listen, if Raehan comes up to visit, you make her go 70 miles farther up the valley where Ol’ Hoss lives.

    Eugene (University of Oregon) is a swell place to live. Four definite seasons, not far from mountains and coast. Liberal college atmosphere. Not as good a football team as they got at Univ. of Michigan and the Veterinary School Bonnie attended, but not bad, either. Good luck, decision-wise, Vickster.

  14. WOW! Sometimes I wonder if I’ve been running solo so long I wouldn’t be able to merge my life with another person again. Just like you…my own EVERYTHING.

    Giving that up…wow…scarey thought.

    BTW, if Oregon doesn’t pan out MINNESOTA is LOVELY. *grins*

  15. The potato chip reminds me of the one about having a diet coke with your (er, my) hot fudge sundae. Of course the calories do not count 🙂

  16. From a gal who’s done her fair share of movin and shakin, I’m here to tell you that, truly, home is where the heart is. I have little doubt that you’ll flourish no matter where you find yourself living. I too am from the school of ‘everything happens for a reason’ and because I know that you really, really pay attention, you’re path will be well lit.

    Thinking of you…xoxo

  17. Is anyone other than me concerned that I’m an English major? I’m just sayin…..

  18. Some days, I wish someone gave *me* a kick in the pants so I could up and move. I’m not a great fan of Cleveland, I have to confess. Although we have lots of friends here… But I digress. Good luck on your move!!

  19. wait, wait WAIT….You’re LEAVING ME??!!! And this is the way I find out??? ah well. I guess if this is where your destiny lies and you are happy with this, well then I’m happy for you. Now excuse me while I go throw a temper tantrum and kick at my sheets and pillows.

  20. I’m spending the weekend in Portland, OR, which is a remarkably lovely city, and would be an easy day trip for you if you move west. Of course, Seattle isn’t all that much farther…

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