And for once I was SuperMom

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Like It or Love It

When we were in Kosovo we hung out for a day with a girl from Romainia. She was living and working in Kosovo, I asked her if it was hard,
"For me life is not hard or easy. It just is. If it goes well I am happy," was her response. You can almost hear the Eastern European accent, can't you? At first I was surprised at her answer, and thought I should be saddened by it. Then I really wasn't. I thought, 'how freeing.' Life just is and if it goes well I am happy. What a relief to not have to fight life all the time and strive for happiness. To just take it as it comes and if bad things happens, well that's life.
Some may think that it's grim acceptance, but what if it's just acceptance.

I remember hearing once that Buddhists believe that suffering is our only guarantee in life. I think so many of us believe that happiness is a right, well, actually our constitution tells us it is. Is it though? What gives us the right to insist that we be happy all the time? I think that may be the source of so much sadness. We believe that we should be happy so when things don't go our way we are doubly sad. I have discovered that often things don't go my way. Sometimes I can make sense of it, like that boy I had a huge crush on that I was destined to marry? Turned out to be a jerk and my husband that I have now is perfect for me. Other things? Like a miscarriage. Will never make sense.

I haven't been asked my too many New Englanders if I like it here yet. But I have thought about it, do I like it here? I think had I moved here from Southern California I don't think I would like it. It's humid, there's a winter to be dealt with, the beaches aren't [sigh] the same. Fortunately though I moved around a lot in the past few years and realized that there is life outside of Southern California. The more I move the more I realize that nowhere is perfect. In Southern California the weather is boring and there are too many people. In Chicago the winter is harsh and there is nothing fun and outdoorsy (not super fun to go hiking in corn fields). In Colorado the winter is long, and well, the winter is long. Which if you love to ski that is awesome, but if you love to hike, as I do, that's not so awesome.

So do I like it here? I don't know that I have the luxury of liking it or not. We are here. Indefinitely. So I might as well dig in and enjoy what I can find to enjoy. There are beaches, trails, lakes, and ponds. There is convenient shopping and coffee shops. Having the ocean so close I would have taken for granted had I moved directly from Southern California. Having convenient shopping I would have taken for granted had I not lived in Buena Vista. Having fun outdoorsy things I would have taken for granted had I never lived in Chicago. Funny how life prepares you to end up where you are.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Live Well

I am turning 30 in September. A good friend of mine referred to 29 as the diet 30, I have felt that way all year long. Like, 'let's just get this over with.' This year I have noticed fine lines around my eyes and above my eyebrows where I have never had them before, I have had two pure white eyebrow hairs, my skin has gotten drier and I've noticed a few other minor harbingers of age.
Someone once told me that at twenty you have face that God gave you and at fifty you have face that you deserve. At a dinner earlier this year I was sitting across from two women that were old enough to be my mother, you could tell that one had been beautiful in her youth and the other had been plainer. Yet now the plainer women looked prettier. I have started looking around at women older than me and trying to figure out what are the constants, how do I end up 'pretty' in the twilight years of my life?
1. Find the man that loves you for you. Like your favorite pair of jeans, makes you feel beautiful, fits you perfectly and is effortlessly comfortable (a man that you don't have to try for or pretend to be someone else). When you find that man MARRY HIM.
2. Find what you love to do, find that thing you are good at above all else, that makes you feel like you and then do it. Even if you never get paid for it, do it. The best equation is to find it and begin pursuing it before you have children. If you didn't, still pursue it, it will be harder but it will be worth it, and even if it takes you away from your children you will be a better mom in the end, because you won't resent them or your life's decisions.
3. Don't over pluck your eyebrows, you're gonna want those later.
4. Always keep exploring and always keep learning.
5. Buy good quality shoes and use high heels sparingly.
6. Just live your life; you will get sick, you will get sunburned, and you will live.
7. Know yourself and make your decisions accordingly. Accept yourself for your strengths and weaknesses. Accept yourself as you age.
8. Be nice to your knees, you're gonna want those later.
9. Exercise.
10. Put sunscreen and moisturizer on your decolletage or else it will look like a purse by the time you're forty.
11. Play nice with others. Especially your immediate family.
12. Enjoy your children for who they are, not what you want them to be and try to enjoy each stage as it comes and goes.
13. Don't mess with your hair too much, you're gonna want that later.
14. Eat real food. Not too much. And mostly plants. (That includes chocolate.)
15. Supermodels? What are those?

