Friday, March 22, 2013
Today is Ben's last day of work in Chattanooga. Mostly, it's just signing people out, checking off their bonuses, and handing out final paychecks. We visited him yesterday and everything was eerily quiet. All the rail cars (tankers) are gone. No engine ringing it's bell or tooting it's horn as they rearrange the cars. No bright yellow/green vests walking up and down the tracks. No noise from pumps or other machinery. Everything was just quiet. The few people we saw, the smokestacks, the water circulation pools, the tracks, are all quiet. Today is the last day of school for Michael and Joshua. Andrew finished up yesterday since he has a 4 day school week. (Spring Break begins for the kids) We'll have a chance to go to Church on Sunday and bid our farewell to the Hixson Ward. Monday morning will meet us with movers coming to pack the house. Tuesday, all those boxes will be loaded on the truck and the cars loaded onto the transport. And then it's time to say good bye to the hills of Tennessee. We fly out from Nashville early Wednesday morning. It's becoming bittersweet for me. There are people and places and things that I'm gonna miss about Tennessee. The very things that drove me crazy when we first arrived are probably what I will miss most. The way people talk (I can finally understand most of them!), the crazy roller-coaster-roads that make you feel queezy just to drive them, the 'smokey hills' covered in morning fog, the dense vegetation, the cars that don't/won't pullover for the emergency vehicles, and of course getting out of the Northgate Mall with the ridiculous intersections. I won't have any of that in California. But I will find kind and friendly people in Northern Cali. And I can learn a new 'language'. And I will enjoy living in the wide open space of the Central Valley. And there will still be fog. And I'll learn to love orchards and vineyards and almond groves and groomed fields of locally grown produce. I'll get to experience the marvels of the Sierra Nevadas (which I'm sure will seem enormous compared to the Smokies). And I'll get used to nicely plotted and laid-out-straight roads. And perhaps there will be someone rude enough to think they are more important than an emergency vehicle with it's lights flashing. And maybe, just maybe I can find a mall with an intersection that just makes no sense! It's time for a new adventure. And I'm ready to enjoy the ride!