Spring always pisses me off.
Winter is such a welcome retreat for this hideaway girl who loves nothing more than snuggling up in blankets with a steaming mug of something needing more honey.
Spring is a mix of bloom, renewal, and dusting off. Unicorns and rainbows. Gag. As the weather warms up, all this blue sky fills me up with dread to work harder, try something different, push forward.
I like the old stuff. Nothing was wrong with our old rhythm.
We're moving soon.
We have twelve weeks to get out of here and on to new dirt. Without official orders we have only rumors about where that dirt is located. Rumors of this variety are typically true but I'm waiting for orders before selling our furniture.
This is when I begin the mourning.
Last time, about twelve weeks before leaving our sweet neighborhood in Pennsylvania, I took a long drive to say goodbye to our old lives. What began as a quick ice cream run to Sheetz ended up thirty minutes of intense therapy. There wasn't one mile of it I wanted to forget. I can remember driving past the Tiny Tots where I stuck Grayson in for a couple of weeks. He cried like I was never coming back even though I only left him there for two hours a week. His devastated sobs silenced by the front glass door still haunts me. He hated that place. I hated that place. Nothing about it should've make me nostalgic but there I was, heaving heavy sighs into my Half-Bakes Ben & Jerry's as I drove past it. Suddenly every inch of it became holy.
After circling my tiny 5 mile radius, I drove the gamut. I mourned for the wooded trail I ran on with my friend Blythe. I felt sad for abandoning Shopper's Food Warehouse, Dairy Queen, and our favorite Mexican place. Next to New, my favorite consignment shop where Grayson and pregnant I spent several of our most tender moments shopping for precious things and new baby onesies held its own time capsule of happy. I grieved leaving Black Dog Cafe, Ollie's Garden Center, and Phoenixville Hospital, where both of our babies were born. Marni, Vinnie, Cara, Andy...these people and these places defined our lives in Pennsylvania. We had sewn each memory tightly together over our four years there.
There's an Abby in my belly.
It was hard to leave.
Now four years later, I can tell I'm starting my "goodbye drive" here in Northern Virginia. I see my eclectic neighborhood streets through the eyes of a short timer. Everything is holy. The daily trip down the same roads to our children's schools makes my jaw ache. That dip, this turn, slowing down for that cop who sits right there at the bottom of that hill.. It's all going to be someone else's place to fall in love with. Our time together here is almost over. The fence surrounding our house that has stood sturdy as a moat for years suddenly seems pale and droopy to me now instead of staunch and proud. Everything is starting to take on the hue of a memory.
I am beginning to memorize all the things I don't want to forget: Our 86 year old neighbors Jack and Eddie Lou's Sunday best in their driveway every weekend. Hotpants across the street (her name I think is Sharon) leaving her tired old pit bull's leash on a mailbox while she finishes her run. Mr. Ives waving to us from his garage. The bazillion soccer kicks and football tosses in our back yard. A lifetime of living.
Easter egg hunts.
Surviving a 10 month deployment alone with a 4 and a 2 year old.
That lopey fox ducking across the street like an exotic cat. Our reliable backyard cardinal always brilliant through the bush when I look. Jenna, my soul sister who just gets me for no reason in the world other than serendipity, oh how I will miss our "runs" where I make her walk really fast just so I can kvetch about everything and still breathe. My preschool mom friends, these women who I cannot think of leaving without puddling up, they who have lifted me up every single day of my Virginia life. I was very needy a couple of years ago. My own family who I don't get to see often enough but feel closer to just because of geography. Trader Joe's, Doodlehopper, Tillie, our hiking trails, my favorite lady at the McDonald's drive-thru, the always patient Dr. Henrickson.
Damn you spring and all your plans of work and change.
This girl was really hoping for a few more weeks of easy winter.