I grimaced ruefully as I scanned page five of Form I-485 (my application for U.S. residency): “Part 3: Additional Information About You (Continued): Address History,” and promptly printed out another half-dozen copies of page twenty (“Part 14: Additional Information”). This was going to take some time.

Since leaving home nearly eleven years ago, I’ve resided at eleven addresses; it sounds as though it has a neat sort of symmetry to it, but the reality has been rather more haphazard—and bureaucratic form-filling is the least of it. I’ve said many goodbyes to friends and acquaintances in that time, flitting ephemerally across the continent (and, briefly, outside it) in the course of my and my husbands’ studies. I imagine it’s about time I penned a goodbye to the places I’ve left, too. So, on the cusp of moving to address number twelve, here goes.

Goodbye, Lubbock. You’ve been a pleasant surprise. The desert climate had me wary of heat and nosebleeds, but I’ve been treated to spectacular thunderstorms and the modern marvel of consistent air conditioning. There are great roiling dust storms too, and—once—a tornado watch that had all of us whose dwellings lacked interior walls hunkering in the Media and Communication basement research lab, getting acquainted with everyone’s pets.

Goodbye, bookstore with resident cats and library with architecture evoking old books—dust and all. Goodbye, hordes of Canada geese whose annual presence here is even more ephemeral than mine. Goodbye, roaring, ubiquitous pickup trucks and bike lane-less roads (this city’s greatest flaw, in my book); goodbye, unending construction on 19th Ave.

Goodbye, “second largest contiguous campus in the United States”1—edged out, rumor has it, because the Air Force Academy can count runways as classroom space (I haven’t been able to stoutly verify the claims about either institution’s campus size—so they’re to be taken with an unhealthy dose of sodium). Goodbye, second largest U.S. canyon, just under two hours away. I wonder sometimes how galling it must be for Texas to have missed out on the Grand Canyon, given its larger-than-life, “everything’s bigger in Texas” reputation.

Goodbye, wonderfully hassle-free airport. Goodbye, First Cumberland Presbyterian Church—so long to the justly famous annual Pumpkin Patch and admirably service-oriented congregation—I will miss you enormously. Goodbye, refreshingly low cost of living—I’ll miss you as well.

The leaving is bittersweet; as with every farewell in my voluminous address history, this one is accompanied by a new greeting. Hello Miami!


1Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine (n.d.). “Lubbock history and information.” https://www.ttuhsc.edu/medicine/immunology-molecular-biology/life-in-lubbock.aspx#:~:text=The%20oldest%20and%20largest%20TTUS,campus%20in%20the%20United%20States

1 Comment

  1. Grandma and Grandpa

    Blessings and safety as you travel to your new destination. And a wonderful welcome when you arrive in Miami!


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