And that was that

Last day of work in our Alaska office…

My office went from this:

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to this:

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in just a week and a half.  I had really made it my own.  We’ve been here for almost four years, it was the longest I have ever spent in one office.  I packed it slowly because I didn’t want to be rushed in the end but I didn’t want to just get it over with.  I took the last of my pictures down on Tuesday because they required the whole backseat to transport home.  When I got into work on Wednesday and sat down at my computer I had a hard time concentrating because the walls were not mine.  It felt so off.  And today, that was it.  Everyone was walking around saying goodbyes and good luck.  I feel fortunate that most of the good colleauges I made while being here are staying with Marathon and saying goodbye didn’t feel like forever since we are still connected. 

But leaving this office was way different then just moving on to a different position or a location as the only one who is moving.  I have felt like so much a part of the family here, we’re breaking up the family.  There’s no coming back, no visiting, no oh crap I left something I’ll just go back and grab it.  This is final. 

Though we’ve been preparing for this for so long, it came so fast.  It’s very surreal.  When I left I couldn’t get myself to focus on it being THE last time I would see my work place.  Almost like I was leaving for a long weekend.  Even though this whole week, I would say to myself, this is my last Monday…Tuesday and this morning, I was like, this is my last drive into work.  My last time turning on my light.  But none of that made anything sink in.  A small confession…my last time using the bathroom, I used the last of the TP roll, it was about 4pm everyone was on their way out, there was only one other woman in my building and I said to myself, what the heck, I am ALWAYS the one who changes the freaking toilet paper, it always runs out on me.  So I just left it.  I let the other woman know what I did because it was out of character for me, but she laughed, gave me a high five and said I hate that toilet paper holder too.  It’s so strange there will never be going back to visit.  It hasn’t set in, I can tell you that.  I’m a walking emotional time bomb for now until the next six months.  There’s no telling when or what will set me off.  But she’s going to blow.  It’s kind of like when you feel like you’re going to throw up (not to get graphic) but you just want to hurry up and get it over with and hope one time will be enough to do it…and that no one will be around. 

I finally got around to doing this to a few people’s cars.  It snowed a significant amount the past few days.  One of the nights this week it was 4 degrees out and snowed about 6 inches over night, it was crazy.  I’ve never seen it snow when it was that cold before.  It was almost a hard fast rule, if it was cold, it wouldn’t snow.  But it did snow, this awesome glittery, gorgeous snow.  It seriously looked like glitter flying around.  I just kept saying “It’s so fluffy” all morning.  People at work know me by now, one of the reasons it’s so said to leave them.  I can be me, it was awesome.  But I’ve been dying to do this and it just hasn’t snowed enough during the day much this year.  No one really noticed, most were so caught up in moving on.  But I’m not going to be able to do this in Houston.

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And I know, like these last two weeks, the next month and a half will go by really fast too.  Alaska will just be a blog of fond memories.  We’ve finally talked about it directly to Gretchen.  Steve actually said something directly to her first.  He said her first question was about if we were taking all our stuff which was the first question she had when she caught on to what we were talking about months ago.  It’s been such a topic I got tired of trying to remind people not to talk to her about it around us.  She knew…but she still doesn’t really know.  Her next idea was that she hates snow and is excited about living somewhere it’s summer all the time.  Of course it helps that her cousin, Anni, the one that is 12 days younger, lives in FL where it’s summer all the time.  Dada asked her a few weeks ago if she could live anywhere she wanted where would it be, her first place was some random town in the middle of nowhere Canada.  I was like YEAH!  That’s my girl.  And then she changed her mind and wanted to live near Anni.  When Dada said what about here? and pointed to Houston, she said no, I want to live near Anni. 

I had the second conversation with her.  I was trying to get her to understand the climate change and of course I was putting my I love cold weather spin on it.  She started talking on Sunday about how much she hates the cold and the snow and how she wants to live somewhere warm.  I was like wait a second, where we’re moving is so hot in the summer we’re not going to want to go outside just like we don’t go outside in the winter because it’s so cold (which really isn’t true, she goes outside most days at daycare).  But then I had to stop myself, she has no clue, nor does she have any opinions, why am I trying to put this location down for her.  Especially when I want her to be onboard with this.  So I backtracked and was like, well we’ll be able to swim when it’s that hot, that’s about it.  And ALL she heard from that whole conversation was our new house is going to have a pool.  Mind you, I said NOTHING about our house having the pool that we’re swimming in when it’s hotter than hell outside.  But later in the day Steve was like “who told Gretchen we’re going to have a pool?” and I was like not me, he was like, she said “Mama said we’re going to have a pool at our new house.” 

Way back at the beginning, when the sale was announced and we knew we were moving, as if on command, the next Parents magazine that showed up had an article about moving and how to deal with it with kids.  One of the suggestions that it gave was to give your child a camera and allow them to take pictures around the house, of their friends or anything they would want to remember and then turn it into a book or scrapbook for them to look at when you move.  So I’ve started it with Gretchen.  I let her take a camera to daycare yesterday and she came home with some awesome really cute pictures of her and her friends.  I am pretty devastated she’s not going to get to graduate from Preschool with her friends here.  She has one good little girl friend who is so sweet and cute and a few months ago moved just down the road from us.  I am so sad that she would have had a little friend on the school bus on her first day of school.  And with Gretchen being so shy, that seems kind of important. 

On a side note…work had a little going away party for everyone and it was in the early evening and kids weren’t invited…bummer.  And we had an 11 year old watch the kids.  Yeah, talk about out of character for me.  But, she is phenomenal.  She goes to our church and has been our saving grace for getting Gretchen to go to her class, she is always there to take her hand and let her sit on her lap.  And Steve plays in the church band with her Mom.  She has a younger sister who is a little younger than Gretchen’s age and a younger brother slightly younger than Wes.  It was just weird bringing a babysitter to my house that wasn’t even old enough to sit in the front seat with an airbag or have a cell phone.  And when I drove her back it was snowing like crazy out, and it was so awesome to drive in the snow.  That definitely doesn’t come at many locations.  Because driving in the snow at most places is treacherous but here, it’s actually fun (most of the time).

One last parting shot…Steve and me in front of our old office building.

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