I was ready for a lot of tedious packing. Endless hours of stuffing our things into boxes, taping them up, labeling, next! I was ready for getting rid of so many things we accumulated simply because we could, sending them to better homes in hopes that our new home wouldn’t be as cluttered.

I was not ready for the endless days of melancholy as we get ready to say goodbye to our home of over a decade. The house we brought our babies to from the hospital when they were born. The house where every birthday party took place. The house I didn’t really like for two years, and which I resented for many more when the money spent in it was pulling our family under.

I was not ready for driving around, running errands, and the thought of “is this the last time I’m here?” is triggered every time. Well, I’m sure I haven’t seen the last of our new Target yet, but our little Chinese food place, where we got consistently good food for the last ten years, I’m pretty sure last night was the last time we got takeaway there. The new pizza place was telling me about their promotion for next month and I just smiled, thinking “we won’t be here.” The library where my children got hundreds of new adventures.

We will find all “new” places, of course, new favorite restaurants, new corner stores to run to for the two eggs I don’t have for my cupcakes, and Target is an ever-comforting presence, although I won’t be there with my best friend, who calls the “team huddle” bell the “team cuddle” bell. I will think of her every time I hear it, every time I get a Starbucks or have Chinese food by myself because I am addicted to it and it was our weekly ritual.

The other day we were watching Face Off and the Golden Gate Bridge was one of the inspiration choices for the contestants. I wondered, if I see the Bay Area pop up in the news once we’re in Wisconsin, will I be one of those people that automatically turns to see what’s going on in our old turf? My husband has already found a news station he likes, since he was there for weeks at a time. I’ll miss Frank from Channel 2, but thank goodness he has a Facebook page so I can at least keep up with his daily stories.

We got our first new house gift last night, from dear friends we will also miss. We’ve shared good food and wine more times than I can count, good times and bad, and lots of house decorating ideas. From all corners of the world we managed to be friends, and I am sure we will remain so even with this distance between us.

We leave many good people behind – today I will say goodbye to my mom and siblings. Not forever, I hope, but definitely for a long time. Technology may be a curse on our humanity but I will cling to it, Facebook and email and Skype, to see beloved faces and let them see ours in exchange.

I am excited and happy for this new adventure, but there is also sadness and melancholy, and the joy in knowing those latter feelings means that we built a good life for ourselves here. We will miss and be missed, and we will go on to make new friends, new memories, without forgetting those we leave behind.

The weekend beckons and I shall yield to its call for more packing and more goodbyes. Until next week, then.