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Sock Madness and Sadness

I’ve never considered myself to be a fast knitter. I actually think my time is rather average – faster than some but slower than some, too. And yet, with the pressure of Sock Madness, I managed to knit a sock in a day on Saturday.

That, my friends, is a new record for me.

And I woke up Sunday morning and thought: my progress is good. I may not be loving the pressure of knit, knit, knit, but I’m making progress and I’ll get most of sock two, it not all of sock two, done by the end of the day. I was hedging my bets because I knew, what with church in the morning and our kids coming over in the afternoon, that I wouldn’t have unlimited knitting time, but I still thought I’d have decent knitting time. And I still believed that it was a priority.

progress as of Sunday night

And then our kids (meaning my stepson Brant, his wife Heather, and my step granddaughter Ambrynn) came over and dropped a bombshell. They’re moving to Florida in July. We’re in Massachusetts, in case you aren’t following this geographically.


That’s damned far away form Massachusetts. I get the reasons for the move, I really do. Massachusetts is expensive, they aren’t getting ahead, they can’t afford a house, Brant would have to work two jobs and he’d never see Ambrynn, Heather’s mom and brother are in Florida. I get all of that, I really do.

And you know, you want your kids to be independent and self-sufficient. That’s sort of the whole point, isn’t it? You raise them to go out in the world and make a good life. This is what Brant and Heather believe is best for their family and it’s exciting for them. But for Dale and I, it’s just so sad. We managed to hold it together while they were here, putting on a brave face for their sake and self-medicating with a martini or two. And then we went to bed and cried together and felt miserable. We also realized that this is something new for us to face. A challenge of a new sort for our marriage, learning to miss such close members of our family. I know we’ll figure it out and I know there are worse tragedies in life but I just keep coming back to this photo and thinking how precious few of these we’ll be taking in the coming years.


Suddenly, competitive sock knitting just doesn’t seem that important anymore.

This Post Has 86 Comments

  1. I can sympathize completely. My husband’s parents retired to Scottsdale, AZ about 10 years ago and we had SUCH a hard time with it. But then we discovered the Mac’s iChat and Isight feature with the camera that enables us to video conference regularly. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than email and phone all the time. I’m sending you hugs and a few tears too. I am still heartbroken that my in-laws are so far away, but we are planning on moving out to AZ in 3 years to join them.

    I understand their frustration with trying to afford a home. While MD isn’t New England, it is just as bad tryingto afford a home starting out. It’s nearly impossible. I don’t know that my hubby and I could do it now if we were starting out.

  2. Aw hon. That stinks. But you know, extended winter vacations in florida…maybe you need to buy a condo, you know, as an investment…I see “snowbird” in your future. My neighbors’ kids moved to Florida, and they just keep their eyes on low airfares and go visit 3 or 4 times a year. She works per diem, but I bet you could make it work work-wise. Anyway, I’m sorry, I know it’s a big, tough change, but I hope it means you’ll have lots of sunshine next winter.

  3. oh Carole please talk to them because I live in South Florida and with all of the hurricanes year before last it’s SO EXPENSIVE to live here now – the insurance rates have skyrocketed – ours went up 50%!! And the homeowners taxes are also through the roof….we’ve been seriously thinking of how to move “out” of Florida because of these things…we purchased our home 5 years ago for $169,000. The same exact home next door (minus all of our upgrades) just sold for $465,000 and I live in the “outskirts” of Miami where prices used to be really economical because of how far “out” of the city we are…not anymore. The people that purchased that $465,000 home didn’t realize that when the taxes get assessed again post purchase they got stuck with a $7,000 tax bill…it’s truly crazy down here.

  4. that’s a tough one.. Having them far away is hard. But…. You can go and visit!

  5. I’m so sorry. I know you’ll take comfort in seeing them successful and happy, though. And you have a nice warm place to visit in the Winter!

  6. I know how you feel! My DD and family moved twice in a year – to FL and then to New England. (complicated reasons)

    I miss those 3 DGSs so much!

    But you will phone, and they will take pictures, and you will email, and you’ll get that video thing for your computer (yes I have it but it’s not connected yet!) so you can “talk” online and “see” each other!

    And no, I haven’t convinced myself yet, either!

  7. I’m sorry, Carole. I hate living so far away from family and friends. It’s funny how I didn’t always realize how precious it is until I only get to see them a couple times a year.

  8. I feel your pain; middle step-daughter C. *had* to fall in love with an Australian and – yes, she now lives there. I think the hardest thing I ever witnessed was the day she came to say goodbye and my husband had such a brave, smiley face as she hugged him but before her car was even out of sight, he pretty much collapsed in tears. We see them every 2-3 years – it sucks…

  9. Oh no! My heart is breaking for you. I don’t have my own kids, but if my step-daughter told us she was taking the grandkids and moving far away, it would definitely take more than one or two martinis for me to hold it together.

    On the bright side though, Florida is the perfect place for you to visit next year during the most dreaded month of March!

