Thursday, June 5, 2008

It's been a long week of tough goodbyes, and I don't just mean because I'm awkward with the hugs. Justine and Juliana (with her entourage) joined us at Inca in Fort Collins for one final margarita, Josh shared one final beer with us overlooking the foothills, and an entire gang of friends were so kind as to meet with us for yet another going away dinner at Bastien's followed by drinks at the swanky PS Lounge (okay, swanky may be an overstatement, but the jukebox is amazing, and some bountiful waitress anatomy was on display). We really appreciated everyone being willing to take the time to see us off, especially given the short-ish notice and the fact that we kept planning events for evenings when the working world had to be up early the next morning. Eric and I are enjoying the best perk of unemployment: no alarm clock.

Leaving Denver also meant leaving the kitties behind. Even though they're the only party guaranteed (by several large credit card payments) to meet us in Sydney, that was a really tough goodbye. I think I overestimate how much the cats know what the hell is going on and worry that they'll feel abandoned. I mean, Otis barely knows where is from minute to minute. Also, as a pessimist, I probably overestimate the likelihood that they won't ever make it to Sydney or will come out of quarantine with warped little cat brains. Fortunately, I know they're in the best hands possible for now with Amber and Mike. Mike was even concerned about Leroy's psyche after the hack-job haircut I gave him -- I think it makes Leroy look tough.

Angela and Dylan helped me forget the sorrow of leaving the kittens by showing us a really good time in Albuquerque. They took us camping, cliff jumping, to the botanic gardens, to the aquarium, and to some of their favorite bars and restaurants, even though they're mid-move and just weeks away from their own adventure in Europe. Eric also helped Angela and I set up Skype so we can talk for free over the internet. Given the cost of international calls, I'd love to have anyone else who might want to chat sign up. It's free (and easy, even for the relatively computer illiterate, which includes myself) to sign up and to use, and I'm sure we'll be anxious to hear some familiar, friendly voices.

Of course it was also very hard to say goodbye to Angela. When I was 9 and my mom was pregnant, I couldn't wait for her to bring home a little sister for me to play with. I was really bummed when she brought home this little blob that didn't do much other than sleep and cry. I mean, talk about high maintenance. It's hard to believe she's now an adult, and I'm as likely to learn something from her as to teach her something. More likely, even. I think one of the hardest part of moving to Australia will be not being able to dial one of my sisters any time I think of something funny or just have five minutes to kill.

I think that's what's really being brought home as we drive around the US: this move isn't at all like moving across the country from Florida to Colorado or from Colorado to Minnesota. We're moving really far away, like about as far away as we can get. We can't just fly home for a visit. It may be years before we see many of the people we're leaving, if we ever see them at all. I'm still trying to get my head around it. With other moves, at least I could chat frequently with friends in the old place until I made friends in the new place; this time, it's really just Eric and I. I'm lucky he's really good company...People keep saying they'll come visit, and I hope they know that they will be really, truly welcome, but we know that trans-Pacific flight is a serious investment.

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