So I look at this list and hope that I can do most of these things. Some of them I have accomplished. I married a man who makes me feel beautiful and loves me. I have figured out what I love to do and sometimes I actually get paid for it!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sit In

I read a statistic the other day that said the average American sits about eight hours a day. I thought that seemed like a lot.
Sitting is an interesting concept to me these days. How often I do it, how much I do it, things I do whilst sitting.
Have you ever sat too long on the toilet just so you could stay in repose? I know I have.
I was walking past some nice looking adirondack chairs that were out behind Scott's office, they were facing out onto a nice wooded area and I thought,
"Oh, how lovely it would be to relax and read, maybe take some time and pray while sitting in those nice chairs," then it occurred to me that I would not, not all summer long, be able to, not even once, sit in those chairs.
After I read that statistic I thought about clocking how much time I spend sitting. Then I chose not to because I figured that I might not like what I found out. That maybe I do actually sit eight hours a day. Which would mean that I probably don't deserve to be as tired as I am, which would then start my snowball of guilt and inferiority.
Emma's naptime is when I get to sit. Today I paid attention to myself as I 'sat.' I popped up at least nine times to do various chores or get that glass of water I forgot to get. Last week I thought about my sitting on a Thursday and realised that the only time I got to sit that day was when I was eating or driving.

I just googled 'sitting,' with full knowledge that I might end up with some webpages and images pop up that I really did not want, and was led to an article about a study that a doctor did on movement. Apparently he created some electronic bike shorts (sounds awesome, I know) that measured the movement of test subjects. Test subjects were also required to come and eat food set out for them, this was to account for people's inability to accurately gauge how much they eat and move. During the test subjects started at a certain calorie count and then calories were increased throughout the course of the test. This was to discover why some people can eat more and not pack on pounds and others chub up. Apparently those that did not gain weight added movements throughout the day to account for the calorie gain. Their body 'unknowingly' just moved more to use up the extra calories, bounced their legs while sitting, shifted in their seats, etc. Those that gained weight did not move more, ther were prone to be sedentary no matter how much they ate.
I hope I'm in the group that moves more unknowingly. I did lose the job of holding our computer on my lap while we watch a video online, because I move too much.

This has made me think about rest. Watching these students that we are working with bounce around has made me think, (Wanna go do yoga at 9pm? No I'm going to sit on my couch and lick my wounds from the day...with a blanket over my knees because I am old and have poor circulation.) and remember how much energy I used to have, and how much I seem to have lost. Some days the moments I don't feel tired are more noticeable. Rest is important, but clothes need to be washed and dinners cooked and toddlers entertained. I try to make Emma's nap time my time to write or paint. While that may not be resting I am not moving as much. Sometimes I feel like it's restful to get things done, then they are not dancing around in my head making me crazy. In the first few years of our marriage on Sundays my husband would happily plunk down with a book or flip on a game of some sorts. I would spin. This was precious time with which to get stuff done. He would rest. Then I would think about what was restful to me, was sitting and reading in the middle of the afternoon restful? It didn't feel restful, it felt maddening. I think I finally landed on painting or sketching. I would feel rested and I would still accomplish something.

I have discovered that the evening are my favorite part of the day. After we put Emma down and crash on the couch. Maybe it's my time with my husband, maybe that is because that's the one part of the day that I give myself a ticket to do nothing. To stare at a TV or to read a book. I think it's a good practice or I think I would allow maybe too much 'rest' or 'leisure.' In a leisure filled society I find I have to be on guard from wasting my time. My one most precious commodity.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Marriage Switch

When we first got married Scott and I were taking a shower together and I noticed that he would stand with one arm across himself and one hand, palm up, outstretched into the falling water. I teased him about this, as any good wife should, and he said,
"I like the way water feels when it hits my hand," not much to argue with there. So I tried it and turned one hand up to the water, didn't really make an impression on me.

