Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Taking Bumps in Stride

Everything has been going smoothly toward the closing of our house. Inspections are done, appraisal and searches are finished. We're on the home stretch. Nine more days until we close, load, and head on down the road. We were feeling so confident about the way things have been going that we took off last Friday morning for a weekend in Kansas City with our daughter Jill, and family. We celebrated her 36th birthday, spent time with the grandies and generally had a relaxing visit.
Celina has recently taken up archery, and she's a natural!

If it was Thanksgiving, and she had a stomach for it, we would have had a fine bird.
Dan and Hogan
Related to the move, we were thinking ourselves on easy street. Then Jill reminded us of her experience moving from Sydney, Australia to the US. How they sold their furniture, sold most of their belongings, sold their car, and still, as little as they had to pack, found themselves scrambling during the last week to pull it all together. My! Didn't we sit up and take notice!

We have begun packing the kitchen into boxes. Our closet is pretty much empty.

Monday afternoon we hit our first bump in the road, so to speak. I took 8-1/2 year-old Hogan to Ames, Iowa, to the small animal hospital in the School of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University. Hogan is blind in his left eye (perhaps shot with a bb gun before he was rescued), so fairly regularly his ocular pressures need to be checked. We learned that a recent change in the appearance of his blind eye is from glaucoma, and that pressure was 73. Normal is between 12 and 15. It's very likely that he's been in pain, and at the very least has had headaches. Poor guy.

We've bought all the drugs to reduce the pressure - eye drops and pain meds - and will be administering those, but the doctor's recommendation is to have Hogan's eye removed. With the timing and logistics of our move, surgery isn't an immediate option. But living in The Villages, we'll be near the University of Florida in Gainesville, where we'll be looking up an opthalmology veterinarian.

The sad part of leaving one's home of 22-1/2 years is what's been happening the past two weeks. Days have been marked by "lasts."

On Wednesday I'll be parting with my 2000 Volkswagen Beetle. It's been a great little car, and it holds many wonderful memories. How do I remember? In the glove box, I kept this guest book that every new passenger signed, dated, and sometimes commented in.

Since April 21, 2000, I've had 85 passengers! When I was co-chair of programs for the Des Moines Area Quilters Guild, I shuttled our speakers to and from the airport, motel and restaurants. I have siggies from celebrity quilters:

Harriet Hargrave - Ruth B. McDowell - Irma Gail Hatcher - Terry Ann Waldron

Also Helen Kelley (columnist for Quilters Newsletter Magazine) who has since passed away.

My most cherished signature is that of my Mother who was my second passenger. She passed away in 2002.

Today was the last time I hand-washed my Bug. It's never been through a car wash. Pride of ownership? You bet! It has also been vacuumed for the last time, and the license plates - 4GRDU8N (for graduatin') - have been taken off. It's ready to be picked up Wednesday morning by its new owner. Bye bye little silver Bug.

I've also attended:

* my last Hope Quilters meeting. Cake was served, and quilters were asked to share a memory.

* my last church rehearsal with Adoration Choir, and a farewell social time afterward.

Two of my eight alto friends: Carla and Karel
* and my last Modern Quilt Guild meeting with the Des Moines Chapter. I was the program speaker, sharing my experiences and knowledge about free motion quilting.

While I was changing a sewing machine foot and re-threading the machine, they ate cake! 
Check out the palm trees and flip-flops. Too perfect.
Yet to come is the last evening I spend with my closest friends, the Batting Buds. A box of tissues please.

Then, on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m., those same friends are hosting a Stitchin' Mission farewell open house at our church. Since Stitchin' Mission is going with me to Florida - SM is really God's that I'm tending - my extremely thoughtful friends have planned this occasion to gather some of the quilters I've met during the past seven years of this program. More than 120 email invitations were sent. It will surely be wonderful.

Considerate friends are making it difficult to leave.

And here, I thought I would just quietly walk away.


P.S. If you're noticing that word verification is turned on again, it's 'cause I started to get spam comments. Sorry friends.


