Today, the first stage of our move was completed. G and I arrived by plane to our new home in CA. My mom and sister picked us up, and we proceeded to eat a nice lunch at a deli and go shopping 🙂
In case I didn’t mention what our temporary living situation will be while we are here, we will be occupying the two back rooms of my parents’ house. They are large (11×14 each) and have their own entrance. We will be using one as our living/study area, and the other as a bedroom for the 3 of us. G’s changing table and toys will occupy a different spot in the guest room down the hallway (it’s nearer to the bathroom for…”solids-shaking”…geez, and you thought you’d get an entire post without a poop shout out! WRONG!). I will take pictures sometime/day, but that will have to wait until Jesse and my dad arrive with the moving truck tomorrow night. Last I spoke with them, they had made it to somewhere in New Mexico!
I have mixed emotions right now about the move. I know that I should wait until the dust settles until I trust many/any of them, but for now I have both regrets and reliefs. My regrets are due to the fact that we had such a wonderful church family in Dallas. Jesse’s high school youth group all dressed in suites on Sunday as a way to honor him. They had put together their own little goodbye party for him, complete with donuts, while they went around the table and mentioned ways in which he had changed their lives. Our last night in Dallas, we hosted a get-together with our best friends– the Gaspards, Folsoms and the Unruhs. I think my dad summed up the gravity of the situation best when, after the last people had left, he said, “Whew. I hope I’m doing the right thing by taking you all away from this!”
My relief, however, comes from the fact that moving is a great time to reasses your life and your relationships with others. It’s a good time to start fresh, to break out of old habits, and to change for the better. It doesn’t mean leaving the past behind, because we are always building on that whether we like it or not, but it does mean doing a bit of “spring cleaning”, relationally, practically, etc.
A few examples of this: Other than our school loans, Jesse and I now have zero debt. This may not seem like a big thing to any of you, but we have been PLAGUED, and I mean PLAGUED by car trouble since the day we got married. Jesse’s car broke down on the way to our wedding, mine broke down 5 weeks later. As a result, we had to enter into a car payment for our infamous used VW Passat. Since we had no savings to put as a down payment (hello, wedding? honeymoon?), our payments were higher than they should’ve been for a used car. And we were seriously scammed with a LEMON. In just cleaning out our file cabinets this past month, I’ve added up the amount of $ we spent on repairing that car, and it was over $7,000 over the course of 4 years. We’ve never been to “save ahead” for car repairs, because the first $800 car repair for that VW came within 10 days of driving it off the lot! We had no choice (again– no savings yet! I was barely 20 years old at the time!) but to put the repair cost on a credit card– a mistake we have never been able to recover from….
…until now. In selling the VW (praise God! angels are singing!) and Jesse’s Mustang, we were able to finally pay off those last few dollars, with cash to spare. As you also know, we now have no Toyota…just an $800 surplus check coming to us once the accident settlement goes through.
So….no assets! But no debt either! We have rid ourselves of our “toxic assets”, and can have room to breathe and figure out exactly how and when we want to purchase another vehicle. We don’t actually need a car except for driving to church on Sunday– the school where we will be working is a 15 minute walk from this house. And there are carpooling options. And we may be borrowing a car from Jesse’s parents. We will just have to wait and see!
Another positive growth aspect to moving is in purging out the accumulation of stuff. We’ve lived in 3 different apartments in Texas, but those trips never inspired me to cleanse our possessions the way this across-the-country move did. I sold nearly everything that I could think of. Our dressers. Our couch. 3 bookcases. 2 entry tables. Chairs. Baby stuff. Decor. Patio furniture. You name it, I sold it. I also took 11 trips to Goodwill, trunk completely stuffed. And you know what’s still so scary? When it was all said and done, we still barely squeezed what was left into a 16 ft. Penske truck! Granted, those are estimated to be for a 1 bedroom/efficiency apartment, but still! That’s a LOT of stuff!
It surprised me how easy it was to let go of everything. Perhaps I just was in self-preservation mode (it’s incredibly difficult to say goodbye to over 50 people in a week, along with the life you’ve known for the past 4 years!), but I hardly felt any sadness in saying goodbye to my stuff. I actually felt relieved– lighter. Stuff weighs us down and keeps us from living the life that we could be! I’ve put a lot of thought lately into how our stuff can “own” us, because the more we have, the more we must clean. The more time we must waste organizing. The more time we have to spend arranging storage. If we just had less, we’d have less maintenance.
On a much more practical level, I am happy to finally be experiencing the wonderful cool evenings of CA…it is currently 70 degrees here, with a slight breeze. Lovely. I am also hoping that my allergies can stop kicking my face in. These last few weeks have been some of the most miserable I’ve known! I get sinus migraines like you wouldn’t believe. Ever felt that overwhelming, makes-you-wanna-shut-your-eyes-and-scrunch-your-face-burning in your nose like you have to sneeze? I’ve felt that in my nose, up through my forehead, behind my eyes, and all thoughout the base of my neck constantly for 3 weeks. Tylenol barely dents the pain. One more than one occasion while I was packing I got tunnel vision and nearly passed out from the severity. I’m really hoping that I can get these allergic reactions under control now that I’m not in the Texas heat with all of the crazy allergens.
A serious question: I now have to change the header of this blog. Instead of “Remember the Alamo, the Texan adventures of Jesse and Kelly”, I need a new catchy phrase that goes with the new us. Any ideas?