I have to return the cable box on Friday. We pick up the U-Haul Saturday morning. Everything I own is in boxes. The cupboard contains a can of green beans and a box of pasta. It’s almost time to move.
I came to Pennsylvania in 1989. I like it here. The people are brash and honest and hard-working and loving. The history geek in me adores all the old stuff in the museums. My kids have grown up here and received excellent public school educations (thank you, teachers!) in the North Penn and Hatboro-Horsham school districts.
Random things I will miss about suburban Philadelphia: Wawa, water ice, tomato pie, cheese steaks, the people at my post office, the Doylestown and Horsham libraries, Channel 6 Action News (action!), my writer’s group, Lou’s Bagels, people who really understand basketball, City Tavern, the accents, hysteria over two inches of snow, the train ride to New York City, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, marching band competitions, feudal municipal governments (entertaining to watch), soft pretzels with mustard, close-by Amish, strong urban art influences, Washington Square Park, and the word “Yo” (which translates roughly into “Hey”).
But my daughters have flown the nest (sigh). The nest is ready to move. Why?
1. The people here are nice, but there are too many of them. Google map Horsham, PA, where I live now. Then Google map Mexico, NY. See a difference? The population density in Montgomery County, PA is 1,553 people/square mile. The population density of Oswego County, NY is 128 people/square mile. I rest my case.
2. All those people mean stress and hassles. Traffic around Philly is an obscene nightmare and the drivers are getting more dangerous every year. (Longtime readers of this journal have heard me rant about people running red lights.) I hate, hate, hate, hate crazy drivers and wasting my time stuck in traffic.
3. I can only afford a small, dark apartment here. Everything is cheaper up North.
4. I have lots of family up there. (This is both good news and the bad news, depending on the day.)
5. I’ll be visiting Pennsylvania A LOT, so I’ll still enjoy the things I love. Stef and Mer go to college down here, and lots of schools have invited me to speak. So I’ll get my Wawa and cheesesteak fixes, I’ll get stuck in traffic, and at the end of my trips, I’ll be happy to head back to the country.
6. And last, but not least, the best reason to move is my Beloved Husband. We started dating three years ago and we knew it would be a long haul. Why? We lived 300 miles apart. We didn’t want to move any of our kids away from their friends or their other biological parents. We also didn’t want to abandon them while they were still in high school. So we’ve driven tens of thousands of miles and spent countless hours on the phone. (We got married last year – just couldn’t wait!) I don’t regret a second of it, because the kids have all benefited from our decision. But now that they are off to college, the wait is over. So, dear readers, I am moving for love.