George & Wendy Show

Wendy Parker

Time is a frame of mind

George has come and gone again, he finished up our cross-country trip in Pennsylvania, turned and burned back to the house, did a quick re-set and is off again to Spokane Valley without me. I’m home this time, helping the boy get his college stuff in order. He starts his paralegal certification in September, and has recently discovered he will have to adhere to a strict budget to pay for it, so mom is hanging around to nag for a few weeks and make sure he doesn’t starve to death.

George can’t seem to stay away from Washington state, and I can see why, because it’s flippin’ beautiful. I have a distinct feeling we will eventually end up having that side of the Rockies as our home base. A tiny house in the woods on the edge of Capitol Forest is pretty much living the dream for us, and with a couple years of hitting it hard, we can actually obtain that dream.

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Two things keep me from jumping in a truck loaded with our personal belongings and heading straight for Olympia – our children and the time difference.

Our kids are both pretty dedicated Ohioans. The boy was born here, in Xenia, and I brought the girl here from Georgia when she was a tiny little thing – six or seven at the oldest. They consider the green rolling fields their home, and neither has any desire to leave it.

These are the people who make my world go 'round.

These are the people who make my world go ’round.

Their grandparents are also here, and they both have friends they wouldn’t leave. The boy actually loves the snow as much as I hate it, and our daughter has acclimated to the climate like a native. I can’t talk them into picking up and moving 2,000 miles away from everything they know, and my arguments of “It only takes about three days to drive back to Ohio when you want to visit” aren’t helping things. (Side note: It’s amazing how things don’t seem so far away to me anymore. Five years ago, the thought of having to ride for six hundred miles in one day made me want to jump off a bridge. Now it’s an easy day.)

Not having the kids close would be bad enough, but if we moved to the West Coast, I’d never know what time it is again. I have an inner clock that is set to East Coast and it will not be swayed. I spent 10 days on Pacific time, asking everyone, “What time is it?” The three-hour difference throws me off bad enough, but the fact that it never seemed to get fully dark also messed me up. I swear, about the time we hit Boise, it stayed light until 10 p.m. and the sun came back up at 4:45 a.m. I was all whacked out bad on my sleep schedule, and apparently, I annoyed our son every time I talked to him on the phone.

“Hey mom, what’s going on?”

“Just hanging out with Uncle Flip. What time is it there?”

“Mom. Seriously. It’s three hours later here than it is in Washington. You ask me every time you call.”

“So it’s 10:30 there?”

“No. It’s 10:15, mom. The minutes don’t change, mom.”

“Oh, the clock here is fast. Your dad is trying to scramble my brain. When are you moving to Washington with us?”

“I don’t want to move to Washington, mom.”

“OK, well I’ll send you some more pictures and call you in a couple hours.”

“It’ll be midnight here in a couple hours.”

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“Really? It’s only 7:30 here…that’s crazy.”

“Seriously mom?”

So, that’s my weak-ass argument for staying in Ohio for the time being. If we move out West, I’ll become senile and my children will be salty about telling me what time it is frequently. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it…for now.

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