Unsettled

I’ve talked about this a bit amongst my friends and family. But I’m just going to put it out there officially: I DON’T LIKE IT HERE. Everyone I come across seems to have moved here from somewhere else in the country, or every from other countries. And everyone tells me “oh, you’re going to love it here!” Ok, why? Why does everyone love it here? Traffic is absolutely atrocious, day and night. If you such as need to run to the store for 1 or 2 forgotten items, it takes at least 45 minutes. It’s urban, but things are spaced so far apart, with a thick strip of trees between everything to make it appear more rural. All the roads are twisty, making it also take longer to get from one place to another. There’s no direct route for anything. People are nice most of the time in public, but no one seems to want to create a real friendship. (I know some of the is the pandemic, I don’t need reminded).

I used to think living in a bigger town/city would be more convenient. With more things to do and a bigger variety of people to meet and befriend. More career opportunities and a better overall environment. I was completely wrong. It’s simply not for me. I want a smaller town. Where businesses are all within a couple miles of each other, and you can go for pleasant walks in your own neighborhood without cars flying past at 60mph. I want familiar faces instead of a constantly changing sea of strangers. I want a bank and doctors office that greets you, knowing who you are instead of treating you like “just another person.”

I never in my life thought I’d say it, but I miss Newton. Maybe not Newton specifically, but the culture. The small town, familiar faces, some people know your name, safe, comfortable culture of a smaller town. It’s the kind of place I want to raise Felix. Not the city.

I can’t say I regret coming here to the Raleigh area. I have learned a lot, mostly about myself. It’s something I should have learned earlier in life. But now that I know, I want to find a smaller town to go plant roots. Maybe Iowa, maybe not. Wherever the wind blows Jarrod and me. I love exploring, but I look forward to finding a place that we don’t want to move away from.

Live By The Earth

“Drink water from the spring where horses drink. The horse will never drink bad water.

Lay your bed where the cat sleeps.

Eat the fruit that has been touched by a worm.

Boldly pick the mushroom on which the insects sit.

Plant the tree where the mole digs.

Build your house where the snake sits to warm itself.

Dig your fountain where the birds hide from heat.

Go to sleep and wake up at the same time with the birds – you will reap all of the days golden grains.

Eat more green – you will have strong legs and a resistant heart, like the beings of the forest.

Swim often and you will feel on earth like the fish in the water.

Look at the sky as often as possible and your thoughts will become light and clear.

Be quiet a lot, speak little – and silence will come in your heart, and your spirit will be calm and full of peace.”

Saint Seraphim of Sarov

Beach Day

This happened on May 24, 2020.

North Carolina has many things to do that Iowa does not.  One of those things (and likely my favorite), is BEACHES!!  I adore trips to the ocean.  Since we had been through weeks, or even months of planning, and a long, stressful move, Jarrod and I decided to treat ourselves and the family to a trip to the beach for some fun before resuming normal life.  It just so happened to be Memorial Day weekend, which we weren’t trying to celebrate necessarily.  But we went anyway (except Evan, who decided not to join us).

It is a 2-hour drive from our home to get to the closest beaches.  We drove straight there and found a decent parking spot after a bit of driving around looking. We spent about 3 hours in the water. The beach flag was red, so the water was pretty rough. But we all had a blast! It was exactly what we needed.

Also, this was Felix’s first trip to the ocean. Lots of pictures, but I’ll share only a couple here.

Hello, North Carolina!

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The U-Haul getting all finished up.

Saturday, May 16th at around 4pm, the driving crew set out from Iowa to drive to our new home in North Carolina.  Jarrod, Andy, Cory, Amber C & Amber DC, and their friend Sheila all got into one of our cars and the U-Haul truck (towing our other vehicle), and took off.  Amber DC kept in touch with me along the way, letting me know status updates periodically about the kids and the dog.  Jarrod let me know every time they entered a new state.

Saturday night I had planned on staying at my mom’s house with Evan and Felix.  However, things didn’t work out quite as planned, so Evan ended up staying at a friend’s house, and I ended up staying with a different friend.  Felix did fine overnight, for the first night ever spent away from home.  And the next morning we got ready, and my mom picked up us, and then picked Evan up, and took us all to the airport in Des Moines.  It was a tearful good-bye, and very hard to walk away from my mom.  I knew she and I would miss each other miserably.  After many hugs and tears, we parted ways and we were on our way to our gate.

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Above the clouds and the mountains.

We flew from Des Moines, IA to Charlotte, NC.  And then we switched planes and flew from Charlotte to Raleigh, NC.  It was the first time Evan ever flew, and he swears he will never do it again.  He was not impressed.  It was also the first time Felix flew, and he did amazingly well.  He didn’t cry or complain in any way except for about the last 10 minutes of the first flight, and that was because he was just bored at the end of that 2 hours on my lap.  The second flight went very well too.

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Arrived in Raleigh!

It took the driving crew about 25 hours to make it all the way to our new house.  Once our flight landed in Raleigh, we had to wait about an hour for Jarrod to get the U-Haul parked at our new house and take a car to pick us up.  It was so great to be able to see him again after being apart for a little over 24 hours.

 

When we pulled up, the house looked exactly as it did in the pictures.  However, going inside and looking around, it was a bit dank.  It smelled musty, as though no one had lived there for a few months or so.  There was a bunch of junk on the back deck like old interior doors and broken blinds.  The lawn was long and neglected.  The place wasn’t very clean.  I was pretty unhappy, feeling like I made a mistake in choosing this house for our family home.  However, over the following few days, Jarrod and I cleaned and tidied and arranged our belongings in a way that has really made it come together as our home.

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Our new backyard.

Now that we’ve been here for a couple of weeks, Jarrod and I are both much happier.  Besides a handful of boxes left to unpack, we have everything where we want it to be.  Coming from such a large house into one that is considerably smaller, we had to make some adjustments.  For starters, we had to rent a storage shed for quite a few of our belongings that simply won’t fit into this house.  Our dining table was far too large for our current diningroom, so we had to put it in storage and buy a smaller one (used).  We weren’t able to bring any living room furniture with us in the U-Haul, so we are doing a rent-to-own deal for a sectional couch.  Most everything else we needed I was able to find for free or very cheap on Amazon or Facebook Marketplace.

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Felix enjoying the view out the front windows.

Jarrod has started his general manager training for the restaurant where he was hired.  He will be training for a few weeks, and then he will be managing his own store.  I am still in the process of getting Evan and Cory enrolled in school, and finding a pediatrician and PT for Felix.  Some of that depends on government and school offices opening up again.

I’ve been a little lonely with Jarrod working full time already.  But I know this is a temporary thing.  Eventually life will be able to resume and I’ll be able to set up play dates for Felix again.  And in so doing, I’ll be able to make some mom friends locally.  I really look forward to that.  In the meantime I’m just finishing up the paperwork and registration for all the boys and their various needs.  I’m making our house feel more and more like our home.  And I’m just living our normal life here in North Carolina.  It doesn’t really feel like we are so far away from what we’ve always known.  The biggest difference is that I can’t see family and friends.  But I know they will visit us here, and we will visit in Iowa as well.