"It's like taking a nap on that little rug when you were in kindergarten."

Moving from “Surf City” Sand to “Children of the Corn” Rows


Our feet firmly anchored in beach sand,

sand, moving, feet, mj

grains drain through the thin middle
and pile effortlessly
onto the base of the hour glass.


Drifting snow and swirling winds
replace high and low tides.

New adventure looms.


Yes, the time has come to spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, break the news, and whatever other idioms you may think of that mean “reveal a secret.”

Many of my five followers (thank you, “fave-five,” for that kindness) have witnessed the saga of the move to Southern California – the dream location for MLB and me – as well as my job search. The hunt for employment was a full-time job in itself.

Alas, after sending out some 200+ resumes to open positions matching my knowledge, skills, and background here in Southern California, it became apparent that this may not be where we were meant to be at this time.

As the great Doris Day sang:

Que Sera, Sera – Whatever Will Be, Will Be

And so it was, when a friend of mine – who shall remain nameless (it rhymes with Michael Foley) – suggested that I expand my search outside the state of California.

Nary a few days after that conversation, when an internet job board alert identified two jobs in my home state of Nebraska, I talked it over with MLB, and it appeared that all signs were pointing to where we hadn’t been in more than 14 years – the Midwest.

After making a trip to Nebraska (through a horrendous Wyoming snowstorm, on the way), going through the interview process, and conversing with my potential employer – a few short weeks later, I am back on the list of “employed.” [Well, I will be when I officially start there, after moving.]

You're hired, moving

So for now, we’re working with the moving company, getting things ready for temporary living in the foreseeable future, and preparing for a shift in mindset, and in weather.

We’re looking forward to spending time with family and friends that we haven’t been around for many, many years, including parents, siblings, adult children, and grandchildren.

It’s been an interesting process and as you all know, life doesn’t always happen as expected. But in the end, when it’s said and done, in so many situations, we gain way more from a new adventure than we ever thought possible.

So, after years of living elsewhere, my wife and I find ourselves moving back to the state where we met so long ago.

Coming home.


I’m very much looking forward to getting the move behind us, starting an exciting new job, and having much of the dust settle. At that point, I can ease into a routine that includes getting back to writing and interacting.

Anyone else in transition out there?


  1. That is awesome news. Job and moving home. All good things together. Sometimes life throws up curves balls… It was an adventure while it lasted. :-)

  2. Well, giddy up and get moving!! I may actually have a chance to meet you in person now! Don’t worry, I never make a pest of myself up in those parts. I only go “home” to Nebraska once a year, usually. I prefer to venture there in the summer when the crops are up, looking lush, and the smell of earth and irrigation permeate the senses; not to mention, it’s halfway WARM for a change! I’m excited for you, really. Anyway, how can “Surf City” compete with “Nebraska, The Good Life” and “Home of Arbor Day”?

    • Ha, thanks Lori. I’m going as fast as I can. I’m sure we’ll get together in the future. I really look forward to that. And you would never be a pest. See you this coming summer, then?

      You’re so right about the Good Life and Arbor Day. It’s darned exciting. Plus you know how great Nebraska people – like you – are! :)

  3. G M Barlean says:

    Well go figure. Nebraska reclaims another one. Welcome back. Where will you be living? Omaha? If you’re interesting in getting involved in the Nebraska Writers Guild, I’m the Membership Chairperson. Just let me know and I’ll point you in the right directions.

    • Well Gina, it’s crazy, I know, but there was a bigger plan outside of myself that came together to make this happen.

      We will be living in either Columbus or Norfolk. The job is actually in Lindsay. What town are you in, my friend?

      Thank you for the offer on the Writers Guild. Maybe after the dust settles on the move and getting back into the job groove.

      Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

  4. I really am thrilled for you Mike. It sounds like this is exactly where you are suppose to be for this season of your life.
    Hope you can adjust to the change in weather and no sand between your toes.
    I wish we could have known you better and for longer but…
    all that to say you will be missed.
    I’m glad we can stay in touch via FB.
    Take care and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    • Thank you so much, Sue. It’s definitely where we’re supposed to be.

