I am waiting for him to come home because we have a date tonight, as in August 2011. But alas he is always working hard and is still about an hour away so I found it the perfect time to share a little more about our life, and our journey to the life we live now.
February 1995 the call came. There was a store in Ventura that needed a store manager and it was THE perfect location in relation to where my family lived. AWESOME! I had two weeks to get there. NOT SO AWESOME. I thought I could do it, just pack up and go within a week. I told my DM that I could finish out one week and only needed the next week to pack and sum it all up. I was completely wrong. I realized rather quickly that although we had made the decision to go when the time came, I had not factored in that I would be leaving all that I knew: close family, many friends, roads, landmarks, bank accounts, business acquaintances that I had to at least say goodbye to. It was overwhelming and heart crushing to finish it all in two weeks, but that is what happened. Thank you to all of my wonderful friends for coming to the various parties in those days. The support and love you shined on me was evidence that I would so miss the familiarity of their companionship.
I left on a Tuesday morning, early. My mother took me to the airport and that was very hard to say goodbye to her, complete with her compliments on how courageous it was of me to leave all I know to make my own niche in the world. I landed and picked up the Volvo that I was purchasing from my cousin. There was nothing like that drive from the airport to my cousin's house where I was going to stay. I had a sunroof for the first time in my life and I drove listening to Tool, cruising up the 5 FWY, truly out on my own for the fist time and so happy to accomplish my personal goal of being in California before I was 25. I can still smell the lilac air that soon turned to orange blossoms and then into jasmine. I felt peace, I felt free.
Bruce was ready to come out by May. I arranged to come into town without my mother knowing because we wanted to be packed and on the road by Monday and it just so happened that her birthday fell on that very weekend! Bruce picked me up and we embraced for about 5 minutes right there in the terminal. So great to see him, hold him and know that he would be forever with me once we made this move. Grateful for the trust he had in me to lead us to the so called promised land, and by that I mean our new start. My mother was working that day and I told Bruce that we were going to BBQ at her house so when she came home she would see him first, and then I would just jump out and say HELLO! It worked, and she loved it! See, we had told her that Bruce was going to make the drive by himself so she never thought I would be there. But I was. And she loved it!
The day before her birthday our good friends held a party for our finale leaving town bash. It was fabulous, so many friends came out .... all of whom told both of us privately how much they admired us and wished us nothing but happiness and a life lived well. It was an emotional night, it was a hilarious night, it was a This is you Life kind of night with people dropping by at all hours to wish us well, see us one last time before the adventure of a lifetime. Some friends surprised us with their heartfelt send off, and some friends refused to say goodbye vowing that they would visit. Bruce and I were apprehensive and anxious, but after that night we knew that there were many other people who were behind us in all that we wanted to do in our lives. This helped us to then say goodbye to our families that Monday morning, the last day that we lived in Missouri.
Setting off we were quiet. Me especially because we left from my mother's house so I was the last one to say goodbye. We hit the highway heading West and the song came on, and it was perfect. Led Zeppelin fans that we were, Going to California seemed to somehow ease all that we were feeling that morning. We drove over familiar territory, looking one last time at the landscape ... the signs to Jesse James Cavern .... Six Flags Over Mid America .... The Ozarks, it would be a long time before we would travel this area again and we paid attention to all we could. Remembering all the times we drove it and took it for granted.
Heading into Oklahoma we realized that we would have to stop there for the night. It was not long at all after the Oklahoma City Bombing so things were subdued to say the least. We found a place to stay and after eating, we crashed out dreaming of what the next day would bring.
That is all for now, I have to get ready for my night out with the hubby. Considering it does not happen often, I am thankful that we will have some time alone. To just hang out with each other, and this time talk about all that we have done since coming to California. It has been a mixture of survival and discovery that has somehow turned out to be top notch coupledom with stamina, love, compromise and humor. Oh how I love that man of mine!