Posted by: missybw | April 27, 2009

Yep, still moving

So I’ve been to Lakeland some more… nowhere near ready to move yet… are you surprised?  Me, not so much.  However, I just booked the truck and I changed our address.  This coming weekend is our Moving Sale-xtravaganza!  Bob is gradually moving into the rental in Grasslands.  However, we still haven’t found a permanent abode. You know, the one that speaks only to us, the one that feels like home, like magic.  Yep, not found it yet.  Found lots of places that aren’t the perfect place. Lots.

Okay, I’ll write more later, gotta get to work.

Posted by: missybw | March 28, 2009

And, yes, we are still moving

I know, it’s hard to follow along with our progress if I don’t write anything. But, truthfully, there hasn’t been much to tell. Bob’s been in Lakeland for 3 weeks, so that means that for the most part we’re divided by one exceptionally long and boring land mass that goes by the name of Georgia. You know, the place with the state motto of “Welcome to Georgia! We’re glad we’re in your way on your mind!” Um, yeah.  And I’m qualified to say that about them because I’ve been down here in Lakeland for 3 of the last 4 weekends.  Translated, after lots of windshield time and lots of miles on my car, I’m no longer amused by all the signs for “Strippers – need we say more” or the 80-someodd signs for “Sexy Stuf” at exit 91. And yes, I think the misspelling is intentional, under the heading of “made you look”, or something like that. And, yes, I’m trying to figure out how they are making enough in the sexy stuf business out in BFG in order to pay for all those billboards.  I mean, come on, is buying sex toys and “tropical jelly” at some ticky tacky place in middle of a former cow pasture in nowhereville, Georgia really that titillating?  Not for me anyway.  It just crosses some mental line in my head that shouldn’t be crossed. Come on, seriously, there’s nothing attractive about a blowup doll that looks like your cousin, now is there? Okay, maybe there is a market for that… I am moving from Tennessee after all.  But I digress.

So, the move, in a few hundred words or less? And I know you’d like me to say it in that many words… but you know I won’t.  It’s going okay.  Bob is working harder than he has had to in a very long while.  He’s learning a lot, and I actually think in some ways it’s probably good that I’m not here full-time to distract from that process.  Me?  Oh, I’m quietly going crazy, thanks.  There’s so much to do that I really don’t know where to start.  Really.  The moving parts to this just keep changing.  We went from mid-May for our target date to May 1, and then I started getting calls from a potential employer.  Yeah, the last thing I need here – a job.  Especially a job that starts mid-April.  When we have nothing packed in our house in Knoxville, and I’m in Florida on a part-time basis.  So, yes, I’m starting to get queasy.  And sweaty.  And all the other things I get when I think about how badly this could turn out.  Because if that employment opportunity becomes a reality for me then our “do-it-ourselves in at least a semi-organized and orderly fashion” move may, by necessity, turn into a “pay some minimum wage flunkies to pack and ship all my treasures (and break half my stuff and hide the other half in the process)” move.  And maybe I didn’t mention it, but I hate everything about that idea. Everything. Especially the part where it ends up happening to me.  Especially that part.  So, I’m stressing.  A little.  Maybe.

And before you say it, I know that soon this will all be over.  As with all my previous moves, the stress always comes in one big burst and then it just ends. And lest you think there’s no good news anywhere, there are good things that we’ve accomplished.  Like having already found a rental house.  A very nice rental house actually.  In a nice gated community in south Lakeland, and very near my oh-so-wonderful cousin Debi.  In fact, we’ll be “across the golf course” neighbors.  And it won’t be long now until we’re in that house, drinking coffee on Saturday mornings, and watching the golfers as they play thru the whateverth hole that’s directly behind our new home.  We’ll be listening to Jimmy Buffett, grilling some fresh seafood, sipping a boatdrink, and smelling the tropics in the night air.  All the turmoil and strife will be over, and we’ll be so glad we decided to make this change.  Because everything will be perfect.  Again.

But, as for me, there’s a secret, quiet place in my heart that hopes that this will be the last time we have to do this.  The last time we have to uproot in order to continue to thrive.  Because, somehow, each time we have to cut all the ties and move from our one particular harbor to the next one, something gets lost.  So, I’m holding onto hope.  For permanence.  That’s appropriate.  Although it really doesn’t match all the change.  But hope and change are a mantra right now.  We’re in style.  But somehow it’s not as cool when it’s your life that’s stuck the middle of all the hopeful changy-ness.

