As I get ready to leave Alaska (no, really, this time I mean it!), I have been thinking what that means.
Leaving Anchorage means that I won't wake up and see myself surrounded by the mountain ranges. It means no more summers with 18 hours of sunlight. I'm not going to see moose just randomly strolling through the front yard. Leaving here means leaving behind the doctors and staff who saved my life and got me through these years of this disease. I'll miss those people so much. I will even miss the familiar faces of the clerks at the local Walmart and Carrs-Safeway. I will miss the way the air smells on a cool morning.
It's not just the people either. Leaving here means leaving sights and sounds and landmarks that I've known from the time I was about 7 years old.
Today, I sold my little travel trailer and, silly as it sounds, I was just so happy that the lady who bought it really appreciates it. Her face was lit up with joy like mine was when I got the trailer. I could see that she was making plans for how to use it and decorate it and fix it up. Although selling the trailer makes me so very sad, I was happy that it went to this wonderful person.
I'm going to be selling my car. I'll miss that car! It's going to be another familiar thing that I'm leaving behind. It's the last car that I will remember driving with my sister in the passenger seat.
The other day, my niece and I were talking and I told her that I hate change. It's true, too. I like having a familiar routine. I like knowing where my favorite places are to shop. I like knowing at least three different routes to get to the store or hospital or to a restaurant. I like knowing the weather patterns and the best and worst roads to travel on when it's snowing or raining.
So, yeah, leaving a place means more than saying goodbye to people you love. Leaving means starting over.
I'm looking forward to being close to new people and places. Before long, I will have a new favorite place to get my clothes and food. I will learn the faces and names of my doctors and their staff.
Before long, I won't just be familiar with a new place and new routines. I'll be calling another place "home".