Today as part of Father's Day we went to the beach with some friends of ours. One of the strange parts of the east coast is that all the parking next to the water is reserved for residents, so if you do not have a special sticker you either have to pay an exorbitant amount or park far away and walk. We opted for the walk option. As the men were running off to get the car and my friend and I were walking back up the beach to end our day I noticed that Emma was wet. She had only been in the very cold water briefly and quite awhile ago, so the level of wetness that she was didn't seem congruent with her contact with the water. I lefted my fingers to my nose and sniffed. Poop juice. As we walked and waited the poop juice slowly leaked into my shirt and across my side spreading to about a six inch circle of poopiness.
Emma fell asleep on the car ride home. Now back in Colorado we would have just left her in the car in our garage and put the monitor out in the garage or ran out periodically to check on her. We can't do that on Gordon campus. We tried. Someone called Public Safety on us. So when we pulled into our parking lot Scott started to say,
"Okay there's a soccer game on TV,"
"You know I'm covered in poop,"
"Yes, I know, hear me out, I think I can watch it on the laptop," so I ran in and brought him the computer while he sat in the car with our sleeping child and watched his soccer game.
I got to shower undisturbed.
I started to rush myself through my shower and out to fulfill responsibilities that I am sure that I have lurking for me, and then I stopped. Emma was asleep in the car with Scott, she was fine. I leaned back against the shower wall and took a moment. In that moment I looked down and noticed that both my hands were held palm up to the water, almost in a beseeching pose. I smiled. I let the water tickle my hands.
I had been told when I got married that eventually you would start to trade personality traits. Apparently through the osmosis of living my life with Scott I have picked up on this habit of Scott's, without even knowing it.
The first time he changes subjects mid-sentence or has emotional blow-up because he lost a sock I am going to do a little jig.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Jog Stroller

Today I went for a run with the jog stroller.
For some you will read that statement and think,
"So, that's not an accomplishment."
It is for me.
Up to this point in Emma's little life I have been able to go running without her. In Colorado Scott usually didn't leave for work until nine. This would allow me to get up, sip some coffee and and then bound out our front door for a run, return and shower all before he had to leave. He is now required to be at work at eight. I am also cooking for the staff so I am required to set out breakfast or prepare it by 7:15. This makes running in the morning difficult. Especially if I want to avoid getting up in the five o'clock hour, and I do. Oh, I do.
Some mornings I get up at six, go exercise and am back in time to make coffee and set out cereal and bagels for the students. Waking up in the morning is a monumental task for me, I usually wake up and think, 'Seriously? It's already over?' These early morning runs are ate best slow and painful. This morning I made french toast, so I got up rolled into some clothes, grabbed coffee and headed over. I decided to run after breakfast.
This is a big deal because I do not like running with the stroller. I feel it reduces me to the dorkiest form ever. I feel hunched over, Quasimodo style, and like my legs are windmilling outwards on either side of me. In short I feel like Willie Coyote windmilling his legs in preparation to run after the Road Runner. Except not that fast.
Necessity is the mother of, 'doing it anyway even though I don't like it that much.'
Off I went.
I have noticed that this part of New Englnd is seriously lacking in bike lanes and sidewalks. It's quaint, wooded, beautiful, and full of homes that are way out of our price range, and you have to be careful that you don't get run over. In an effort to try to stay on what sidewalks there are I turned up a road called 'Rubbly Rd.' I chose this road because the name is incredibly endearing and it has a sidewalk. After about a quarter mile on Rubbly Rd. a sign for Indian Path Trail pointed off to the left. Indian Path Trail had a sidewalk and was enconsced in a park like setting. I took it, and hoped for something like trails or bike paths. I got a cemetary.
In the middle of the cemetary was a house. A lovely looking house, but a house. I kept waiting for someone to pop out from behind a headstone, perhaps a protective gardener or loved one of the dead, and yell,
"Hey, what are you doing here? I don't know where you're from but in these parts we walk in cemetaries!" I didn't decide if I would cower and slow down or just run faster and pretend like I couldn't hear him.
As I bounced around the paved loop that went through the resting place of the dead it occured to me that I may be the first person to listen to Lady Gaga on my ipod in a cemetary.
Anther detour in search of sidewalks led me up Pleasantvale Rd, where at the top of this particular cul-de-sac a well-dressed middle class woman was digging through garbage.
As I was approaching the end of the cul-de-sac I couldn't decide how to turn around. Should I skim the edge of the circle? Run up and tap the grass and turn around, as if I was in a pool? Since I didn't really decide in time I just did it and turned the stroller one-handed in a wide u-turn, wherein I think I flailed a bit and the brake of the stroller caught my ipod cord and sent the ipod flying. Deeper I sunk into the dorky bracket.
I kept running (saw another middle class white person digging through garbage, figure that one out) and eventually turned around when I hit a busy road. This time I just crossed the street, no awesome one-handed moves.
At the end of my run I was actually quite pleased despite cemetary encroachment and dorkiness, I had run for a long time, Emma had fallen asleep (she is sick and as much sleep as she can get the better), my run felt quite nice, and much of my morning had been taken up.
This may become a regular daily activity.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A great and lovely coincidence

