Somewhere on I-75
by Amanda Tanner

Many people move from one state to another. Sometimes it’s awesome, sometimes its crappy. For the first 18 years of my life, it was crappy, literally. But, more about that later.

Moving across country has some interesting side effects on a child. For example, I can tell what geographical region you are from based on how you order that fizzy cola with lunch. I won’t get worried when a friend in Georgia asks to be carried to the store, or when my son wants to pump a friend on his bike. I also know that a crick could be a pain in one’s neck, or it could be a stream of water. You say tomato, I say tomahtoe.

Another interesting side effect of moving is that I’m not a hoarder, I don’t get attached to things. While all of my friends have a treasure chest full of childhood toys they can share with their grandchildren, I have none. I don’t even have childhood memories. I imagine that they are with my toys, in a moving van, somewhere on I-75.

This is because, for the first 18 years of my life, we moved every two years or so. I remember Alaska, Minnesota, Florida, both sides of Michigan, Florida twice more, and then Texas.   I know what you are thinking: I must have been a military brat, right? Nope. Daddy was a civil engineer. He built sewage treatment plants.

That’s right, I’ve been to all the towns that were full of crap! For me, moving was always a crappy experience.

PHOTO: Taken by author in Michigan’s northern Upper Peninsula. The sign showing the distance to Miami demonstrates the locals’ sense of humor about their remote location and frigid winters.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: For this piece of writing, I combined two of my most frequently told stories from my youth. Friends and family members get a kick out of my moving story because they all assume I am a military brat, and because the story has a bad word or two in it when it is told in person. My sons and their dad are budding hoarders, but I am not. I consistently explain this phenomenon as “the amount of stuff you keep is inversely related to the number of towns that you have lived in.” They all lived in the same town until after high school!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Amanda (call her Nanna) Tanner is a semi-retired educator and lifelong learner. An eternal optimist, Nanna claims there is nothing that she can’t learn. She will tell you she dabbles in the arts and loves creating things. She paints in oils and acrylics, plays guitar, writes poetry, and sings in the car on road trips. Most recently, she has learned to quilt and has made personal creations for 10  relatives.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Nanna needs some new shades! Photo taken in August of 2016 at KMart.