When I was a kid we moved almost every year. My dad was an academic in a very specialized field so we went from university to university while he worked setting up biophysics departments. I remember each year based on the university we were at. 6th grade - University of Buffalo. 7th Grade - University of California Santa Barbara. 8th Grade - Michigan State. 9th Grade - back to Buffalo. And on and on....
I went to 6 different schools over a span of 7 years. I'm sure that had an effect on me...maybe it taught me to avoid making deep relationships knowing that they'd end. Not sure - and although looking back on it now sounds bad it's just something you get used to....sorta like being an Army brat, I guess.
When I got married in 1981 one of our goals was to settle down. We bought a house just outside of Rochester NY and that was home for the next 15 years. That's where my son was born, that's where my career got going...there are too many "firsts" there to list. It was wonderful.
But in the early 1990's we were already looking forward to the future. We had visited the Scottsdale area just before Christmas one year and fell in love with the area. So, before you knew it we had bought a home there and moved. It was heaven.
That's when things got hard. My gender issues were getting more profound and needed attention. So, I started down that path. Within 4 years I was divorced, I left the house and everything in it and was confined to a local apartment, and everything that I had known in life was in disarray.
The saving grace was that people I had met in Phoenix helped me overcome those crushing speed bumps and get to the other side. People like Maria (my electrologist), my neighbors Sally and Ray, and others were instrumental in keeping my spirits up. Those days helped forge lifelong bonds that I will cherish until my last day.
But the Valley had become tainted. Memories had become unpleasant. My wife and son didn't want anything to do with me so it became time to think about new beginnings. In mid-2000 my brother flew down from Rochester to help me pack up my stuff. As we drove north out of the city towards Flagstaff I thought I'd never be back. I was wrong.
Fast forward to the end of 2004. I had just finished working at Dell in Austin and was looking for whatever came next. The lure of the Valley brought me back and I regained a foothold. The bad memories that had tainted my perceptions had dulled and all that was left was my original sense of peace here, and my many friends.
I settled in the Valley again...for 4 years. It was a wonderful time. But eventually, it became time to go. I put my stuff here into storage expecting to return again.
So - here we are. Again I'm packing to leave. Again I'm pulling up my roots here. It is truly bittersweet, but I'm more focused on what needs to be done at this point than wallowing in the emotion of it. Thankfully I'm pretty good at that.
The flights yesterday were uneventful. This morning I'm at a friend's house in the East Valley, and the early morning view from her backyard is something I've come to enjoy. It's peaceful.
|The early morning view from here....in the Valley|
Today is the prelude. I'm taking my friend to work so I can use her car. I'm going to the truck rental place to get that all set. I'm heading to the storage unit to prepare. I'm meeting Maria for lunch. Then - the real meat of the trip starts....