It’s packing time…again! My husband and I will be heading out at the end of the week, leaving dear, old Norfolk, CT, behind for two months. We’ve been making the rounds, saying goodbye, returning library books, and for me, personally, trying to soak up as much time with these three dogs that I can. I’m going to miss them so much!
Here’s where we’re headed:
- Harrisburg, PA, to visit my Mom, Dad, and brother. For those of you who read my blog, you know the biggest challenge here will be to NOT eat all the cookies, cakes, and peanut M&Ms my family keeps on hand. I’ve shaped up quite a bit in the last month and a half and I don’t want to lose momentum.
- Cornelius, NC, to pet and housesit while my cousin and his wife (who is far and away one of my favorite people EVER), along with their two kids, head to their annual extended family beach week in the Outer Banks. They have a boat and a dog that looks like Rick James reincarnated, so I have plenty to be excited about there.
- Smyrna, TN, to visit with my husband’s parents, brother, two dogs, and three cats. My husband’s mom is recovering from surgery, so we’ll help out where needed, and on my agenda during that time is to get my car registered in TN. After hiding my car title in a SUPER SECRET PLACE, then moving three times in four years, I appear to have lost it. I finally got the replacement title. I would have simply re-registered it in IL until we figure out what we’re going to do with my car (it’s currently hanging out in my in-laws’ driveway), but the car needs an emissions test in IL first. As we’ve been in CT, well, not going to happen.
- Joliet, Manhattan, and Elmhurst, IL, for various pet/housesitting jobs. We sat for one of these houses last year, which inspired my picture book story The Best Darn Dog Ever, and when they asked us to come back and take care of their dogs, we immediately said yes. I was able to find other sitting jobs which fit neatly into our timeline for being there, so we’re happy at how it’s all working at. Plus, one of the houses is dome-shaped with 87 (or maybe 84) windows and the other has two geriatric wiener dogs (wiener dogs are AWESOME), so we’re going to have some great new experiences.
I’m really looking forward to these new housesits, even though I lived in IL for 8 years. My writing has been going exceptionally well lately, but I still think my absolute best creativity comes when we shake things up and have new experiences. Like at the end of March when I met Theo, the therapy llama, at the Norfolk Public library.
I’ve now started writing a nonfiction picture book based on this gentle and loving pack animal (FYI – they only spit when threatened; watch their ears for signs). Nonfiction picture book writing is something I had on my to-do list, but now I find myself actually doing it. My agent also thinks the story is a great idea (did I mention I now have an agent?!?!?! HUGE STEP FORWARD! YAY!).
So, there will be lots to see and do over the next two months. It makes saying our temporary goodbye to Norfolk bittersweet. But for now, I bid this wonderful town of Norfolk and its wonderful people a fond farewell. See you soon!