As I drove up to the Canada/USA border, I was listening to Sixteen Military Wives by the Decemberists. I found this amusing on several levels. On Monday, I join the American workforce. Yes, I have left my home and native land to join our neighbours to the south. The whole way to the border I fretted if they would actually let me in. So the line from the song "America can't say no" seemed to be a good omen to me. Plus, I had to laugh that I was about to enter the USA listening to a song that is clear expression of frustration of current events in America.
I had a long drive to think about my past, present and future. I came to three conclusions:
1. Dining in a small town cafe is fabulous. My dad and I stopped in at Jan's Cafe in Lima, MT to have lunch. I witnessed our waitress and a local woman get into a spat, ending with the waitress telling her "you don't have to come in here again." I saw three men come in with their camouflage gear on, clearly heeding the big sign outside that said "Hunters Welcome." This was rounded out by four cowboys sauntering in with their hankerchiefs, cowboy hats and spur's on their boots. Honestly, it couldn't have been a better representation of a small town in a state that seems to have more cows than people.
2. I'm leaving behind some fabulous friends in Calgary. The waterworks started before I even arrived at my going away party, but I managed to stave most of them off until guests started to depart. My closest friends have each been tremendous assets to me this year, each helping me in becoming and being the woman I desire to be.
3. I have the most giving family. I know without a doubt that any of my family members (in-laws included) would do all that they could to help me. I witnessed it this past week as I scrambled to leave Canada... not knowing if/when I'll be back. We are all so different, yet the Kelly loyalty runs deep. On one extreme is Ted. We differ on many accounts... for instance, he loves to hunt and go to gun shows, guns freak me out and I don't think I could ever purposely kill a living thing. Yet he would be there for me if I ever needed him, and he's always been so patient with me. On the other end is Danielle. We probably agree on too many things. She and Robb graciously opened up their home to me, and didn't even complain when I lost my house key! Glancing in my rearview mirror and seeing my dad driving his truck with all my belongings was a visceral reminder of how grateful and proud I am to be a part of this tremendous family.
I have many new adventures to begin as I make my fifth move in 10 years. This move has been the most thought-provoking for me. I suppose you could argue that moving to Provo, Utah would make any sane person stop and ponder. I do know that I felt good about pursuing this opportunity, but it was also one of the hardest things for me to do. I will truly miss the regular association with my family and friends back home, yet I am excited for the new possibilities that await me here.
5 months ago