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Coming Full Circle


I started my "married life" on McBride Drive in Iowa City, Iowa. Not joking, that was the street address from where I sent my wedding invitations. It was a rental that we got for the short term as we house hunted. I moved from that house--to another house in Iowa City where we brought Lilia home from Mercy Hospital--the house at 722 Kirkwood. It was a beautifully restored Victorian farmhouse. I got to pick the kitchen finishes and design the first floor addition. That house was born of hope.


It wasn't too much later that we (I was still married) moved to Minnesota. This move landed us in a temporary rental (see the pattern developing?) as I house hunted with a 12 month old baby Lilia. I saw the street sign--it said Coolidge Avenue--and when I saw the charming brick Cape Code house at 4344 I hoped it would be the one. And, as good luck and timing would have it--I knew the minute I walked in, that house was it. That house eventually became the one where we brought Natalie home from the hospital. That house was where we welcomed our first dog, Miki, our precious Yorkie Maltese. That house was the site of so many family gatherings, visits, meals, celebrations, progressive dinners. That is where we grandly celebrated Natalie's first, improbable and triumphant birthday (she was born with a heart defect and suffered through life threatening cancer at 6 months). That was the house I lived in the longest of my entire life. Ten years. And then, it became the house and neighborhood we left behind to relocate to Chicago for spouse's work. Take three for me relocating for spouse's work.


It was the house on Park--as in park this life right here--the life that started as McBride and ended as Park where we lived for three trying, tumultuous, dramatic and marriage ending years. There were a few highs. The location of 724 Park Avenue was amazing. Walking everywhere. Great neighbors on both sides. Great memories too. It all ended abruptly and quickly and then--back to Minnesota this time for my girls. This was the fifth time I moved back to Minnesota. I wasn't even born here.


This pattern of making circles, of returning to where it all began--but with a difference continued. I rented a house, sight unseen on Beard Avenue, to get my girls back in their school district. It was a disaster--and yet--that's how I met my guy, Lou, who lived next door. Literally, next door. Had I not rented that awful house--and left that awful rental--and come back to drop off my keys, I never would have asked Lou why he failed to ask me out when I lived next door for those months. Truth!


I ended up in two other rentals only minutes away from my Coolidge Avenue house, only to return to the site--the circle of where I began--building a new house and a new life, from the earth up. Talk about new beginnings--returning to where it began to start again. This house is by far the best of all of those houses for so many reasons.


This past weekend, I returned to Chicago to visit Lilia who has returned to Chicago herself. She started her first real job after college. She has a roommate, a great apartment, a boyfriend downtown. It was amazing to see. I was so proud.


My mother and I stayed at a hotel on the North Shore--not too far from where I used to live. Once I checked in, I realized that my first divorce lawyer's office was one building away. That gave me pause. How far I had come since then--some 8 1/2 years ago. I also ended up in room 724--my old street address on Park. If you don't think God has a sense of humor--think again. My mother was next door in 722.... neighbors, numbers, coming and going and coming back and reliving and finding out that wherever you go--there you are with your bags and baggage of times gone by. If you are lucky, you also get to realize you have changed for the better not just houses or jobs or schools but lives. My life has changed for the better, and I was the agent of that change. All of a sudden, I am starting to feel pretty lucky in these dark ages of covid world.


How are you changing for the better? Is it happening in physical spaces like houses? In emotional spaces like relationships? In giving of the heart places? Are you traveling far and wide enough to find yourself new again? I hope so.









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Shelley Hasledalen
Shelley Hasledalen
01 paź 2021

While reading it made me want to take some time for myself and think about those intertwining circles of life; lastly answer those questions for me at the end just to see the answers to where they take me next.

Polub

Thank you for sharing your story…in your journey you have embraced sorrow and joy and now grandbabies! You are blessed

Polub
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