I had thought I'd be able to write about it along the way, starting with the light switch covers and ending here, today. But it was a tornado inside a tsunami inside a hurricane (kind of like a Turduken; that turkey-duck-chicken monstrosity), and it's hard to type in a Tor-nami-cane.
Fast forward a few months.
We are sort of unpacked. As in, "I found the Christmas ornaments and briquettes, but I have no idea where my bra is". The kids are pretty well settled. Guy loves it here. I... um... I am adjusting. This change has been huge, and, well...
I could pretend I am doing super great, for the sake if this post. But that would be silly and unrealistic. I'm doing better. Better than I was the first week, when I cried most mornings asking "what have we done?", and the second, when my stomach was one giant knot. Sometime in the third week (after I came home from the church in tears from listening to wild local tales of bears, mountain lions and forest fires), my hubby firmly counseled, "We live here now. You need to deal with it."
So I'm trying to "deal". But this has been a very different move for me. It's hard to explain this place, but I'll try.
First, understand that we moved from a series of 5 apartments to our little house in Rancho Cordova, where we could hear our neighbors cough and flush their toilets (and they, ours... Hi Betty and Denise!). The sky was wide and usually blue, the land flat and cluttered with the residue of humanity. The streets were busy; the people, too. It was the only house most of our kiddos could remember, three of them having been born since we lived there, and two of them born right in it.
It was a habit. It was our routine. It was... familiar.
The drive to our new house winds through rolling, golden hills dappled with oak trees and dairy cows, traced here and there by unhurried streams. Soon the terrain becomes steeper, the road windier, the trees closer together. Our little town of 2,310... make that 2,319, has a post office, a burger joint, two vet clinics, two yarn shops, and an actual video rental store (yes, 1987 called. It wants me to rent Sixteen Candles). Our little town does NOT, however, have a stop light.
As the highway bends through town, it climbs uphill, and just on the outer edge of town, there is a street that leads to a road that leads to a lane that turns down a gravel drive. That drive plunges down through the trees that arch over it in a shadowy tunnel, and spills you out into a small clearing. And there it is, a towering chalet-like house framed by what I call "the big, green cage"- sky-scraping pines, broad-armed oaks and shimmery, broad-leafed trees that I can't identify.
The house, a split level complete with 3 stories, an attic and mysterious storage areas that have already been named "The Dungeon", "The Chokey" and "Chokey Junior", sits in a cleft; a shady ravine along side a chattering creek.
A stone's throw from the house there on the 1.3 acre property is a cabin warmed by a wood stove, and a trail behind the house marked by a handmade wooden sign that points the way to Mt. Zion State Park. The woods.
We bought a house in the woods.
My brain vibrates again with the refrain, what were we thinking?
This house, this place, has a certain magic about it. It is a place that makes you catch your breath and whisper "wow" in a sort of reverent, if not slightly overcome way. It's big and green and beautiful. It's also a place that plunges into darkness as the sun disappears behind the ridge, and that comes alive in the dark with the calls of unseen critters.
It's a place that wakes well before dawn, every bird in the forest gathering almost on my windowsill in a bellowing clamor to see if they can out-chirp each other before the first light of day. The mosquitoes are plentiful and ravenous, the neighbors quiet and hidden away in the trees. The sky, most mornings, is a little angry and grey. Though technically "up", the sun doesn't peek over the eastern hillside until about 9:30 in the morning. And that brooding sky isn't kidding either. Since moving here a month ago there have been several rainy days, and just this past Saturday, in early June, it rained, thundered, lightning-ed, hailed and then... snowed. Briefly. But still!!!
We left our home of 14 years.
Our charter school, our friends, our church family.
Change is hard.
And I'm a bit of a wimp.
But I'm "adjusting".
And I have to because
We Are Here.