This is my last post from the United States. I'm off to Finland on Sunday. The cats will travel as soon as the weather permits, and Chris will join us shortly after. As you might imagine, leaving is both exciting and sad. I've said a lot of goodbyes to a lot of people I hold dear during the last couple of days. I can't say it's been easy. I've cried a lot.
The day I leave the US will be the same date, August 12th, as the one in 2009 when I arrived in the US with Chris and the cats. Three years have gone by so quickly, and yet I feel like I've lived here longer. It's been a profoundly good experience. Chris and I (and the kitties, of course) have been very happy here. I will miss our little house. I will miss the ice-cream stand we frequent, the one at the industrial park, where we sit under the awning, dangling our feet and watching the trucks drive by. I will miss the little antique shops. The rolling hill-tops. Even the annoying local news' weather guy. Most of all, I will miss our friends and family here. Nights spent playing cards or just talking about life, and hunting vintage jewelry with Lynn. It is difficult to leave all that behind. And then there are some things that I am not going to miss, like the humid summers and the horrible-tasting tap water. Our loud neighbours. The standard measuring system. The slowly decaying, dying town: the empty buildings with boarded-up windows, the closed-down businesses. I say that I am not going to miss it... but there is indescribable beauty in the crumbling bricks and the movie theaters that have not shown any movies in twenty years.
Finland will be a big change for us. I've never lived in the countryside before. Chris is not yet capable of communicating in Finnish. The cats will have a heck of a day when they fly across the pond, and I am sure it will take them a while to get accustomed to their new home. So off I go, to get things started for us. We welcome our new adventures with open arms and open hearts.