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Change brings fear and excitement

The first words I heard about my future home in Hawaii were "nice, I like it" from my fiance an hour after he set eyes on our rented condo April 7.

He arrived in Honolulu the evening before, too late for a walk-through with the realtor. I had to wait until late the next afternoon Central time to hear about his noon Hawaii-time first impressions. A brief conversation detailed the layout of the condo and the furniture in each room.

I was thrilled to find out we get a cross breeze through our place with windows on opposite sides of the unit. The sofa was nice. And basic cable there includes the Food Network. Unfortunately, living in paradise means living without the Weather Channel, which is a bit hard to take for my fiance who, if he had to pick a new career, would like to be a meteorologist.

Weather is always a topic in our daily conversations. My fiance regularly reports on his rainbow sightings from our lanai. I think there's been one a week since he arrived. I've learned about vog, the volcanic air pollution that hovers over Oahu when the trade winds stop. The haze offers a little protection from the sun, but makes the air feel more humid was my fiance's report after his inaugural experience with the phenomenon last week.

Preparing to relocate far away to a place so different from home has been quite an education. It's also been a lesson in why "change" may be the scariest word in the English language.

Moving from the familiar hot-dish-loving culture and cold weather of Minnesota to a tropical island would qualify as a pretty significant change by anyone's definition. Getting married three days before such a move is an additional transformation. Paring down an apartment of belongings to shippable portions, tossing winter clothes, finding a home, buying wedding bands and changing your name all have to be accomplished in order to get to Hawaii married.

Just because something is frightening doesn't mean it's bad, though. There's a reason why people pay lots of money to bungee jump and sky dive. So long as you don't let fear paralyze you, it can be exciting. Anyone who's planned a wedding knows it isn't for the faint of heart. Anyone who's moved knows it's one of the most stressful things in life. But people survive both experiences and are happier for having done them.

I will leave behind a life I enjoy for a new life with new possibilities. It's the exchange of the two that takes some effort. Life in limbo is an exhausting place to be for six months. Photos with views of the mountains and the city from our condo are tempting lures. It's hard not to hop on a plane so I can start my life in those scenes. It's also hard to imagine not walking into the alley entrance of the PJ every day. I can only physically be in one place at a time, even if my mind is absorbed with thoughts of two.

So for just a little while longer I have a home in two places, the present and the future. I'll have to balance enjoying life in Wadena with looking forward to my new address.

In June, I'll lock up the door of my place in southwest Wadena for the last time and open up the door for the first time in Banyan Tree Plaza. I can't wait to find out what my own first words will be when I walk in.