  1. Certainly a time of mixed emotions, Linda. Leaving behind all those wonderful friends...but at least you can carry all those wonderful memories with you! :) All the best for an easy move. Exciting new times are ahead. And lots of wonderful new friends to add to your glorious tapestry of life. Blessings. xx

  2. Your post reminds me of the song.."Make New Friends, but keep the old, One is silver while the other is gold." I'll be praying that the move continues to go smoothly and for you as you open this exciting new chapter in your life.

  3. We have a saying that sometimes we cry with one eye and with the other we laugh. I guess that's how you must be feeling now (at least that's how I always feel when we move). It's very emotional leaving friends and all things familiar behind, isn't it? Best of luck!
    PS: Your beetle really is looking like brand new. I hope the new owner knows how lucky he/she is!

  4. You are certainly closing your Des Moines chapter on a bittersweet note, Linda, but I'm so happy that the people who love and care for you are honoring you so!
    Enjoy every second!!

  5. If you aren't careful you will taking a few extra pounds with you to Florida...with all the farewell functions complete with cake! I am sure the new owner will cherish your beetle.....enjoy the farewells and look forward to the welcome from new friends in Florida...lovely pics of your grandies!!

  6. Linda, I wish you and Dan all the best and I'm sure you are looking forward to your new life even when it is hard to leave behind many friends but you will have all the memories in your heart and that's what counts.

  7. To repeat a common cliche , one door shuts and another one opens. Good luck and don't leave the tissues behind.

  8. You could only walk away quietly if you've not made an impact on the lives of those who know you!
    You have been well loved it's obvious!

  9. Perhaps many lasts but just think how many firsts you'll be having when you move! Wishing Hogan the best.

  10. You are making me sad - leaving is so hard. You will have many new and wonderful things waiting for you, but it is hard saying good bye. You have invested well and have meant a lot to the people in your life and I'm sure it will be so in your new home.

  11. I know you're excited about the new adventures that await you but it's still so bittersweet to say all those goodbyes. Is there anything you can tell us about the Bugs new owner? Are you going to have a guest book for the golf cart?

  12. enjoy your last week Linda - and give Hogan a cuddle for me :)

  13. The last time we moved it was emotionally difficult. Both my little boys came home from the hospital to that house and we created a lot of memories there. When we moved to our bigger and better home I realized that the memories were not left in the house, but they were in our hearts. The same will happen to you, my dear Linda. I wish you and Dan well on your journey. Enjoy the excitement of settling into a new home and new, exciting lifestyle. I'll be praying for travel mercies for all of you. Thank goodness for the Internet -- we're only keystrokes away!

  14. What a great idea to have a guest book in the car! Best of luck with your move. You're doing a similar thing to what a lot of Aussies do - migrate north to the warmer states when one retires - we call them 'the grey nomads'.

  15. What a post. I love the idea of the guest book in your car. What memories. While it's hard to leave, there are new people and new adventures in store for you, all part of His plan.

  16. Linda, best, best wishes on the new chapter in your life. I still remember you in the office at Drake's school of journalism. Look how much you have accomplished. I know this new phase of your life's journey will be fantastic. Lucky are those who will get to meet and work with you in your new surroundings. ENJOY!

  17. Hi Linda, I am so happy for you and the excitement the future holds for you and your family. I am also blessed for having met you, first on line and then in person. Even tho I've only known you a short time, I will miss you. I can't believe how hard it will be for the members of your guilds to say good-by. May God be with you in all you do in the future. Those folks in Florida will be gaining a wonderful new friend!!

  18. Hi Linda, I am so happy for you and the excitement the future holds for you and your family. I am also blessed for having met you, first on line and then in person. Even tho I've only known you a short time, I will miss you. I can't believe how hard it will be for the members of your guilds to say good-by. May God be with you in all you do in the future. Those folks in Florida will be gaining a wonderful new friend!!

  19. Linda ... looking forward to sharing one more glass of wine and a toast to this new chapter in your life! I've missed all the other send-offs, so I'm glad I can join you tomorrow on your last evening in West Des Moines. God is good and will go with you on this new journey ... and his blessings will be abundant!



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