Well, I think part of the reason that I decided to take something of a writing pause is that things have been going on in real life (IRL) that have been a bit of a distraction. The biggest one of those distractions has been where my family will be living in the near future.
Normally, I don’t talk about my personal life here on the blog, but this is big news for me, and represents something of a crossroads for my family. So, I think I need to share it here.
My wife Laura has been busy with a lot of things over the past couple of years – running her own business, a close run for local political office, and, as always, volunteering in our community. However, one of her personal ambitions has been to be in city management. She worked in solid waste management for several years (long story) and had always wanted to move up the municipal ladder.
This month, we got the news that a city in south central Iowa has offered to make her their city manager. She’s going to start next month. I can’t tell you how proud I am of her, and it’s just the latest of many great accomplishments my wife has made in her life.
What it means is that there is now a countdown to my time in Muscatine. I’ve lived here for more than 30 years, and I will be moving away within a year, after our second and last kid graduates from high school here. I’m not quite sure how I’m going to handle it.
One of the strange things is that I won’t be a couple dozen blocks from the Mississippi River, one of the biggest natural features in my life. I’ve lived next to this river for 40 years (10 of those in Clinton) and I’m not sure how that will affect my head space. Somehow big bodies of water keep me centered, keep me at peace. I think that’s one of the reasons why I started Project C, this poetry collection. Many of the poems and writings I’ve put together as part of that collection have to do with life on the river. Some part of me thinks that I’ll feel like a refugee in the middle of Iowa. But, it’s a lovely town, and the people there want my wife to work for them. I can drive on over to rivers and lakes if I want to. It’s not like I stop at the Mississippi every day… but it was nice to know it was there.
Of course, I’ll miss my wife for the year that she’ll split time between there and here. But I’m used to that – we carried on a long-distance relationship during my and her years in college before getting married. We managed that without Skype, without Facebook, without even email or cheap long distance calling. I probably kept up my writing skills with the letters I sent her during those years. A year will go like a breeze.
As I go into a new adventure, I’m not forgetting my writing by any means. I’ll be away from the fellow writers I met at Writers on the Avenue here in Muscatine and the Midwest Writing Center in the Quad Cities, but I’m hopeful I can find other fellow writers in the area, especially being closer to the Des Moines area.
It’s a new and exciting adventure, and I usually do my best writing when I’m feeling good about things. All I know is that wherever I live with my wife, that’s going to be home to me. And I’ll keep writing, landbound or not.