by Molly Jo Realy @MollyJoRealy
There I was, minding my own business. Or, rather, minding the business-business. Yup. I was in a team meeting when all of a sudden, instead of taking notes, I turned to the last page in my yellow pad. You know, the ones we all have at the office. They call them legal pads, although everyone uses them for everything. So, really. Shouldn’t they be called everything-you-need-to-write-down pads? (How’d I do with those hyphens, Mermaid?)
Anyway. Yeah. So I start a quick calculation of how much I owe. Like student loans. And credit cards. And car payments. And things like that. Then I figure what my house is worth. My small, older, fixer-upper house that I haven’t really been able to fixer-up like I would like. Is that a word? It is now!
Now, I’ve not usually been too good at math. I mean, I’m no rocket surgeon or anything like that. I’m more of a Words Girl. But, hey. I do know pluses and minuses. And I was liking what I was seeing. I wrote a few more numbers into the mix. Things like moving expenses, living costs, set up fees.
Then I wrote the date. And one word.
I folded the paper and tucked it into my purse.
Flash-forward to a few discussions with trusted people, unofficial-followed-by-official notice at the office, two realtors, 52 hours, five showings, two offers, and one sale. And voila! Thirty-seven days later I’m driving into South Carolina. Well, actually, my awesome brother is driving as I’m trying not to fall asleep in the passenger seat because it was 1:30 in the morning.
I know to some people it seemed like a rash decision. A spontaneous, what-is-she-doing moment. But the truth is, we all know this has been brewing for nearly five years. I mean, poor Beckie and Spartacus. When we flew home from Blue Ridge in 2015 and I just cried all the way. It was the first time I’d not wanted to come back to California. Do a keyword search on the blog for Blue Ridge, and you’ll see just how much it’s affected my life. Seriously. It’s like, a lot.
The drive itself was worth it. Not that I’d want to do it every year, but hey. Now there’s a thought. I mean, who doesn’t love listening to Pet Sematary on Audible while driving a lonely two-lane highway at night? Or crossing the Mississippi River and stopping for a coffee at Graceland? Meteor Crater, Mojo Coffee, Cadillac Ranch, Tupelo, Atlanta. And old country music. Seriously. We have been the only two rocking out to Johnny Cash’s “I’ve Been Everywhere” but in the scheme of things, it was totally memory-making.
Not to mention I am now within driving distance of ohsomany people. We’re talking besties. Work and writing peeps. Church mentors. And did I mention my new apartment is located just down the block from Target, Hobby Lobby, and Cracker Barrel?
This is where I belong. With my writing community. With four seasons and leaves that change color and drop in the wind. With a balcony with a view. With coffee and friends and cable TV and the Hallmark Channel. There’s a crazy wonderful energy in the atmosphere out here. It’s my Bohemian Hurricane Territory, and I was made for such a moment as this.
Sure, there’s still a ridiculous amount of boxes to unpack and organize. I’m nowhere near finishing the second draft of NOLA. But I’m surrounded by like-minded people. And not just for five days out of the year. I mean,
This is my life.
And, well, It’s a Wonderful Life.
And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!
Here’s a few photos from the past two weeks: