Wednesday, April 06, 2011

"Waving goodbye with tears in my eyes/Well sure I made it but you know it was a hell of a trip."

The Song: "Flashback Blues," John Prine. Words & music by John Prine. Track 13 of John Prine, 1971.
When/how acquired: Purchased LP, c. 1980.
Sorry, couldn't find a version of this online. You should own this album, anyway.

Almost exactly seven years ago, I sat at my desk in Los Angeles and said, "I gotta get out of here."

The phone rang. It was my friend Anna, who had recently married the man of her dreams, and I repeated this to her.

She said, "You should move to Maine."

I scoffed. I had never lived north of the Mason-Dixon line, except for the accident of my birth (in New Rochelle, NY) and the three months my family spent with Dad's parents in the Bronx, before my brother Ed was born. I didn't do winter. I couldn't stand the cold, and Anna knew this perfectly well.

Still, something clicked in my brain, and a series of odd coincidences over the next few months all repeated Anna's invitation: Maine, Maine, Maine. Within a weirdly short period of time, the idea of moving to Maine went from ridiculous to something that seemed like the obvious next step.

Longtime readers of this blog know it took me a while to get there. I'm not going to go back over it; if you want the story, read the first three months of this blog's archives. But get here I did, eventually, and it was Anna who welcomed me and found me a place to live and showed me the ropes of life in Maine. It was Anna who introduced me to Gaslight Theater and Literacy Volunteers, and to my first new friends here.

And now Anna and her growing family are leaving Maine, and leaving me behind. The news was official yesterday afternoon: they're moving to Florida next month.

I am not moving to Florida.


Anonymous said...

Why not Florida? There isn't any snow and today it's going to be 80 degrees. It's not so bad here.

Where are they moving to in FL.?

AnswerGirl said...

Kathy, sign your comments! You know I don't allow anonymous comments.

They're moving right outside of Naples. And I wouldn't go to Florida because I've lost the ability to deal with heat, crowds, and gators.

Anna said...

You said the same thing about Maine that you said about Florida, my friend! I'm just sayin'! Substituting cold for heat,isolation for crowds and moose for gators, of course!

JIM LAMB said...

Don't wait too long. Next fall would be about right. My appartment is available if you want Virginia beach.

Claire said...

I want to know about the days when you did have the ability to deal with gators.

AnswerGirl said...

Believe it or not, somewhere out there is a photograph of me PETTING an alligator at a convention dinner in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, c. 1998. An alligator trainer/breeder was the evening's entertainment, and he brought out a very well-fed, probably drugged alligator for people to get a closer look at. I was the only one willing to go up and touch it. Their skin is much drier than I expected.

Laura Benedict said...

I would pick Virginia Beach in a heartbeat. It's where people from Florida go when it gets too hot down there! xo

Laura Benedict said...

Oh, and the gator thing, Claire? I'm sure I saw her smack one down in a hotel bar...

AnswerGirl said...

Virginia Beach is great, but if I went back to Tidewater it would have to be Norfolk, because I'm going to need to give up driving in a couple of years. Richmond's on the short list. Maybe New York, if I can figure out a way to afford it.