Getting out of Michigan is not the same as leaving Michigan. Getting out of Michigan takes you down to the wire at every last turn in a winding journey that runs the length of being gone. I have been reminded of a harsh and pleading tug on my left wrist, something I last felt as a young child one step shy from peril. The flashback was Michigan holding a firm grip in its guardian way. Gray skirts, broad hands, wool mittens.
No need for wool mittens this past winter or not for long. There were only three snaps of bitter snow and cold. I saw the brief winter as a mirror on my future, as though to suggest the warm weather in Greenville, NC, which I am still too impressionable to understand. During the job interview, hearing "this is the coldest weather we have had," I recognized the cold as belonging to the breath of Madam Michigan asking me what are you getting yourself into? Leaving Me for North Carolina?
New times? Discoveries? A slice of Heaven before I die? A person to take me to see the ocean? Or, just to see the ocean (again)?
Down to the wire, a firm grip comes down to the newer car I am buying out of necessity. The newer car's AC doesn't work and here I more than insinuate the warmth (I should use 'heat' and 'humidity') I will eventually get used to but I am currently too impressionable to realize it's dank weight. Seems as though such a thing as AC can be repaired however, but the fortunes I have known from the gray skirts, wool mittens, and lightening firm grip tells me that the car will be a lemon at keeping me cool.
Down to the wire in moving to NC, to write a list, began and ends thus:
- find/found a place to live
- book a Penske truck with trailer to haul '97 Ford Contour
- receive free estimates from moving companies for amounts I cannot justify for my few belongings nor afford
- receive free estimates for hauling my car (to drive a Penske truck through PA without hauling my car)
- realize I no longer believe I am invincible or by blood I am not a Herlihy
- learn about NC's emissions laws and tank the idea of keeping the '97 Ford Contour
- manage to start buying a saturn '08 (screwy AC)
- manage to sell the Contour to a Campbell who is by blood a Herlihy
- arrange for a freight trucking company to haul my few furnishings (involves a 28 ft trailer to set down in both lots (old and new digs) for three days
- enjoy an evening free of worry
- find out the new digs will not allow the freighter to set down and they don't allow pods
- sell and give away all my furniture but one old table, two folding chairs, two wood tv trays
- give away six boxes of books (to WMU's Writing Center and to Goodwill)
- give away a boat load of clothes (to Goodwill and to the Free Store in the East side of Kalamazoo)
- give away a chair that was free to me (to the Deacon's Conference)
- watch Skeeter loose his shorts to where I want to give him away
- give away magazines (Harper's, Atlantic Monthly, the New Yorker) to doctor's offices and senior services
- give away give aways to give away
- pack and repack and repack the books I will keep (14 boxes) and mail these media post for $129.51
- pack and repack what I will take in the newer car
- purchase an overhead carrier and a bike rack
- plan a route on the 14 -to- 15 hour road trip
- excite friends in MD that I will visit!
Screech goes the needle across the long player. I have had to say goodbye for now to dear, deep, friends. The nearest I have come to having a family in fact. The closest measure. And then I have seen cousins suddenly, and wonderful it was to see them. My mother pulled a stunt (I don't have time to write more now).
Scattered as wheat to the wind (I saw or I heard this somewhere) goes my mind. Perhaps I already left.