Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Moving Day

The hot weather reminds me of when we moved from Pennsylvania to North Carolina  some 35 years ago with three kids, a dog, a cat and a bird in a cage. It was hot then, too--105 degrees as we unpacked the van and tried to decide where to put things.

I wanted to go back home, but we'd made the decision and had to stick by it. I've never regretted it.

Many people move in the summer because they want their kids to get settled before school starts. And this month, all over the world United Methodist pastors and their families are moving to new appointments. For those who don't know, our pastors are appointed, not chosen, and their tenure lasts about four years. We were fortunate to have ours for eight, but the time has come to say goodbye and welcome a new face in the pulpit.

It's hard to leave familiarity behind and begin the process of making new friends, new memories. I am reminded of a story I will share, updated for a more modern audience:

A man stops at a gas station just outside of town. In the car are a woman and two children. He pumps his gas and goes inside the convenience store to pay.

"We're moving here," he says to the propietor. "My company transferred me and we're not very impressed so far with what we've seen. We were wondering what the people are  like."

"What were they like were you came from?"

The man sighs, takes his change. "Nosy, rude and insufferable."

"I'm sorry, but you'll probably find the people here are about the same."

A week later, another family stops. Seeing the U-Haul hitched behind the car, the gas station owner asks, "Moving in?"

"Yes," says the man across the counter. "We think it's a pretty town and I feel lucky to have found work here. What are the people like?"

"What were they like where you came from?"

"They were great folks," the man says, handing over his credit card. "Friendly, generous and caring."

The owner swipes the card and hands it back. "I believe you'll find the same kind of people here," he says.

I've moved enough in my lifetime to know that people are really the same no matter where you go. It's the attitude you bring with you that makes all the difference.


  1. How very true! We take ourselves with us everywhere we go and it's our own expectations and attitudes that shape our lives. Fortunately, the folks where we used to live were great people and that's what we found here, especially a couple named Sandy and Jim. Always full of insights--that makes a great writer.

  2. I agree 100% Sandy. When we moved our dds to a new town for the first time in their school careers my two younger dds were excited at the adventure. Oldest dd, however, was a straight A student whom her teachers often told me "She's so quiet and polite I forget she's here." Never in trouble, never noticed for bad school performance of any kind. This was before the move. Within a month of transferring to the new school she was held after school...DETENTION! Why? Because some of the existing girls talked her into bringing money to school (7th grade) so they could all pitch in and have a pizza delivered for lunch. My dd the pizza lover thought it was the coolest thing since the move, and nothing impressed her after the life-killing move. But, seemed it was against school policy for students to order food from off-campus. Detention-worthy. I went to that school with my momma hackles raised to the roof. How dare they punish MY dd for what the other girls KNEW was against rules? My dd who had never been in an iota of trouble from the beginning of forever- even rare at home for her- in detention over something the other girls tricked her into. Why should she get this ridiculous blemish on her spotless record? Because she wouldn't tell the principle who talked her into doing it. I, on the other hand, had NO qualms about telling him. lol But I let her serve her two hours of detention because she wanted to experience the negative...just once. *sigh* I told the principle I would allow it, and why. I also let him know she would NOT be punished at home. But what I'm getting at is she was so unhappy at her new school she made her own life there miserable until she settled in and accepted the move. Then her life turned back around to good and fun.

    Great post. Loved the 'joke.'

  3. Good post, Sandy.

    I've done 2 big moves in my life. Big in the sense of moving to another country, or just like it. In 1984, we moved from Montréal to Toronto. But it's in the same country, you'll say. It is in theory, but in practice, it's like moving to another motherland. The language and the food was different. I loved my time in Toronto.

    Then we moved to the USA. Once again, food was different. English was more accented. But ooh, the winters in South Carolina are a balm on this Canadian's girl's heart.

    In the end, home is where we're happy.

  4. Great observation-it's all in how you look at the glass!