Monday, August 24, 2009

August 24, 2009

August 24, 2009
I’ve gathered my thoughts and I do have a philosophy to share, but first, a follow-up about the peach festival.

It turns out that every orchard ran out of peaches. Why? Well, we learned that there were over 20,000 attendees (more than triple the amount of the usual crowd), and due to the more-rainy-than-normal Spring, the overall peach crop was severely damaged. In fact, we found out that the orchard from which we bought our “seconds” – which are fantastic by the way – only harvested 15% of their usual crop. Yikes. We also learned that while the heavy rain causes the trees to blossom later in the season, the fruit is less plentiful but each peach is considerably larger. The tree uses all of the nutrients that it has stored up for a normal crop and sends it to the fewer peaches that are there.

Interesting, no? I’m sure this is more than you ever thought you’d know about peach farming (orcharding?).

Anyway, moving on to my Deep Thought for the Day, one day later:

Today’s topic is: The tyranny of the “shoulds.” I was thinking about how many times during the day we say to ourselves, "I should". It seems like when we say “I should,” it implies that what we’re already doing isn’t good enough or worthy enough. People say, I should lose weight, or I should be more organized, or I should worry about this or that; which completely negates the facts that these people are beautiful just as they are, that they are doing the best that they can at the moment, and that worrying never changed the outcome of anything!

Of course there are always things that we could do better. And it’s always wise to keep improving upon ourselves. But let me ask you this: When you’re hearing the “shoulds” in your mind, whose voice is saying them? Is it the voice of a person who gave you bad advice and who may not have had your best interests at heart? Is it the voice of someone who was constantly condescending and demeaning toward you? Is it your own voice who has bought into the lies you have been told about yourself and your worth as a person?

Instead of getting caught up in the “shoulds” of life, I think it’s better if we turn off the voices in our minds and instead listen to the feeling in our core. When you start to tell yourself, “I should be doing such-and-such differently,” find a quiet place and see what your gut is telling you. If it’s telling you that it’s time to make a change then you’ll know it’s the right time and you’ll have success at whatever it is that you are trying to achieve. But if it feels wrong deep inside, then it IS wrong, and there is no “should” about it.

Simply put, “shoulds” mean that we are judging ourselves too harshly. While it’s good to have high expectations for oneself, we need to recognize what we are already doing that is beneficial and right and worthy of celebration.

Think about this for a moment: Would you treat your best friend as negatively as you treat yourself? What makes them more deserving of love and appreciation than you?

(hint: NOTHING!)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Update continued...

August 23, 2009

To begin this latest update, a haiku to describe our life at the moment:

Still no furniture
Seventh sunny day so far
Can’t watch the Sox game!

Alas, our moving truck was supposed to arrive either yesterday 8/22, or today 8/23. We called on Friday (since we hadn’t gotten our 24-48 hour reminder call from the driver), to find out that it should be arriving instead on Monday 8/24 or Tuesday 8/25.


It’s actually no big deal. The house feels incredibly roomy, and the kids have been having a great time running around the empty spaces and playing wall ball without having to worry about anything breaking. I’m guessing it’s actually going to feel quite crowded once the furniture arrives!

In other news, the kids are really enjoying their new schools, we’ve got my son signed up for flag football, my daughter signed up for horseback riding lessons, and we went to the Lafayette Peach Festival yesterday and had kind of a funny experience:

It was once of those fabulous outdoor events where there are booths lining both sides of the blocked off street with food, drinks, jewelry, crafts, and of course, peaches! Several orchards were selling their fuzzy wares along the way, but we decided to buy some on the way out so we didn’t have to lug around a 15+ lb. box of peaches the whole time.

So we’re listening to the music, we’re wandering around, we’re standing in an inordinately long line for peach cobbler, and pretty soon after we finished that we decided to leave. So we walk back down the “so crowded it looks like the rock concert just let out” street and go up to the first orchard stand to buy our peaches.

They’re out.

We’re like, “What do you mean you’re OUT? This is a peach festival, we want our peaches!!” (well, we didn’t really say that, but that’s what we were thinking)

So they said, “Well, all we have left are seconds.”

