So the blog here is mostly about food and nutrition, I use it as my own curated, online recipe box. This comes in very handy when I’m at the store and forgot what I was supposed to get for a meal. I can just look my recipe up online! However, as the title suggests it’s a little about my belief that experiences make up a life and not the things we buy or the house we live in or even our job. Well, for some people it may include their job but not me so much.
I decided around age 25 that I did not want children. For many many reasons, one of them being the ability to be flexible and travel and do things one can’t easily do when they have kids. Around the same time, in college, I chose nursing for my career. Also for many reasons, but one is that nursing allows me a lot of flexibility with my schedule and an ability to move around and have little trouble finding a new job. So this is part of why I became a nurse then, 8 years ago, to be able to take opportunities and travel and such. Except I didn’t move out of my hometown, I had friends and a job I liked where I was, it was easier to stay and it was good that I did stay because I met my now-husband in that town. But none of that took advantage of the choices I made. The story goes: we bought a house, a lovely lovely old house that is now and will always be special to me. This house became my experience. It needed a lot of love and work and I jumped on learning handy things and working to restore a bit of history. My husband however, over the course of 5 years, was not happy in his job and was not having luck finding a comparable new one. Then he got a job offer at Netflix. This is a crucial moment. Stay in the house we both love and planned to retire in (but have a dead-end job hubby doesn’t like) or consider moving and starting all over again.
Here is the leap. I considered my beliefs that the things you have don’t make you happy, not even a house. I considered how unhappy my husband had been though he really had tried many things to try to be happy at his job but wasn’t. I considered the reasons I had chosen not to have children and to become an RN. We considered a lot of things together and end the end, took a big breath and a giant leap and accepted the job. We were moving. After 26 years for me, and his whole life, in Florida we packed up our things and drove out west to California 3 weeks after he got the job.
The transition was not without its problems. We both quit our jobs (gulp) the day after he accepted the job out West. Though Netflix paid for the move and sent very handy movers who packed for us, it was our understanding that if it was in the house, it was getting packed. This required a thorough going through to throw away, give away or sell anything we didn’t want or thought wouldn’t fit our (unknown) living situation after the move. There was also the problem of tying up any loose ends on projects around the house and getting it on the market. We were flying originally so we did the whole special vet visits to get permits to allow the dogs to fly and bought flight crates for them. (there is a story on that later). We planned with our families and friends goodbye dinners and in the worst situation, called up some very good friends of ours who had gone on a 3 week vacation right before we made the decision. This meant that before they left, we had them over for dinner, told them what we were planning but assured them it would be months before anything happened. Then had to call them and tell them we were so sorry we wouldn’t get to see them before we moved. Things were happening very fast. Canceling appointments that had not that long ago been arranged, finding appropriate lawn and other trustworthy maintenance workers for if the house needed anything while we were away, selling our two cars and buying one new one, arranging flights, car rentals and many, many other small things that needed attention. It was frenetic.
Everything kept changing last-minute. First, we were going to have just a month of temp housing provided by Netflix so we could find a place to rent. We thought we wanted to stay in San Francisco for that time to see how that was and possibly settle down there. Then we found out how long the commute would actually be and scrapped that. Start over with finding a place in San Jose. Suddenly, for no known reason, we were allowed two months temp housing. OK. We had assembled the flight crates so that the dogs could get used to them before they flew, unfortunately due to the time-frame, the crates only arrived about 4 days before we left. I had a good-bye dinner with friends and Daniel was out so I put the dogs in their new crates and left. Daniel got home a couple of hours later and let them out and I got home later and we all went to bed. The next afternoon I noticed that the crate our anxious dog was in looked damaged. We had gotten them used so I thought the crate had come that way and I hadn’t noticed. There were puncture holes in the plastic and the metal grate for the air-window was bent. This was very thick metal and I said to myself that surely MY dog didn’t do this, if he had he would have broken a tooth, some other poor dog had a hysterical fit in there. Then I looked just inside the crate bottom and found an entire canine tooth where he had broken it off at the gum line. This was Friday afternoon. We leave on Monday. The Movers were arriving in the morning and no vet was going to do an emergency surgery with such short notice, at least not on our budget! (breathe deeply into this paper bag) We consulted the vet on the phone and decided on a plan to watch the dog, who was eating and drinking fine, and take care of the tooth on the other side. Also, the vet suggested an anti-anxiety med for him which helped a lot. Flights and rental cars got cancelled, our dog would not have made a flight we didn’t think so we began plotting a cross-country driving route that would get us there in time for Daniel’s first day.
The movers arrived Saturday morning and stayed all day just packing, Sunday was loading. At this point I felt very bad for the dogs who had been crated through all the time the movers were there because all the doors were open and they would have been underfoot or lost in the street. So I took them out for a quick jog….where as we were running flat out I became tangled in one of their leashes and fell face first on the street. I like to think I fell gracefully…. I also think I had a small concussion after that with a very bad headache and some dizziness and nausea but I didn’t have time for that. Plus it was Sunday. Again, nobody really available, affordably, to take a look at me. I ached all over, neck, back, right shoulder and knee…I felt like I’d been in a car accident. Through all this various friends and family were coming by to say hi and bye and to help us out which was very nice and good to see them all. Crash to bed that night, in the morning we sell our last car and drive west.
The drive itself was OK. I never ever ever want to do it again though. Oh did I mention through all this I had just began an online BSN program? A decision made and paid for well in advance of our big move. So yes, the week of the drive was my first week of classes. The first thing each morning when we got in the car was to call a hotel in the city we planned to stop and make reservations. We figured out how to link my laptop to the internet through my cell phone and I spent time in the car every day after making reservations doing my school work. The dogs were lounging in the back among the luggage, the anxious one dosed with a little melatonin to keep him calm. Did I mention one of the dogs is a 3 month old puppy? Yes. We had gotten a puppy about a month before the decision to move. A potty training puppy in a cross-country car trip. F.U.N. No melatonin for him since he was so young but thankfully puppies do tend to sleep a lot.
We detoured through Alabama to see my Aunt and then up to Mississippi to visit my Grandma before we officially headed west. Each night we would roll into our stopping destination after 8 or so hours of driving, unpack the whole car, including the luggage rack(wouldn’t want anyone to steal our extra dog-food or luggage!) bring it all into the hotel room and crash. The next morning, re-pack the car and luggage rack, secure everything down again, dose the dog and get in the car again. We had audio books and took plenty of breaks to stretch our legs (and walk the puppy) and I worked on a cross-stitch and we drove and drove. Well, Daniel drove and drove. I didn’t drive at all. We did stop in Arizona to meet with one of my best friends who I hadn’t seen for a long time. We found a restaurant that allowed dogs on the patio and later went to her home and visited some more. It was nice. Finally, after six long days of driving we arrived at our temporary apartment in San Jose. Let the house hunting begin.
I will stop here since this is such a long post. I know I haven’t posted in a while. A lot of sad and tragic things happened between August 2013 and now and I haven’t posted much but maybe I will get caught up and include more of the experiences I have since I’m on a whole new adventure here.
Goodbye until next time, which isn’t goodbye at all…more like see you later!