Our time in Minnesota is winding down. We've reached the point where many things we do are for the last time, and I have mixed feelings. Last Saturday I had my hair done for the last time by my stylist of 16+ years. Nolan is an absolute dear and knows how to get my hair the perfect color every time. If you've ever had a bad color job, you can appreciate the value of his talent. The right hair color is truly priceless. Over the years, he has also listened to the ups and downs of my life and was one of the first people to read my first book when it came out. (His comment was that my hero was "extremely patient".) I'll miss Nolan, but our time together was limited. He's well into his seventies and finally admitted he's considering retirement. I'll never understand how anyone can do a job requiring you to be on your feet several hours a day for fifty years, but he has always been cheerful and uncomplaining. As a parting gift, he wrote down the formula for my haircolor and gave me earnest instructions to give my new stylist in California.
It's funny how men are different. OG has been going to the same barber for more than 20 years and hasn't even mentioned our move. He says he'll tell Steve on his next (and last) visit, two days before we leave. OG jokingly claims he doesn't want to give the barber and excuse to give him a bad haircut, but I know it will be hard for him to say goodbye.
Barring any emergencies, we've also seen our beloved dentist for the last time. Dr. Branham is one of the sweetest men I know. He taught our needle-phobic daughter not to fear going to the dentist. He's gentle, highly skilled, and never tries to talk his patients into unnecessary procedures regardless of their profit to him. He's also a passionate collector of vinyl records. OG had a sizeable collection that he decided not to move, so Dr. Branham came over and took all six boxes. We know they're going to a good home.
Saturday was my last meeting with my RWA chapter, Midwest Fiction Writers. I'm continuing as a long-distance member, but I don't know when I'll see any of these remarkable women again--perhaps at a future National convention. For many years we've grown as writers together, cheering each other's successes and commiserating with each setback. I'll miss them, but thanks to modern technology, we're never farther than a click apart.
That really only leaves the office. I sold my car today to a former co-worker, a nice young man who is looking forward to enjoying the bells and whistles of my 10-year-old, shockingly low mileage Infiniti. It was the first time I've seen anyone from work since I left more than two months ago. I wondered how it would feel, and it was fine--no twinges of discomfort at all. I'm meeting three friends from the office for lunch today, and I'm really looking forward to it. I take that as a sign of how much I've healed.
It's time to go. I'm ready.