So I asked, “Seconds? What are seconds?”

So the woman holds up a peach that is huge and gorgeous, except for the small blackish bruise on one side. Then she holds up another one, of similar size and stature, and this one has a small hole right near the stem. Each one clearly had been perfection in its day, but somewhere along the line life threw them a curve ball and they ended up the “seconds” box. She said that they still taste good, they just aren’t perfect. (now there’s a metaphor for you…)

Hmmm… we examine a few more in the box that is sitting there, and I innocently ask, “Okay, so how much for the secondhand peaches?”

Everyone behind the counter starts laughing hysterically, as does the woman helping us, and then she responds, “Not secondhand peaches, just seconds.” Oh. Right. Oops.

And everyone starts laughing again. (not at my expense….right?)

So after we all calm down, we’re told that the peach seconds are half-price. And we’re like, “WOW – just like the bagels!! We’re clearly cornering the market on half-priced consumables this week!”

So that was fun, and we’ve also been enjoying exploring the downtown area, continuing to have dinner on the floor, and using my son’s Swiss Army knife to do a multitude of cooking tasks!

Tonight we’re hoping to go to a restaurant that will be showing the Sox-Yankees game. I guess we’ll have to eat very slowly and keep getting our water glasses refilled all night!

Deep Thought for the Day:
Well, I have a few….I’ll have to collect my thoughts and add this later….

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blog Continued.....

Well, many of you have requested that I keep blogging about our experiences as we get acclimated to our new surroundings so here's an update!

We "moved" in on Sunday the 16th, to a lovely little house that's less than a mile from my son's school and about 2.5 miles from my daughter's school. I was thrilled to encounter the full-sized washer and dryer here (we had to have a stackable set before)as well as the 3 full bathrooms! Although we made it here, our stuff hadn't arrived yet (and won't for another 5 or 6 days) so we promptly headed to Target to purchase our indoor camping equipment: air mattresses, a pump, sheets, shower curtains, paper plates, and dish towels. Luckily there was a "back to college" sale going on so we got some good values on the bright pink and black linens we found. It's kind of a "Goth Barbie" look that we're currently sporting on the floor.

Anyway, we had a fun first night eating dinner on the dining room floor and sleeping on our bouncy floor beds. (Thank goodness kids are so adaptable.)

Monday morning came and we decided to stop by my daughter's school to see if there was any information about enrollment, registration, when the first day was, etc. Well, it's a good thing we did because we learned that her first day of school was scheduled for the very next day (today, Tuesday!) So we had to do the NASCAR dash back to the house for the important paperwork that we needed (birth certificate, immunizations, etc.)and then we ran to Target yet again for the extremely thorough school supplies list.

As an aside, I'm fully aware that I'm a grown woman, but I still get really really excited about getting school supplies. There's just something about all of the brand new pencils and notebooks and markers -- they represent the hope of new and exciting things to come. And while my daughter wasn't exactly thrilled to be starting school on her third day of state residency, the cool new backpack and bright new supplies certainly took the sting out of it.

I know I haven't mentioned food in a while, so I will share our fun and exciting lunch experience from yesterday. We stopped off at a nearby bagel shop, as all of us in the family are big bagel fans. (admittedly we were skeptical about what a mid-West bagel might be like, as we are somewhat particular (insert "picky") about what constitutes a GOOD bagel) Well, let me tell you, this place did not disappoint. They were sensational, and it turns out that the owner is good-bagel-savvy as well, and has spent years perfecting the whole "boil and bake" process. We were delighted with the results, not to mention the beautiful creation of his that is chocolate chocolate chip cream cheese. Heaven.

So we're ready to leave, and we decide to buy a dozen bagels to take home with us. We start telling the guy what flavors we want, and he says, "If you take all of them, you can have them for half price." And we're like, "Are you serious?!" To which he replied, "Well, we close in 10 minutes and we need to get rid of them." So we said, "Great! We'll take 'em all!"

