Friday, April 01, 2011
Chris's job has been what one generous soul would call "a hot mess" for more than a year. It has been degenerating for at least a year, and he's been developing a case of "homesick" that's been getting more and more obvious over that same year. We had been looking at relocating someplace further south - Charlotte, NC was a prime candidate - but the "homesick" part started to grow, fueled in part by something not far from a miracle.
Chris and his parents have not had the best of relationships - a combination of old hurts and their resistance to his orientation. When he left his hometown to come to Toledo to be with me, the phone lines were silent from New Years' to Mothers Day, and even after that, there wasn't a lot of phone traffic between Mothers' Day and Christmas.
But things started to change last July when we went down to visit for his birthday, and the turnaround since then has been really miraculous. And when it was time to decide our new destination, Chris finally admitted that where he would like to go was back to his hometown of Springfield, MO.
So, after spending a bunch of time on Craigslist and surfing the property management sites in Springfield, we went down and found a great two-bedroom duplex with a two-car garage and a little deck on the south side of the city. A quiet neighborhood, but one pretty accessible to almost anything, about 25% bigger than the place we're in now, and about $50 a month cheaper. We got the approval on Monday, and the process has begun.
The word has been out before this...I let people in the recovery community know a month or so ago, and Chris had his notice given for him about the same time. He made the mistake of telling one of his supposedly-trustworthy co-workers (on that person's last day at work) that he planned to be leaving also - which meant that in a flash, his whole department, including his manager, had the word also. Chris's co-workers are bumming, big-time - he's been a key-player there for more than a little while - but he's put the "going to be with my parents" spin on it, so they can hardly fault him. I would guess that if anyone else could come up with a half-way-decent job, they'd be out-de-door too...
It's harder for me...I've lived in Toledo for 17 years, and in Chicago for three, so the lack of scenery is hardly a new or difficult thing for me, as it is for Chris. Where I've been has largely been a function of the people, especially in the recovery community - so this is a kind of tearing-apart for me that Chris isn't experiencing, so much. I've just been here long enough to put down the kind of roots that hurt when they're pulled-up, so this is a different experience for me.
And yet, it's not so very different...I left a loving church and recovery community in KC when I went to seminary, and had some pretty solid roots in the Chicago recovery community when I left for Toledo. Looking from that standpoint, I was in KC for 12 years, Chicago for 3, Toledo for 2, and Champaign/Urbana for 2 (almost to the day). It feels like I've been saying "goodbye" and "hello" for quite a while. Not to mention that with Chris's move to Toledo, my move in with Chris, our joint move to C-U, and now the move to Springfield, we will have made four moves in 3-1/2 years...so I'm ready to be shut of moving-boxes, bubble-wrap and Penske trucks for a while.
The plan is to be 95-98% packed by Easter Sunday, April 24th, and to wrap up on Thursday, 4/28, have folks from "Two Men and A Truck" load the truck on Friday, drive down there by Friday night, have the "Two Men" folks unload us Saturday afternoon, and be residents of Springfield on May 1st. We'll see how it all works out. But for now, back to packing...