Skedaddle from Seattle


How do you wrap up 7 years of a life? How do you tie off all of the loose ends, the unfinished business, the burgeoning relationships, the tried-and-true friendships, the incomplete conversations? How do you look at this breathtaking city, blue and green and gleaming, and then turn to walk away? How do you say goodbye?

There is no way. I would rather just quietly slip away, ignoring the truth and pretending that everything is going to remain the same, than actually face the fact that I am leaving my amazing, wonderful life in Seattle.

My car is loaded: vintage flowered armchair, grandmother’s copper-front cabinet, dishes, shoes, linens, artwork, hiking gear, and more clothing than any one girl needs in my Louis Vuitton luggage (a yellow plastic laundry basket). My possessions are packed Tetris-style, and stacked to the ceiling; who needs a rear-view mirror when you have one on each side? My new car stereo is providing me with music for the first time in two years. And my new reality is glaringly obvious when I look at my key ring, down to just two keys: the ignition, and the Club.

In the same way that the summer sun has heroically held on well into September, I am holding onto everything that this city has offered me. I am savoring every moment, every sight, every sound. I am sipping my hazelnut Americano and pretending that when I close my laptop, I will not walk to my car and drive away from the first thing that I ever truly fell in love with: Seattle, my home, the city that wraps me like a hug and tells me to stay awhile.

But even if I deny it – even if I pretend that I will be back next week, that this is just a vacation – even still, here I go.

So it ends. And so it begins. Let The Big Trip commence.



  1. Greta on September 10, 2007 at 12:57 PM

    And off you go…. Wow.

    I would like to report that I read this blog about six minutes after you posted it, which demonstrates how often I check your blog on a typical boring work day.

    Gone but not forgotten my dear… “May the sun be on your face, and the wind at your back.” See you soon. :)

  2. Mary on September 10, 2007 at 1:12 PM

    A Chinese proverb says, “The journey is the reward.” Bon Voyage my dearest Annie. xx

  3. Chunk on September 10, 2007 at 2:25 PM

    You’re leaving Seattle, but you’re heading EAST! There’s a pillow and food on the table for you in West Virginia when you come through.

  4. Jack Ensor on September 10, 2007 at 2:29 PM

    Good luck Annie!

  5. MJ on September 10, 2007 at 2:55 PM

    I’m excited for you… :)

  6. Heather on September 10, 2007 at 3:56 PM

    Oh Annie. What can we all say that remain but that there is always a place for you here. Many places, in fact. And many friends. Even so, I have no doubt that many new friends await you wherever you land.

    So farewell for now.

  7. bec on September 10, 2007 at 8:09 PM

    you are the missing piece from the parsons puzzle of the midwest! we will welcome you with open arms.

  8. Laura on September 10, 2007 at 8:39 PM

    You may be moving away from Seattle, but you’re not moving away from blogging, right? Keep us posted, drive safe, and find what you’re looking for.

  9. hootenannie on September 10, 2007 at 8:51 PM

    Laura, to thee I say nah – HELLS nah. I will be posting regularly! I will have too many stories, about things like the Jeep topped in deer antlers that I saw in Yakima today.

  10. Sarah on September 10, 2007 at 11:23 PM

    So poetic. Even when you write about teenage boys on airplanes or leaving the most beloved place, you remain so poetic.

    My heart is sad because I know you are sad, but I will only reiterate what I have said to you in the past…
    God must be taking you away for a great reason, because He has given you so much in Seattle. YOU have a great adventure before you; Seattle will always be there.

    But really, kidz only is waiting to be complete…for a few days before becca leavez. Geez.

  11. Dad on September 11, 2007 at 12:48 PM

    Dear, dear Annie,

    Along with all the family, our hearts are broken to know what you’re leaving. It speaks into that all-too-fresh wound we all still carry from driving away from Montrose 4 years ago. There are no words sufficient. Perhaps Kathleen Norris came close, when she wrote of “spiritual geography”, meaning that places are laden with something more than just geographical features. Or maybe it’s Edward Abbey who says it even better, even if he knew not the One of whom he was speaking: “May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. . .where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you. . . beyond the next turning of the canyon walls.” (written appropriately in a book he named Benediction) For it is the One who called you out of Seattle who awaits you, and THAT is the adventure that lies ahead.

    With all my everliving love, Dad

  12. Miranda on September 13, 2007 at 12:47 PM

    You MUST continue to write. I simply can’t stand it if I don’t have any part of you on a regular basis. This blog allows me to fool myself into believing you are just down the street.

    Ahh.. sweet denial. You look so good on me.

  13. Elaine on September 15, 2007 at 11:05 PM

    hey annie!! your journal is exceptional!!! i love it!!! it shows your personality and i love your must run in the family…does by marriage count? anyways, i even cried at some of the things i read….well, they were from your daddy…i will be prayin for you…the cat hair pot story was hilarious!!! am i posting this in the wrong spot?? if i am….oh well!!!

  14. […] (which checks #4 off my list of goals for 2011).  Saturday also marked the 4-year anniversary of my move from Seattle – which, in some ways, was the initial leap into really big adventure that’s still […]

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