Monday, March 09, 2009

Leaving My Hometown

In the fall of '96, I was living in a one room apartment with my wife-to-be. We were in the infancy of our relationship having met in late July. Having graduated that spring with a nursing degree, she was looking for a position as an RN. This would quite possibly lead to her having to move to another town. Would I go along? Would I follow her even though we'd only known each other a short time? It was a difficult decision, one I put off until she actually had an offer put out to her.

In late October, one came; from a nursing home in Rochester. The city, 40 miles from my hometown, Winona, was fairly familiar to me.

It's where my maternal grandmother had lived and the site of a disco club called the Aquarius (not to mention the Mayo Clinic). After a good deal of deliberation, I decided I would go with her (I was working at Radio Shack at the time, but looked forward to getting outta there). We chose a place to live called Homestead Village. It was a nice complex that had a park-like setting. All the townhouses there were two levels. Our place had two bedrooms and cost only $500 a month.

Of my mom's first 5 kids, she was closest to me and later said that she cried the day I left town. My girlfriend got orientated in her job while I commenced looking for one myself. The first few weeks were quite difficult, my homesickness very acute. I had no friends in Rochester, so typically drove to Winona about once a week, visiting my mother and a couple friends. Many times, I told my beloved that I wished to return to the Island City.

My loneliness hit a nadir one winter morning when she was at work and my car wouldn't start. I was literally stuck at home. Thankfully, I had a kitten to drown my sorrows with, but I was losing ground fast. I stuck it out, though. One thing that got me through was going to the movies. Winona only had 4 screens while Rochester had 19 (including a cheap theatre). I went to an incredible amount of films during this time (my wife-to-be worked second shift, so I was totally on my own in the evenings).

It wasn't long before I found a job which helped ground me. Getting a dog in the summer of '97 also helped in this respect. The visits to Winona gradually became less frequent and before I knew it, Rochester truly felt like home.

Further reading:


Rocketstar said...

The "birds" look like bats, are thye supposed to be bats or birds? In your Blog Name Section

Rocketstar said...

or maybe owls?

Thomas said...

They're supposed to look like birds, but can certainly come across as bats if you look at them for too long.