Not so much.

This morning I sat by an open sliding door, hot cup of coffee at my elbow, a hint of night chill still lingering in the air. And as I sat still, reading my paper, I also listened to the sounds of a different world waking up outside. And as I was listening, as I soaked up that peace, as I heard a familiar soundtrack play again, I remembered once more that I have always loved Florida in the morning. Coffee on the Lanai. Lazy ceiling fan, twirling, with no real purpose or agenda other than to spin gracefully in the refracted morning light. Watching the Egrets in the early morning glow, so graceful, as they dip and sway to a bird rhythm I can’t quite hear. This is the Florida I remember. This is part of the Florida I’ve missed so much. This is my home.

So, last time you were here I was still whinging and whining about the very idea of moving. Bitching and moaning about the logistics. And you know the rest. Well, to all that, I can only say “what a difference a weekend can make!” Really. And I think part of the reason for my attitude adjustment, other than rum and coffee on the lanai, is also seeing the happiness on my husband’s face. Happiness I normally don’t see. Excitement and anticipation as he begins a brand-new challenge and a new opportunity. Seeing the optimism he’s steeping himself in over tackling something that in the past would have completely shut him down is truly wondrous for me. And I guess his excitement is starting to become contagious. Because now I’m ready to start building this new life too. Ready to find my own new challenge. My own new personal opportunity. Ready to build our new nest. Start our life here together.

But today I can’t. Not yet. Because today I’m at the airport, waiting to catch my one way flight back to our old life. So I can start tying up all our loose ends. Start writing the ending of this chapter. So the beginning of our new story, our next chapter can, well, begin. I guess. Yep, begin. And that means that finally I think I can do this. I think this is right. And I know now that endings have to come in order to have beginnings. Ours is starting now. And I’m glad of that. Relieved. And maybe a little happy? At last. Yes. Happy.

So, I’m getting with the move program.  Even talked to a realtor last night.  I’m a team player, remember?  And my new ohsohelpful realtor friend in the 863 sent me 70+ listings to go thru.  And once I get over the burned retinas I developed while looking at all those lovely choices in housing, I’ll be fine.  Really.  And for those of you who aren’t familiar, this is where I start to rant.  Put in your earplugs. Ready?

Okay, so I’ve lived in the 863, and the 407, oh and the 321 (can’t forget that garden spot!) too.  And I’ve just got to say that so far in our house hunt I have been either a) appalled, or b) amazed, or c) disgusted with what I’m seeing in interior decorating choices in what we’ve seen so far. Seriously, last night I think I figured out that the real estate glut in Florida hasn’t been caused solely by the reasons that the pesky librul media gives us.  I think pure and simple bad taste and an unexplained craving for the Miami Vice good old days is the unsung second part of the problem.  I mean, damn.  Just damn. There are some butt-ugly houses down there.  And I’m not talking difference in taste issues, I’m talking “make a freight train take a dirt road” ugly.  And before you say it, yeah, yeah, yeah, there’s some amazing deals to be had.  Obviously, when you can get a 4 br, 2 ba Pool Home for $200k, the “bang for the buck” quotient is off the charts.  And yes, we looked at several.  But jeezopete, once they open that front door it’s like falling down the rabbit hole.  But only if the rabbit hole was decorated by the Florida Citrus Council.  I mean seriously, I always wondered what ever happened to Crockett and Tubbs after the whole Miami Vice thing jumped the shark, now I know.  Interior design!  Seriously, I’m now thinking that we’re going to end up spending a good chunk of our cost savings correcting some extremely unfortunate wallpaper and paint choices.  And after spending a fun-filled evening viewing about 70 different homes (3 hours I won’t ever get back, thanks!) I’m coming to the decision that foreclosure isn’t nearly enough punishment for some of these people.  Oh hell noes.  I’m thinking the death penalty should be on the table.  Especially if they used wallpaper on top of the atrocious paint choices.  Especially then.  In fact, wallpaper should be outlawed for usage by anyone other than qualified experts.  And then only in small amounts.  Like a powder room, or the inside of a pantry.  I’m just saying.

