What defined your 2012?

When you look back over the past 363 days do you see trial and hardship or joy and celebration? There were some sad times for me during 2012 but in my rearview mirror, it all looks very, very good.

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Who needs the Land of Enchantment? Dig this sunrise over Hoosierland!

A year ago yesterday I moved to Porter County. I’ve got a sweet house in a safe neighborhood, just 11 miles south of the lake that I love.  In fact, Lake Michigan was one of two major reasons I moved back to the Region from SoNewMex. Friends in Las Cruces thought I was nuts.

“I can understand missing your family,” a friend said after I gave him my top reasons for relocating. “But missing the lake? How can you miss a lake? We have water in New Mexico.”

Sorry, no, you don’t.

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Soulmate – Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

You have some inland lakes – beautiful mountain lakes, yes – and the Rio Grande, basically an irrigation ditch in the Las Cruces area. Oh, and “the lake” southern New Mexicans refer to is Elephant Butte – a reservoir created by damming the Rio near Truth or Consequences. But you haven’t seen a lake until you’ve seen the great lakes. Great enough to pull me back home!

Being back in Indiana after 30 years has been wonderful. Aw’gy and I have walked many miles up and down the lake’s sandy shoreline and dunes. More importantly, I’ve been able to reconnect with my siblings and their 30-some children and grandchildren. Regardless, last winter was hard, and it wasn’t because of ice and snow. It was hard because I had to grieve.

This time last year I was happily nesting into my bungalow and at the same time planning a drive to New Mexico for the month of March. Friends saved one of their rental casitas for me. I even had a volunteer gig lined up  at an art fair. But toward the end of January I was getting cold feet about driving south. Some inner turmoil was stirring. Something that demanded my attention.

I used to hate “inner turmoil” until I realized its importance. Turmoil is the lubricant for change. I realized if I spent March in New Mexico I wouldn’t settle into my new digs. What’s more, I needed to replant my Hoosier roots and grieve over leaving Las Cruces.

It wasn’t easy.

I spent two years working on the move – prepping the house, listing it, burying St. Joseph upside down in the front yard (facing northeast, the direction I planned to move) along with a note and family photos, giving away stuff, selling stuff, watching movers load 7,200 pounds of leftovers. Further, I had to let go of friends, living where the skies are not cloudy all day, mountains, desert fragrances, being able to walk my dog for miles in any direction without traffic.

I loved my life in New Mexico. It was important for me to move there, make my way in a wonderful but strange land, “find myself.” But after visits back to the midwest – probably a dozen trips in 7 years – it became clear to me that my heart was with my family, and I missed the lake.

Moving back to Indiana was a defining moment of my year, and probably one of the defining times of my life. It wasn’t an easy move as it took time and plenty of resources, but I’ve been lavishinly rewarded for following my heart.

Turmoil is a lubricant for change. What turmoil is stirring inside you? What are you going to do about it in the coming year? From the bottom of my heart and the bottom of the lake, I wish you and your loved ones a very peaceful, productive and happy new year. Thanks for reading and subscribing to WordScarab.

There'll be a full moon tonight, but I must admit it won't look like this one over my neighbor's house in New Mexico.

There’ll be a full moon tonight, but I must admit it won’t look like this one over my neighbor’s house in New Mexico.

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