“How are ya, Hank? Yes, we do have a new zip code. It’s only about 90 minutes away. I’m in town to get the house ready to rent out.”
“Wow. Big changes afoot for all of you. How are you doing with it all? And your kids? I saw them the other day at that frozen yogurt place. They appear to be happy and thriving and growing. What can I get you?”
“Do you still have Bayern Amber on tap?”
“Comin’ right up!”
Hank placed a pint on the bar. “I heard you moved to the country. I bet Will is a kid in a candy store right about now.”
Jesse took a long sip and sighed. “Yep. Will wishes we’d moved four months ago. Jenny is still warming up to the idea. And I’m up to my armpits in boxes yet to be unpacked. It’s all good.”
“You’d been talking about moving for some time, hadn’t you? I’m guessing you moved for all the right reasons, and not to run away from …. well …. the narcissist.” Hank laughed as he polished the bar.
Jesse grinned. “You know, it’d be nice to think that when I started this new chapter I’d be able to slam the book closed on that old chapter but, as you know, it isn’t a perfect world, Hank. The narcissist has to ramp up his crap to make sure he still gets attention from 90 miles away.” She took another sip. “And as much as I would have liked to have left my old issues behind, it appears I unintentionally unpack a few of ’em every day.”
“I know what you mean, Jesse. It’d be so nice to leave all those issues at the old house, wouldn’t it? If it were that easy, everybody would look for a new zip code. But I don’t need to tell you that change is growth and with growth comes growing pains.”
She reached for the pint, “Tell me, Hank. When does it get easy? When do we stop getting tested? When does the Hallmark part start?”
Hank folded his bar towel and placed both hands on the bar. “Sounds like it’s time for the Bartender Pep Talk.”
Jesse took a sip. “I could use one.”
“I’ll remind you that you all are tired. You all are making adjustments. Hopefully, you all are compromising to make this work for everyone’s benefit.”
“Geez. I can’t remember being this tired, and over-frickin’-stimulated.”
Hank laughed again. “Yeah, the over-stimulation comes from the emotion of it all. The sweetness of the good, and the inevitable sour of the not-so-good. Am I right?”
“Yeah. The not-so-good scares me, tho. If this is my Hallmark movie, how come there’s still some of the not-so-good?”
“Cuz you’re the same person, Jess. But you’re working through stuff. It’s challenging. Growth is always challenging. You could have opted to stay put and not experience the growth, but you and I both know that we have to grow and try and challenge and keep moving forward.”
“I suppose you’re going to tell me that they never said it would be easy.”
“You know that already. Nothing really good comes easy. And quit comparing your life to a Hallmark movie. If you’re doing it right, your life will be so much better than one of those movies.”
Jesse checked her cell phone to see if the kids had texted. “And most days it is so much better than those dumb movies.”
“Then what’s the problem? You wouldn’t have made the move if your heart and gut didn’t think it was the right thing to do.”
“I know. I’m just tired. Tired of tests. Tired of putting out fires. Tired of drama – drama that I thought I’d be able to leave in this town. I want a groove – a mellow, creative, drama-free groove.”
“Don’t we all? Well, I take that back. I know some folks who thrive on drama. But you’ll get there, if that’s what you really want. You’ll find that groove. Keep unpacking. Unpack your issues and deal with them. Focus on the good parts and pass the tests together. Growing pains are inevitable. Don’t be in a hurry. Take your time. It’ll be as good as you decide it will be.”
“Thanks, Hank. I hope things are good in your world. Are they?”
“Oh, hell, Jess. I’ve got my own growing pains to deal with. We all do. Hallmark isn’t real.”
Jesse laughed. “Thanks, Hank. I better get going. Will is chomping at the bit to get his line wet before it gets dark.”
Will takes the dogs for a hike up the hills around the house every morning, and captures amazing photos. After he gets enough school work done to satisfy his teacher, he heads down to the pond or the creek to do some fishing during the warm Autumn afternoons. He’s sleeping well, eating a lot, and genuinely enjoying this transition even if most of the time he’s completely distracted and finds it hard to think about anything but the big one he could be catching.
Oh, and a ski hill is about 20 minutes from the house, so I don’t need to tell you about how much he’s been praying for snow.
Jenny just got done crocheting a harness and leash for Nina. Jen’s terrified that if we let the cat outside, she’ll high-tail it for home. Literally. When she isn’t refereeing pet stand-offs, she’s acting as interior designer of the upstairs bedrooms. It’s got to be every teenage girl’s dream to be able to decorate her own room without any limitations. Will has taken a back seat and encouraged Jen to perform her magic on his room, too. Her room is Bohemian/hippy chic. His is kinda the same with a little cowboy, golf and fishing thrown in.
Jen thinks that the coolest thing about having a ski hill close to the house is that we won’t have to go every time Will wants to go.
It’s all good. Mostly. ;)