Moved in… sort of still moving!
For anyone considering a staged move, I’m not sure I’d recommend it. We have survived with our sanity in tact. Mostly. But the reality is moving has been tough on all of us. I planned to write updates along the way, share funny stories, and all that jazz. The truth, however, has been that I’ve been physically and emotionally exhausted beyond it all.
In April, K left to find a job in Wisconsin. With ALL of our stuff. E and I moved in with my mom and hung out while she was in Africa. Then we shipped my car to Seattle, and flew down a week later. A lovely HiB mama picked us up and took us to the office to get our car. And the road trip began.
Two nights in Portland with one of my dearest mama friends who moved down from AK a few months before. Three nights outside of Missoula with family. A night in a hotel. Without a pool. E was unimpressed, and truthfully so was I.
But dinosaurs! Dinosaurs at the Museum of the Rockies saved the day. A night in Spearfish with another awesome HiB friend. And toys! The weather didn’t cooperate, so no hikes, but the boys played. And that turned out to be more important. A night at a hotel WITH a pool in Sioux Falls – sort of a disaster. ha! And then a long day on the road and landing at my in laws. We were there for almost 2 months while we waited to close on our house. And I think we were all ready.
Moving is hard. Life with kids is hard. Add them together with the other variables in our lives, and it’s a madhouse. But, we finally found a house that ticked off most of the boxes. And it has a fabulous backyard on acreage that’s almost unheard of back in Anchorage.
And we are slowly moving in and unpacking. Slowly making a few updates (like painting wood paneling and adding in a shower to the bath upstairs). And slowly getting used to living away from mountains.
I was expecting some West Coast homesickness, but not to this extent. Still, whether we live here for 5 years or 50, we’ve found a great community to land in. Crime happens here, but nothing like back in Anchorage. You can (gasp!) forget to lock your door and your car isn’t automatically rifled through. We miss it there though and it will always, always be home.
Plus we live right off a key trail and can go for runs, walks, bike rides, etc. And there are two great parks within walking distance. Or there will be once they replace one of the playgrounds.
And the fire department rescues cats. That’s a hilarious story for another time. BUT, suffice it to say when I called for animal control for advice, they sent out the cavalry. Not my cat, by the way. Someone else’s stuck in one of our enormous trees, which left me with a serious case of cat guilt. So I called. And they came. Our cats would have learned a big lesson. Possibly still.
And little man is already 4. FOUR! I’m the mother of a 4 year old. At 35 I’m definitely far from the younger moms here. I miss my village. But things are coming together. And once E starts school (next week!) I think I’ll be able to chase that mythical unicorn balance again. Maybe. We’ll see. Moving on… 🙂
Back to you soon with more. xoxo.
EDIT: To the “lovely” person who left a comment saying that they’re glad to see us gone since I happened to mention I don’t miss the crime in Anchorage, you don’t know me. 🙂 BOY, do I love getting to say “You don’t know me!” There are some choice words that I have to say to you about what a “REAL” Alaskan is. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Although moving out of Alaska was our choice, it was to get ahead of the challenges our family was facing in terms of jobs. We’ve chosen (twice now) to make Alaska our home, and if we can make the economics work, we’ll be back again one day.
But not missing the crime doesn’t make us anti-Alaskan or “cheechakos,” rather it makes us hard-working people who enjoy being able to enjoy the fruits of our labor. So, “Kasilof Cate,” perhaps we should have a conversation about what it means to be a REAL Alaskan. The Alaska that I know, love, and grew up in is about community. About supporting one another’s choices, about paying good deeds forward. And about a welcoming spirit.
More than that though, finding the good in a new place doesn’t mean I’m “dissing” the old. Instead it means that I’m looking to find joy in the small things, and to bloom where I’m planted. I’m fortunate enough to have gratitude for the good I find.