Austin to Mesa

It’s been a little over a week since Carrie and I left Austin unceremoniously, in a mad rush to empty our house, divide stuff between donation drop-offs, storage, and the truck/camper set-up we’ll be calling home for the next year (++?).

We didn’t say goodbye to the city. I said, “Goodbye, house” as I stood in the empty living room after a final sweep and took a quick photo from the curb, including the “for sale” sign indicating the inevitable tear-down/rebuild our home of two years would be facing. We said goodbye to very few people, even those close to us. The idea of leaving Austin for nowhere in particular, however exciting, made it hard to believe it was happening, which — as a terrible excuse — I blame for not being better about telling friends and loved ones we were leaving. I’ve been doing the Irish goodbye years before I knew the term. Plus, we’ll be back in Texas, and definitely through Austin, in the not-too-distant future.

But here we are in Mesa, AZ, parked in a nice, shady spot at Carrie’s parents’ place, backed in courtesy of a recently installed wide gate, powered and cool courtesy of a 30-amp power outlet, both installed for visiting RVers and conveniently in time for our month-long visit. Her parents are so good to us. We’re getting to know and slowly but steadily organizing our small home. The smaller the space, the more time and work it takes to organize. Sounds ridiculous but it’s true.

I’m making music plans and figuring out what this year will mean for shows and songwriting (good things, I feel). I’m thinking about how much of the country Carrie and I will see in the next year; all the family and friends we’ll visit (We’re visiting! This is happening right now!); the bizarre and beautiful WaterFire event in Providence, RI; fall in the south and visiting Asheville, NC, Bascom Lamar Lunsford’s stomping grounds; reuniting with Arkansas Black apples, the best apple in the world.

After the incredible pace of the previous weeks, the exciting, anxiety-inducing uncertainty of completely changing the geography of my life, I think I’m finally getting to the point where I’m thinking straight and seeing clearly, with my mind going at a normal-ish pace and my footing steadier than it’s been in years. Instead of planning for this, I’m living it. This is what’s next. Next is here.

Take a deep breath, buddy.

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