Community Columns

People and things I’m leaving behind

Busy. busy, busy. Moving out, and there are so many “to-dos” — I dare not list them lest I be overwhelmed. Instead I blinker myself and just plod from one job to the next — pack cold-weather clothes, pack pictures using towels to protect them, do this set of books, then that one — and, oh yes, sell my car (done) and donate furniture I won’t take with me (done). Mail back the pet carrier that’s too small (my fault), call the shipper because two pet carriers arrived in a torn box with no hardware to put tops and bottoms together (Afterward, I discover I was so “efficient” that I missed the hardware tucked between top and bottom).

Well, many of us have our own moving stories — like the cabinet with “nothing” in it that turned out to be chock-full of tapes and DVDs. Nothing new here. We’ve all met with surprises when we’re trying to pull something together.

Set in the midst of this busy-ness is the saying goodbye. Goodbye to the women of Women in Conversation; goodbye to the “writing ladies” and our weekly meetings with writings to share — and so much else — to share. Goodbye, with cake in the conference room, to my colleagues at Times/Review. Goodbye to North Fork Reform Synagogue, the faith family that welcomed me so warmly.

Goodbye to the North Fork, the trees I wake up to, rustling when there’s wind. Goodbye to Mecca’s special friends, the children on the block. Goodbye to Granola the tortoise, whose eye met mine in a way that made me realize, unexpectedly, that tortoises are sentient beings. He’s now happily part of the small herd at Martha Clara Vineyards.

Goodbye to special friends I worry about. Goodbye to friends I’m unlikely to see again — California is a long, long way. Promises to keep in touch. Goodbye to friends who just might visit, and to all the friends who helped put me together for the long trip. This Fourth of July I watched Greenport’s fireworks from Sandy Beach, a yearly treat to treasure, remembering the sound of water washing in, the boats going back and forth in the channel and the lights of Greenport.

Such a rich spread to add to my memory collection.

In two days my son, John, and I start our drive west with two carsick cats (Snoopy and Jojo) and one elderly but still bumptious pit bull (Mecca), our route charted by way of pet-friendly motels.

I won’t say goodbye to you, however, because I’ll keep on writing on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. Maybe I’ll tell you something about my new house, maybe about Merced, maybe about the trip. Maybe something else entirely.

We’ll see …

Ms. Amussen, of Greenport, is a freelance writer and a copy editor at Times/Review Newspapers. E-mail: [email protected]