While growing up, I lived in seven cities in six states. Since leaving the nest, I've lived in four cities in three states (one of them a state I lived in with my parents). This weekend, I'm moving my wife to what will be our third city in three states. I'll fly back at the end of next week, sticking around St. Pete until all the i's are dotted and t's crossed on our house sale.
In fact, I've lived here for two and a half years, spending almost two years in the house we are in the process of selling. By my reckoning, that's an eternity.
I've lived in this town long enough to witness the election of a mayor and every city council member. I've seen three downtown redevelopment plans go by the waysides. I've communed with manatees.
The past couple of years have been nice. The lack of climactic change has gotten maddening, though I noted a marked decrease in my wet dreams of ice storms this past winter. I'm not worried about having gotten soft, however. In February, I journeyed to Kansas for my grandfather's funeral. I arrived in a snowstorm, drove from Kansas City (Mo.) to Manhattan, Kan., in that storm, and spent the enraptured by the white stuff. And I rarely zipped up my jacket.
Oh, yeah, we're moving to York, Pa. You know, the first official capital of our nation (no, really). Also home of the band Live, which doesn't knock me out, either. Speaking of insulting the locals, you'd better not accuse York denizens of living in Amish country; they'll rip your ears off, screaming "That's Lancaster, idiot!".
My bad. Lancaster is 20 miles away.
Also, Pennsylvania is the only state other than Utah that does not allow private liquor stores. But that might change in the next few weeks. Most politicians can't keep their feet out of their mouths, much less pick a decent wine ("Say, boy, how about a nice Gallo burgundy?" is one nightmare that keeps tormenting me at night). Yikes.
But I'm actually pretty excited about the move. I hate Florida weather, particularly the heat. We made the most of our two and a half years, moving in late September 1994 and leaving this April. Good sense in that arena, anyway.
One advantage to York: I can actually see the Kansas City Royals play in the flesh this summer. Well, actually, next week, for starters. My wife and I have tickets to the Royals-O's game at Camden Yards this Thursday. I've got friends in New York and Cleveland who are also encouraging me to visit (and time the visits around Royals games). The thought of seeing games in Yankee Stadium, the Jake, Camden Yards and even Fenway is quite appealing.
My wife isn't so amused by my baseball excitement. But as long as she gets to come along for the trip, she promises not to complain too much. And there are plenty of other nice things about York. It's 10 miles from the Susquehanna and 20 miles from the Appalachian Trail. There are honest to God hills (something I haven't seen since I lived in Kansas City years ago) and even minor mountains. There is a ski resort in York County (though I'm not counting on quality). And best of all, Baltimore is an hour away, and Philly is two hours away. Wow, I'm finally going to connect with that East Coast state of mind that has eluded me since my family moved west when I was three.
Oh, and you want a point with this set of rambling musings? Forget it. I tried a while back to connect my feeling of wanderlust with some kind of generational thing, but it didn't work. And I won't try again. I guess I'm just one of those people who doesn't like to travel, but loves to move every year. A concept not unlike serial monogamy, if you get my drift. I like to take a long drink before moving on.
And don't worry; York is not a destination for my wife or me. My wife is a reporter, and the journalism business is built for people like us. Plus, her new boss has alread informed her that she should be leaving in two years or less.
Whatever. As long as I can find Sierra Nevada Porter, I'll be happy.
Jon Worley spews his nonsense from St. Petersburg, for the next month. By the time he turns 27 (at the end of April), he will be happily ensconced in York, Pa. (or thereabouts), and happy to be rid of Florida.