after a long break in which:
--I survived a season in Naknek while only marginally breaking the bank;
--my paycheck went immediately into a down payment on a house (see below);
--the chickens survived the massacre (part 2) and 5 skunks met their maker;
--Dave bought a new house;
--Dave sold our house;
--we moved from one house to the other;
--the new house got a new paint job on the inside; new windows everywhere; new fences outside, including a new chicken area; a bedroom was built out of the shop in the basement (in one week); etc. etc. etc.;
--the kids started back to school;
--Dave and I started back to school;
--numerous crisps, pies, cobblers, and cookies were made to keep spirits up during all of the above.
When I first came back from Alaska I tried to write about how incredibly hard it is to transition from that world into this one. This is as far as I got:
I've come back home to a flurry of activity--new house bought, old house sold, and all the appointments, paper signing, planning, and stress that goes with such a momentous change--and still I am plagued by the shock of transition from Alaska life to home life. All of this activity swirls around me but I move in slow-motion, trying to re-order all the gears in my brain and body, adjusting to life here, rather than life there.
Actually experiencing the transition only closely rivaled the difficulty of writing about the transition, so that post never made it out of my head. And then all of that internal gymnastics gave way to the blur of moving from one house to another. I didn't even know when I went to Alaska that we'd be moving when I got back. Dave put the bid down on our new house while I was there; I signed reams of mortgage papers in between loading 40-foot containers with 1000 lb. boxes of salmon. Dave sold our existing house to a nice young couple; I signed more papers via fax and internet. I only really finally saw the house the day after coming back home: in a fog of exhaustion and discombobulation I wandered through the new house, trying to sound enthusiastic but only barely able to process the whole enormity of the situation.
I won't go into all the details because it's all over now and I don't particularly want to remember much of it. It's not fun moving. Need I say more?
However, now we are in the house, it is almost completely moved into (the boxes in the corner of the family room in the basement are just going to have to wait for a rainy day), we all love it and remarkably I feel like I'm where I meant to be until retirement, at the earliest. It's a lovely neighborhood, quiet and full of sweet neighbors. The kids have lots of friends in the area, it's not much farther away from their schools, and it has just enough more room than the old house to make the looming prospect of two teenagers seem bearable.
I haven't wanted to write, play the banjo, bake (other than in survival mode when moving), knit, or do anything other than clean, unpack, clean some more, and keep food flowing. I'm happy to say that I finally want to embark on all those activities which make me feel good. Unfortunately, I am also teaching two sections (fully-enrolled at 35 each) of beginning French. The balancing act has been a difficult one to attain until now, three weeks into the quarter. I think I'll even get the banjo out this week and try to tune it again.