      The weather change will be extreme, and we will be thinking of all of you here when we are there. It is great that we have social media to stay in touch with all those we love and leave behind.

      Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.

  5. Yes. My husband is now employed in San Diego as I desperately search for a job in the UCSD health system! UUUGGGGHHH!

    I am so happy for you. Sorry it is not the beach. :( God wants you there and
    You have that lovely wife by your side so all is well!

    • Post above was me.. Joyce

    • Hey Joyce, thanks for commenting. I do hope that you are able to find something quickly in the UCSD system. That would be fantastic.

      You know, as far as I’m concerned, the ocean would have been great had we been able to stay here and land a job, but as long as Cate is with me, I’ll be fine.

  6. Judy Berman says:

    I’m so happy for you and your family that you get a chance to reconnect with family and friends. Best of luck in your new job and on your move.
    Happy Thanksgiving, Michael, to you and your family.

    • Hope you had a great Thanksgiving Judy. And thank you so much for all your support throughout the job search process. You’re always so encouraging, and I truly appreciate it.

      We’re looking forward to getting the move along and getting back near loved ones. It will be a nice change of pace.

  7. No, I am not in transition but since you will be, hurry along so you can as you say, get back to writing and interacting! The blogosphere is calling you back! :)
    Best to you as you begin your transition… 😉

    • I know, right? I hope the transition is a quick one. I’m still waiting to get dates from the moving company on when they can pack things. Should know something in a couple of days.

      Thank you for all your encouragement, Sunshine. :)

  8. The move itself is probably going to be the roughest part. I didn’t even like moving 5 miles from my old apartment to the country…and I’d like to say I’m happy here, but my septic tank is cursed. So…as long as you don’t have to contend with one of those, you’ll be fine. :)

    Congratulations again on the job! You’ll settle in just fine. And just remember…first things to buy when you get there: warm socks, fuzzy blankets to cover up with while sitting around the house, warm gloves and hats, boots, (did I mention fuzzy blankets?) lots of candles, heavy coats, lots of tea and hot cocoa mix, more blankets…and a really good quality camera, so you can take lots of pictures to post of your snow…cause it’s a sure bet that you’ll get more than we will in mid-Michigan. Everyone gets more snow than we do. Even Virginia…

    • Funny you mention septic tanks, KK. I told MLB I definitely don’t want to be on septic because I just don’t know enough about them and without that knowledge combined with sub zero temps .. um, bad combination.

      In terms of the moving, it shouldn’t be horrible since we have movers actually coming in and doing all the packing, lifting, and transport as well as the same on the other end, thankfully.

      Thank you so much for the reminders on all the winter gear, but boo on the snow. 😉
      I will do it, just for you though, so you can see what it looks like.

  9. Congrats, it sucks to be out of a job and I am sure this is a relief! I hope you come back to blogging, I really enjoyed you!

    • Thanks Jodi. It’s great to be coming back into the workforce. It’s a difficult process to go through a job hunt, so I’m glad that part is over. And thank you for the kind words, my friend.

  10. In June I am going to move from 63 to 64.

  11. That is wonderful, MJ. Sounds like this was truly meant to happen this way. Best wishes with this big transition.

    • Thanks Darla. More than just about anything we’ve gone through, this was truly the path we’re supposed to be on.

      Will you come and help us unpack once we relocate? It’s so much closer than California was to Maine. :)

  12. YAAAY! Congratulations, MJ and HLB! So, no news IS good news!

    >We’re looking forward to spending time with family and friends that we haven’t been around for many, many years, including parents, siblings, adult children, and grandchildren.
    – Woo hoo! There ain’t no place like home. :-)

    >So, after years of living elsewhere, my wife and I find ourselves moving back to the state where we met so long ago.
    – How nice to come full circle, too!

    And since it’s a circle, Nebraska, I wouldn’t get too comfortable with MJ and HLB. They might just keep goin’ around, you know what I’m sayin’?!

    Very happy for both of you. Good luck with the move, re-settling in, new job, etc. Don’t forget to drop us a postcard. 😉


    • Kate, you’re too funny – “no news is good news.” That’s an awesome comment.

