It is time for me to say good-bye to Indiana one last time as my home. I am leaving on good terms this time. I am not running away from a life I don’t want, I am running to the place I want to spend the rest of my life. Big difference!!
When I was 22 years old and Kevin asked me to move to Hickory with him, I was very unhappy with my life. I hated my job. I was still living with my parents and I wanted out of Fort Wayne. I had a wonderful childhood there-I just knew there was more to the world than Indiana. My favorite thing to do when I was a kid was travel. We never went far, usually a cottage in Michigan and when I was older, Spring Break in Florida. I LOVED these trips! I loved being in a different city, staying in a different place and seeing new scenery. My parents lived their whole lives in Fort Wayne and they were perfectly happy, but I knew I would never be happy if I didn’t get away and explore. I had no idea what was waiting for us in Hickory. I had never even heard of it before! I knew I loved Kevin and I knew I wanted out of Fort Wayne.
Funny how you sometimes have to move away from somewhere to appreciate where you came from. I started missing home almost immediately. Moving away was completely different from visiting for a while. We only lasted three years before we moved back to Indiana, but I wouldn’t change a thing! When we moved back, we had such an appreciation for our home state. And, we had made life long friends in Hickory. I had no map for these three years of my life and I learned so much about myself and what was important to me!
Indiana, Fishers to be exact, has been our home now for 30 years. We raised our daughter here. We had careers and a good life. We had excellent health care and we have friendships that will be a part of us until we die. But, it is time to move on. We have outgrown our Fishers life. We no longer enjoy Indiana weather, cold in the winter and hot and sticky in the summer. Kevin’s career has ended at Lily and mine working with children. We want MORE. We want warm air with a cool breeze. We want beaches close enough to go to daily if we want-not only when we have vacation time. We want to sit outside without allergies and mosquitos. Most of all, we want these things TOGETHER. It wasn’t easy finding a place to retire that we both love. It took us years to agree and when we did, it gave us a common goal. It brought us closer. It made our marriage stronger. So, yes, I am nervous moving so far away from everything and everyone I know. But most of all I am damn excited!! Excited to be able to have this experience with the man I love. Excited to have the support of my daughter to make this move. Excited that our friends are happy for us and support our decision. (And PROMISE to visit!) That is what I am most of all –excited!!
We had dinner with friends recently and one asked me what I was going to miss in Indiana besides our friends and family. I had to think for a minute. I will miss fireflies. I will miss my mother’s peonies and columbine and day lilies I transplanted from my parents yard. I will miss the crooked tree we named Bert in our front yard that is too tall to dress up at Halloween anymore. I will miss kayaking in Indiana lakes. I will miss Amish cooking (especially fried chicken and pie). I will miss watching Connor Prairie Fireworks from our yard. I will miss being a therapy team with Paws and Think. I will miss Colts football and IU basketball. I will miss all this and so much more that I cannot even imagine right now. But, you know what, that’s okay. That means I have great memories!! I have lived long enough to value my memories and look forward to making new ones in Oceanside.
So with these fond memories, I bid Indiana farewell. I will always be a Hoosier at heart. I will always call a vacuum a “sweeper” and soda “pop”. Most of all, I will always appreciate the life I lived here. It made it possible to have the future adventures ahead!!