“We’ve sold our home!” Mommandad announced after sitting me down and numbing me with a hamburger and a chocolate shake. We’d walked—for the last time—to our favorite cozy little bistro just blocks away called, let me think… Oh, yeah “McDonald’s.” Seriously, the McDonald’s in Downey, California was only the second one ever built, and is now the oldest surviving site; it even has a modest little McDonald’s Museum (if anything McDonald’s can be called “modest”).
Dad was finally moving up from the loading docks. The moment he’d gotten his driver’s license back, he’d put in his bid for a Herald-Express newspaper dealership. It was a semi-self-employed position, where he would not only start out with a big income bump, but would be encouraged to built-up his territory (enroll new subscribers) and reap the ever-increasing benefits. His eyes had a light in them I’d never seen before!
The location? A wet-paint-new outer-outer suburb of L.A. called La Mirada, which its developers thought meant “The View.” It actually translates to “The Look” (a pretty groovy name in the 60s, actually).
“This is big, honey!” Mommandad shouted. “Our lives are going to change forever!” How right they were. Few things change a kid as much as moving (I remember vividly how our kids changed when my wife and I moved them—twice).
Of course, I’d miss my friends. But we’d just come back after the holiday break, so I was still getting a handle on 2nd grade. Stevie was the only kid my age I’d really bonded with. So my classroom send-off (cupcakes and a “Goodbye, Mitch!” sign) wasn’t exactly a tear-jerker. But, oh, how I would miss my wonderfully odd assortment of non-school friends: Weird Eddie, Crazy Old Alice, my babysitter Frieda and her magical garden filled with all of my non-human friends!
I didn’t know what to expect. I only knew that Mommandad were right. It was big.
Sometimes everyone’s world changes, like ours did in 2020. And other times only our personal world changes, or even our inner world. The latter is happening to me even as I type this (for good, not bad); I’ll tell you more about that later. But one thing is certain…
When our world changes, it changes us.