Well, little did we know that they had somewhere around 120 bagels left! The guy starts filling up big paper bags, and then more paper bags, and then more paper bags, and this point we're saying to ourselves, "What have we gotten ourselves into?!" When all was said and done the owner only charged us for 4 dozen, and we joked that they were working against themselves since now we wouldn't be coming back for a few months! When we got home we had a "bagel repackaging party" and now the freezer looks like it was invaded by the "Eat Bagels Daily Task Force." We're thinking we might introduce ourselves to our neighbors with bags of bagels in hand....

So that was a really fun experience, as was the evening, which was filled with sorting, labeling, and our first experience boiling pasta at this altitude. We knew that water boils faster at a lower temperature here, and that was evident almost immediately as my husband walked away from the stove for a minute and steam starting rising up from the pot and the water was suddenly boiling away and threatening to run over the sides. We learned, as a result, that boiled things take longer to cook here, and then we had the challenge of figuring out how to drain noodles without a colander! Where are our tennis rackets when we need them?!

Overall we're getting settled, we're having fun, and we're trying to accomplish things like getting a phone number, opening a bank account, registering the kids for sports and activities, and exploring the neighborhood. We're living in a gorgeous, very well maintained area just outside of Boulder, and there are times when we still can't believe it when we look out the window and see majestic mountains rising up on the horizon. The scenery is so beautiful, and a constant reminder that these mountains were here long before we were, and they will be here long after we're gone. That concept alone helps to put things in perspective and cut down considerably on the stress level.

Deep Thought For The Day:
(I'm currently being plagued by a "getting used to the altitude" headache so this may be short.)

I was talking with a friend on the phone yesterday and she asked me how the kids were doing with the move - were they scared, were they nervous about starting a new school, how were they doing with sleeping on the floor without their stuff around them....and I answered her truthfully, that the kids are doing beautifully and having a great time. I told her that since we always try to laugh and have fun wherever we are, we bring the fun with us to wherever we go. So while not having our furniture could be one of those things that could be difficult to deal with, we're making it fun by camping out on the floor, by finding the humor in things like getting caught in a rainstorm while we were out walking yesterday, and looking at the good things in life and being grateful, rather than focusing on what we may not have at the moment.

I sincerely hope that this is an attitude that the kids take with them wherever they go in life. Most of the time we can't control our outside circumstances, but we can control ourselves and the way we look at things. With rare exception, there is always a positive side to situations, and often it's up to us to find it.

Glass half full? Glass half empty? I'm just happy to have a glass.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Travel Blog - Day 6

Day 6
August 15, 2009


Well, not exactly. We made it to Boulder, but it’s really late (even with that additional hour we gained) so we’re staying in an extremely cool and hip hotel tonight and we’ll start moving into the rental house tomorrow. We learned that our moving truck won’t be arriving for at least 7 or 8 more days, so we’re off to Target tomorrow to purchase some air mattresses!

Anyway, today was a long one in the car. We started off the morning with a fun dip in the pool, then we headed out from Iowa and drove the entire length of the state of Nebraska. It’s about how you’d imagine it: corn fields, cows, a few horses, a lot of hay stacks, some beautiful fields of something green blowing in the wind, more corn, some very cool looking wind turbines, and lot of signs for bizarre sites and tourist attractions. On our first leg we encountered another one of those soaking rainstorms (which we’re pretty much used to by now), but it wasn’t too long and most of the day was spent under partly sunny skies.

The day is pretty much a blur – I know we stopped for lunch, then I drove for a while (uneventfully thank you very much), we stopped again briefly for gas and the restroom, and we stopped one more time for fruit before the final 3 hour stretch which took us into Colorado.

When we finally hit the state border we all cheered, sang a rousing Shehecheyanu, and enjoyed looking around at our new home surroundings. In the distance we could see a huge black cloud with rain sheeting down from it, and then the lightning show began.

Again, we saw giant bolts light up the sky and it was really quite a spectacle. Luckily we only passed through a tiny bit of the storm, but we got to see all of the fireworks from afar.

(Now, just as an aside, Boulder claims to have 300 days of sunshine per year. When we were visiting over Memorial Day weekend, it rained torrentially for the 3 days. And today, we drove into the area passing through a thunderstorm. I think I’m going to start keeping track of the sunny days starting tomorrow and we’ll see what the real story is….)

