I've had an awesome time visiting family and friends in The Burg. I didn't get to see everyone I would have like to, but that always seems to happen. Mom and Dad threw a shindig over at the house for a church members and old family friends. Sarah, my best friend since I can remember, and I took a day to goof off in Orlando at Disney quest. As you can tell from the picture, we are very grown up. A trip to Ft. DeSoto Beach with my sister, Brenda, and our friend Mary rounded out my time in Florida.
I'm still packing. I don't know how. I mean, I packed everything up in Pensacola and moved it down here so you'd think it would be packed, right? WRONG. When I saw how much stuff there was in both cars I knew I would have to spend way more time downsizing. I also realized that a year is not a very long time in the grand scheme of things and there are a lot of items I can probably live just fine without. Craft stuff, yet again, seems to be the only area I can't bring myself to compromise. My trip is pretty much all in order. I'm stoked that I'm staying with old friends I haven't seen in forever at each stop along the way. Ethel got a clean bill of health, and my car storage system is going to arrive tomorrow, and I went to the record store and loaded up on a bunch of used cd's to entertain myself. There is nothing to it but to do it.
I told a friend of mine today that I'm getting excited so I don't have time to get sad. I've said goodbye to the many people I love in Pensacola and now it's time to say "so long" to the loved ones of St. Petersburg. Tonight, I went to tuck my Mom in (It's a thing my parents do. When one of them goes to bed, they announce it to all those left awake to see if anyone would like to stop whatever it is they are doing and go into the room to wish them good night. It's pretty sweet). While I was laying next to her, just relaxing for a minute, she showed me a journal in which she's been writing about spending time at her Aunt Honey's house when she was younger. Aunt Honey just recently passed away. In the book Mom states that she doesn't want to forget all the memories she made there. I volunteered to read it to her while she was falling asleep. We ended up reading through the whole thing. It was neat to hear about Mom getting in trouble for only picking the biggest blueberries, or how the bird named Joe would trick everyone into thinking the phone was ringing.
Mom packed up everything and moved to Florida from Ohio when she was 18 years old. Obviously she liked it or she wouldn't still be around. She took a risk. She made a choice. And she's never looked back. That doesn't mean she loved the people she left behind any less. To me, it means she knew she was loved so strongly that love would follow her wherever she went. That's what I'm trying to remind myself. Saying goodbye is not a rejection, it's a projection out into the world of all the love that I've been shown. I take with me every kind word, thoughtful action, and loving deed that so many have bestowed upon me. The bonds of love are tighter than the ropes of proximity.
As the song says, "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine..."