pulling up stakes and moving on…

by Bella Rum

The first leg of the move is behind them – literally. My son and his family have reached their temporary home. They’re putting down stakes in Chicago (work related) for the next six or seven months before moving on to that mid-size, Midwest city I told you about.

This is the view from their window for now.

This is the view they left behind.

Their next view is still a big question mark.

He told me that as they drove through less populated towns and cities, he felt excitement about living in a different environment, a place that has open spaces and access to nature. I had a little chuckle with myself. He has always had an affinity for anything new or foreign or anything he hasn’t already been exposed to. He loves to meet people from other countries and to travel to places some Americans would consider unsafe. He enjoys being immersed in cultures that are very different from his own.

He grew up in the suburbs. In the 80s and 90s, we lived in a fairly homogeneous neighborhood only a couple of miles outside of Annapolis, MD. I think he found it boring or at least not stimulating enough. He told me a million times that he was going to live in a big city when he grew up. I told him that would be just fine.

I figured he’d work in Baltimore and sit in traffic like his Dad had done for years, but he ended up working a block from the Empire State Building and commuting by subway. His ride was only about 10 minutes, but he usually stood most of the time because he was raised by a Southern mother, and he was uncomfortable sitting if a lady was standing. He told me he could feel my hand smacking him on the back of his head. I never did that.

It’s funny how things work out. He stayed in the city so long that the kind of life he had as a child seems foreign to him now and represents a big change. Distance and time has made it shiny and new again. Yet, I bet it also feels a little like coming home.