Anyway, we’re here, the kids are sound asleep and we will be following suit as soon as I stop typing! So grateful and happy to be here, and that the trip was such a special and memorable experience.

P.S. License plate count: 47. The ones eluding us are Louisiana, New Hampshire, and Hawaii. We’re going to keep playing tomorrow and see if we can get those.

Deep thought for the day:
I’m sure I have some deep thoughts but I’m so tired that I can’t keep my eyes open. The only deep thought I have upon arrival is………..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……..

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Travel Blog - Day 5

Travel Blog – Day 5
Today was a great (and exhausting) day. The morning consisted of one more quick trip to the beach (very difficult to leave), a flurry of packing up, and the beginning of what was supposed to be a reasonable time in the car trip to Dyersville, Iowa. About 30 minutes in we hit some very nasty traffic, but luckily our trusty GPS was able to detour around the mess and put us into slightly less nasty traffic. There was road construction everywhere, and although we all stayed relatively cheery through it all, tempers began to flare just a bit as we crawled along I-90.

By the way, I forgot to mention yesterday the interesting, somewhat mind-blowing concept of crossing over a time zone while driving. For example, yesterday we left Michigan at 1:30 pm, drove for 90 minutes, and landed in Chicago at 2:00 pm. It was so cool because we felt like we gained an extra hour to play! Then of course, on the way back we lost said hour, but it was dark by then so it didn’t really matter.

Anyway, once the road opened up there was the usual singing and frivolity in the car, calling out things that we saw along the way like sheep, horses, cool buildings, and of course, CORN!!!

I now know why it’s so cheap and easy to produce and use high fructose corn syrup – the stalks are EVERYWHERE! As far as the eye can see, on both sides of the road for hundreds and hundreds of miles. I was amazed by the vastness of the fields and the massiveness of it all. We started doing the Bubba Gump shrimp bit about corn -cornbread, corn pudding, cornflakes, etc. etc. We even decided that we want to try growing our own corn once we get a yard. Keep you posted…

Moving on….we made a quick stop to refuel the car and the tummies, and headed back out on the road. Guess whose turn it was to drive again?


Through no fault of my own (and the other members in the car will back me up on this) pretty much immediately after we started off the exit we needed to take was closed due to more construction, and since there was no indicated detour, we ended up going a little bit out of our way. This route took us through even MORE construction, and then thankfully our wonderful, glorious, tremendous GPS got us back on the right track. At this point we were anxiously watching the clock because we knew that the main attraction of the day, the Field of Dreams field closed at 6:00and our ETA was showing 5:15. We needed to move it!

One more very quick stop along the way for batteries for the camera (they died a tragic death on the way out of Chicago the night before) and we finally staggered our way through the twists and turns of the roads along the cornfields of Dyersville, Iowa.

And then….there they were. The baseball field and the farm house from the 1989 movie Field of Dreams.


Now, to some of you this may seem like a corny (sorry, no pun intended) thing to go and see. But Field of Dreams is one of my all-time favorite movies, we quote it all the time in our house, and I’ve always loved the message of listening to your inner voice and making your own dreams come true. The magic of the movie, with all of the characters having their unresolved dreams realized, has always resonated with me, and I feel that the movie is really beautiful on many levels.

So we drive up, we’re all sooo excited, and amongst the many other excited tourists we get to play ball on the field, run the bases, walk into the corn field, take pictures everywhere (I will post them, I promise), and of course I’m running around re-enacting every scene that I can!! In the middle of it all, an entire wedding party comes walking down to the field – veiled bride, white-tied groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and family members, and start taking photos all around the field, on the bleachers, in front of the sign – it was fantastic!

We stayed there as long as we could, picked up some souvenirs and then reluctantly got back into the car for the final stretch of the day which would bring us to Des Moines.

We watched the sun go down on our way, we stopped for what was truly one of the best meals I have ever had (Highway 63 Diner in Waterloo, IA), and thanks to the magic of a DVD playing on a laptop, we made it to our hotel with everyone still feeling friendly toward one another. Whew!