I guess my last post sounded more pathetic than I really felt.
Since then the dorm has quieted quite considerably, there is still noise and strange disturbances, like the young men that just brought us new desk chairs (who quickly quieted down when I told them my daughter was asleep in the room they were about to go into), but mostly we're at a more normal decible. The next morning we had several of our students ask if they were too noisy or what time that Emma went to bed.
Yesterday afternoon while I was cooking dinner I heard two students walk in the door and one said,
"I don't know, I just came to see Emma," it was a male student. He then picked her up and started carrying her around the room talking to her and showing her things. This is becoming a very frequent occurence.
I love it.
Yesterday I was preparing chicken pesto and turned around and almost fell over a student, they asked,
'Is there anything I can do to help?'
'Yeah, can you put the plates out?' This happens to me several times a meal.
I love it.
After a year of living with our parents and seeing their friends I felt like I kept hearing about how much this country was going to hell in a handbasket. After a week with these kids I'm thinking we're going to be okay. I have been exceedingly impressed with how helpful, kind, and thoughtful these students have been. I took the approach that they are adults and I wanted them to feel at home in the kitchen. They eat out of it without my help over the weekend, and if you are in a kitchen that is not your own chances are you will not feel comfortable enough to clean it. I want them to feel comfortable enough to clean it. So far I have not washed a dish.
I love it.

So on Monday I was trucking through the administrative building with a staff member, a car seat and Emma on our way to purchase food for the week and I heard from across the lobby,
"Lara!" Okay I don't know anybody in New England. Not a soul. People never pronounce my name correctly. You usually have to know me to get it right. I took a chance and stopped my march and turned around.
My friend Jane started running across the lobby towards me. I had taught at Rosslyn with her husband and she had doula'd the birth of Emma. Their second oldest was interviewing for admission into Gordon. Jane, her husband, Wes, and I chatted eagerly in the foyer for about a half an hour. They still live in Nairobi and gave me the lowdown on my old school, I told them how we were doing and where we were. I think through the magic of Facebook they knew quite a bit already.
Do you even know what that meant to me? I almost started crying about it later. To think that in this corner of the country where I feel anonymous and alone I ran into the woman who was there at the birth of my child. Almost like God was saying, 'Look I know you, I know where you are, and I will take care of you.'
I feel like this move has rocketed me out onto this peninsula above Boston, lovely it may be I know no one and I still fit like I stick out in a crowd. Or completely disapear. It will take awhile to find people that 'get' me. We have had several invites to dinner and I have had several good conversations with new people, but that depth of knowing takes awhile. I feel like I have been so 'everywhere' that there are few people who know and understand all my experiences. Running into friends from Africa helped me feel 'known.'
A great and lovely coincidence.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dorm Life

