We drove south, Maddie & me, headed for our new home in the tall pines of Georgia. Car full of basses, clothes, dog beds (oh, yeah, beds ... Madison doesn't like to walk too far without having the option of taking a nap), a few kitchen appliances that I'm using as a cheapo-dowry of sorts (of course I love you! Here, have a mixer ...) and that's about it. There will be one more move of things I need to have with me in Georgia, including some more basses (duh) and another dog bed or two (again ... duh), but basically the majority of my worldly possessions that I care about, except for my daughter (no, not a possession in the literal sense, but you know what I mean), are in Georgia.
Now, this doesn't mean that the Jersey within me has disappeared, not by a long shot. A few things that reflect my inherent Jersey-ness:
- "You don't need to use your hands so much when you're talking", this from Sheila's dad
- I have to stop being so self-deprecating ... that grows old down here, fast
- When someone says,"We'll, isn't that just so sweet", they rarely mean it
- Double negatives "Now, you just don't know no better" sound illiterate with a Jersey accent ... Best to leave that to the Southerners
- You do pump your own gas here, and no amount of time spent sitting your car waiting for someone else to do it is going to change that
- Being impatient at food stores is frowned upon
So, Maddie & I moved our stuff into the house, creating immediate chaos. Bella, the resident dog-in-charge, was quite gracious and settled in pretty quickly with Madison being there. Bella would have preferred to play more, but Madison has her own little Jersey attitude that she needs to lose and wasn't immediately receptive to playing with a dog 20 times her size. I talked to Maddie about her being less "Jersey" but I don't think she was listening.
It's also a lot, ummm, slower down here. I took Sheila's car for an oil change and wash this morning. All I could think was, if this was Jersey all of these people would be fired for being too thorough. In Jersey that car wash would have been sold as "full car detailing".
Luckily for me, Sheila has the patience of a saint and put up with the disruptions and mess. We've settled into a pretty comfortable routine after a surprisingly short period of time, just additional evidence that somehow, in the middle of all of our collective craziness over the past year, our being together is working out really well.
I will continue working remotely for AWT Environmental, my employer for the past nearly 20 years. As of right now, it will be a lighter part-time schedule for the near future. In a way, while I like the idea of being retired, I also like the idea of keeping up with the company ... they're more of a family than a job.
All in all, things are going better than expected, and our expectations were pretty high to begin with. Our next venture will be a trip back to Jersey in November for my niece Katie's wedding. Sheila will get the entire Goode family onslaught in one shot ... pray for her ...
Sheila & Me