So, yeah, the upshot is that we’re going to be able to get twice as much house as we have here, plus some.  But it’s going to take some time and a bunch of work to find exactly the right house.  The one that doesn’t cause me to puke mango and citrine all over our realtor’s shoes.  And if I might be so bold… to all you folks who are desperate to sell your home?  Two words – NEUTRAL PAINT.  Learn them. Live them.  And for those of you who are buying houses in the 863?  Stop the madness!!!! I know you live in Florida, but YOU AREN’T AT THE BEACH!!!  You live in Lakeland. In no universe (parallel or otherwise) is a fake Palm Tree considered a tasteful or appropriate decoration in either a) your living room or b) your dining room, or c) anywhere else inside your home.  It’s not cute or whimsical.  It’s tacky.  I’m judging you.  So is Martha.

So, you get the idea already that I’m a little bit disgruntled about this move… right?  Well, if you came up with yes then you should probably call Madam Cleo and see if she’s hiring… because you, my friend, are qualified to be a psychic friend.

Actually a blind squirrel could find that nut… but I’m just being sarcastic.  No thanks necessary, it’s just my own little version of lagniappe for you my friends… only for you.  But anyway, yes, I’m a little displeased about this move, mainly because of the timing, which I must be frank and say could not be worse.  However, when you have so very many things that continue to click into place with such finality, then you have to ask yourself whether this is what is supposed to happen.  But, truly, moves like this are a colossal pain in the butt.  No ifs, ands, or butts about it.  Heh… damn I’m funny.  No butts, get it? Yeah, I crack me up.  But anyway, the whole process of doing this is a pain, wrapped in barbed wire, and coated in nastiness… and I should know, remember the list?  Yeah, I’ve done this before.  Way too many befores for most people anyway.  And I know the drill – and it’s just about as much fun as a Dentist’s Drill.  Actually, now that I think about it, the moving process is a lot like a root canal.  I look forward to both with the same glee and joy.  Um, yeah.  But as I sit here now, writing about the pain that this thing is, I’m simultaneously managing putting off starting that process.  Because I guess if I don’t start doing it I can stay in Denial?  Yeah, denial, that’s our actual next address.  As in sailing on the river of?  Yeah, that’s it.  Look for me, I’m the one in the straw sunhat, 2d Refrigerator box on the left.  Bring a casserole!

But, after I whine for like five forevers about the upcoming events, I wake up on a Sunday morning (okay, this Sunday Morning and last Sunday Morning) to 30-some odd degrees and snow.  And it’s then that I remember that my new address (no, not Denial, Lakeland, and you really need to do a better job of keeping up) doesn’t have as many of these days.  Not nearly.  Okay, maybe one every 40 years.  In fact, the last snow in Lakeland was in 1977 – I was in 7th grade, I remember it, so apparently I’m staving off the Anheuser’s disease pretty well so far.  But anyway, after I look out at the gray and cold and snow, I go into our bedroom, trip over the goosedown comforter and wrench my knee, and then stoop down to put four pair of socks in my overflowing sock drawer.  Suddenly I remember that I’ll very soon be burning all those much-hated socks in my fire pit and also I should probably put that comforter on Craigslist.  And then I look at my eight pair of mittens (I know, who the heck needs 8 pair of mittens? WTF??) and I smile at the thought of all those fuzzy little fingers being just as extinct in my new life as the Dinosaurs were in theirs.  And then, suddenly, I am pretty sure that packing might not be as challenging as I first thought.  Because there’s a bunch of stuff around here that won’t be going with us.

So I can’t promise that I’ll always be smiling about this big paradigm shift of ours.  In fact, sometimes I might even cry a little.  But then I remember that it’s warm.  That I’ve got family there too.  That I’ll be in a place that’s also home.  And then it’s alright.  Again.  For now.

I’m trying.

Posted by: missybw | March 1, 2009

Going Home

Editorial note:  I’m not big on cross-posting, since I believe that you should keep fresh content on both venues.  However, because of the appropriate nature of this post, I’m throwing it up on here too.  Mainly because it’s a great backstory for why this blog even exists.  I promise that I won’t do that very often… and if you’ve already read it over at the other blog then click that little button up on the top that says NEXT BLOG and keep going. KTHXCYA

Thus proving that you can go home again…

If you want to.  But first you need to figure out whether you want to.

