Happy New Year

I hope 2018 brings everyone much happiness and good health.

This certainly is going to be a New Year for me as I leave this place that has been home for nearly 16 years. In so many ways this plot of land and this house has been more than a home. It was the fruition of my lifelong dream to have some acreage where I could play farmer and have some critters, large and small. I had a horse, Banjo, and several sheep and goats, the last two being Marie – the Barbados sheep – and Lucy – the goat.

Saying goodbye to them has been hard.

But on a deeper level I realize that saying goodbye to this home and this land is the final goodbye to my husband, Carl.

That realization hit me as I watched my granddaughter drive off the property a few days ago in the truck that had been his. It was hard for me to sell it, and I was truly delighted that she wanted Grandpa Carl’s truck, but I had no idea how wrenching it would be to see it leave for the last time. It was almost as if I had some unconscious thought that as long as the truck was here, he might magically appear behind the steering wheel one day.

Sigh… the silly mind games we play sometimes to deal with tough situations.

The journey from last August, when I made the difficult decision that it was time to move, to now has been one big roller-coaster ride of emotions. At times I get excited about a new house – a brand new house – and the possibilities that await me in a new community. Not to mention how good it will be to be closer to my kids. But then I get incredibly sad, thinking about all that I am leaving. I’m sure that is typical for anyone making a big move. And I do remember similar feelings when Carl and I left Michigan those many moons ago.

This will be the fourth move in my life, which is not a lot compared to other people who have moved a lot more. But you have to understand that in addition to finding it difficult to leave family and cherished friends, I am a person who is resistant to change. I do not rearrange furniture and rarely even move a picture or a chair. I like things where they are and find great comfort in knowing that everything is in its place.

So, uprooting me and my things is a huge deal, but I am bolstering myself with remembering how each move brought new adventures and new blessings to my life. After leaving Michigan, Carl and I had a wonderful life raising our kids in the Dallas area, as well as a wide community of friends who were like family. Not that the life was always idyllic, but it was good, and leaving them for Nebraska was a challenge. I joke sometimes that there were heel marks from Dallas to Omaha when Carl said he wanted me to move there. But had I not gone, I would not have found chaplaincy and all the blessings that brought into my life.

Moving back to Texas nine years later was not as emotionally wrenching as leaving had been. We were coming back closer to our kids, and I was finally getting my place in the country. Still, tears flowed as we said goodbye to friends, and I said goodbye to the Pastoral Services Department at Alegent Health.

In addition to playing farmer here in East Texas, I have also been given many creative opportunities through my association with the Winnsboro Center For the Arts. I ran a successful summer drama camp for many years, directed a number of plays, and even got brave enough to get on stage.

My first major role as Mildred in “Squabbles.”

So who knows what lies ahead for me in my new home.

My kids have been my cheering section as I went through my house and designated items to go into an estate sale and divested myself of half of the things in my closet. And I am charging ahead with their help and emotional support.

The actual move date is looming, so I am busy packing and planning and arranging all the details that go with changing a residence. That is why blogging will be sparse over the next few weeks. I keep thinking I am getting closer and closer to being done, but then I look around and realize how much more there still is to do.

What does 2018 hold for you? Any big changes in your life? Big plans? Do let me know. And whatever lies ahead for you, I hope this is a year of great joy.

8 thoughts on “Happy New Year”

    1. Thanks so much, Patricia. I’m sure I will settle in nicely. Even though change is always so hard for me, I do charge ahead and make things work.

      Happy New Year to you.

  1. Happy New Year, Maryann! Nearly nine years ago I moved from beloved San Diego to Boise, ID, after my dad had passed. I moved in with Mom who has lived in this house for 40 years. It’s acre of land and irrigation duties were not something she needed to deal with alone. She’ll be 95 in March and is far healthier than most her age (or even 20 years younger) but I do see the beginning of small changes.

    Mom just stopped driving this past year. I’ve had to make a lot of changes and admit I’ve been a bit overwhelmed at times. One thing I love to say is baby steps still move you forward. So when we do leap, it doesn’t seem quite so bad. All the best to you, Maryann. I know you will find new adventures. Take care.

    1. Thanks for those encouraging words, Cathy. I hope that I can be as healthy as your mom in 20 years. I agree about the baby steps, otherwise the enormity of it all will overwhelm.

    2. And thanks for not chastising me for my typo ? I hate autocorrect on my iPhone. Should be its acre of land – not it’s.

  2. I believe we play these ‘mind games’ for more reasons than not Maryann.

    To suppress our own turmoil in an emotional escape simply helps us endure, no matter the pain we are in.

    We escape in several forms. Some healthy and some not. This is an individual choice. However, you have been extremely blessed to ‘escape’ with your writings. The critters on the dwelling where you lived, where you played ‘farmer DAVID’ will always live in your heart. Please know that there will NEVER be a ‘final goodbye’ to Carl. Mother taught me that you are able to see a loved one, talk to a loved one, and ‘feel’ a loved one every minute of every day. You only need to ‘listen’ and they shall be right there 🙂

    The truck…oh my…yes, I remember my grandfather’s (dad’s father), who had an OLD Ford Galaxy. Shane’s first car. I was SO proud to have big brother take me to school in it, as I did not yet have my license. He thought it was a pain, but it filled me with pride and joy. But then, that same car was used at the ‘Burning of the “A”‘ for homecoming back in October 1989. (‘A’ for Arlington High School).Students jumped on the car, slugged at it with hammers, jackknives, sledge hammers, anything they could get their hands on. As the procession progressed, my heart was torn, as this was the same car that grandpa and grandma would drive out to the farm in, and often, in the winter, would warm up, as to ensure a ride back to the farm, when the school buses were not in travel after a day of school, as they lived in town.

    I do not suppose that darn car would have had such an emotional impact on me, if it wasn’t for the old 1985 Ford LTD that ma and pa had.

    (another story)…Briefly, they cut plastic milk jugs to duck tape on the sides of the back end to cover the lights. The inside roof was stapled, the glove box door had no dream of being re-established, we played tic-tac-toe on the dust-filled dashboard, threw all trash in the back seat, and then the day came…

    Father had been cleaning the farm up for several months, upon farming retirement. Looked pretty damn beautiful too!!!! Then it was time to get ride of the ‘ol LTD.

    What a sad day indeed, when the ‘metal people’ came and pulled that old gal up on a trailer to haul off and we would get some ‘scrap metal money.’ Mother in her purple ball cap, father in his rolled up flannel, and me standing aside laughing inside.

    Oh for the memories embedded in a car, a truck, these too may be mind games.

    Anything, I believe is able to play with one’s mind…yet, only if we ‘let’ it. Hard not too. Life is what it is, but it is also one’s choice to discern just exactly ‘what is and what is to be.’

    I am wishing you, praying for you, and hoping all of your coming ventures are fruitful dear friend 🙂

    As they say in the USN…HOO YAH 🙂

    1. What a lovely response, Sheila. This could very well be one of your blog posts. It evoked so many images and emotions in me as I read it.

      1. THANK YOU Maryann for your response 🙂 Something told me to ‘get into your “woman cave” and check your site out…this is precisely why!!

        Your comment has uplifted my spirit…I NEEDED this…bless you ALWAYS…I ‘will’ do it…HOO YAH 🙂

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