Written by Nicole Johnson, Wife to Elliot Johnson
As I'm writing this, I'm sitting at our spring training rental just about halfway through spring. About a month ago, I didn't think I'd be here in Arizona. We actually had everything all set up for our spring training with the Rays that was to take place in Port Charlotte, FL.
The news that Elliot had been traded kind of blind-sided us.... well, the news that he had been designated did at least. A couple weeks before spring training, Elliot was designated for assignment by the Rays. He got the call one afternoon while we were hanging out, and we then knew we weren't going to be with the Rays for the 2013 season.
It was kind of surreal, really. I know that trades are imminent in baseball, that it happens all the time, and that staying with the same team for 11 seasons (yep, 11) is unrealistic. We didn't know anything different, really.
Luckily, my mom was already planning a trip to come down that following weekend. I was running in a half marathon in St. Pete in just a few days. It really couldn't have worked out better. So my mom flies in, and we get to packing while our son, Blake, is playing with Grammy. We were still in our rental in St. Pete and since we knew we wouldn't be staying there, we had to start packing, pronto.
We soon found out that we would be joining the Royals, and were pretty excited, actually. Elliot actually ended up being the "player to be named later" in a trade with James Shields and Wade Davis. How lucky am I that I got traded to a team where I already had two friends, that had already joined the team about a month earlier? It really doesn't get much better than that! Add to that the fact that I went to college at Arizona State and half of Elliot's family lives in Arizona. We were pumped to get to see our friends and family for spring training!
Within a week, we were all out in Arizona at our new rental. The travel secretary for the Royals took great care of us and found us a rental with short notice. Elliot drove over with a lot of our stuff and our dog, and I flew in a few days later with our son. Whew! Honestly, I still can't believe how much our lives have changed in a month!!
When I got into town, Katelyn invited me to join some of the girls she already knew at a luncheon. They were so nice and inviting. They have been so welcoming, offering to help me know where to rent in Kansas City, inviting my son and I to come on playmates, and inviting me to classes with them at the gym. They are so great at making me feel comfortable even though I'm the new girl.
There are times where I feel a little sad. It's like moving, really. I miss my friends and I miss the comfort of knowing everyone and everything about where I'm supposed to go. But our new team and new friends have been great so far, and I'm looking forward to building long-lasting friendships with the Royals girls like the ones I have with my Rays friends.