Friday, June 30, 2006

Des Moines to Wyoming

Leaving Des Moines, we had renewed vigor. No more packing. No more planning. No more preparation for the move. We were moving and well on our way. Sam was off playing with cousins on his dad's side. His seat was now open to hold the cats. My side of the U-Haul felt remarkable roomy without a cat or two in their carrier stacked on my lap.
As much as we miss him, we are glad Sam didn't have to make the drive out. There just wasn't room this time and it was a long trip. Thanks to my mom for suggesting I let him opt out of this particular journey and meet up with him later.

Cam and I each took turns calling people from the road to check in, give progress reports and see how other folks were doing. This early part of the drive also gave us a chance to talk quite a bit and tell stories we hadn't heard yet or could benefit from hearing a second time.

One of the hardest parts of leaving Chicago for us was moving away from Cameron's brother, Eric and his wife, Sarah. Cam told me how Eric had mentioned recently that this was the first time Cameron had left him. As the older brother, Eric had always been the one leaving. I could relate to that feeling.

As the older sister, I left for college, then got married, then left for Minnesota, then came back but was still pretty involved in being married, newly-graduated from college, etc. Meanwhile, my brother was growing up, in college and offering me reassurance that I was doing fine in my first job. Like Eric and Cam, I think John and I first evolved from being siblings to being friends during this time. John would tell me about falling in love. I had a baby. Uncle John was there to frolic and play with Sam from the very beginning.

Then things started getting tumultuous for me. I separated from Sam's dad. My best friend from college, Heather, had left too. She and her husband had moved to in Texas, starting their careers and a family of their own. I used to talk with her on the phone about how far away from where I wanted to be I seemed to be. While I was thankful to have a home in my parent's house, it wasn't where I wanted to be. I wanted to have a fabulous life in San Francisco. I belonged there, I assured her. She encouraged me to take baby-steps.

When Sam was one and a half, we moved out of my parent's house and into our first apartment on our own, just the two of us. My brother was there to help me move. Less than a year later, I was offered an opportunity to move to St. Louis and work for a company that specialized in the branch of marketing in which I had been working. Instead of regional accounts like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, I'd be working on national accounts like Outback Steakhouse. Plus they offered more money. I left my parents and my brother again - taking my three-year-old child with me.

After many fabulous adventures and much struggling to take care of us on my own in St. Louis, less than a year later, I was back. Before making the decision to return, Sam and I had had our adventure to San Francisco in search of a jelly fish beach and opportunities on the coast. I hadn't found a job there and while Iowa’s still wasn't where I wanted to be, I had been offered a good job and the support, love and fellowship of my family were enough to bring me home. I hadn't given up on my dream of California; just put it on a shelf for awhile.

Of course, that's when my brother decided to leave home. He and his new wife, Johanna were leaving, following their dreams in the film and entertainment industry to LA...

So on the road between Omaha and Des Moines, Cameron told me the story of the times Eric had left and where he'd been going and what was happening in Cam's life in the meantime. It was fun hearing about how they bonded on the way to see the College World Series in Omaha while Cam was first in college and Eric was leaving college and starting out into the world of work. They have a remarkable relationship and I hope Eric and Sarah know they are welcome to visit us in California anytime. I am also thankful for cell phones, email, blogs, instant messenger, even fantasy baseball. All these things allow Cam to stay in touch with people he cares about, no matter where they live.

Being here brings me closer to my brother again. I'm looking forward to reconnecting with him and being able to spend time with them again. My sister-in-law, Johanna still hasn't even met Cam. We were laughing on the phone the other day about my supposed husband. Hopefully, this blog will help Jo (and other people we care about but aren't able to see in person regularly) keep up with us and get to know Cameron a little bit.

The terrain in eastern Nebraska reminded me of the terrain in south-east Kansas, where I was raised. The rolling hills (not evident in this picture), open space and lush green vegetation were more greatly appreciated after my time in Chicago.

And the sunsets... This picture doesn't do it justice but we commented on how some of the most amazing sunsets we've seen have been on the plains.

No comments: