And That’s the Way It Is

I think I have sufficiently reached the stage of “crotchety”. I was set in my ways before my time. I spent much of my life figuring out my place and what and who is healthy for me. And in those things, I hope I will never be quite done. But, I also know what I am, what I’m about…and that I am going to tape Posties on my desk that say “DON’T TOUCH!”

Last Friday as I weighed my options for getting away by myself, I realized I was both forcing the scenario of making time alone, and toying with Mother Nature’s vindictive fury. I’d never seen so many 100%’s on the forecast that far out before. And they were all for rain. I can be a glutton for punishment at times, but two nights being eaten by earwigs crawling up out of the water is really not my deal. Anymore. So, I bent a little.

I have come to love Michigan in our last decade-plus here. There is a beauty to this region of the states that I would not want to trade. But the fact remains that we do not have family here. That has always been missing. And I think, ‘but has it, really?’ I’m not sure. It has been a long process of weighing my own present familial privacy against having twenty people up our rears around the clock. Am I too old to feel that way? Probably…but that’s where ‘crotchety’ enters the picture. Again.

Once upon a time, for the sake of marital fortitude and allegiance, we relocated. A whole second time. Me, my wife and child. The first relocation had been my doing, after all, to live and go to school near the non-parental portions of my family in Chicago. This second move, here. It was not by my choice. Or even aligned with it. In any way. But I thought, it never really has been. And I’ve always been okay. More or less. That I would be okay again.

I was just a toddler when we were first uprooted from the only home I’d known to grow up in Massachusetts. To make a new home there. When we were teenagers, we moved again to Gaithersburg. And I had to make a home there, too. Most of the family I loved so dearly had long been in Chicago. So, some years on, I took a shot, and moved my new family halfway across the country. To make a home. I felt, then, I finally had. And, I loved it. But by a last turn of the cards, that last move, here I sit. Home. Yet again. But also…not really.

What am I getting at. I’m not really sure. I bent last weekend to give myself and my girls some time in Chicago with our family we have not seen since my brother’s service. And I missed my old friends. It far outweighed my need to be alone. I can not reasonably take time for solitude and concurrently bemoan the lack of family in our lives. I’m glad I made the right choice.

I’m not sure I ever would have left my family had the road not diverged the way it did. And I’m also not sure I could sacrifice doing things my own way in my own skin for the sake of being near them now. I do know that we are led where we are supposed to be regardless. I will always miss the old days. I miss so much. But, I have built a home here. Again. I’ve absorbed it all quietly. Over these years. It’s here, I found who I was. And who I wasn’t. I have hurt and healed here. I had my second child while here. Took care of my father here. I have lost loved ones while here. Navigated a divorce here. New friends and new interests. New challenges. I augmented my education and tested my own limits here. Here I found the work I was meant to do and the impact I was meant to leave. I have failed and succeeded here. I have explored my life here. I have grown here. This is the home my kids will remember. Until they make a new one elsewhere. Whether by choice, or an unexpected turn of the cards. Even for love.

We are led where we are supposed to be. And even if we aren’t, we can still allow ourselves to believe it. And make the best. In the interest of the greater good.


14 thoughts on “And That’s the Way It Is

  1. Sam, your post struck a chord with me. I’ve lived places close to family, and have lived away from blood family. But even in those times, I have found “family,” those who share the same ideals, joys, sorrows and plans that I do. When I visit or move to a new place, I look for those who travel by their own effort on two wheels. It’s never let me down when I need to “belong.”

    1. I find that, too. Where I have settled, a new life had to be built which included people I would have never known who cared for my children as their own and enriched my life. Family who are not indeed blood. It is so easy to attach to our memories at times where genetic family is concerned. Even with people all around us.

  2. Deciding to uproot yourself and move is always a tough decision. Sometimes the adventure looks so much better from the outside so that when you’re experiencing it, it isn’t quite as wonderful as you expected. But you never know until you try, right?

    1. True, I always figure that’s just part of the package…the point of it all. And to know the grass is never greener heading in. I’m finally feeling settled where I am and building that….and missing Chicago every day 😂😂😂

  3. I moved home 5 years ago. But sometimes I miss the other home I had created yet resisted. Home was not the same as it was when I left but I do have family where we were on our own when I needed family the most. I have moved A LOT in my life. I would move again but not till my kids take flight. I do know one thing… you have to love where you live… even when you don’t… yet never stay stuck. Lol so confusing!!😜

    1. That’s true…I get caught up in the nostalgia of lots of things and then think…well, no that actually wasn’t all that great. But when memories speak for us there’s not much to be done. I see now how things have evolved *there* and I picture myself being the same…but *there*…the way it is now. Even though I would be different, too. Not as I am now…here. 😂 Confusing, indeed!

      1. I just laughed out loud at my desk. Wisdom. Lol

        1. Or a Twilight Zone episode, either way 😂

          1. We could write a book about what you know but you don’t know that you knew but you no longer know. Title / the things you know but don’t know that you thought you knew. Whoops.. I think I just repeated myself.🥴😜

  4. “Having the good life can be so simple when you savor the one you have.”
    Karen Maezen Miller
    Hand Wash Cold

    My favorite book and a favorite quote. Our best life is always beneath our feet.( Exactly what folks mean when they say ” bloom where you are planted”. ) Life is good, Sam. Thanks for a great post

    1. Absolutely. I feel like if we were to choose what we *thought* we most wanted, it may not be the best for us in the end. Sometimes the course has to change us rather than the other way around. I have finally settled in and for the first time it feels great. Thank you so much! 🤗🤗🤗

  5. My family moved around so much when I was between the ages of 7 and 20 that when Mum and I counted it amounted to more than one a year! The first of course was the biggest, to the other side of the world. It was Dad’s work, of course, that dictated where we lived. I wonder now how Mum did it. She always set down roots and planted new gardens.
    i think I must have got sick of moving. After I married i have only moved once in 45 years! But we have travelled a lot. And my family of origin is scattered across the length and breadth of this big land we call Australia. I have found that distance does not dictate or restrict how close we remain as a family.
    Home is where the heart is, be it on wheels or solid ground.

    1. My dads work always wrote our plan for us as well. I said I’d never do that to my kids. Even though I think it’s done me well in the long run, I did keep them in the same area now for about 13 years…the bulk of it. So for that I’m glad. I honestly think travel does keep you roosted in one place homewise. Like a refresher of sorts. Things have changed so much in our structure that we can’t do it like we used to so every now and then I still get a bug to move…I need to squash the bugs!

      1. My moving bugs are well and truly dead and buried!

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