Sunday, September 07, 2008


We just helped moved her again—my middle daughter who keeps moving. She should have been born with wheels on her feet and a luggage handle that you could just pull out of her back. She’s a mover—which seems odd since she really dreads moving. It’s not a genetic condition; her father and I have lived in the same house for the past 33 years.

So after my daughter’s last move, I had to pull out my address book one more time and X out the old and write in the new. My poor address book has been crossed out and edited so many times that I have to stop and think who lives where.

When my middle daughter first left home in 1997, I carefully wrote “Bethel College, St. Paul, MN” in my address book. However, that was soon replaced by a dormitory at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, MN. There were at least four addresses in St. Joseph—including the post office box numbers for two dormitories, Zierdan East Apartments, and Campus Village Townhomes. During these same years, I penciled in addresses for her temporary jobs in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, and Manchester Center, Vermont. She did an internship one January in Nassau, Bahamas, and another internship where she lived on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, Minnesota. After graduation, the addresses included East End Road in Homer, Alaska; Penkiril Street, Bondi, New South Wales, Australia; and a couple of addresses in Olivia and Bird Island, Minnesota. Then a couple of Des Moines, Iowa, addresses followed. Last Friday, we brought a load of furniture to an address on Nathan Road in Plymouth, MN. Is that 16 moves in 11 years?

My youngest daughter’s move count is currently at 10, I believe. She first ran away from home to Towers Residence Hall, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. While in Eau Claire, her addresses included a house on Niagara Street, a house on South Farwell Street, and a final one on Chippewa Street. A change of college majors caused a westerly move, first to Pine Cone Road and then to First Street, both in Sartell, Minnesota. Along the way, I also penciled in a summer address at Williams Bay, Wisconsin. Student teaching resulted in a move to West 37th Street in Minneapolis, and a teaching job offer caused a major move to South 50th Street in Phoenix, Arizona. Finally, after her wedding last summer, she and her husband settled in at North Willow Street in Chandler, Arizona. It seemed like half the people at the wedding introduced themselves by saying, “I used to be the bride’s roommate.”

My son left home in 1994 and his address was pretty stable at the USAF Academy, Colorado Springs, for four years. He moved to different dorm rooms during that time, but for four years, I always knew where his post office box was. Then began the moving: Ciarfeo Street, Laughlin AFB, Texas, and Shoreline Road, Del Rio, Texas, while he completed pilot training. He must have lived in Nevada for awhile because I have an address for Paradise Road in Las Vegas. A little slip of paper tucked in the address book indicates an APO address in Saudi Arabia in 2002. He and his wife were stationed at Canon AFB in Clovis, New Mexico, and lived on Don January Court before they bought a house on St. Andrews Drive in Clovis. Their address in Goodyear, Arizona, near Luke AFB has been in my address book for a few years now, but again, little pieces of paper stuck here and there show temporary training addresses—maybe in Arizona, Florida, Alaska, Denmark, one of the Carolinas? It gets a little fuzzy sometimes. Most notably, there’s an address at Kunsan AFB, South Korea, in 2006-07. I would count up his moves, too, but I’m not sure which were just short-time, temporary moves where he just packed his clothes, and which were actual moves where he brought his furniture along.

This isn’t an accurate count, but I estimate my kids have lived in approximately 12 different states and 4 foreign countries (which would make sense if I had 12 children, not 3). I know I should either just pencil in addresses in my address book or keep them in an electronic database. But that would spoil the fun of looking back and remembering where everyone started out and where they’ve been along the way. My scribbled and x’ed out address book is a reminder of the adventures and opportunities my kids have had while I’ve been hunkered down guarding the home front for 33 years here on Nissen Street.

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