The Great Schlep North Begins – Going Home

Posted on Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Schlep NorthIf you know me or follow my blog, you know that The Mister and I moved to the Land of Sugar White Sand (Pensacola, Florida) 11 years ago.

The reasons we moved were many and varied.

It wasn’t easy after living in one town all my life to just pick a spot on the map and move. Nevertheless, we did it.

And now, we’re doing it again.

We’re moving back to Wisconsin – back home.

In making the decision to return to Wisconsin, we naturally had to take time to review our adventures here. We actually started preparing for this return on the 10th anniversary of our move here. I wrote about these thoughts on our journey in retrospect in my post called A Wisconsin Yankee Adrift In Dixie Waters – A 10 Year Voyage.  Please click on and take a minute to read if you would, then come back.

In reading through our thoughts from a year ago, I see nothing much has changed.

Was it worth it?

I have never regretted taking the leap. In the years we have been here, there have been some remarkable moments, some fantastic benefits, and many memories that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I think you’ll agree; there is a lot to love.

  • When we’re able to sit around with our daughters and sils and share stupid stories, it’s worth it.
  • When we’re able to see our grandson and granddaughter both in ordinary times and special events, it’s worth it.
  • When we’re able to sit out on our balcony almost every day of the year, it’s worth it.
  • When we’re able to go to the beach at the drop of a hat, it’s worth it.
  • When I’m riding my bike in the spring, summer, fall, or winter, it’s worth it.
  • When we’re able to jump in the car and go, without scraping ice off the windshield, it’s worth it.
  • When we’re able to run to Joe Patti’s fish market any time and get fresh seafood for the grill, it’s worth it.
  • When we’re able to run to Apple Market and be back home with anything we need in 5 minutes, it’s worth it.
  • When I’m able to enjoy Facials by Charlotte at Skin Couture, my dear friend, it’s worth it.
  • When we think about all the interesting people we’ve met here, and the friends we’ve made, it’s worth it.

What have we learned?

When we planted our feet on southern soil, we knew we had a lot to learn, as well as a lot to love. We weren’t, however, prepared to learn a new language. The accents and idioms caused us a bit of difficulty in the beginning, but we soon learned to listen LESS carefully, let the words wash over us like the warm Gulf waters, and all would be understood. Well, almost all. Here are some of the things we learned and learned to appreciate.

  • We learned many new words and phrases; two of my favorites are “might could” and “fixin’ to.”
  • We learned to beware when someone says; “Bless her heart.” It could get “ugly.”
  • We learned the word “ugly” is perfectly suited to describe someone’s behavior as well as appearance.
  • We learned that they call the panhandle “lower Alabama,” and rightly so. This is the South, not Florida.
  • We learned what shrimp really tastes like.
  • I learned how to make gumbo, and have been perfecting it through the years, much to my family’s pleasure.
  • I learned a good roux takes about 3 beers… if you know roux, you know that means time, not ingredient.
  • We learned we like “Miss” or “Mister” being tacked on to every name.
  • We learned we like “Ma’am” and “Sir” tacked on to every answer, as in “Yes, Ma’am” or “No, Sir.”
  • We learned that Bull Frog sunscreen (the original stuff) is the only stuff that works at the beach.

So, why move back home?

The answer can be found right there in that sentence – home.

We all know author Thomas Wolfe writes; “You Can’t Go Home Again,” but he also writes this:

But why had he always felt so strongly the magnetic pull of home, why had he thought so much about it and remembered it with such blazing accuracy, if it did not matter, and if this little town, and the immortal hills around it, was not the only home he had on earth? He did not know. All that he knew was that the years flow by like water, and that one day men come home again.

It is our time.

Let the schlep begin.

More later…

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4 Responses to
“The Great Schlep North Begins – Going Home”

  • Lisa Winkler says: December 12th, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Big decision! Good luck! Welcome back to winter!

  • Patti says: December 12th, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Thank you for the well wishes, Lisa! We just experienced our first frozen water pipe… and we’re not even there yet. Well, that’s the problem with an empty house in the winter. Luckily, our kind cousin/neighbor is watching the house and is taking care of it. sheesh. We arrive about January 2 or 3. It will definitely be something to get used to again. 😉

  • oss says: December 15th, 2013 at 11:20 am

    there’s no place like home; there’s no place like home; there’s no place like home. Happy heel clicking! 😉

  • Patti says: December 16th, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Thank you, OSS! 😀

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