Ah, Miami. City of heat, humidity, daily afternoon showers, and -- now me. And Ashley. And Cricket. And Maggie.
Yeah. Changes a-plenty. It's absolutely facinating what the last few...weeks...(holy cow; it HAS only been a few weeks)...have done as far as changes, transformations, and uprootings in my life go.
This will be a very vain attempt to chronicle some of those changes; admittedly, I won't be able to post as much as I'd like due to 'net connectivitiy and my new job (more on both later), but for now...read on, gentle viewer. The tales that follow will amaze and confuse you. And possibly make you giggle. :)
JUNE 18, 2007 -- while many of you 706-ers were enjoying Day One of Summit, Ashley and I were spending the day getting our apartments packed up by the moving company that the University of Miami paid to come and package all our junk up. It took one full day (seven hours total) to pack up both of our apartments. It was nuts. If anyone has even moved houses before (hi, Cahoons), then you know the "fun" that taking everything you've had in place for years and having it uprooted and just...boxed...in front of your eyes -- it can be emotional. I kept remembering back to the day that I moved in to my little apartment at Beechwood Pines, loking at the photos, the letters, and a certain Bible that a wonderful group of not just students but friends gave to me. Best of all was the fact that after everything was packed up..Ashley and I realized we had no place to sleep. So, we slept on sleeping bags on the floor of my living room. Kinda like camping out indoors. We acted like we were seven again, making a tent out of the sheets. We're just cute like that. :)
JUNE 19, 2007 -- the day that everything was loaded on the moving vans. All those memories that were boxed up were suddenly...gone. Our past would meet us in Miami to help forge our future. Poetic, but dorky, I know. This day was also another night we slept on the floor of the apartment. By this point, my back was killing me.
JUNE 20, 2007 -- my last day as an employee of the University of Georgia. 'Nuff said. The last night Ash & I would spend in our apartment in Athens. Ashley spent the entire day in the apartment cleaning the walls, the carpets, the oven...everything that we were supposed to clean to try and get my security deposit back. Yeah. 'Twas a vain effort, it turns out, as we had to pay to replace the carpet. Note to people with pets: just be prepared to lose your security deposits. Just FYI. Love the critters, but man. Just like biological children, they can be costly.
JUNE 21, 2007 -- Ash & I went to her mom's place in Albany, GA to spend the night. This way we could split the drive into two different phases. Fours hours to Albany, and the remaining eight the next day. Plus, it gave her one more time to spend the day with her mom before we left the state.
JUNE 22, 2007 -- at approximately 5:00 pm (EST), Sonny, Ashley and the dogs arrive in Miami, FL, to begin a new life.
TO BE CONTINUED...
The biggest challenge so far about living in Miami? Leaving almost everyone and everything we knew and loved behind. For me, not a day goes by that I don't look at photos, read postings that I get from people on MySpace, Facebook, and just in emails sent to me.
I say this with every once of sincerity in my body: I never knew how loved I was. I mean, sure, I knew and still know how much some of you monkeys care about me, but man. Never once did I imagine what an impact I had on the lives of the people I hung out with for three years. To be sure, I knew of the impact YOU all had on my life, and the directions it will take me, but...
It's amazing. Simply amazing.
Before I go on to next week's adventures (the new job, the driving in Miami, and the discovery that we are living in the freaking land of OZ), I wanted to take a moment to say the following:
TO MY 706 KIDS: guys, I love you. You have no idea how much I miss you all, and how thankful I am to have had you in my life in person, and to be able to continue our relationship through cyberspace. :) Stay strong in your faith, in your love and commitment to each other, and for as much as I'd love to see you all aggrivate the snot out of him, continue to respect, LISTEN TO, and trust Bryan. I know that many of you have said how much you miss me, and for as much as I miss all of you, even I miss the things Bryan has to say. Bryan, Chase, Kelly -- these are your mentors, the ones who love you guys, and I expect for you, with them, to continue to build the single most amazing, fun, and REAL group of believers in the world.
TO MY WEDDING OFFICIANT: the sunshine in this state is causing me to squint through the windshield. Your wisdom and counsel is missed, my brother.
TO THE DONKEY AND HIS WIFE: The revolution needs more soldiers. We have a nursing school at Miami. Just saying, is all. :)
TO THE NEW OWNERS OF ASHLEY'S COUCH: the laughter and smiles of your yellow-haired monkeys is felt. Deeply. Feed them lots of Georgia Asphalt Chicken, so when they come to visit, they can swim lots.
TO THE SOON-TO-BE MR. AND MRS. AT THE END OF JULY: Lord, we miss you guys, and you are in our thoughts and prayers at this time. We might not be there physically, but know we ARE there for you if you need us.