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Finally living in our town

standard March 23, 2012 7 responses

Years ago, when we first moved to California, me for the first time, M to come home, we spent two years living in his parents’ back yard. (Don’t worry, we didn’t pitch a tent, we lived in the pool house, which was more like a guest cottage than a bathing suit hut.)

For two years we got to know the town, the library, the stores, the parks, the people. And then we moved 30 minutes south.

It made sense for us to move south. We bought a house close to M’s law school. We bought a house we could afford, in a lovely neighborhood. It was the ideal choice at the time.

And yet, I had a job in the old town and, when C was born, I put her in daycare in the old town. After daycare C graduated to a preschool in the old town and eventually an elementary school even further north.

For 8 years we resided in one town and lived in another. It was a bit like having a split personality disorder. Our friends lived 30 minutes away from us. Our grocery store was 30 minutes away. Even our doctors and dentists were there. When I started freelancing, my “office” (aka my Starbucks) was in that town.

We rarely, if ever, invited people over because we didn’t want to make people drive all the way to us. The kids didn’t have playdates because all of their friends lived north of us.

This past week, on a night neither M nor I wanted to cook, we hustled the kids into the car and went out for Mexican food… in our town.

We drove 5 minutes and were downtown in the town we’d been pretending was ours for so long, but is actually ours now.

I looked around me and started to feel what I’ve always felt when I came to this town – a little bit like an imposter, a little bit like an outsider. And then I realized.

This is my town now. This is where my kids will grow-up. We have library cards to the neighborhood library. We can call friends and be at a playdate in 5 minutes or less. We run into friends at the park, at the grocery store, in the street. The pretense is over and is giving way to reality.

We’re home. Finally.

The View from Inside

standard February 27, 2012 11 responses

Moving is the most ridiculously futile thing ever. Not the actual moving, moving part; that’s not futile, but the box part.

You spend three weeks putting all your belongings into boxes. You take a matter of hours to move said boxes. And then you have to unpack all the boxes.

So silly.

And then you unpack stuff and you wonder what possessed you to think you might ever need that item again and why you even bothered to move it in the first place.

All kidding aside, the move went well. The boxes and furniture all arrived intact. And thanks to a lot of help from friends and family we’re in pretty good shape.

I even cooked yesterday. TWICE. 

I’d show you the photos of the inside of the house, but the chaos is still overwhelming. Instead I shall share with you the view from where I’m sitting (the dining room table because the office desk is hiding under a mountain of book boxes.)

Just think… if you came to help me unpack you could see this view too!

Loose Ends

standard February 20, 2012 Leave a response

These last two weeks have been… hard. There’s really no other word that comes to mind.

Moving is never easy, especially for someone who’s rather change averse like me. I love this cozy little house. This is where M and I lived our first years as a married couple. This is where I first brought home C and then Little L. This is where my babies became little girls. And yes, this is where we weathered challenge after challenge, struggle after struggle, taking comfort in the familiar space that we’ve filled with love over the years.

Seeing the rooms filled with boxes and the shelves empty of memorabilia and things has been hard for me, but it’s been exponentially harder for the kids. C has almost daily meltdowns. Little L has regressed and is wetting the bed during nap time. (Even the cat is out of sorts.) They’re cranky, volatile, snapping at each other and at us all day long. So I’ve had to push aside my own unrest to help them through this, their first move.

I was doing great until Susan passed away two weeks ago. It wasn’t unexpected, but it still knocked me off my game. I’d been powering through the packing, managing the kids’ emotional roller-coasters, I was even doing a great job on Splash. And then I ground to a halt.

For a week I sat, numb, on my couch. I tried to do… stuff. But I don’t think I got anything done. I just kept thinking of Susan’s sons, of her husband, of her friends, of all the people who prayed for her and hoped beyond hope that she’d beat cancer a fourth time. Everything else felt… futile.

Last week the fog started to lift and I started getting back on track. I’m still sad, but of all people, Susan wouldn’t have wanted me to squander any more of my life. I channeled her energy last week. I scheduled the movers. I went to networking events. I even sent out a number of queries for my book. And I packed.

I love this little house with its bright walls, funny ceilings, and endless quirks. I cherish the memories we’ve created here — both good and bad. But I’m so excited about the new place and I can’t wait to get there so we can start filling it with sounds of life and love.

The new house has majestic Redwoods in the garden and a little creek that runs through the back-yard. The house has entire walls made of glass and when I stand in the living room I feel like I’m in a peaceful haven.

Even as I struggle through tying up loose ends, packing up the odds and ends, sorting, donating, purging, and managing everyone’s angst and stress, I can’t help but feel hopeful. This feels like the start of a new chapter for us, a chapter that promises to be amazing.