Another great day, although we’re all feeling a bit stiff and sore from so much time in the car. Looking forward to a good night’s sleep.

P.S. License plate total: 42. We’re hoping to get a few more tomorrow…

Deep thought for the day:
It’s a simple one. Dreams do come true. That’s the message of the Field of Dreams movie, and being there on the actual field reminded me of that. I also remember saying long ago that someday I was going to visit that field. I didn’t know when or how it was going to happen, but I knew that somehow, someday I would. And today, 20 years after I first saw the movie, it happened, and it was better than I could have imagined. I got to share this amazing “dream come true” moment with my husband and kids on the way to our new life, and it was truly an experience that I will always treasure. And as it says in the movie, “If you build it, he will come.” Meaning, if you can dream it, you can do it.

Whatever your dream is, go and build it. Then watch and see what comes.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Travel Blog - Day 4

Day 4
August 13, 2009
I can’t believe it is Day 4 already! This trip is flying by much more quickly than I had expected, and we realized that we’re not taking nearly enough photos!

Today started out beautifully. Everyone was rested and ready for another exciting day. After a quick trip to a very cool grocery store (with the nicest cashier I have ever met), and some leisurely hanging out time, we headed into Chicago.

What a great city! None of us had ever really been there before and we had a great time walking around. We got the chance to meet up with a very dear friend of ours who used to live in Boston, and that was an extremely lucky and impromptu occurrence in the middle of our trip. She walked us over to the Museum of Science and Industry and we went to the Harry Potter Exhibition. It was FANTASTIC!! I won’t say anything about it, because it’s going to be touring around the country, but for any fans of the books and/or movies, it’s really terrific.

We then dragged our exhausted carcasses to a wonderful dinner downtown, and managed to make the 90 minute drive back to Michigan with only one of us falling asleep in the car. The day ended with a quick trip to the beach to see the shooting stars and then everyone falling into bed!

P.S. License plate total: 41. We’re getting close…

Deep thought for the day:
The word of the day today is: grateful. Today I feel so grateful for the experiences that we’re having and the opportunities that are presenting themselves along the way. I’m so thankful for the support and hospitality of our family and friends, and for all that they have done to help us begin this new chapter of our lives. Most of all, I feel blessed and thankful that we are able to make this exciting journey, and that it’s not all about the destination.

I saw a great proverb on a card in the museum gift shop and I think it’s worth sharing:
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it turned into a butterfly.

Good words to remember.

Travel Blog - Day 3

Day 3
August 12, 2009
Not too much to report today. It was a vacation day in every sense of the word. Everyone slept in, we spent the morning exploring the lovely town center, had a fantastic lunch, took a quick nap (yeah!), and then headed to the beach. We all had a ton of fun playing in the water and on the sand. Dinner was back at the house, the kids happily playing with the neighboring kids, and the grown-ups sharing stories about cabbage. (you just never know what interesting topics are going to come up!) The glorious day ended with stargazing and a festival of s’mores made over the fire pit on the back patio. It’s wonderful to remember what real relaxing feels like. We all agree that we definitely need to do more of this!

P.S. No new license plates today. Count is holding steady at 34.

Deep thought for the day:
Well, the thing that kept going through my head as the kids played on the beach was a reminder that kids don’t need toys, electronics, TV shows, etc. to have a good time. Sure, these things are fun (not to mention extremely helpful on long car trips) and I wouldn’t want to abandon them, but it was so affirming to watch the kids playing in the sand, jumping waves, giggling and smiling for all they’re worth, without a toy or gadget in sight. Given the chance, they will make up their own games, where each person has a role and no one is arguing over whose turn it is with whatever toy is the favored one at the moment.

