Aliens and Blueberry Pie

It’s late and the dog just figured out I’m moving tomorrow. She’s nosing around my room, clearly shocked to see the hardwoods now that my drawers and gaping suitcases aren’t covering them. My parents, sister, and I are all in our respective beds with plans to be up early – much earlier, in fact, than I’ve had to get up in all of the past six weeks. It’s hard to believe I actually have been in America for the past six weeks.

So this Monday, June 3, I’m moving back to college for the last time of my undergrad career. Next Monday, June 10, my dad is moving all the way out to Peoria, Illinois (which took me four times to spell properly, mind you) for a better job opportunity. Peoria, Illinois is about 800 miles away from our house.

It’s one of those rare cases where what you tell everybody – what sounds good – is actually true. Sure, my mom, his wife, is staying in the North Carolina house that I still consider home. And dad’s moving into a rental in Peoria. But it’s just for work and, while he is going to be there for a while, it is temporary in the sense that my parents aren’t separating, and they aren’t preparing to get a divorce. They’re just living apart for a while because the job stuff – and keeping a home base in NC for sis and I, at least for the next year – are what’s best for our family right now. It’s not the first time our family has done this (though hopefully for mom and dad, now that the kids are basically grown, it’ll be the last).

This does not sit well with small town North Carolina.

Everyone who hears about the situation – you know, family, friends, neighbors, parents of friends, friends of parents, etc – gets quite nosy about it (I know, the confusion is understandable). But it does get a little tiresome. I dearly love the small-town vibe of where we live, but one of the definite double-edged swords of it all is that, when everyone is so comfortable with one another, acquaintances seem strangely entitled about knowing the inner workings of your family’s business. They ask questions.

Sometimes it’s annoying. Mostly we get a good laugh out of it.

Like my sister who, when talking about all this at the dinner table tonight, said, “You know, at the game the other night somebody asked me What are your mom and dad gonna do? and I just wanted to be all, ‘Well, they’re gonna turn into aliens and eat blueberry pie.'”


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