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Dear Friends!!
    Whada-year!  You too?  Do tell!
    Perhaps the only thing worth mentioning is: I've relocated to Illinois--new address, etc.  That's it in a nutshell, the rest is detail, take it or leave it.
    Pretty much had my head down all year, struggling to make myself pack up.  No matter what the I Ching said, knew it was time to leave Idaho; by default, Illinois was my destination.  I was willing to do most anything to get out of packing.  Would I rather go to the dentist?  Close, but not quite.  Kept bumping the date the house would be empty to the next month.  By summer I was one desperate woman, on my knees, as real estate slumped.  This couldn't have been my idea, God!
    Most folks wudda moved in a weekend!  Just done it, Nike style.  Not me.  Some time after the New Year, began slowly picking through every pile, box, audio tape, magazine of my life.  Sorted, recycled or packed, box by box.  Sense of good-bye as I went to events for the last time--high drama.  Quite possibly the World's Longest Move--essentially a year.  Driving budget and uhauls (once I started) across the country in April and August was the least of my concerns, but seemed to worry others.  (Piece of cake--loved Wyoming and Nebraska.)

    More detail: Last holiday I whined, "Boise booms….".  Decided to do Idaho a favor and pull up stakes rather than inflict my bad attitude on folks.  Gritted teeth, turned my back on horses and foothills in the backyard and the beautiful hardwood floors I'd had put in; headed back to the prairie.  Although I've moved a lot, this move, like all change lately, was an ordeal; watched my mind shift over the months, as I reviewed and let go of nearly 40 years of life out West.  (Realized mom had move from Illinois to the The West about my same age!)  Strong sense of coming full circle, wanting to finish well.  How I repented being a pack rat!  Lotta remorse, depression; finally the last few weeks I just "did it".  Excruciating!

    Monday of Thanksgiving week 2006--the new moon--the house I'd liked in early September closed.  By early afternoon both storage units were in the garage.  Never dreamed so many seasons would go by before I unpacked.  Ah, the blessing of not being able to see ahead.  Paid a high price for not settling on a house early on; much as I enjoyed renting at the rectory, 3 months felt like forever at times.
    I'm writing from the bedroom with yellow walls and rust carpet, at the back of the house.  (Can I live with yellow and orange?  Why not orange and blue like the Illinois football team!  Balked at the all blue room facing south.  Kinda like the maroon carpet in the pink bedroom!  Not a hardwood in site!  Not true - entrance is wood tile.)  How in the world am I going to bring this house together!
    I bought the shady backyard, kitchen and den; the rest of the house was attached.
    Tonight I found KFUO St Louis on the same old pink plastic kids radio I took to Alaska in 1989.  Quiet fall--Prairie Home Companion was the only time the radio was on.  NPR doesn't carry Echoes evenings.  (TV packed since April.)
    The Kliban cat calendar made the trip, is on the wall.  (But where the heck are the kitchen skillets!!!)  November's cat appears to have dozen off on the blue and white checked table cloth, behind a plate of spaghetti, tail wrapped around fork wound with noodles, noodle hanging from his/her mouth.  Chianti bottle candle glows.  Now that I'm in Illinois realized the cat passed out eating Shake and Shake chili mac, not spaghetti.
    A good thing about moving is--when so much has happened, there's only the present moment.  After going down memory lane after lane all year, here I am, in a strange house I wanna make home, back in my remarkably familiar home town.  Last year seems a long time ago; the future?
    Tonight I took out as much as I could of the bedroom lock that appears permanently locked, so I won't accidentally lock myself in or out.  (Having recently locked myself out of the Nazareth Retreat bedroom while visiting Boise, and spent the night on the kitchen floor, I take locks seriously.)
    Sorta doing "triage" on the new house.  Since it was sunny and in the 60s again today, and the house must have been fumigated judging by smell and belly up ladybugs, went to open a window and learned only 3 windows in the whole house open, 2 with screens.  Half the windows have keyed locks.  I'm determined to have cross ventilation.  Wanna get a front screen door for the double door (only one side opens--don't ask.)
    Today, after weeks of balmy 60 degree days, we're snowbound with a whopper of an ice storm, rather like I remember growing up.  Wow!  I've rarely been snowed in!  Late in the day, walked in streets to town to check email at Charley's, meeting only 2 other walkers both coming and going.  Even stepping back to the '50s in the midwest, times have changed.  I swear, we wudda been out playin' in the snow.
    Christmas and New Year's greetings to all!  Please send your stories!



Photo collage of journey from Idaho to Illinois.  I'm grateful for countless helpers--from prayer warriors and church support to above and beyond realtors, friends and neighbors of wisdom and patience; folks who challenged my decision; yoga students; incomparable organizer and packer Dan B; yard and house help; uhaul and budget staff and rigs; USPS; the toyota and it's doctor, Fr Dan; mental health breaks/retreats throughout the year.  Then in Illinois--old and new faces who caught me as I landed in IL, especially the team of volunteers at the old rectory volunteers and ace welcomer and fellow returnee, Charley.

From home in Idaho to...

Support - 2 legged and 4 wheeled, endless help

The heart of the Move--Dan Barkell's heart, patience and help; quiet breaks kept me going

Illinois welcome - L to R unloaders into storage; new/old community; old rectory porch Aug-Nov; house closing team

...home in Illinois, Dec 1, 2006

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