You know when you're packing you run across old photos and sit down and waste countless hours looking through them istead of jamming them into boxes? Scott ran across a disc of photos from a mission trip that I led to Denver, I was in grad school and the students were in college. In about every photo I look exhausted and extremely sarcastic. You know that chin jutted out, stretched, 'I'm grinning but right now I'm freaking out internally because one of the participants just jumped in a fountain' smile? That one? It's on my face in every picture. My favorite shot was of me stretched out on a bunk, on my belly, looking back at the camera, I'm holding out my hand in a 'thumbs up,' and my face is partially obscured by my pillow. I remember I wanted to go to bed at ten and having my participants stay up until the wee hours.
I was only 24. Apparently I've gotten old and crotchety fast.
Did I mention that we are living in a dorm for the next two months, until we find permanent housing?
We are on the bottom floor, we have three bedrooms and a bathroom all to ourselves. You walk in through the main door and there is a hallway off to your left and a set of stairs right in front of you. If you go down the hallway you run into our three bedrooms and bathroom, if you go up the stairs you go onto the boys floor.
Last night while I was trying to fall asleep several students were hanging out in the room right above us, I could hear their conversation. As my irritation level rose and I vowed to buy earplugs, I realised they were just talking. Apparently Gordon didn' invest in the more soundproof cinder block construction that Westmont did.
This morning while I was toweling off from my shower several staff members from another department on campus were in our hall having some kind of discussion about how no one is living in these rooms. During this process a hand reached in and flicked off the light.
"Um?!?!" I said loudly.
"Oh, sorry!" The hand came back in and returned the light to on. Gee, good thing I was naked.
Emma has done really well with the transition, but, of course, there is some fall out. There is always fall out.
Bathtime and bedtime have turned into a time full of tears and stress for everyone involved. You might remember that most dorms have stand up showers, kids usually don't take showers. The bath has become an important part of the bed time ritual. A friend on campus lent us an inflatable baby tub that we have been able to wedge into the shower, of course it takes forever to fill and by the time the water reaches the tub it's lukewarm. The last two nights in the lag time between stripping her down and filling the tub she has peed on the counter and on the floor. Tonight, in between pulling my bottles of nail polish out, when she squatted on the floor and peed I was pretty sure she did it on purpose. I tossed her in the bath/shower prematurely and ran into a stall to get toilet paper, because the only paper towels were in the room across the hall and don't feel right about leaving the room when she is in the bath. As I leaned against the wall and pawed at the super size roll of ultra thin one-ply to get it off the roll as fast as possible, I thought, 'I was crazy to agree to this, who else would do this?' She screamed and cried through her bath in one inch of lukewarm water in her new inflatable tub, I had to perform the whole bath squatting because we don't have a bath mat and the floor was wet from overflow of water. Speed bath.
Afterwards as I was trying to calm her down by puttng lotion on her and counting her fingers and toes in the most soothing voice I could muster someone's Dad walked into our 'sitting room.'
"Can I help you?" Which is my polite code for, 'what are you doing?'
"I'm looking for 208," the look on his face bestowed that he already knew he was in the wrong place.
"It's upstairs," I smiled and motioned above me, while trying to diaper my screaming child. He nodded, in that, 'Yeah, I got it,' way and disapeared.
I read stories to my child and plopped her into her crib to wails and shrieks.
(Right now you might be asking, where is her husband? Assembling manuals and setting up an ice cream social. Of course.) I settled down in a chair set my computer on my lap and listened to my child scream, cry and talk intermittently for the next forty five minutes while the students above me proceeded to move around crates of circus animals. When they left for the aforementioned ice cream social it was calm, and Emma feel quiet about fifteen minutes later.
Then I walked around trying to clean up...wandering around in circles with something in my hand and thinking, 'Now where does this go? It doesn't go anywhere. Oh, jeez,make something up!'
I kept thinking, 'I'm not so sure how doable this is if every night they keep my kid up while playing frisbee golf in the hall.' I can't stand my kid screaming herself to sleep and being kept up by noise, and on the other hand I don't want to deny them playing frisbee golf at one am. Isn't that part of college? Late night shenanigans?
Also, I remember dorm furniture being way more comfortable.
Maybe I'll get used to it.
I found ear plugs in my day pack.
Maybe I'll get a baby gate, not to keep my kid in, but to keep all the adults out.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What I I Have Now

