It’s 46 degrees right now and windy. Spring is here though I haven’t seen anything growing yet. My mom posts pictures from the Oregon coast of rhododendrons and hydrangeas but all I can see are bare branches and brown grass. I have some half-hearted plans to plant stuff this year in this new (neglected) yard. I am going to plant clover in my lawn for starters and I bought a push mower which I still have to assemble.
My work schedule has fallen into a routine. One weekend I will have three days off in a row; the next, only Sunday off. It makes for a long stretch between real time off. This Sunday is Easter and although I have a ham, I have made zero additional preparations. I have some cute Easter decorations which are still in a box in the garage.
While I was growing up, that was a family joke: “It’s in a box in the garage.” Somehow my parents were terrible at unpacking entirely and we just had stuff in boxes in the garage forever. I come from a long line of pack-rats, if truth be told. I personally wrestle with this tendency while my husband would be content to live in a rectangle shaped room with a bookcase and bed, all in the color beige. I like stuff. I like vintage pottery and books galore and funny little objects I find in thrift stores. I like old photos (even of people I don’t know) and thrifted Longaberger baskets. I can’t really help it.
I don’t want to really help it, but I do want to keep my stuff in an orderly fashion and most definitely, not in boxes in the garage. I need to sort through and organize my garage again. I’m in the process of going through every closet and cupboard with a more critical eye now that I’ve been here eight months.
I do have to say that I miss the outdoors. I miss long dusty hikes in San Diego and sticky windy hikes by the beach. I miss the flowers bursting with color everywhere you look in Southern California. I miss the mourning doves that tucked haphazard nests in the eaves above our front door. I am looking forward to getting outside for some long walks in nature. I am more myself when I’ve been outside.
It’s such a strange experience to pack up one’s life in one landscape and unpack it in another. I don’t know that many people have this experience–so many people stay close to home their whole lives. My family, though, has been wanderers, both my family of origin (twenty-five moves by the time I was five years old) and my family of creation. It’s like my former homes are dreams or ghosts or both. Dreamy ghosts.
I think of our house in Washington where we lived for twelve years (1998-2010). The moss that grew on the back patio, the freewheeling laurel hedges that I was constantly pruning, the determined English ivy that threatened to cover our entire yard with its green tendrils. Only a few miles away, the Puget Sound, often gray. The Douglas firs that I worried would fall on my roof during those fierce winter rainstorms. The rain, the fog, the rain.
Then our house in San Diego with its red tile roof and always green grass and swaying palm trees. The sunshine almost every single day. The light in that house–I don’t think I appreciated it enough–but the lack of a real laundry room, so I had a Laundry Hallway that ended in my office on the main floor. I know for a fact that I did not appreciate the gigantic bathtub in that house, nor my enormous closet. I miss them both, desperately.
But I am getting used to taking tiny baths and reducing my wardrobe bit by bit.
I am happy not to be hot all the time and not to worry about termites.
Still. I miss the dusty paths. I miss the ocean waves.
I do not miss traffic nor the crowds at Costco.