      I feel so bad that I haven’t commented on your recent posts yet.

      It definitely is a full circle – so strange since we haven’t done this in so long. Ha, and you’re so right that we probably won’t be there forever. Several years, though.

      Thank you for your kind comments – you’re always so sweet and empathetic. At least that’s what your “bestie” said.

  13. Mike, I am jealous! After 25 years away from “home” I stopped counting the events that I have missed a long time ago. Enjoy… and you are right, it is where you are meant to be. I am so happy for your parents. Safe travels.
    Cousin Mary

    • Hey Cousin, thanks for the comment. This is our first time to be this close to Omaha in 26 years. Meant to be – that’s an understatement with all that has come together for this to happen. 😉

      I hope we can see you and your family sometime soon, as well. That would be great to meet up. Have a great Thanksgiving!

  14. I have wondered about your silence often, Mike. Congratulations on finding employment. I hope the move is painless. Happy Thanksgiving!!

    • Thank you Andra. I’ve missed reading your great writing – something I sincerely looked forward to. I hope your vacation is going well. I’ve seen some of your G+ posts. :)

      Happy Thanksgiving and I hope to write more about the transition as time permits.

  15. As one of the faithful five, congratulations! It’s a bit like Odysseus’s journey. I’m a prairie daughter myself. I always say that anyone can see the beauty in the mountains or the oceans; the prairies and the midwest teach you to find beauty everywhere.

    Good luck in the transition and Happy Thanksgiving!

    • You’re so right, my humorist friend – there is great beauty there, just as in more obvious settings. I’ve loved reading posts from people like you, who share the joy and love of colder, midwestern/open space areas of your home countries.

      Hope all is progressing well with your book, and I look forward to reading it.

  16. Wow that is so cool, to come full circle like that. :) Good luck with your new job mj!

  17. Congratulations, MJ! I know it’s an unexpected transition for you, but I hope that heading “home” will bring you a lot of joy. Happy to hear that you’ve found work again, too! Good luck with the move and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    • How have you been, Dana? Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

      We’re looking forward to being close to family – about 2 hours away. Landing a job before the New Year is a real blessing, as well.

      Thank you for all your encouragement, my friend.

  18. Happy Thanksgiving in your new home, mj…

    • We haven’t gotten there just yet, Ted. Should be there before Christmas though. Unfortunately it will probably be in some form of temporary housing, at least for the first couple of weeks.

  19. I love your “Children of the Corn” Rows, very clever! I am so happy for you finding employment, I’m sure it’s been a long, and exhausting journey, but one that’s sure to improve very soon. I hope you were missing snow, because it surely won’t be too long before that white fluffy stuff comes falling down around us, LOL. It will be so nice to be close in proximity to most of your loved ones again, I imagine they are counting down the days for your arrival. I wish you good luck on finding the right house soon, the sooner you two can be truly settled the better. Hopefully my sister, Littlesundog, makes a trip back to Nebraska soon, and we can all get together! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving MJ & YLB!

    • Thank you, Juli. The support and encouragement from fellow bloggers, like you has been quite incredible and touching. I look forward to getting back there, but not to that white stuff. I could go a LONG time without ever seeing snow, but that’s probably not gonna happen in Nebraska, right?? :)

      Will be great to meet you and your family after the dust settles from the move. And yes, we will have to get Lori to come up for a visit – even if she said it won’t be till the weather is warm.

      Hope you and yours had a great Thanksgiving.

  20. This is such good news MJ! I’m so happy that everything is moving in the right direction for all of you.

  21. Is it odd that I’m proud of you? It sounds like you’ve made the right decision for you and your family, and I couldn’t be more excited for your big life change.

    As for whether or not the rest of us are in transition…HA! I scoff at your suggestion.


    Your WBFF and her surprise fetus


    • I’m glad you feel proud. I’m totally okay with that. :)

      It’s a big transition, but it’s exciting as well. I’m so glad you aren’t turning your back on me since I’m leaving our fair state. :)

      And I want play by play on how the whole progression goes during your “transition.”

      Your sign-off = best comment EVER!!