During our last day of driving from Scranton, PA to Wenham, MA Scott turned to me and said,
"So how are you feeling about today?" I thought for a second and responded,
"All day I have felt like someone told me that I was going to meet the person that I was going to marry today." Or atleast date for long term. I looked back and said,
"How do you feel?"
"Like I am taking you home to meet my parents. I've been there before, but I'm just nervous about you liking it." Seems like we were on the same page. Seems like a lot hinged on me liking our new home.
So do I like it? I don't know yet. Part of me doesn't even want to explore it too much, because what if I don't? I think that mostly I will choose to like it, and ignore things I know I won't like. One of those things will be winter. I am going to choose not to think about that until the snow is falling on my head.
We arrived yesterday afternoon and accidentally parked right in front of the dorm that we will be lving for the next two months. Scott's job will be running a camp for high schoolers that runs off the campus of Gordon College. Gordon gave us on campus housing for the summer. We debated about accepting it, then decided to take it because free housing sounds pretty good right now. Scott's supervisor led us around the dorm to show us our floor (three bedrooms and a bathroom), the kitchen, and the laundry room which are both right below us. Doable, especially only for two months. She showed us the office where Scott will be working and the kitchen where I will be cooking (I accepted a job cooking for the camp staff).
Later that afternoon we met another couple who is living on campus with a daughter only a few months older than Emma. The wife, Tara, invited us over for dinner. That night we had spaghetti and meatballs and made new friends. This morning Tara took me around campus showing me trails that are connected to campus as well as two ponds that are also on campus. We ran into two other mothers of young children on campus, and one (turns out) that I have actually met before. The afternoon was spent planning and talking about my job and Scott's job.
Dinner was Thai food on the beach. We finally made it to the beach. And it's gorgeous. Deep navy blue water, sand, boats, sea salt air in my hair and red curry. What more could a girl ask for? Not much. Jen drove us around after dinner, showing us access points to beaches; the neighborhood was adorable. Old houses, lush trees, and tons of people out running. I loved it.
I think I'm gonna be okay.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

What I Look Forward To

Here we sit in a hotel in Scranton, PA (yes, we choose to stay here because of The Office), in the dark waiting for Emma to fall asleep.
I haven't narrated the journey because really what would I write? We sat in a car today. We sat in a car again today. It's not very interesting. We went from the Rocky Mountains to the plains, across the plains for a very long time (I think the Midwest must the largest region of our country), and now are in the gentle hills of the east.
Tomorrow is our last and final day of driving. It's taken us four days to get to here from Buena Vista, CO. It will take us another five to six hours to get to Wenham, MA tomorrow.

What I notice this time are the little things of moving. I am used to my stuff being scattered into boxes, duffle bags, and suitcases. I am used to feeling like I've been launched forward into the future, somehow in these moments life seem to go into fast foward, all the day to day stops and LIFE is here, big decisions are made and you put things on hold and GO FORTH. I'm used to traveling and eating out of fast food restaurants, dancing around the menu, trying to avoid the things that are going to make me fat and then ordering the things I actually want to eat. I am used to my mild contempt for truck stops and convenience stores. I am used to travelling with Emma: snacks, a basket of books next to her high chair, spilling juice on my lap as I water it down for her, the pac 'n play shuffle, putting her to bed and hiding in the dark until she stops screaming. This time it's the little things, like changing the time zone setting on our computer, the humidity change in the air, the taste of the water, these are the things that I am noticing now. The things that haven't come yet, like the first time I get a call on my phone from within my new area code. What time my favorite television show is on.
I'm excited to explore a new place. To figure out where the grocery stores are, the coffee shops, the library, to find new running trails and paths. I'm excited to live in a place with actual shopping. Kenya didn't have much to offer and neither did Buena Vista.
And I'm nervous. What if I hate it? I know that it will be flatter than Colorado, and colder than California, warmer than Chicago, and more developed than Kenya but what will it really be? Will I like the culture? Will I like the people?

