I arrived in Illinois on July 13, 2009, driving a 16 foot moving truck, with Lupe in the passenger seat. Now, almost 3 years later, I’ll be leaving in a similar fashion – though Lupe and I will be significantly more crowded, with 2 cats, a fish, and my Sweets (aka Andrew) in the cab, too.
We’re all headed to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to start in on “real jobs” post graduate school (well, at least Andrew and I are). I am both excited and worried, extremely busy and extremely procrastinating-being, very hopeful and a bit sad. A bit.
I will miss my coworkers at the University Archives, especially the University Archivist himself, who was a great leader and teacher, and an overall curmudgeon of the best sort. (When I told him I was hired after only a phone interview, he said: “Do you they know you’re….” and then he made a hand-motion to mean “really short.” Ha! No, I did not include my height in my resume.) I was telling A. the other day that I feel blessed, lucky, and proud of all that has happened/ been accomplished over the past 3 years, and much of the good stuff came by way of the University Archives. The staff really was my “solid state” (that’s a computer pun) during my time in Illinois, providing knowledge, inspiration, humor and even small words of encouragement, such as “That’s pretty good, Emily.” For a thousand reasons I will not list now (I have a problem of wanting to put everything into one post), I am grateful to these people and this institution for what it has provided.
I’ve never been a diligent list-maker. I mean, I make a list on a scrap of paper and then lose the paper, and write another list, and lose that paper, and so on – until there are a thousand scraps of paper lying around with unfinished tasks written on them. I rely, mostly, on keeping everything in my head – and depending on who you ask, I am successful at this to varying degrees. But here, to end the post, I am going to make a list that cannot end up in the bottom of my bag or crumpled up in-between the bed sheets (yes, this happens), a list of some of the things I will miss about living in Illinois.
What I Will Miss
- Robyn, Jenny, Yasmeen, Holly, Joel, Melissa, Bryan and all the other generous, intelligent, sassy and wonderful people I’ve met (Though many have now moved on themselves, I still feel as if they are located in Illinois.)
- Being close enough to drive to Annie Jones & Pasiuk, in Iowa City
- Riding through the corn and soy fields on the back of A.’s motorcycle
- The free bus system, which made it easy not to have a car
- Bunny’s outdoor patio in the summer, with their drinks in plastic cups and weathered patrons to wonder about
- Hearing the crop reports on NPR while I shower and get ready for work
- Dancing badly, wildly, gracefully, and dangerously
- The Champaign County Fair, where we saw a demolition derby and I tried Bud Light Lime for the first time
- Homer Lake, the closest to New England you can get in the area
- The I.D.E.A. Store, which fueled my crafty/ green/ chaotic projects
- Rantoul, in general, and especially the downtown with its train tracks, small American flag, and neatly plotted marigolds
- Weather alerts and tornado siren testing
- The giant Urbana dog park, where Lupe had many fans and A. and I had quiet, patient talks