as i drove my subaru into chapel hill for the first time, i played two songs:
- wagon wheel - OCMS
- graceland - paul simon
it is remarkable that memphis became such a home for mr cs, riga and myself. there was no reason it should feel so welcoming. again and again, mr cs and i were confronted with conflicting values, astounding cultural quirks and shaky personal relationships. we dealt with all of that, plus oppressive airfare and unbearable distances from our families, and still fell head over heels in love with the city. it does not make sense. but paul simon was right.
my head knows that this new chapter in chapel hill will be a great one. it has already demonstrated - in just six days of residency - that it’s prepared to fight for my love. and that’s excellent; i like being wooed. who doesn’t?
still, as week two begins in our new home, i am lethargic and ambivalent about unpacking. my heart isn’t in this yet.
also unpacking is way worse than packing. i have no idea where 3/4 of this stuff should go in the new house. this could go own for weeks with no resolution!
my final looks at memphis:
our last meal in memphis, just like our first, was at swankys taco shop. i actually sent mr cs to go buy muddy’s cupcakes right after we ordered so we could enjoy our favorite dessert, too. i am shameless.
little miss riga on her third birthday. she quickly learned that air mattress meant no-limits-on-morning-family-snuggles. as a birthday surprise, we stuffed her in a car for 10 hours…sorry riga!
yes, we took our most-impressive hostas with us. hey, mr cs made me leave my compost, so this was a good deal. no compost, but keep the compost product. now let’s just hope the deer in our new neighborhood keep a safe distance (yes, there are deer. we now live in the woods.)
memphis gave us a proper send-off with one last train track crossing in our neighborhood. mr cs and i also have a thing about seeing the front of a train toghether…couples do weird things.
the tools of the road: iced coffee, water and walkie-talkies for our caravan. also, i would normally never drink evian water, but MLGW followed our instructions a little too well and cut power/water to our house several hours before we actually left. thank goodness we had already showered and brushed our teeth!
yes, that is actually the most i saw of riga the whole ride. as things shifted, her crate became more and more obscured from view.
this gorgeous sunset as we entered the mountains was welcoming.
the next morning, we started unpacking the truck. we are indebted to mr cs’s parents and pat, katie’s boyfriend, for their help. we are also thankful they stayed calm when mr cs and i discovered that water had leaked into the truck and damaged a number of things (side note: we do believe the TV is okay). also, several things had been improperly packed by the movers and were therefore broken. a small pity party followed in which i thought very seriously about driving back to memphis. my mental state was pretty fragile at this moment…you know, unemployed, exhausted, wet, with no answers to anything and no clue how to actually make our new house work for us. fact: there is only one drawer in our kitchen. one. try unpacking your kitchen with those limitations and get back to me.
why yes, that is a hole in my preserved-wedding-dress box.
you’ll notice this box is clearly marked fragile and it is also clearly crushed.
but mr cs saved the day. for dinner, he drove us out of town (rather hilariously in circles) to this hole-in-the-wall mexican joint. and i melted when i tasted the best green chili sauce outside of santa fe.
we found our new NPR station and discovered it is (no surprise) 10 zillion times better than memphis. it truly is the small things.
we also had the best DMV experience ever (you’ll recall my experience in memphis was laughable)…as in i fully expect the universe threw me this bone so i wouldn’t explode and every DMV experience after this will be perfectly horrendous. seriously: in and out in 50 minutes. and the people were nice. and they knew what a passport was. hallelujah!
but we are a family. riga has forgiven us for packing her in a car for 10 hours on her birthday and then locking her in a scary bathroom while we unpacked the truck. now she’s just interested in snuggles on the cuddle couch, which are much more frequent now that i’m partially employed and mr cs works from home.
and full-time employment: i’m working on it. end of story. also on my to-do list: find a compost bin on craigslist, continue the impossible task of unpacking, convince our landlords to remodel a bathroom, find riga a new vet, hire an exterminator (or other creative solutions for swarms of mosquitoes), reconnect with good friends (!!!), conquer my fear of the other bathroom and shop for a new/reclaimed door for riga’s doggie door. if you need me, you’ll probably find me haphazardly wandering around my house trying to figure out where to begin.