Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hard To Say Goodbye

Hi all,

Although there was internet at the new house, I didn't get my laptop out. But me all starts Sunday night...

During the icecream social with the neighbors we heard a crashing out the window. Deer! But we couldn't see anything. At about 11, I was curled up in bed when housemom came knocking on my door:

"Steph! Are you still awake?!"
"Of course...what's up?"
"I heard a deer outside..." (she wandered into the living room) "...but when I came's huge!"

Yup. Definitely wasn't a deer. It was a cow. Happily munching away on our strawberry patch. "What do we do?!?" housemom wanted to know. Well, it wasn't going to eat tomatoes. That's for sure. So I went outside and started to approach it. It sniffed my hand (I'm used to horses, ok?), and ambled off down the road a bit as a car pulled up. Thankfully, it was Sam and one of the farming co-workers. He was not pleased. He asked me to go get a rope and then freaked out a bit when I started to walk up to the cow, until we turned the flashlight on and he saw which one it was. (Apparently some are not so nice, and 4 have a calf.)

So I went and opened the gate and he shooed it in. Then we found the second cow. And Sam found the hole in the fencing, shortly after almost being run down. So I went with the farm co-worker to get his boots, and then a new battery and more electric fencing. I'm not exactly sure what all happened (he did get a good hand-numbing shock from the car battery, and was running around the pitch-dark field with a headlamp on...) but by 11:45 the situation was called ok. As I told him: at least this will give me something to blog about.

I may have turned into one of those types of people. Oh dear.

Anyhow, we managed to leave at 10:40 Monday morning. During the next 8 hours we listened to 2.5 books on tape (Magic Treehouse and 2 Boxcar children...), I doled out countless snacks, we took several potty breaks, went through 2 states with tolls, had the younger cat meowing off and on - the older one was napping within 5 minutes, old pro - and sang along to a children's cover of Beatles' songs. Yellow Submarine twice.

Meanwhile, Sam and the other co-worker drove in the quiet, but bouncy moving truck.

It got to be a little much at the end - everyone was ready to get there! And we did. And it's ginormous. Which spellcheck has accepted as being a real word. Anyhow, it was a bit past 6 o'clock and so we unloaded the bare essentials quickly. We walked to their little beach nearby and took a very quick dip in the ocean...brrrrr! Luckily, as we'd run out the door in the morning, I'd realized that we'd forgotten to grab the meatballs and sauce that I'd prepared for dinner. While housemom was cooking dinner, Sam and I went out to buy some "beverages". It would've taken 35 minutes had we made all the right turns.

Obviously, we didn't.

I was driving and got directions from the main road. Unfortunately, it started out with a wrong turn before we got there, about 5 minutes lost. We found a store and everything was going great until we couldn't find that main side road. We eventually found it, not having driven past it. We turned onto it and drove. And drove some more....and more...and yeah. After about 20 minutes we turned around and called to say we'd be rather late. We were at an hour at this point. Then we proceeded to look on the wrong side of the road for about a half hour, missing the turnoff at least 3 times. It was hysterically funny, and we were cheerfully cracking jokes the entire time. I usually hate being lost, but really, what could we do? We knew we'd find it eventually.

And we did.

The children had been put to bed (it was about 9:45 by this point...) and luckily it was a normal house - it had a microwave. Ooh, ahhh. Did I mention this is the first time in 6 months that I've been away from the village for more than 12 hours?! We were pretty tired afterward and went to bed after chatting with housemom for a while and abandoning a movie.

After a cold cereal breakfast we got to work unpacking the truck. Well, I ended up taking the children (2/3 anyhow) for about 1.5 hours to a small pond to fish - the 4 year old's obsession - and then to clamber around on the rocks down at the beach. This was apparently helpful, as most of the truck was unpacked by the time we came back at 11:15. I helped with the tail end of things and we were done by early afternoon with a lunch break. We then helped to arrange everything that couldn't be lifted by 1 person and were done around 5. The children were out with housedad so we were able to have some quiet constructive time.

Sam and I accompanied housemom to go buy fresh lobsters (yum!!!) while the other co-worker opted for another frigid ocean dip. We also went to a convenience store and picked up oats and another item. When we got back to the house we put the water on to boil (steamed them), got some veggies roasting and I quickly threw a peach/blueberry crisp together. I've never gotten to cook lobster before, and it was an interesting (and amusing) process. We took a lot of pictures with Sam's camera, and I'll hopefully post them on the slideshow sometime tomorrow. And it was delicious. I had a "softshell" lobster which are apparently sweeter. And I now know how to sex a lobster. Although the "eggs" in mine probably would've given it away...

It was a truly superb dinner.

The kids came in to help pick their mom's clean and to gobble up dessert. I had a nice time chatting with Sam while the other co-worker was reading about the islands around and housemom put the kids to bed. We all had a bonfire together and I roasted my first organic marshmallow. Gross. It had this terrible grainy texture when it melted, and was a bit like packing peanuts raw. I'll take Jetpuff any day...

Since the beds were set up differently, I ended up having a "sleepover" with the eldest child, in her extra twin bed. When I came down the next morning I explained that I'd been woken up with her creepily standing at the bed (I yelled "WHAT!? - Oh god, you scared me..." and mumbled on a bit apparently), but hadn't been sure if it'd just been an incredibly vivid dream and I'd woken myself up sleep talking. Nope, really happened. She'd apparently woken up confused and wanted to make sure I was the other person in the bed. So after we'd both been thorough confused and frightened we both fell back asleep.

I was up at 8 and after a nice pancake breakfast we were on the road by 9:30. The goodbyes were hard, but I fully intend on making a visit sometime. It may be a while, but I feel it will happen. We pulled up to the house at 5:15. It was a long haul to have 3 people scrunched into the cab, although I mostly was the one in the middle with no leg room. But we survived in good spirits, I think.

It's strange to have the new family moved in (new housemom will be called Hum, and housedad will be Hather (since Dum just sounds mean...)) and will take some arranging on both sides. The house will continue to run as before, but I'm sure changes will be made over time. At least we'll have some voice in them. It probably won't be easy, but the next chapter is ready to start.

I'll miss the children and housemom tremendously, and I'll appreciate the way that they've enriched and broadened my lifeview and carry them around in a pocket of my heart.

Hope all is well,

It'll be very strange

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