Whining. A little.

In CategoryAdventure

I am sorry I have not been posting much lately.

This house selling business is truly horrid, and I mostly feel tired and whiny and complain-y about everything. I have posts floating around in my head, but can’t seem to get them on paper. Does anyone really care how I make frittata? It’s delicious and everyone eats it without complaining, which is very rare around here, so I always feel compelled to brag about it – “LOOK! Food my people will eat without gagging!” like I’m some kind of dinner-making savant or something.

One of the things that is vexing me about selling everything and hitting the road (besides who will cut my hair), is the whole not-having-an-address thing. There are mail forwarding services, so getting the actual mail doesn’t worry me so much, but what address should I put on my drivers license? What about voting? I like to vote, yo. What about homeschooling – my state requires that I give them our address on the Notice of Intent. My previous experiences with bureaucrats leads me to think that “none” might not be such an acceptable answer.

I know we could change our residency to another state where there aren’t a lot of homeschool rules to follow (like Texas), but I don’t think we are quite ready to sever all ties with Colorado, even ones that are intangible. Besides, there are a lot of hoops to jump through to change your residency and I’d probably screw something up, leading several states prosecute me for fraud. Did you know that you aren’t supposed to have your life in more than one state – i.e. a drivers license from State A, insurance in State B, vehicle registration in State C, voter registration from State D, etc? Apparently you can be penalized and fined quite onerously.

The obvious solution is to have a family member let us use their address for certain things, but as I’ve alluded to before, I am completely estranged from most of my family, and Jim’s mom is out for various reasons too.

*sigh* Our little family is more like an island than a village, if you know what I mean.

We’ll get it figured out. There are a lot of bits of paper that I’ve never thought about before, until I tried to get rid of them.

But! We are not deterred!

Happy Weekend!

(ps – suggestions welcome if anyone has ever done this before, or knows anyone who has. Best mail forwarding service recommendations? Anyone?)

Random Monday

In CategoryRandom Monday

• I’ve been seeing commercials lately for these new Hershey Kisses with air holes in them.

Um, what? Why exactly would I need air bubbles in my chocolate? Hershey thinks that I will pay MORE money to have LESS chocolate?

I’m afraid not, sir. I like my chocolate to be inexpensive and there to be plenty of it.

• The other day, my daughter came up to me with an index card that she’d written my name on.

“Look! I wrote DEB! And that’s YOU! But your real name is Mommy.”

I heart her.

• September 11th…. I don’t know what to say about it, if I should say something about it, if anyone gives a crap about what I might say about it….

We lived in Seattle then. I got up that day and got ready for work like it was any other day. I said goodbye to my husband and went out and got in my truck (side note: before kids, I drove a cute red Toyota mini-truck because I was AWESOME and COOL like that). I put my seat belt on, started the truck, and heard sirens coming out of the speakers. I thought it was one of those really annoying radio commercials and flipped the channel. I heard the same thing on that one. And the next one. I went back in the house and said to Jim, “turn on the television, something is happening.”

And we sat there, glued to the screen.

I couldn’t believe it.

I still can’t believe it.

After about a half-hour, I roused myself and went to work. One of the guys had a tiny black & white television in his office, and people crowded in there all day to watch. No one really talked about what happened. I think we all probably were afraid we would burst into tears if we did. No one talked much at all, really.

That’s one of the things I remember – how silent and somber everyone was. All my memories play out in silent-movie fashion. I went to the craft store to buy some stuff to make red, white, and blue bracelets and the place was packed with people who had similar ideas. But no one was talking, just quietly shopping with a shell-shocked look on their face.

This weekend was an emotional one. We watched some of the remembrance coverage on television – the George Bush Interview and a special on the timeline of events. I cried through it all. Even the little tribute they had this morning before the first football game of the season had me reaching for the Kleenex (well, not really Kleenex – here we rock the Giant Roll of Toilet Paper).

We haven’t told the kids anything about it. I don’t really know what to say. I know they will need to know someday, but I want them to hold onto their innocence a little while longer.