    I wish you & Dale the best in getting through this.
    {{BIG HUG}}

  10. Carole, I know the pain that you feel. My daughter told me a couple of weeks ago they are moving to Portland Oregon. I live in KS, she lives in Tn and the difference is about 10 hours drive. But Oregon………..can’t drive that…..:(. Consequently, I really know your pain, but like you I realize that is what we raised them to be, independent and do what is best for their family…. Grandma is going to have to find some funds to fly with. Dee fm KS

  11. Carole, I’m sorry. I live two hours from my parents and sister, and with school and work I only manage to see them once every three months or so. It basically sucks, but I call home every day and that helps a lot.

    On the bright side, you have an excuse to go to Florida now! Airfare is pretty inexpensive and you get to escape snowy New England for sunny Florida!

  12. Hugs, Carole! With my daughter moving to Outer Banks, NC, I know exactly how you’re feeling. Kick in the gut wind knocked out of you pain. It sucks. Knitting and spinning won’t change that.

  13. Oh, Carole, I’m so sorry. I’ve been away from my parents since college and there have certainly been times when it’s been hard to be so far away. I know you and Dale will make the most of it.

  14. My kids are 12 and 13 and lately I have had that same feeling I did when they were babies – the feeling that you just want to pin them down so they stop growing, stop becoming independent, and so on. But, at the same time, I know the joy that comes with watching them grow into their own lives, which is only a foretaste of years to come. I hope that they will make their way back once they are on more secure financial ground.

  15. Sock in a day, as in SOCK in a DAY? One sock? One DAY? Lordy, that’s either really fast, or a really long day. And I thought that three weeks to make a pair was good. You’ve raised the bar incredibly high, you know. (Have you checked the Guiness Book of Records on this one?)
    Not to worry about the kids moving to Florida. Look at it as a new place to vacation to. And you can have them back for holidays and stuff. Yes, grandma, it can be even MORE fun. (Calling you that makes me laugh. It wasn’t meant as mean.)

  16. I remember the look on my dad’s face when we told my folks were moving to New England. (I’m such a daddy’s girl.) It’s gotta be extremely hard. But think of all the cool vacations you can have in sunny Florida to visit now!

  17. I’m sorry Carole but maybe I can console you with a Mojito or six IN PERSON when you come down to visit!

  18. Oh, honey, this news brought tears to my eyes… I know it would be hard for you to even consider following them, but hope you can at least make a plan to go back and forth regularly. I may not be a geography whiz kid, but that’s too damn far, even I know.

  19. Oh Carole, we know exactly how hard this is. We were in West Virginia for 2.5 yrs. and missed home the whole time. Your kids may need to go south to promote their work and careers, but their hearts will be with you both. It’s so hard when their are little ones involved. You guys will all be in my thoughts. I hope their time away passes quickly.

  20. We’re living in the little carriage house at my in-laws’ because we wanted to live near our family and anything else was too expensive. It was really tough emotionally living far away, though we loved having our own house. Ended up moving back home.

    Fingers crossed that someone figures out a cheap and stress-free way to teleport soon!!!

    Do you have skype and a Plantronics DSP-400 headset for the calls?

  21. Ah, the only constant is change, and that is NOT easy. The adjustment is hard. The IDEA of adjustment is hard.

    You’ll do more traveling.

  22. That is tough news. My oldest are almost 19, (twins, girls), and I know that day is coming for me, too. There is a saying about giving them roots to grow, and then wings to fly. Turns out maybe the roots are the easy part.

  23. Welcome to my world, Carole. It does get easier, though I admit, I don’t have to deal with the grandchild factor.
    Skype will be your best friend and webcams are pretty inexpensive. Honestly, when we chat with Molly, it’s as if she’s here in the room with us.

  24. don’t you just love bitter-sweet? Visit my blog and listen to a song I posted…my niece is getting her own apartment—sure she’s not as far away as your family is moving, but I love the sentiment in the song.
    I guess Florida is now on your list of vacation places. Hang in there!

  25. Our oldest son moved from CT to Utah right after grad school, almost fifteen years ago! He married and started his family there, so we just look at it as a great place to have an excuse to visit! (And look at all the great Utah Grrls I’ve met since I’ve been blogging!) Our youngest went to New Orleans for college (again, great place back then to visit) and now lives in Baltimore, although we can drive that one. I think that’s our job as parents, to make them independent enough people to be able to leave us, but it is still painful. If it’s any consolation, my nephew moved to Florida several years ago and is in the process of moving back to the New York area…they do NOT want to raise their brand new daughter down there. Maybe yours will come to that realization. Meanwhile, I have two words: Jet Blue.

  26. my heart aches for you – Florida is so very far away. and as often as people tell us that we’ll get used to it, we don’t. We love them, we want to see them. period.
    It is tough to ‘understand’ and still be sad. All my hugs go out to you. I get it.

  27. I am very close to my parents, especially my Mother. When I married my husband 11 years ago, I moved to Tokyo, Japan. I have lived there ever since. My parents live in Atlanta, GA. I know they miss us, but they have always supported my decision. They see my daughter and I at least six weeks a year. Which is more than they see my brother in Chicago.
    You will remain close. Think of the good vacations ahead. I will keep you in my thoughts.

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