And even though kids will say, “I want this latest thing,” or “So-and-so has this toy,” etc., they don’t need them. They do however, need time and space to cultivate their creativity, exercise their imaginations, and figure out solutions to problems. Who wouldn’t rather spend an afternoon slaying dragons or searching for buried treasure than upping a score on a meaningless videogame? In our society today it gets harder and harder to get kids away from the screens and into unstructured play time. But when we’re all grown up, with responsibilities and deadlines and mandatory obligations, isn’t that what we miss the most?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Travel Blog - Day 2

August 11, 2009
I awaken to the sound of my 9 year old son whispering to me, “Are you up?” Clearly I wasn’t, but for his sake I lift my head about an inch off of the pillow (which was all of the energy I could muster) and reply, “Why are you up?” He proceeds to tell me how long he’s been up and how well he slept, and all I think of is how poorly I had slept and how much I would LOVE to sleep for a few more hours. My husband (who wasn’t up either) sent him out of the room with strict instructions to remain quiet until the rest of the house was up.

(I won’t mention the mayhem that ensued once the 5 year old realized his new friend was awake too, but suffice it to say that “quiet” wasn’t on the boys’ agenda.)

Anyway, we eventually get ourselves together, have a guffaw-filled breakfast, and get ready to hit the road again. Once again, we cram bodies in among our stuff (thankfully we are now down some baby and big brother gifts) and we’re off to our next destination, our friends who live on Lake Michigan.

After the intense humidity of Ohio, we can’t wait to experience the cool breeze of the beach. But we’re still five hours away so we settle for the continued blasting of the air conditioner. Activities of this leg of the trip include more DS playing, more scouting of license plates, everyone's playing now!) a phone interview for my husband (during which the kids were silent on pain of being strapped to the top of the car), a few phone calls catching up with people…and then, we’re just starting to talk about when we’ll stop for lunch, and we see a huge bolt of lightning crackle out of the sky at what looks to be only about 100 yards away from us. Once again, torrents of rain come crashing down, the wind is blowing fiercely, and the lightning show is filled with the biggest and brightest streaks I’ve ever seen. Again, for several minutes we can’t see a thing, and we consider taking to the side of the road, but thankfully this one was slightly shorter than yesterday’s and it subsides to steady rain for the next ten minutes or so. Welcome to Indiana!

By the time we pull into a rest stop for lunch, the sun is shining and the air is so humid it’s like walking through soup. My daughter points out a fabulous bumper sticker that says, “Bahstin Bumpah Stickah – it’s fer the cah.” We are all standing there laughing and the owner comes up and we share a moment of being recently displaced Bostonians – she was on her way to moving to California, and we were on our way to moving to Colorado. It was a very cool moment, and reminded us that indeed, there are Red Sox fans everywhere!

Lunch is consumed, potty breaks are taken, car is fueled, and we’re off once again. My turn to drive.

Those of you that know me also know my attitude about driving. Those of you that don’t know me just need to know that, well, driving isn’t my favorite thing to do. Never has been (and don’t even get me started on parallel parking!). But I know that it’s the right and fair thing to do, and that my husband needs and deserves a break so I’m up to the task.

I will spare you all the gory details, but suffice to say that within 20 minutes of me driving, the strong wind blowing combined with the close proximity of many a semi, we all had adrenaline pumping wildly into our systems and it was a good 10 minutes before our heartbeats returned to normal.

Aaaaanyway, we’re all fine, we’re going along, hubby is reading out loud to the kids, we see lots and lots of cornfields, we cross over into Michigan, and at long last (and thankfully in one piece) we end up at the house of my husband’s best friend from high school, his wife, and their 5 and 3 year old boys.

General jocularity is had by all, and after dinner we walk the few yards it takes to get to their private beach on Lake Michigan.

One word:


The sun is setting in a pink and orange sky over blue waves that are pounding along the sand. My kids immediately jump into the water, and I follow, amazed that the water is actually warm. As we watch the sun descend we search for sea glass, run along the water’s edge, and then my son decides that the water is so nice that he must go for a swim. He dives in, fully clothed, and the two other boys immediately follow suit. Everyone is smiling and laughing and having an absolutely spectacular time, and it’s one of those times when you feel like the world stops for a moment, and everything is just as it should be and you’re so happy and grateful to be alive. What a perfect way to continue our journey of fun and discovery.

P.S. License plate total: 34 (not including the three bonus ones we saw from 3 different Canadian provinces)

Deep thought for the day:
(I’m very tired so I hope this comes out somewhat intelligibly.)

