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Alive and Kicking it

By August 19, 2006August 20th, 2006house, moving, thoughts

So. Hi everyone. Um, how’s it going? Some weather we’ve been having, eh? Heh heh.Yeah. Well, uh, as you may have noticed, I’ve been a little off the radar while we’re trying to put our life back together in the aftermath of our house sale, house purchase and move to a new town that all took place in a 4 week period. I know there are crazier lives than mine. I know I’m a notoriously stressed-out mover. And I know that I have a tendency to whine about things that feel to me as though they might cause my head to spin off into orbit around a distant, unnamed star, but don’t sound all that bad to anyone else. So for that reason, I’m not going to write a ridiculously long and tedious recap of our move. In fact, I’m not even sure what I am going to write about. I just miss writing to you so I thought I’d sit down and say some things.

We went to the beach last week with my family. My parents, my brother and his wife and daughter. Me, Bob, Zoe, Lucy. The last time we went to the beach was last August — same family trip, different beach. The night of the day we arrived at the beach, Lucy woke up burning with fever, vomiting all over her bed and covered with a rash. Zoe, of course, copied her later the next day. We thought they might have chicken pox. Turns out they had strep throat. The whole trip. My niece Tess was only 6 months old and was still a delicate flower who had not been sick yet. Her mom was frantic with worry that she might get sick. I had two sick 3 year olds. My mom had two sick granddaughters and a stressed out daughter and daughter-in-law. Bob left early to go to a wedding that we both should have gone to but we couldn’t bring the girls since they were scheduled to be violently ill with strep throat. My brother and father played some golf and watched the olympics, but when asked, said they were sorta stressed out too. Suffice to say, it wasn’t our most relaxed family beach trip.

So there was a lot riding on this year’s trip. We planned it (last year) even though we knew we would probably have just moved. Because, you know, we needed something else on our schedule for August. But as the time drew closer and we realized we would be able to go, I figured, “Heck. How stressful can a beach trip be? By that time, we’ll need a vacation, right?”

With that lead-in, doesn’t it sound like I’m about to tell you how horrible the trip was? And what a mistake it was to plan down-time in the middle of a life that resembles the fast-paced torture of bamboo strips in your fingernails? Heck, I don’t even know what that last sentence means!

Well my friends. It may not be as blogworthy, but I’m here to say the beach trip was fabulous. Great weather (it was about 278 degrees each day, but we had Ocean Breezes® and Kool Waves®. And plenty of sexy, glistening 45 spf sunscreen.). Great company (a family can prove quite palliative at certain times in a girl’s life). Great beach (our first trip to Oak Island, NC — amazingly off the beaten path). And great timing (everyone on this trip had some sort of hard time leading up to this trip, so we were all real happy to be there.) Zoe and Lucy, who were not thrilled with the ocean and the sand and the wind last year (fever. strep. rash.) were like little sand fleas this year. They would gladly and happily stay down on the beach from 6am til 8pm if they weren’t governed by boring big people with absolutely no sense of Fun in the Sun®. The waves didn’t scare them, the salt in their eyes got blithely rubbed away. The sand was caked on their bodies like wet concrete and they were totally unaware of the sandpaper effect on their precious smooth thighs. If only they had brown (or at least brownable) skin — they’d have been all set. Bob played hard with them every day, all day, digging humongous holes for them to dive into, building tall mountains for them to ride their boogie boards down, loading them on his back and carrying them out to sea. We ate great food, had good talks at night, didn’t sleep enough. In short, it was a lovely trip.

As for life in Charlotte, we’re slowly working on getting it together. Lots of boxes still fill the guest room (our ersatz attic for now, since the house doesn’t actually have an attic) and we don’t really have a place to put all our books, prompting us to say things like “We don’t really need all these books do we? Why do we have so many books? Let’s sell them all.”, but the house is looking and feeling pretty good, for the most part. The kitchen is totally unpacked and the girls’ room is totally unpacked — at which point I’m willing to say “All done!” Most importantly, the girls appear to be pretty settled in. In the couple of weeks following the move, they’d talk to me at night (emotional weakpoint of the day — for me too) telling me about all the people they miss from Durham. One night it would be all our neighbors, including Bill, with whom we exchanged perhaps 20 words in 6 1/2 years. Another night it would be all their friends from preschool. Then one night Lucy said to me, “Mama. I changed my mind. I don’t want to move to Charlotte.”

So we moved back.

No, not really. We’re still here. Settling in. Learning our way around (today’s Charlotte is a very different place from the Charlotte I grew up in. The roads! The shopping centers! The sprawl!). Starting over.

Thanks for your patience this last month. I’ll try to be a better blog pal from now on.

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