Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fingers hurt, muscles sore, a move-in marathon

I've given up on my nails.  At least for now. My goodness do my fingers hurt.  My nails hurt, the pads of my fingers hurt.  Thankfully the soreness in my knee, ankle, shoulder and hip joints has passed.  That is probably because we're taking small breaks now.  30 to 45 minutes here, an hour there.  Earlier on I was using our much larger soaking tub A LOT.  
The quote from Under the Tuscan Sun keeps reverberating around in my brain.  "Pick one room and make it yours. Go slowly through the house. Be polite, introduce yourself so it can introduce itself to you." - Frances Mayer.
Funny, this house was already mine, I already knew it. It already knew me.  Four years ago I moved away from this house. So for me, this is a getting to know you once again type of deal.  The house and I have both been dinged up a bit, we both might be showing our age a bit more, but we're working on getting comfortable with each other once again. 

We've gotten almost each and every box out of here.  I will be glad to not see another box in a really long time. I know my hands will cringe, my hips will ache in memory if I do.  When did moving become so physically trying?  
For now, we still have a few things to hang. Curtains, a few pictures.  The kitchen, while mostly tidy, is still cluttered.  I hate clutter.  Our office is still waiting on a bookcase that we ordered yesterday, but now is home to a new, smaller computer desk. I can't wait to see how the office looks after all is said and done because that too is full of small items here and there, dust collectors my Dad calls them.  It too is cluttered, much of it needs to be culled.
The garage needs to be emptied out so that one of us may park our vehicles inside. That will save us just the slightest amount on our electricity bill since we have to plug in both vehicles right now. 
The forecast says below temperatures are arriving later this week so the garage work will have to be completed within the next day.  Thankfully we have NO outdoor work to complete right now, that will be put on a shelf to be completed in late April or Early May.  I would love to walk around the back yard, check the area out but there are just too many other more important things to be done.  Plus living in Maryland has acclimated me slightly to warmer winter weather so within 10 to 15 minutes I find myself shivering in 5 degrees.  I guess I need to work on getting thicker blood once again.  
We have the goal to get the house decorated for Christmas by Friday, exactly one week after the move in.  I have had to suppress the unusual "Bah Humbug" as of late when going grocery shopping and hearing Christmas carols on the store music. I love celebrating Christmas so not having a Christmas tree up has been bad for morale.  

So we're home and its Christmas, or almost anyways and I'm so grateful because this time, this home will most likely be one of the last ones we will have to move to.  John le Carre once wrote "Home's where you go when you run out of homes"  Well that's us.  We've had numerous other homes, but finally we've reached the end of our moving.  I hope anyways.  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

North to the Future

I always seem to feel this way when I haven't written in a while and yet in the past I always find myself at a loss of words. What can I share that is noteworthy? What can I share that would be interesting. Now instead I find myself overwhelmed. There is just so much, too much to share. How can I capture all the moments in a simple blog entry?

Approximately two weeks ago our journey began from Aberdeen Maryland to Fairbanks, Alaska. It all started with a small amount of downtime right outside of Washington DC. That was a long weekend spent relaxing, shopping, movie going and eating out. Almost all of those are somewhat unknown pleasures to us. We rarely go shopping in malls, we usually prefer to save our money that could be spent on eating out and use it towards building our savings or purchasing larger items that could be useful in the future. Even attending movies in the theaters, ridiculously expensive in my opinion, are a rare treat for us. The positive to this gluttony and wanton spending? It got us in a relaxed frame of mind and prepared us for the arduous trip ahead, and my oh my was it ever so long a trip.

View Larger Map Since my husband is retiring from the Army after his 20 years of service the military will pay for our shipment of our household goods (aka our stuff) and they will provide limited monetary assistance to the home of our selection. This more or less means we announce we want to move "HERE!" and they will help us one last time. They will not however ship either of our vehicles which means we both have to drive the 3,800 miles to our new/old home in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Unfortunately since I too was behind the wheel this time I couldn't snap any photos along the way. This has been one of my biggest pet peeves since starting this journey. The inability to take photos here and there when we pass by a scenic area. Our days spent driving rapidly became like the movie "Groundhog Day". The same over and over and over. Wake up, showers for all, eat breakfast, Pack the car, do a check of the hotel room, set up our FRS radios, what channel are we on? Drive on for the next 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Potty break and gas break, usually announced by our son. More and more driving and just when we thought we couldn't take it anymore, more driving. Finally arriving to the hotel, all of us physically and mentally beat which I struggled to understand how that could be. Its not like we were doing anything physically taxing. Unpack coolers, set up electronics on a make shift charging station. Make dinner, make lunches for the next day, possibly watch 15 minutes of cable television to see what the weather will be like on the next day and then succumb to sleep. Wash, rinse, repeat. Over and over. For about 10 days so far that was our life. We did get a few small breaks in our travels. We visited family in Moon Lake Mississippi and Bend, Oregon and an even bigger highlight in our trip. We had one day at Disneyland Park.
We had one day to completely forget being on the road, forget about the packing and unpacking, forget about limiting ourselves on water (because of course, the more water we drank the more potty breaks were needed). For one day we just relaxed and enjoyed the park and each other. I was immensely proud because my son Nick actually tackled his fears and road Indiana Jones and The Temple of the Forbidden Eye and he loved it! So much so that we rode it two times in a row. From that point on, thanks especially to two young ladies that my son befriended he was fearless, even tackling Space Mountain. I do not think I will ever regret making the decision to go to Disneyland, I only wish we had a bit more time to enjoy it.
Most of our journey is now done. Yesterday amidst much excitement, mostly from my now 8 year old, we boarded the ferry that will transport us for the next 2 1/2 days to Haines, Alaska where we will continue our next phase of driving.

I type this now as I sit on a bench in front of our window in our stateroom aboard the M/V Malaspina. It's a rainy day today which limits the visibility but I can still see the quaint town of Bella Bella British Columbia easily. I think about how far we've come yet I also wonder what will our future hold? Will my husband and I both be successful in our job search? Will our son like his new school? Will we get our chickens that we want so badly? Our garden planned out? What kind of challenges will we face here with our backyard garden?  So many unknowns but thankfully, all we have to do is continue our journey, North to the future.
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