It’s very cool to see people who have chosen to live their lives in a certain way. City people who choose to go and live by a beach. Small town people who seek out the dynamism of a big city. People who have the courage to break away from their assumptions about other people and places and embrace the world with open arms.

We all know people who were born in one place, live there their whole lives, and never really get beyond the limits of their town and the ideas and ideals that are expressed and valued there. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I often wonder about what these people are missing. It’s a huge world out there – even our own country is enormous, and it seems like if we take the time to go walking in someone else’s shoes, even for a little while, we can be more sympathetic to their issues and realize that there’s not only one way of living life that’s “right.” I also think that the more sheltered and closed off people become, the smaller their world becomes. And when your world is small, your own (often miniscule) problems become magnified and we lose sight of the bigger picture. We become less accepting of people who are unlike “us,” and fail to recognize the beauty in diversity.

Rachie's Travel Blog - Day 1

Hi there – Rachie here. This is my first attempt at a blog. It was suggested to me that I keep track of our westward trek as we move our family (sans job and sans house) from Boston to Boulder. I have no idea what will happen along the way, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be an interesting adventure!

Day 1
August 10, 2009
We started our journey from my parents’ house in Huntingdon Valley, PA, after staying there for the previous 7 days. The car was packed to the gills when we arrived, and we now had even more items to bring with us (mostly non-perishable foodstuffs that my mother kept adding to our already overfilled bags) on our journey. My amazing husband is struggling outside on the driveway, doing a yeoman’s job at the final round of “Trunk Tetris.” After much rearranging, bungeeing, and extreme amounts of sweating, we get everything in….and then hear our 10 year old daughter say, “Wow! It’s amazing there’s anything at all on the moving truck!”

We cram the kids in, their pillows and backpacks making a convenient barrier between them on the bench seat, I take my place in the passenger seat surrounded by various gifts and oddly shaped packages around my legs and on my lap, and we are, as they say, off like a herd of turtles.

Our journey begins, and we are so excited we can’t contain our energy! We’re singing along with music, we’re dancing in our seats, we’re chatting away and having a ball. After a while, we each settle into our own activities – the kids buried in their respective DSs, hubby J chilling out and driving, and me eagerly beginning the license plate game (in which, despite my enthusiastic invitations, the kids have absolutely no interest).

All is going well, we’re making terrific time, we make a quick stop for lunch, hop back into the car, go a bit further, make an even quicker stop for gas, and we’re on the road again.

At this point, we’re just outside of Pittsburgh and J and I decide that any moment now we’ll switch and I’ll drive for a while. We’re about to stop, and then we notice the enormous black cloud just a few yards in the distance. After about 2 more minutes, the mother of all thunderstorms descends upon us. Huge bolts of lightning cut across the sky, the wind is whipping all around the car, and the windshield wipers are no match against the driving sheets of rain. (Apparently God felt that a massive thunderstorm would cause less damage than me driving!)

We consider pulling over (as many cars do), but we press on through, and in a few more minutes the storm subsides to a steady rain.

We make it to Shaker Heights without further incident, and joyfully greet our oldest and dearest friends, their 5 year old son (my godson) and their 11-day-old baby girl. We have a fantastic time, talking and laughing until well past midnight.

As I climb into futon, I am filled with joy, as our first day has been so happy, easy, and fun. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

P.S. License plate count: 28

Deep thought for the day:
As we were getting ready to leave Pennsylvania, I noticed that I had very strong sense of feeling unburdened and unencumbered. I felt as though a heavy weight had been lifted off of my shoulders and that without the heaviness within/around me, anything was now possible!

I realized that this heaviness had been something that I had been carrying around for the past few years. It’s not that I was unhappy where I had been, but I certainly felt dissatisfied in many aspects of my life, and through choices I had made, I had gotten myself stuck in a pattern of not being true to myself. I am so grateful for this opportunity to make a fresh start for me and for the rest of my family. I’m thrilled to be showing my kids that if a situation isn’t right, they can make the choice to take control over it and change it. We are in control of the decisions we make in life, and since this is the only life we get there is no point in spending even one day being unhappy. One of my goals in this journey is to actively seek joy, and thankfully I’m finding it all around me.