It’s was a sad weekend. But also a good weekend. We went about our regular life, grocery shopping and talking smack to each other about our in-house football pool. Today I feel especially blessed to be an American. I am incredibly grateful to be able to raise my children in freedom. I am thankful that there are men and women and families in our military that make huge sacrifices to preserve that freedom.

Yesterday, my son saw a picture of the waterfall at the World Trade Center Memorial on television and said, “Oh! What a beautiful city!”




In CategoryAdventure, Navel Gazing

This business of getting rid of stuff is odd.

On one hand it’s quite liberating – with every trip to the thrift store, I feel the weight of things lifting off my shoulders, bit by bit.

How nice it is to go into the basement, which used to be crammed full of crap, and see nothing but wide open space.

No more collections of fancy gift wrap being saved for that barely possible moment when I meet someone sophisticated enough to appreciate it.

No more baskets of toys that had been taken away because “you didn’t pick up the playroom, so now these will live in the basement for a week” only to have been forgotten about completely.

No more…..what? I can’t even really remember what all that stuff was now. Tablecloths and fancy cloth napkins. A truly awe-inspiring amount of Christmas decorations, vases, platters, dishes….all rarely used, but needed nevertheless, in case I suddenly switch from the person who eats pizza on the couch in jammies to the person who has fancy dinner parties.

Seems unlikely at this late date, though, don’t you think? I’m better off accepting my jammie-wearing, teevee-watching, party-loathing self and getting on with it.

On the other hand, there have been many, many, moments when I’ve put down my head and cried, unable to stop the flood of emotions that pour over me as I go through certain boxes, unable to make yet one more decision about what to keep, what to not. I have literally bins FULL of baby clothes, and a plan in my head to make a quilt out of them. How much to keep? I couldn’t get rid of it all, but going through boxes, I couldn’t even remember some of the tiny clothes. When did that happen? So, half was bagged up to bless some other family shopping at my favorite thrift store, and half carefully packed first into giant zippy baggies, then into plastic bins to go to the tiny storage unit that will house all the things we can’t bear to part with.

I have developed a rule of thumb for what to keep. We’ve decided that this adventure will last for at least a year, but recent negotiations have revealed that no one thinks we will be done by then. For all we know, we’ll love it and decide to carry on indefinitely. With that in mind, we are only keeping things that are truly special, things we will want in 1 or 2 or 5 years – boxes of memories, artwork, very few pieces of furniture, and all the toys that the kids will not be taking. We are keeping the toys as a purely appeasing gesture, because while we know they will have outgrown those things, they don’t know that yet and they want their stuff safe. Which I can certainly understand. I mean, who taught them to like stuff? Probably the same idiots who crammed an entire basement full of things that didn’t get used.

The house, of course, is the biggest weight. When did it become such a burden to maintain? We love our house, it’s just right for us. But constantly noticing the paint is looking a little rough, and weeds are infesting the grass, and are we EVER going to fix that doorknob already? is wearing thin.

I cannot WAIT for the moment of freedom, when we pull out of the driveway for the last time. Our obligations whittled down to barely nothing, our little family tucked snuggly into the car, when I can turn around and ask, “so guys, where shall we go?”

Random Monday

In CategoryRandom Monday

• The weather here seems to have FINALLY gotten cooler. I hate summer and am quite the Scrooge about it. So I was very happy this weekend to throw open all the windows instead of running the air conditioner. Fall is my favorite time of year.

• Jim took the kids to the zoo on Sunday, and I was ridiculously thrilled to be ALONE in my own HOUSE. I puttered away happily in the kitchen, cleaning out the spice cabinet and making a bunch of pizza crusts for the freezer. I didn’t even turn on any music, I just wanted to soak up the QUIET. Someone should figure out how to jar that feeling of contented alone-ness. Then on Those Days, I could take out my little bottle of peace and have a nip.

• Last week, there was a day when it was cool enough to toss the kids outside for a few hours. I worked in my office with the window open as usual, to keep an ear on things. Imagine my reaction when I heard my daughter give a loud sniff and then report excitedly to my son how wonderful a daddy long-legs smelled. Lovely.

I swear. That child.

• Today we are continuing along with cleaning and packing, because we are GOING, no matter how uncooperative the house-buyers are being.

• Happy Monday!