So, it was, in fact, my last night in Texas. We left last Tuesday morning and arrived in the Twin Cities around supper time on Wednesday. We were a day earlier than expected, catching Bonnie off guard, but she was gracious and welcoming, and we’re both very happy to be here.
In Heart of Gold, Bonnie wrote about how the idea for this relocation transpired. She had asked her husband, Dale, how he felt about having us stay here for an extended period, and he was fine with it. Then, without any prompting from Bonnie, he came up with a plan to fly to Texas, rent a moving truck, load us up and drive back to Minnesota. Dale took off an entire week from work, and sandwiched all this between two business trips.
I think it’s very much worth mentioning that, not only did Dale do all this out of the kindness of his heart, he never once gave any indication that it was the slightest bit of trouble. There is no doubt in my mind that he was tired, jet-lagged and missing his lovely wife with whom he had shared a few brief moments before heading off to Texas, but despite all that, he was pleasant, patient and kind to my son and me throughout the entire two-day journey.
These past few days have been very nice. I have enjoyed spending time with my best friend and chosen sister, and getting to know her dear husband. These two people are the kindest, most generous and compassionate people I have ever known.
It’s important to keep in mind that my son and I are not the only ones in transition here. This is a big adjustment for Bonnie and Dale as well. Not only are they sharing their home with two other people, one of those people is (very nearly) a twelve-year old boy with quite a lot of energy. He is also going through the (quite normal for his age) process of testing the boundaries of his new surroundings, which can be somewhat trying, even for his dear ol’ mom who loves him more than anything. Still, these two wonderful people have been comendably patient and understanding. They have treated us both with love and compassion, and continue to make us feel as though this is exactly where we belong.
I don’t know that I will ever be able to thank them properly. I only hope that they both know how very much they are appreciated, not only by my son and me, but by Mike as well. It’s difficult for him, knowing that all this is happening and being too far away to get right in there and help with the nuts and bolts of it all. Knowing that we are now surrounded by people who truly have our best interests at heart gives him a peace of mind that he wouldn’t otherwise have. It is a priceless gift to Mike, knowing that his wife and son are safe and happy in his absence.
If I believed in angels, I would wonder where Bonnie and Dale were hiding their wings.
The house is lovely! We each have our own rooms and bathroom — we’ve been made more than comfortable. I am surrounded by books in my room (that’s what heaven would be like, I’m sure) and my eyes were immediately drawn to The God Delusion which I am now reading for the first time, and loving every minute.
The backyard is a wooded area where deer and other critters frequently walk right up to the back of the house. I’ve already seen up to six deer at once. It’s amazing to behold, and brings a feeling of tranquility.
Yesterday, we were given a tour of the Twin Cities. It’s very nice, and there are only about six miles between downtown Saint Paul and downtown Minneappolis. Since the city buses run between them, working in either city is a viable option.
John will not start school until next Monday. The first order of business is to get him settled in there, and possibly find an after-school program of some kind for when I start working again. In the mean time, I will be applying to jobs online (Bonnie has emailed me a list of places) and see about registering with the Minnesota Workforce so I can start receiving my unemployment compensation. The Workforce also has a variety of good resources and programs for people in my situation.
Before signing off, I mustn’t neglect to mention that I am also reading How To Talk Minnesotan. It’s a guide for visitors (and new-comers) to learn the language and mannerisms of Minnesota, so as to avoid sticking out like a sore thumb.
From Lesson 2: The Power of the Negative:
— “Oh great, just wonderful, terrific. I love it!”
Get that excited about something in Minnesota and you might as well paste a bumper sticker to your forehead that says I’M NOT FROM AROUND HERE. […]
Minnesotans perfer to express their positive feelings throught the use of negatives, because it naturally levels things out. […]
If you just got married or bought a late-model pickup under book price with low mileage and hardly any rust, or it’s dawn on opening day of the duck season, a Minnesotan would say
— “I would’t want you to think I’m not happy.”
That’s a strong statement here.
So, in closing, and in keeping with this lesson: it’s not too bad here, it could be worse, I can’t complain and I wouldn’t want you to think I’m not happy.