My world is a little upside down and I am loving it.
I moved from my Dad’s house in Central California to Northwest Montana almost 14 years ago. I was “in love” and I had always hated my hometown so when I was asked to move to Montana by my then boyfriend I jumped at the chance. I grew up in the same town as almost all of my family and I was pretty close with most of them. We had holiday traditions and parties and someone to pick you up when you needed a ride; all that stuff that makes family so important and special. This same closeness can seem suffocating sometimes too. I was 20 years old and living on my own sounded good.
I loved Montana. I made a life there. I had some really great friends and knew all the good stores. I loved the mountains and trees. I loved looking at the snow, but I really hated being out in it. I knew how to drive in the snow like it was no big thing. When people asked me if I’d ever move back I told them that I’d never move back to California. Montana had cold winters but the summers are pretty darn nice. California is too hot. California has smog and graffiti. Montana has clean skies and walls (mostly).
A cute alley that was part of our almost nightly walk.
A street on our walking route.
After Lily was born I had moments of sadness that she wasn’t going to grow up knowing her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins like I had but still didn’t want to go back to Cali for all the reasons I just listed and many more.
Then on May 1, 2010 we got some news from a family member that made us think long and hard about life. I believe the conversation went sort of like this**:
Waldo: So this stuff is happening.
Me: Well, that’s something. It’s at times like this that I hate being so far away.
A few days later
M: Well I guess we’re moving back.
During the few days that it took for us to vocalize our decision we made a couple of pro/con lists and it was just about all that we talked about. The only pro/con list that got written down was made that first day. At the top of the pro side was FAMILY. The pro side also had things like going to the zoo on it. The con side was pretty short and lost out no matter what because “family” was hard to beet now that we had Lily.
We had already been planning to drive to Cali for a vacation in mid June so we already had the money for the move put away. Our lease was to renew in June so I was able to put in almost a full 30 day notice. We both work for the same company and really didn’t look forward to getting new jobs. We figured Waldo would be able to find something in the web development field just about anywhere as long as people were hiring. But we doubted we’d be able to find me something comparable; I work a couple of hours a day from home for a good hourly wage on my own schedule, you can’t beat it. Since we both work at computers all day Waldo asked our boss if we could keep our jobs, we didn’t expect them to say yes but we figured it couldn’t hurt to ask. When Waldo’s text came through that they were going to let us keep our jobs I’m pretty sure I had to physically lift my jaw off the floor and then did a few happy-excited screams. Everything fell into place so easily it was like the move was meant to be (if you believe in that kind of stuff, and I do).
On May 24th our friends helped us load the U-haul with the last of our belongings and we left Montana.
All of our stuff.
We took 4 days to drive and it wasn’t too bad. Lily hates being in the car or her seat or not being held or all of it. We bought Lily a few new toys, I made her some snacks and we had some videos for her, this was our strategy for the drive. She played with the toys a little, ate some of the snacks, watched a few minutes of video (she doesn’t really watch tv and we packed the cord so we couldn’t recharge the netbook oops), but all she really wanted was to be held and nurse. Obviously we didn’t taker her out of her seat but her seat was facing the back so it was pretty easy for me to nurse her so we did that a lot. Luckily we didn’t get a tick for me not wearing a seatbelt and I’m pretty sure I didn’t flash anyone. We had all three of our cats in carriers (well one was in a cardboard box but that’s not important) in the car which we were towing. Thankfully we couldn’t hear them because two of the three hate being in cars and yell the whole time. We had to find motels that allowed pets and that was a little pain but doable. We were very glad to get to Waldo’s parents house.
At a reststop outside Dillon MT
Do you see the little foot?
To be continued…
**I guess I have blocked out that first conversation because I have no earthly idea who brought up moving back or how the whole thing really went. This was my best guess.