After three months apart over the course of selling a house, packing, moving, puking, and hotel stays, we were finally coming home. We were finally going to be together.
So we booked a flight.
And a trip to the vet.
And packed up our stuff we’d been amassing, because my children have a wonderful grandmother who spoils them.
And we got back on a plane. And it went pretty well. I think. I don’t know, at this point in my life I try and forget the bad so it either went well or so bad that I’ve blocked myself from thinking about it.
Oh, yeah, see, now I’m remembering. And it was definitely option B.
But we arrived. And I was hurrying though the airport waiting to jump into my husband’s loving arms. Phew. Finally.
“I’m stuck in traffic… I’m going to be another hour. I’m really sorry.”
inner dialog “I fucking hate you and want to light you on fire.”
what I actually said. “ughhhhhh. Okay“.
First, we just pretended Nash was a service dog. Which, oddly enough he was so traumatized from the trip he super behaved. So that worked. Second, they had a Starbucks right next to the baggage claim. So we snacked on fresh fruit, and I drank my body weight in coffee.
Michael finally arrived, and we packed our belongings in like Tetris masters. And drove off. Almost. My coffee was still on the roof. Can’t forget that shit, it’s vital equipment.
And finally. We were off.
Once we got outside of San Jose, California really started getting pretty. I had never been a fan. I must be crazy because everyone tells me how much they love SoCal, but, I’d seen it, been there, had the t-shirt, it didn’t do anything for me. Northern California…. Now we’re talking. The hills, trees, winding roads. This was speaking to me.
I planned our flights so we would arrive on Michael’s weekend. And if we’re staying in a hotel anyways, we might as well go somewhere fun. So we picked Monterrey, and I finally crossed the Bay aquarium off my bucket list. We loved it. We loved the city. We loved the sights. We loved the food. We even loved our retro 1950s hotel. We celebrated and went out for a Hawaiian dinner, which, when we choose to take six children into a restaurant it’s a big deal. Because it means at least one of us is sacrificing our sanity, will be covered in food, eat one handed, and that’s if you’re lucky and you’re not standing leaning over the table rocking an inconsolable child. Despite forgetting shoes for a few kids, something that sadly happens way more than I care to admit, it went really well. And it was so delicious.
We had planned on driving down to Big Sur, but with the heavy rains, a bridge was down. So, no dice.
We decided to stick around and do the 18-mile scenic drive and see Carmel and enjoy a sunset on the beach before doing the two-hour drive to our semi-final destination. Carmel was special. I will go back.
We drove up to East Bay and got a hotel that we were hoping would only be for a week. It ended up being two. Things kept getting pushed back.
We made it work the best we could. We explored. We house sat in Oakland in a really cute house. We watched Moana on repeat with an HDMI cable. Friends. HDMI and a laptop. We will never travel without them. SO great when you want to veg out.
And I finally got to see the house.
My first reaction wasn’t exactly amazing. I was probably still a little tired. And grumpy. And it was a little bit of a shock. Everything in California had seemed miniature. I don’t mean to say that like a spoiled brat. The houses were small. The streets were small. The neighborhoods were small. The driveways were small. It felt cramped. I drove up to our house, and it felt like my car was bigger than it.
It was a gross over reaction. Although I must admit, I’m not a fan of the German style painting and homes. And the house was terribly outdated. I knew I could work with that. I’d seen the photos 1000 times. I already had a new kitchen planned. But it was still a little bit of a shock.
I knew Michael had done the best he could. He had a hard job. Buy a house without his wife seeing it. And pray she doesn’t hate him for it.
I can be happy anywhere. So I kept it to myself. Or really leveraged it for when the moment arose that I wanted to fling it during a fight, but that’s neither here nor there. And in hindsight, it’s kind of funny I had such a strong negative reaction because I have fallen in love with my home.
Another weekend came, and we were off to Fort Bragg, CA. I was so excited about this one. Quiet getaway on the coast. Driving up the high way 1. It was going to be relaxing. And a breath of fresh air despite all our troubles we’d be having with the bank, the sellers, and the moving company.
Did I mention winding road? We had some car sickness causalities. No worries. We can work with this. Not the first time someone has barfed in our car.
At least we got to see some whales before the vomiting started. Or during. I don’t remember.
We got back in cell range to get a text from our movers. Deliver tomorrow or be charged 600$ a day. Awesome. Freaking awesome.
Thankfully the seller’s realtor knew we were so close to closing, so he allowed us to move into the garage. Not ideal. I was looking forward to the movers putting things in the rooms. And putting together the furniture. That was after all the biggest benefit to paying an arm and leg for their moving services.
So we had to end our trip to the coast early. It wasn’t as relaxing as I’d hoped. We were so late. And we ran into problem after problem trying to pay the moving company. And they were frustrated. And we were frustrated. But we got it done.
We met them at the house, with our realtor, who had news.
As I threw myself on the floor in protest, upset, frustration, desperation he asked, “do you want the good news or the bad news.”
Me: Definitely good, give me the good first
Him: The sellers said you can stay here starting now, but just not MOVE IN like you own it yet
Me: Oh shit, what’s the bad
Him: WElllll they found a drug addict squatting in the house last night. He’d been staying here a few days and was breaking in the back.
Me: Grand. Fucking Grand.
And then the movers opened the truck.
Shit was destroyed. Boxes rattled coming off the truck. Boxes were barely holding on; they looked like those little origami packages. And the movers were douches. They complained about everything. They wanted to know why we had so many books. And they wanted us to know how heavy they were. And they pretty much hated us.
And then they left all their food, trash, cigarette boxes, water bottles, and all the packing materials in the street and all over our yard. And they didn’t assemble any of the furniture. Because they had broken or lost everything to assemble it. And when I gave them something else to assemble they jumped in the truck and drove off.
And of course told their boss that we told them they could leave all their shit. Because that’s what we would have said if we were asked. not.
I cried. I was filled with hate. But whatever. The most painful parts of this were now over. And we had a closing date in hand. In just a few short (or long) days we would own this new home. So we just held on tight and tried to see the ride for what it was. We enjoyed the weekends where we could explore our new part of the country. And even though we couldn’t officially move in, it was already starting to feel like home.
But in all that chaos and madness, I felt like I was home. I’ve lived all over. I’ve lived in four countries. I’ve lived in five states. My mom taught me early, home is where your heart is. My heart was with my family. And we were home. And we were starting an exciting adventure. And all of a sudden I was just so relieved and so filled with home.
I’m going to make this little nest mine. And it’s going to house my little babies. And we will live and love here. I can feel it. Good things are happening.