ah, changes.

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I guess I foolishly thought the change of moving from my home of 34.5 years in the gray, industrial, cozy midwest to a locale 1000 miles away on the southeast coast was going to be the biggest one to adjust to this year.

I might have been wrong.

The girls started school – not homeschool, but somewhere-else school, full time, 8-9 hours a day, this week.

Paige left for college, nine hours away, this week.

I drove around town to shops, offices, restaurants without using the GPS or turning around, this week.

We’re getting somewhere.

It makes sense to me that these things all kind of happened at the same time. This summer was a series of things to get through…unpack, have Branson, visit Chicago, entertain out of town guests (hooray for them!) make the leap of putting M & KK in school, send Paige.

And now all those things have occurred, and we’re working big time toward getting the theater open (which I don’t expect will be a ‘normal’ thing but hopefully will ‘normalize’ our work existence just a tiny bit), and so it seems that the time has arrived not to be the new girl so much, and just be who I am.

It’s a bewildering balance to strike. My social circle is still housed in two definite places, one in Chicagoland, made of people I’ve known since the first day of Saukview to people who have been melded into my soul just in the past few years…and one in our gospel-music-traveling-world, where we meet up on Twitter and text and the occasional joint concerts or drive-throughs and certainly in Branson and usually in Louisville, although not this year.

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But I need a social life here. A real one.

The work one is great. The work lunch has successfully helped me deal with losing the play date lunch. I almost embarrassingly love the work lunch. I will be a little sad when we have an office and I will not be able to justify eating out every day. Meanwhile, Rod and I have become recognizable regulars in a few places. I got called ‘Kel’ for the first time since we moved here. And people don’t seem afraid of my laugh, which is good, because that part of me cannot be edited. It is physically impossible. Plus, score, I am working with my best friend every day; if not for that, I honestly can’t imagine what going back to work (teehee. ’cause I’ve been lounging for the past four and a half years) would be like.

The church one is coming. We’ve forged some connections. We know we have people who have our backs. That is a beautiful thing that I have never taken for granted, but taken even less for granted now!

But there is comfort in knowing people…knowing their stories, knowing their sensitive topics, knowing they have breakfast with their mom and dad every Saturday morning and knowing they like fake cheese sauce rather than the shredded kind on their Tex Mex and knowing how they take their coffee and that they not only welcome but expect a hug at the beginning and end of your time together. There is comfort in people loving your kids but also being familiar enough to touch them, laugh at them, discipline them.

There is comfort in friends that doesn’t exist in any other place, and right now, for the most part, my friends exist miles from me, in welcome phone calls and funny texts, unreachable.

~

This weekend was a great little clinical trial. I spent my first night alone here with Rod taking Paige to UK. It was fine. I had confidence enough to take the girls to a sit down dinner and patience enough to ‘get everything done’ and energy enough to get them to school on time. I did my thing and we did our thing, and then Friday night’s craziness ensued: Rod’s connecting flight to Florence was cancelled…just as we had reached Florence. Fortunately, the girls didn’t act like maniacs the entire time in the car. We listened to stories and I got to talk on the phone and we had brought snacks, so our unfortunate LAST EXPERIENCE EVER trying to eat Burger King for dinner was even ok (Seriously. That chicken sandwich used to be good, and now it should not pass as edible). Rod caught a last minute flight to Myrtle Beach and made it there before we did. And on the way, because I tell my life story on FB sometimes (I love the challenge to make it brief and fun), I got a call from one of those new friends offering to help.

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Saturday, we played low-key. The girls were up way earlier than they should have been, but get this… they played on their own for hours. I made a big breakfast and then baked, and put together care packages for the Big Kids, and Rod and I talked and talked. It was kind of awesome.

Saturday night we went to dinner, and M & KK requested, get this, their own table. So Rod and I pretended we were on a date. We have fabulous imaginations…

Sunday, well. Sundays are still hard. I still miss our church, even though I love Journey, and our being there is right, period. It’s just that sitting still in church, listening to words that are beautifully crafted to cause reflection and worship, makes me weep like a crazy lady. And this week, through a random series of events on the way to church, I was crying before we even got there. Score.

Myrtle Beach: I miss having people around on the weekends. So let’s do some stuff, ok?

Anyway, the changes continue to come. And in a few weeks, I will be able to write about another huge one that is just down the pike. And as we navigate them all, because we are who we are, I have dreams and inclinations of more changes to come. Crazy, I know. But that’s how we ride this tidal wave. Laughing all the way.

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