Well, no more grousing about the weather. Spring has finally arrived and we have nothing to complain about.
It seems to me that this is one of the latest springs we have ever experienced. I don’t know exactly how it works, but I wonder if it has something to do with Easter, which is extremely late this year. Who decides when Easter will be after all? I have always thought that it had something to do with Passover, but who makes the final call. Is it like Groundhog’s Day when observers wait for Punxsutawney Phil to come out of his winter home? He didn’t do a very good job this year, so perhaps the Easter date declarers were off as well.
It really doesn’t matter. A season of rebirth and resurrection from the grave of what has been a horrible winter is upon us. The birds are singing a totally different song than they were two weeks ago. The annual burning of the hills is wreaking havoc with all of our sinuses while, at the same time, we have our windows open at last. The winter of our discontent is over.
It was a horrible winter for us, filled with dread and indecision. We have been wanting to move to Kansas City for some time, but it seemed impossible. There were so many obstacles in our way, the biggest of which is our ties to this community. We have been here 20 years, almost a lifetime to someone in their 20s who is starting out, and a length of time that we never imagined when we first moved here. It’s the longest either of us has lived anywhere in our lives. I counted up a few weeks ago and I have moved 22 times in my life. That’s a lot of packing up and saying goodbye and now, we are planning to do it all over again.
The good thing about moving often is that you learn to travel light. You don’t collect a lot of possessions you know you are going to have to pack up and haul someday. The same could be said of relationships. When you move frequently, friendships are taken lightly. You can enjoy your friends but not get too attached so that the leaving is easy.
Moving around from place to place in the city like I did when I was young is different from moving across the country. Our move from Kansas City to New Jersey was the first time I had to say goodbye to friends with some finality, although our family was still there, so we knew we would be back sometime. It wasa a different thing when we moved from New Jersey to Memphis nine years later. I still have a picture of the two of us, surrounded by our friends saying goodbye. My face was red from crying and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
There is still a lot to be done before we leave Emporia. We have to sell our house. It’s a big, old monstrosity that we have poured our hearts and elbow grease — not to mention our fortune — into for the past 20 years. It’s filled with wonderful memories, especially of all of the international students who have shared their lives with us over the past few years. But they have all moved on. They are scattered from San Francisco to Nashville to Cincinnati to Bogota, Colombia, to Seoul, South Korea, but the memories are still here. They will not be left behind when we leave this house.
There are all of the friends and neighbors we have made through the years. The ones we made through the Emporia Chorale, bridge at the Senior Center, from doing income taxes for AARP, from being a CASA, the people at Auspision and Hetlinger who have taken such good care of my brother, from just walking around town and especially from our church here. They have filled up the days of our lives while we are here and it will never be the same. We won’t be able to encounter someone we know every time we go to Walmart in Kansas City. It just will not be the same.
We also have all of the memories of the AirBnB guests we have hosted through the years: the great DK200 riders we have met and the Glass Blown golfers who have partied here in their spare time.
We leave it all behind, but not the memories. Those we will be taking with us. We still have a few months while we make all of the pieces fall into place. I will probably be writing more about our moving as we progress toward the final day. But for now, we will be enjoying the promise of spring and new beginnings.