      Your WBFF

  22. Clearly, there are more than 5 of us here! I’m so glad that you’ve landed this job and I do think it’s cool that it is making you circle back. It will be an adventure — no doubt. On a weird note, I knew a Michael Foley. Did yours graduate from Hobart College? That would be weird! But very cool! :-)

    • Okay, RASJ, you’re probably right – there might be 15 or 20! Getting work is such a blessing and a big relief, in spite of the big move and major climate change. Hmm, my Michael Foley went to college in Nebraska. That would have been cool if it was the same dude.

  23. Wait, whassup with my gravatar?

  24. Congratulations on the successful job search. Back to Nebraska? That means you will be able to see a little Jurascals in your paper, no? :)

    One thing I am loving about the virtual friendship is that no matter how many times you move away, you are always right here.

    • So grateful to be back in the employed ranks. Yep, back to Nebraska. I don’t think Jurascals are in the cities that we might be living in. But maybe I could help get JT’s comic strip into those papers. That would be cool.

      I love your point about “no matter how many times you move …” SO true about the internet and social media.

  25. Congrats on the new job.

  26. GOOD for you! Congrats on the new job — and new location. Moving’s a hassle — always — but you’ve got a really exciting adventure ahead of you. You’ll recall the Midwest is safe and boring, but with money from your new job, you’ll be able to travel!

    • Thank you so much. It’s going to be different for sure. Though I’m from Nebraska, we will be in a smaller town than what we’re used to, for sure. Good point about the safety and possibility for travel.

  27. Well, as you know I’m excited for your new job. But I’m so bummed you’re moving away! AND, I totally suck because I forgot to call you. I will today, I promise. We have to see each other again before you go. Fish and Chips! That’s where we need to meet up next.

    I suppose if I’m ever out in the midwest we’ll get a chance to visit, but it’s the midwest. I’m a California girl, so it will have to be when it’s warm. In fact, I might be out that way this summer, so who knows?

    Anyway! I’m so happy for you and MLB. I know it’s been stressful of late. Maybe you aren’t supposed to be out here until you retire or write a bestseller and become so stinking rich you can afford a house in Nebraska and California! That’s an awesome plan, get on it, will you? 😉

    I’m going to miss you, my friend.

    • I sat for days waiting by the phone hoping for your call. Many nights I cried myself to sleep; big ol’ crocodile tears.

      But don’t worry, I know how busy your social life is and the attention you must pay to a demanding public.

      Fish and Chips – oh yeah! That makes up for everything, for sure. :)

      You must make a trip out to Nebraska, my friend.

      Ooh, I like your idea on the bestseller and affording a house in both places. I’ll get on that right away.

      So glad we’ve been able to get together a couple of times, and need to one more time before we leave.

  28. Congratulations — it’s wonderful news. A job and going home — wherever that is. I’ve spent most of my life far away from my family — I envy you going home. As long as “home” isn’t in the same house!

    Good luck with the adjustments and we’ll see you in the sphere when you can.

    • Ha, good one, my friend. Actually we’ll be about 1.5 to 2 hours from Omaha – which is home for me.

      I read your post on your mamma and left a comment. We’re on the same wavelength. 😉

  29. I actually think this is going to work out beautifully for you! Although I cannot begin to imagine packing and moving again, I think it’s wonderful that you will be back in the folds of your family. Hey, just think of all the new blog posts you’re going to get out of this?? Good luck and I’m looking forward to hearing how the move & settling in goes!

    • Hey, MM, I just noticed I didn’t respond … over a year ago!! Better late than never, eh?

      Well, it’s working out pretty good so far. Well you’ve already heard how it’s been going,kind of. I wish I would have had the time to blog more over the past year, but it’s been good to see how yours has really taken off. Congrats on your success.

  30. Coleen Patrick says:

    Congrats and best of luck on your transition. It is interesting how we can knock on one door so many times only to turn to another and have it answered. I’m in a transition this year as my oldest is a senior in high school. Even though it’s a gradual breaking away kind of thing, the upcoming shift for when she moves on to college looms LARGE.
    All the best MJ!

    • Well, Coleen, it’s been one year later. Nothing like being so consumed by life that you miss this much time. Hope you had a great year. How did the transition go for your daughter? Hope it went very well!

