JShu on the Journey

A Kansan takes on Missouri

Archive for April 2012

Things I’ve forgotten

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Whenever you return to a place where you haven’t been in awhile, it’s pretty inevitable that there is knowledge that you’ve gained and lost since you were last there.

I once had a high school history teacher who taught my class the shot glass theory of memory — you can only retain so much before you splash out some of what you had contained. I think this is similar to my moving back. In the process of getting a feel for life in Florida, I had forgotten about life in Illinois. I keep coming across little bits and pieces I’ve forgotten. A few examples?

1. Wind can make the difference between glorious spring weather and misery.

Today it was in the high 50s. After a freeze warning Sunday night, I was super excited. Then I nearly froze to death without my jacket when I went to a fire call. Note to self: always carry a coat until completely reacquainted with the cold.

2. Deer…are everywhere!

Even in the middle of Morris. (Shameless story plug).

But for real — according to a conservation woman I once spoke with, apparently there are deer in Florida, but they just are not as visible or as much of a threat to property as they are in the midwest. I am so paranoid taking backroads at night because I’m afraid one will dart out at me and I will get into a crash. Eek.

This also segues into my next point:

3. I have lost the art of driving with my high beams on

Since deer aren’t as crazy in Florida, and I lived in a more populated area, I rarely used my brights. With the deer problem, it’s kind of a necessity. I may or may not have accidentally brighted several people on my trip from Kankakee to Morris this weekend. Oops.

I’m sure cold and other forms of inclement weather will bring a whole lot more of these. But we’ll cross those bridges when we get there, I guess.


Written by Jessica

April 24, 2012 at 12:31 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Taking on Illinois

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Downtown Morris

I guess I should change the tagline to my blog, eh? It’s been “A Kansan takes on Florida” since I picked out the theme about three years ago.

Now that I’ve been in Illinois for a few weeks, I thought it was time to do a little housekeeping and I updated that and my ‘About me’ page.

The last two months have kind of been a whirlwind of lasts and firsts and now that I’m a little more settled, I’m a little more ready to delve back into sharing what’s up.

ICYMI (In case you missed it), here are the cliffs notes of the last several weeks. I officially accepted a new newspaper gig in early March. Had to keep it quiet for nearly two weeks before it was official, which, if you know me and my big mouth and my propensity to share everything on Facebook/Twitter, was pretty difficult.

Once my drug test and background check came back with the desired results, though, I turned in my two weeks notice, trained my successor as best as I could and hit the ground running on my cross-country move.

I pretty much packed everything in a weekend, stuffed it into a moving cube thing and spent two days on the road.

This is part of the stuff that filled my Relocube...note the hardcore roping/bungee-ing of my chairs.

When I arrived in Illinois, I crashed at a new coworker’s home and found a great apartment immediately (thanks to my parents and an incredibly patient landlord). I moved in with the help of my best friend and her boyfriend. Then a few days later, I started work and basically jumped into the mix of things. I’m now into my third week and starting to find my groove.

So, there you go. It’s been enough to make me never want to move ever again…not only because I have a fantastic place, but also because I have moved three times in the last year and I absolutely hate moving.

However, the move has been totally worth it. I’ll get into that more eventually. Some friends have known this (not all), but I’ve been looking to move out for Florida for a while — I missed being away from people I knew, I hated summer heat and Florida bugs, and I really missed being around fellow young people (I worked in a large retirement community area).

Some people move to Florida and absolutely love it, and that’s great, but I moved to Florida and found that I wanted to leave at every opportunity I could get. That’s not so good if you only get 10 vacation days a year and have a journalist’s salary.

People look at me like I am crazy when I tell them I moved from Florida (Disney World! Sun year round!) to the Chicagoland (Wind! Lake-effect snow!), but I think I’ve made a good choice.

As long as I have seven more months to prepare for snow, I’ll survive.

Written by Jessica

April 23, 2012 at 2:02 am

Posted in Illinois Living