Bob Dylan had it right. The times, they are a changin!
Yes, there's a big announcement here on Gluten Free in Georgia (and Florida). The first is -- I need to rename my blog! Because I will no longer be a temporary resident of the city of Tampa, Florida, after July 31. I will be Gluten Free in Georgia. Period.
Now. Count with me -- 1-2-3!
If you can count to 1-2-3, then realize that 1-2-3 is the number of days I have to count until my Sweet Randy moves to Georgia! For good!
It's been a tough month for us, but on March 15, Randy put in paperwork for an Early Retirement Incentive Program that USF offered its employees who fit the qualifications. He has been at USF for 21 years -- his entire academic career -- but he decided that it's time to move on. With this incentive, he can pretty much do whatever he wants to when he's here in our house in Georgia. The Georgia Estate....oh how I love that sound.
It was up and down. Seriously. Waiting was dreadful and pain inducing. We thought he got it. We heard two others were in it. We heard he was second then third in line. He was asked to defer. The deferral was denied. I left Spring break in Tampa demoralized and scared.
And then today, in a short, impersonal email, Randy learned he got the buyout, and he officially retires on July 31, 2009.
That's 123 days. Four months from tomorrow.
And considering that we started officially dating around July 31, 2003 (post divorce if you're doing the math) we'll have endured seven FULL AND HAPPY years of long-distance relationship. That's 820 miles every trip. Round trip.
We won't miss the commute or the cash it cost us every time. We've estimated that each trip cost at least $250, between gas and spending money. We made at least one trip every three weeks, with only three stretches that went more than three weeks. (and occaisionlly, we went two weeks). We got married in the middle. We've swapped houses for Christmas and Thanksgiving, missed each other's birthdays, and spent our anniversary apart.
And suddenly: No more. I'm sure there's a learning curve, but we're up for the challenge. Randy has some tips on adjunct and contract employment. And I think he really needs to write a book about growing up in Dallas. He really does.
I know you, my true friends, will be celebrating with me as I make this change in my life in 123 days. We will celebrate with a long vacation in Denver, where we'll enjoy the company of my dear brother from another mother GF Steve and his spouse, The Artist. Where I'll finally meet my sister from another mister, GF Dee. And where I'll visit the mothership for Udi's Gluten Free, where I have so many friends like Heather Collins....
The next 123 days will be interesting.
NOW, what do I rename this blog? The initials are GFINGF. I've always said that also means Gluten F&$@ING Free (GF-ingFree). But really. I'd love your ideas.
The person who comes up with the best name for my blog will receive a copy of a gluten-free cookbook from my collection -- you'll have several choices.
One thing won't change. I'll still be here...with much love, and a gluten-free purpose.