  31. Sometimes life takes the rudder, MJ. Congratulations on the job and this move! I am excited to hear what happens next…

    • So far, so good, Kate. You may notice that I didn’t answer these comments in over one year. I’m trying to get back on track finally. After missing out on blogging, commenting, and reading blogs. Hope you have been well and continuing your great writing.

  32. Hi mj,

    Wow! What a lot of news! Congratulations on landing a great job. I have very few regrets in life, but I do have a few. I am sorry to have been so far away in the last few years of my mother’s life. I went back to Detroit to visit, and she came out to Seattle, but it’s not the same as being able to drop in for coffee, or even moving back home to nurse her through her last months. Whatever happens, job-wise, you will be bringing a lot of joy to your family simply by being there. I wish you a soft landing, and all the very best in this next episode of your life. Warmly, Naomi

    • Thank you so much for this comment, Naomi. And my apologies for not getting back to this post for so ling.

      It has been an interesting move with my dad having a VERY unexpected stroke, and then another, within just a little more than a month of moving back. And with his passing just a couple of months after moving here, we knew why we were supposed to be here. Thank you so much for your support, my friend.

  33. Congratulations and GOOD LUCK, Mike! Since you’re from the Midwest, it won’t be CULTURE shock, but since you’ve been away so long it’s bound to be CLIMATE shock. But you have all that extended family to keep you warm. :)

    • Great comment, John – the first winter was cold, but this winter has had some really deep cold spells, and then some very mild days. Not too bad acclimatizing so far.

  34. My heartiest congratulations on these wonderful moves)) Looking forward to new posts and updates from you. Take care

    • I didn’t realize I missed so many comments from over a year ago. Thank you for the warm wishes Jack. Wish I could say I got out many posts over the past year, but it’s been pretty light with the move, etc. Hope you are well, Jack.

  35. Pack carefully, if you do the U-Haul adventure. No injuries before your are covered by Workers Comp.

    • Ha, Oscar, good point. We fortunately had the company move us. It was fairly smooth having the moving crew pack and then load and unload on the other end. It has been an adventure over the past year. Wish I would have had more time to blog about it.

  36. Sounds like the universe is bringing you around full circle. Nice. Good luck with the move. I hope it won’t be too difficult moving. If you can afford it, hire packers. That’s the worst part whether you are moving next door or across the country.

    • Renee, as you can see I’m way behind on responding to comments. I’m such a bonehead, and I didn’t see these till recently.

      The move went pretty smoothly. Thankfully, movers did move us. We didn’t have to pack ourselves. So much less painful to have them take care of it.

  37. That’s a great news MJ. Everything good is happening with you these days. A big congrats to you. And lots of good wishes for you while you move on to your own state. Enjoy your time with your family.

    • Arindam, so sorry I haven’t gotten back to you in so long. Thank you so much for your support. It’s been an interesting year and a few months. Gone well over the last year. It’s been good to be there for my family. Hope you are doing well. Good to keep up with you some on FB as well.

  38. CONGRATULATIONS, MJ!!! :) I am so happy for you as I know you’ve been working toward this goal for a long time. You are quite talented, and I’m sure you will thrive in your new position. Going home to family is going to be quite a change (I know, I did it), and I think, from what I’ve read here in your blog, that it will be a decision you will be so happy you made. To answer your question, MJ, I feel as if I live in transition! :) We are not moving, but the world sure is around us, and most days I just do my best to keep up. Best of luck with your new job, your move, and may you have a wonderful, happy New Year!

    • PS — wouldn’t let me log in. It’s Melissa (happykidshappymom).

    • Here I am answering your comment, right on time. LOL Only a little over a year later!

      Thank you so much for your super-supportive encouragement. It’s been an interesting transition so far – looking back on the previous year and a couple of months. Very glad we were here for the couple of months we got to spend with my dad before he passed on in Feb last year.

      I like your comment about the world moving around you. I definitely feel that way sometimes. Well, I hope you had a great 2013 and a fantastic 2014, Melissa.

  39. anchoring in beach sand ain’t easy

Love to hear from you.

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