We have been back in California for almost 10 months now. It is much the same and totally different than I expected it to be.
- There is family drama, I try to stay out of it. Unfortunately it’s much easier to stay out of it when you live 1300 miles away. Don’t get me wrong, I manage to stay mostly out of it, but occasionally I get right in the thick of it. Oh how I hate that. I swear if you leave me alone, I’ll leave you alone.
- The summer was brutally hot and I totally expected that. I did not however expect that I mostly wouldn’t care. I work (about two hours a day) at home so I really don’t have to leave the house too often. It’s air conditioned in the house and all the stores, so when you do have to go out, I’m only dying during the walk between the two. The evenings are normally wonderfully cool and lovely to be outside in. 105 days are nothing to love, however neither are winter highs of 1 for months. The weather really does have a trade off. The summer was hot but the winter is so mild and short. I think our coldest day was probably 25. That is laughable when you’ve spent the last 14 winters in NorthWest Montana. We wore light coats most days and occasionally just a t-shirt. People looked at me like I was crazy, but I simply wasn’t cold. In early February we were able to play outside in just a light outer layer on Lil and there were flowers already blooming. That doesn’t exist in Montana till about April or so.
- Lily loves my Mother-in-law and Father-in-law. I expected this, but not just how much she loves them. She happily hung out with them last Monday for about 5 hours while Waldo and I slept due to the flu. She is still shy and withheld with everyone else, but she is totally open and herself with them. She doesn’t see my Dad, or Mom or grandparents, etc often enough to be that comfortable just yet. See the paragraph below. Lil is getting more comfortable around Mark’s sister and brother and my sister Jolene. I don’t know if it’s because they have little kids so they are more parentlike and less scary or some other unknowable reason, but she’s not there yet with either of my parents or grandparents. This doesn’t really surprise me because Lily’s been shy since day 1, but I thought she’d have opened up a little more by now.
- It’s a lot harder to visit family then I expected it to be. I figured I’d be visiting my two favorite cousins and sister weekly and I assumed that I’d be at my Grandparents and parents houses often, probably a couple of times a month or so. I am lucky if I visit a Grandparent or parents once a month, I see my sister every couple of months, sometimes a little more often. I have only seen my cousins a handful of times since I got here. My Grandma (Memaw) has a habit of calling me once a month or so to see if I moved back to Montana. I have a life, it’s a nice simple one but I do have responsibilities, my time is limited. And to be completely honest I’m a huge homebody, I avoid leaving the house if I can, but it’s mostly I’m busy. Everyone else has lives and things to do too, so this all equals being hard to visit more often.
- I didn’t expect the germs in California to be so different from the Montana germs. We have all gotten sick more often since we moved here then we have been in years. It is no fun for Waldo and I and so much worse for Lil. Poor baby girl. I will be so glad when we are totally acclimated.
- I didn’t expect to still be living with Waldo’s parents, we were hoping to be out in about 3 months. That didn’t happen. What I never could have expected though was that that was fine with me. I mean I’d much rather have our own place in a perfect world but living here isn’t so bad. Lily loves her ReRe and Papa, a lot. We all get along and are easy going people. We help each other out with the cooking and dishes. I made two really good friends. Life could be worse.
I could probably go on and on about the differences between the place I grew up and the place I loved and called home for 14 years. The drivers for one, OMG the drivers! But I won’t go there. I can say that I’m so glad that I moved away and had my own life and adventures for my 20’s. All the things I went through made me who I am today. I am even more glad that I was able to come home again. I am so glad that my daughter has a relationship with our families and they are so lucky to have one with her. Even though the holidays and different here then there, they were great. I loved all the hustle and bustle and can’t wait for Easter to have more of it. All the family and everyone talking over each other and the kids running underfoot. It’s great and I love it. I guess I did go on, but that’s kind of the point. Things are different but as long as Waldo, Lily and I are together we are home no matter where we live.
Who ever said you can’t go home again was wrong.
If you want to find out how this story started, you can read about our move back to CA here.