So tomorrow when I drive in to my new home what will I feel? In so many other moves I was so excited for what lay ahead (school, a new country) that I was just eager to land, this time it's just life. Scott will work (albeit in a job that he will love) and I will stay at home. This may be where we stay for long term, will I love it enough to be able to live there permanently? The trouble with having lived in so many places, is that I know that nowhere is perfect. Wenham won't have the muscular mountains and great hiking of Colorado. It won't have the great weather of Southern California, it will have beaches but will they compare to what I grew up with? What will it have?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What I Leave Behind

Tonight I lay in bed, my mind spinning with packing worries, I realised that I don't even know how to spell Masachussettes (was that right?). I think I feel asleep for awhile, at first I couldn't get my feet warm and then I was boiling. Finally I decided to get out of bed and empty my mind. So here I am at 11:16 pm sipping Sauvignon Blanc and writing. This made me wonder? How many blogs are born of insomnia induced rants? Maybe more than I want to think about.
What worries me?
My main worry is this, at the end of every move we end up with a pile of junk to go in the car. I always think it won't all fit and my husband always thinks it will. Last night as I reminded him that the booster seat for Emma still needed to go in the car he said,
"See I think keep thinking we're done and then one more thing needs to go in," confirming my suspicion that at seven am tomorrow morning we'll be throwing things out of the car into the garage for the moving company to come pick up. (We drive out tomorrow, but the moving company can't come until next week.)
Our last cross-continental move I won that fight. It didn't all fit and at the last moment I was abandoning our cleaning supplies and leftover weddng decorations into our tiny apartment in Chicago. Later when i called that couple that had moved in after us, I was reeking with guilt for dumping all that stuff on them. His response?
"Thanks for leaving all that stuff for us! It was great!" I guess you never know.
It's those last pieces those pictures in a drawer you haven't seen for years that suddenly you can't live without. Random flashlights. Broken crayons. Cleaning supplies. Do you move these things across the country? I know they have cleaning supplies in Boston, but if I move this box of them that saves us, like, twenty bucks.
What else ails my weak and tired mind?
Will I fit in on the East Coast?
As I leave from Colorado I think about what I liked and what I didn't. One would think that I would love Colorado, I'm outdoorsy, right? Yes, but....I had a hard time finding my cultural footing in Colorado. One end of the spectrum there are the hippies that hide in the mountains, don't trust the government, come down to fill their medicinal marijuana prescriptions, stock up on patchouli and then go back up to commune with the mule deer. Then there are the folks who go from one seasonal job to the next, rafting guide in summer, ski patrol in winter, waitress in between. Then there are the folks who are professionals but have moved to the mountains to play with them, and they take all the good jobs. Then there are the folks who seem stuck out here in the mountains, I think there grandparents must've been miners and they just stayed. Then there are the rednecks. Then there are the militiamen who live up in the mountains, don't trust the government, and only come down to get more ammo and PBR. Did you notice some gaps? There are gaps. I think I slipped through those gaps.
I am outdoorsy, it's true. But here I just felt like no matter how tough you thought you are everyone here is way more tough than you. Like the guy with gout that just finished an adventure race. Or the soft-spoken soccer mom who turns out to be a crazy peak bagger.
I always felt like every sport that people did needed crazy amounts of expensive equipment. Kayaking? Need a kayak, a life vest, a helmet, a splash jacket, a paddle...Whatever happened to just putting on hiking boots and walking up into the mountains? My husband and I just really like to hike. I think that's maybe because we're cheap.
I have been a little surprised at how many people don't just Hike.
I do like Colorado. The mountains are majestic. I wish I climbed more of them. I like the toughness that living at high altitude creates. The people in general are nice, friendly, and laid back. We have made some good friends. I will miss them.
I look forward to creating our own life. I will probably have some gaps in Massachusetts (I googled the spelling) that won't be filled, but the more I move the more I have those gaps. There will things I like and don't like. Ways of the locals that I will adopt and ways that I won't. I will probably always pronoune my r's, but I'm thinking that decorating my house in Cape Cod style might be fun. I think I see lots of beach glass in my future.