The Craig Gaines Midwestern Tour has made its next stop in sunny (today, at least) Lansing. It's been almost five years since I called my hometown home, and it's all still seeping in. But I'll be able to tease out the psychic ramifications of this move in the weeks to come. For now, let's look back over the past few days:
1. Big thanks to Mom, Dad, and Joe for helping with the move. I must say, we put on a clinic. On the road before 8, in Cleveland before noon, done packing the van and car before 3, and out of town (after a nice late lunch at the Great Lakes Brewing Co. [Frey, that meatloaf is delish!]) before 5.
There were some hairy moments when we weren't sure we'd fit everything and I was starting to make decisions like in some war movie about which buddies get out on the chopper and which are left to fight Charlie to the bloody end. But the human eye is a poor judge of space, and every last stick fit in the caravan. Success!
2. Living at home is weird. Great, for awhile, but weird. For starters, it's an odd feeling to have to fit yourself into someone else's homelife. All of a sudden I'm not in complete control. Which in this case is almost entirely a good thing: I don't control the grocery shopping, the cleaning, the heat. I'm already eating better in a cleaner and warmer environment. I forgot what 69 degrees feels like. It feels good.
There's also a bit of a time-machine feel to moving back into the house you left after high school. Everyone is older and different, but the house's "wa" is much the same. It's almost like putting new cartoon characters on the same old Hanna Barbara background.
Let's talk about the food for a minute. For the past eight months I've had to feed myself. I'm not good at this. An analysis of my grocery lists would show heavy biases toward boxed and canned meals spiced with some potato chips and grapefruit. And then at dinnertime I'd stare into the fridge, hoping that I'd somehow purchased the ingredients to a satisfying meal. Well, home is a different story. Mom went shopping the day after we got back and when she started schleping in bag after bag of goods, the Ode to Joy played in my head. Such bounty! Meats and cheeses and breads and fruits and vegetables and pizzas and cereals and snacks and cookies and actual ingredients for whole meals! "Valhalla!" I cried. "I've reached Valhalla!" I giggled like a fool as I stuffed my mouth with Oreos while helping fill the cookie jar. I think I could dive into the fridge and swim around in its riches like Scrooge McDuck used to in his vault.
3. But while I'm excited for what my stay in Lansing might bring, what with reconnecting with family and friends and pursuing new job opportunities, I have to admit that this isn't how I wanted to leave Cleveland. I won't go into the bloody details, but I'm pained to be separated from certain people and things. I've ripped myself from my daily existence, and I think there's going to be some challenging transition times ahead.
Now it's on to a day of unpacking, TV (more on the world of television later), hot tubbing, and generally hanging out. Come to Lansing and see me, everybody. I have dorky new glasses to ridicule!
More to follow.