So, WOW.  Yeah, wow.  That pretty much sums up the last two weeks, pretty much.  I’m still missing the appropriate words to actually say more than that… still trying to get my brain to accept the following heretofore unthinkable words:

We’re moving to Lakeland, FL

I know, SRSLY ZOMG WTF!!!!!! And, really, except for the whole eye twitch and facial tic that the thought of another (OMG I must be nuts) TN to FLA move, that’s about all I’ve been able to mumble.  Ever since Monday.  Ever since The Bob called, with the news that the unthinkable was not so unthinkable anymore.  In fact, the unthinkable had at that moment become reality.  Because of a job offer.  A good job offer.  Two states away.  In a place I left 20 years ago.

Yeah, I guess it’s appropriate to add at this point that Lakeland is where I grew up.  From 1972 to 1989 it was my home.  The south side, the only side as far as we were concerned.  Southwest & Scott Lake Elementaries, Crystal Lake Junior High, and LHS – Home of the Mighty Dreadnaughts!  Yes, indeed, I moved there when I was 7 and I stayed until I was 25.  Until I finally escaped and moved to Knoxville.  I know, somehow there’s something about that decision that really makes you question my ever-suspect sanity.  Because, while it was a move to someplace different, it really didn’t fit the bill of a completely bigger and better trade.  But I digress.  To put it bluntly, like almost all of my closest friends, I left the place behind and never really went back.  Well, except for a few short visits to my Grandmother’s Nursing Home and to hang at my Mom’s for Christmas, but other than that it was adios, sayonara, good bye! Just like so many other Lakeland kids, I plotted my escape.  And, believe me, just as soon as I had the chance I was gone.  And now I’m going back. WTF?

And I’m sure all of you who know my backstory are saying about now “hey, wait a minute, you moved back to central Florida from 99 to 04, mostly”. And yes, mostly is the best phrase to describe that phase in my life.  But you also have to remember that I lived in Orlando and  Celebration – both of which are worlds away from Lakeland.  Lakeland still wasn’t where I went back to.  All Lakeland represented to me was a place in my history books, where I used to be from.  I mean, I left it so completely that I haven’t even gone to a class reunion.  Mainly because I wasn’t close enough friends with any of the people I graduated with, way back in ’82.  And I lost touch with everyone in my class as soon as I left high school.

Um, yeah, social zero, that’s me, pleasedtameechya!

And now I’m going back, to a place that looks familiar, where I should be at home, just like here, but I’m not.  Where I have family, but not a lot of connections.  I’m nervous.  And I’m scared.  And I’m still not ready to accept that my life has changed this fast, in this dramatic of a fashion.  Still can’t comprehend the mystery in finding that the path that is leading us to our future is the same path that leads me back to my past.

What is old is now new again.  Life has come full circle.  And right now all I can hope is that all of you who are so near and dear to me in this life will stay with me.  As I go back home.

Posted by: missybw | February 28, 2009


And now, when it’s colder than dammit outside and I need a pair of socks…


Posted by: missybw | February 28, 2009

In need of a new interstate or better meds.

Seriously, I do.

1964 – Born in Dandridge, TN

1967 – Moved to Lakeland, FL

1968 – Moved back to Dandridge, TN

1971 – Moved back to Lakeland, FL

1984 – Moved to Gatlinburg, TN

1985 – Moved back to Lakeland, FL

1989 – Moved to Dandridge/Knoxville, TN

1999 – Moved to Melbourne/Orlando, FL

2001 – Moved back to Knoxville, TN

2002 – Moved to Celebration, FL

2004 – Moved back to Knoxville, TN

2009 – Moving back to Lakeland, FL

I know, amazing.  I think I was born a retired Snowbird. Sad.

Posted by: missybw | February 28, 2009

Once again, this time with superglue

And we’re moving.  Again.  To Florida.  I know… what’s not to like? Um, well, a lot actually. But I’m not going to start ranting on here.

This is about the absurd, the inane, the ridiculous… oh, wait, I’ve already done that blog haven’t I?  Okay, so maybe some things won’t change.  Things like me.  But this is the story of our move, our new life, and I decided it needed it’s own home.  Mostly, though, it’s about me trying to have two blogs, because one just wasn’t enough fun.

So, add me to your feedreader, and wait for the funny… I’ll be bringing it.  Or the crazy.  That’s always with me too.