Thursday, August 04, 2005

Floridians

This week marks three years since Dean and I moved out of Minnesota and decided to try it ON OUR OWN. We knew it would be an adventure, as between us we had one job, one car, an empty apartment and not much else. But we're still here. We knew that seeing our families a couple times a year would mean that good byes would always be teary, that we couldn't depend on our parents for wash machines, home cooking or sewing on extra buttons. We knew there were risks involved in moving to a new place: we didn't yet have our own mechanic, hairdresser, favorite Chinese restaurant. Hell, we even got a cat before we knew anyone who would catsit for us! There were a couple of times I think we both had second thoughts like when Dean's dad had a heart attack. Or when my grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimers. These things make you want to spend as much time with your family as possible. But even more so than us, our parents and grandparents know that little birds have to fly away from the nest. And these little birds headed south. Sure, living in a red state was hard to swallow at first, but now I know when and around whom to keep my mouth shut. We can count on Temple Terrace Automotive to service the Green Machine (and now the Red Machine!). I don't know how I survived without Allie from Look Salon as my hairdresser. And I think the owner of China Star can send her kids to college thanks to us. Sure, I have suffered through some bad haircuts, bad Chinese food and bad swindling by the Honda dealerships, but I am stronger for the experience. I even have multiple friends asking to catsit our multiple cats while we're on vacation. Granted, visiting Minnesota for Christmas is extra hard due to the thinning of my blood and good byes are still teary. But when I wake up in the morning during the winter months down here I get slightly giddy at the thought of not having to scrape the ice off my windshield. We can go to the beach, sit on the white, powdery sand, look out onto the green water and not see builings on the other side. And at the Twins Spring Training, the abundance of pasty legs and exclaimations of "Oooooh! Yeaaaaaah!Suuuuuure!" never fails to remind us that we LIVE where other people VACATION.

6 comments:

Scott said...

Way to pull through it MagnetBabe. I've done a lot of moving in my life, and starting over is always a challenge, but an exciting one. But I would say that Florida is nearly half and half, red and blue, a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. Nothing wrong with a little balance to provide perspective.

minnesota blue said...

Think of the adventures you have had.And how great to have a partner who shares your experiences. Is Tampa red or blue? I thought a lot about you when you were in Minnesota and wondered how and if it would change your perspectives on life and people generally. I hope not, but knowing you, I am not worried. You have just matured and know what battles are important and which are not.

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magnetbabe said...

scott-
Thanks for the encouragement. It sounds like you have more worldly experience than me!

minnesota blue-
It is impossible to move so far away and maintain the same perspective. Tampa is a paradox (like a lot of urban areas). It is so diverse that you assume a certain level of tolerance among people, but I am surprised at how little there can be. As soon as you meet someone you like, they speak candidly to you and on more than one occasion I have been horrified at what seemingly normal people can think. I think that the more this happens, the firmer I stand in my convictions about the equality of all people regardless of race, religion (or lack thereof) or sexual orientation. To answer your question, I think Tampa is mostly blue, but the red parts are pretty scary ;)

minnesota blue said...

Aah, spring training in Forida. Always been a dream of mine to attend. It seems as though baseball has always been a big part of my life. Growing up behind an old ball park, hearing the crowds applaud, smelling the popcorn, hearing the crack of the bat,figuring out the stratagies of the game cheering my favorite players HEAVEN. The game never gets old, it will always be Americas past time! Winning is always wonderful, but just the thrill of watching a game is great. Tonight, Bob Wells versus Santana and I will be there!

mom said...

we live where other people vacation too, just the last 2 weeks of july and the first week of august...