Previously, on New Latitude:
“Yikes, I bought a house, I’m moving from Tucson, Arizona to Rochester, New York!”
“How does that make you feel?”
“Well, I’ve been Tossin’ and Turnin’ a lot …”
“Why is that?”
“House closing snafus, vaccination decisions, car headaches, packing during a pandemic … not to mention my loud upstairs neighbor and his Never Ending Alarm Clock!”
“And you’re driving all that way?”
“How are you coping?”
“I’m so glad you asked …”
And now, for Episode 5 of New Latitude!
I’ll cut to the chase. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and under-qualified for my big move to the Northeast. Yes, I’d made the trip before, but I was a lot younger and/or had a companion with me those times. This time, my only companion would be a six-year-old (my dog, Maya), and she’s not too good at navigating.
But, thanks to three documentaries I happened to watch recently, I have a NEW ATTITUDE about driving 2,000 miles on the coattails of a drastic winter storm. These documentaries provided me with three role models to look to for inspiration while driving.
- Audubon (2017)
John James Audubon’s life is admirable enough, but it’s his strong wife (Lucy Bakewell Audubon) who inspired me vis-à-vis my trip. After her husband traveled to Europe to study birds, he wrote Lucy a letter saying he was sorry but he’d have to stay there for another SEVEN YEARS to complete his work. She wrote back asking him to be honest … if there was another reason, he should let her know, and “free” her. When he replied that there was no other reason and asked her to join him in Europe, she replied that he’d have to come and get her. He did. They remained happily married for 42 years. (Remember that number.)
- Jackie Robinson (2016)
Jack Roosevelt Robinson was a remarkable baseball player who stood up to injustice, but as a young man, when he implored his fiancé, Rachel Isum, not to go to nursing school, she broke off the engagement and returned his ring. They later reconciled after he saw reason, and she went on to become an assistant professor of nursing at Yale. Jackie Robinson’s uniform number was 42. And, on the day I was making notes about his documentary, I noticed that I’d packed exactly 42 boxes. (I’m up to 87 today.)
- RBG (2018)
As a law school student, Ruth Bader Ginsburg supported her very ill husband while caring for their two-year-old child. She went on to serve on the Supreme Court for 27 years and is known for her desire to find common ground, her sharp intellect, and her dissenting opinions, particularly regarding gender equality and women’s rights. She was extremely focused on her calling, eventually earning the nickname, “Notorious RBG.”
Because of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I’ve decided to think of myself as “Notorious LAB” while driving. (My middle name is Ann.) I’m hoping this moniker will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. With RBG as one of my role models, I’ll remain focused and alert. With my hair pulled back and my black glasses on, I think I kind of resemble her. Heck, maybe I should wear one of those lacy judge collars while driving. By the way, right after making notes about the RBG documentary, I went out for a drive. It was a rare day of Tucson snow, and I noticed it was 42 degrees out.
I know what you’re thinking: Is 42 Lori’s new address? Well, no … but it’s “in the ball park” as Jackie Robinson would probably say.
I leave tomorrow! I’ll be sure to keep Lucy Bakewell Audubon, Rachel Isum Robinson, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg in mind as I travel all along interstate routes 10, 20, 30, 40, 65, 71, 70, 79, and 90 (sorry, no 42 unless I take a detour). And I’ll be back with a Prologue after my arrival in my new home!
Cover image by cromaconceptovisual @ Pixabay