Thursday, July 7, 2011

When Will I Stop Calling it Home?

And by “it” I mean Boston of course. This was a question I posed to Matt when we had reached some point in Oklahoma, or Arkansas, or Texas, or New Mexico. I can’t be sure. The dates and times are a bit fuzzy. We were driving along and looking out over the incredibly flat, desolate landscape and talking about traffic or some other thing about highways in New England that we won’t miss and I said ‘Back home you’d never see that…I mean, back in Boston.’

My statement was immediately followed up by the question in the title of this blog and his response was ‘It’ll probably take years. Then you’ll call it back east. Then you’ll call it where I came from. But by then you’ll probably be about 75.’

I’m sure he’s right, but for now, as I look around our totally empty apartment in Phoenix with the half falling apart cabinetry and chips out of the bathroom countertops, I can’t help but feel like it isn’t quite ours; it’s like checking into a really expensive hotel for a long term stay.

And that’s okay, I never planned to stay in this apartment forever, we’ll buy a house in a year or two and then I’ll feel more like Phoenix is my home. But for now there are other more important things to discuss. Like how totally “us” this whole entire trip has really been.

So let’s step away from the melancholy for a few minutes shall we?

The journey of course began by saying goodbye to our little elf, George. Those of you who don’t know the story of the bowling elf that lived upstairs from us, he was quite elusive. We never actually caught sight of him but he sure liked to roll for strikes and spares every night. Most days. And even some mornings. Saying goodbye to him wasn’t really going to be all that sad.

On Saturday we picked up the truck at 8:00 AM on the dot. In a deluge. And no, this isn’t an exaggeration of a little light rain where we could maybe still load the truck. I mean rivaling monsoons kind of downpour. So the guy at Anderson Auto showed Matt how to do the hitch for the trailer and I was just glad the seats in the truck were vinyl because Matt was one soggy mess. We dropped the trailer overnight in front of my dad’s house & by the time we got home the neighbors upstairs had moved their cars out of the driveway. Thanks neighbors!

The truck fit like a dream in our driveway and by some miraculous chance there was no issue with getting the thing into it either (normally there would be a car parked 2 feet over the edge of the curb so that turn would have been just a wee bit of an issue). The rain stopped, I finished packing up the kitchen with help from Mum and my WSM and between Matt and Dad, the truck was loaded with everything but our toothbrushes, clothes suitcases and our bed long before anyone was even due to arrive for the party.

Yes, I said party. In some stroke of ‘genius’ I thought it might be a good idea, on the same day we were loading the truck, to have a goodbye party. I headed out to pick up the cold cut and veggie platters and on Saturday afternoon we had a big old bash to say goodbye to everyone and, of course, to celebrate my birthday. Oh right…my birthday!

At about one in the morning on Friday night, as we went to bed in our huge echo chamber of an almost empty apartment, Matt had said ‘Happy birthday!’ and I had literally forgotten. Being wrapped up in my head with this move sure made me forget just about everything else. But seriously, forget my own birthday? Um, so not like me.

(So as a side note, sorry that I very likely missed your birthday, anniversary, bat mitzvah, dog’s christening, anything that didn’t involve Mrs. Egotistical Me for the past couple weeks, and here’s hoping they were all marvelous celebrations!)

The party was a great time and it was awesome to be able to get everyone in the same place at the same time. First time we’ve managed to do that since our wedding, I think. All the super cool people showed up, and the other cool people who couldn’t make it got in touch in their own way. So I must say thank you. Quite sincerely. Just having your energy around us on the way out of town made the journey so much easier.

Sunday morning it was up at 6:30 again and with us not usually crashing until one o’clock most nights, I was starting to get a little loopy. My mom showed up again by about 7:00 or so and with plastic around the mattress, we all got the last of the truck loaded. Mom took Goodwill stuff and dad’s plastic chairs in her car and I followed Matt over to dad’s to put the car onto the trailer so we could hit the road.

Of course we wanted to hit the pavement at 9:00 but there’s a reason we call it the FitzPatrick Goodbye. Dad had a golf tournament but WSM was there, and mum of course. When all was said and done we had the truck pulling away from the curb by about 11:00.

I started crying at approximately 11:00:03.

It’s not that I’m not happy about this new adventure. It’s not that I’m not excited for the opportunities that moving to this part of the country provides us. It’s not that I’m not really, really excited to see the people on the west side of the country that we love and had less chance to spend time with while living in Massachusetts.

It’s just that leaving a place, the only one really, that you know so well can actually cause you to well up when seeing the city of Boston on a map of the country in the New Mexico welcome center. Yeah.

But that’s five days after we left and we sure had our fair share of excitement before getting to that point.


Jenn said...

Welcome to Phoenix!

Suldog said...

Please do continue with the stories of your adventures. I've been jonesing for a Jenn fix for about three weeks now, so...

I know what you mean about "home", even though I've never lived anywhere outside of MA. I lived the first 37 years of my life in the same house, so the first night after moving was somewhat unreal to me. I had to keep reminding myself that where I was, was now "home".

But you have so many wonderful adventures ahead of you! You know that, of course, but reminding yourself of the upcoming pleasures certainly won't hurt! :-)

Karen said...

So glad you had a good trip and are getting settled.

Almost Precious said...

Home isn't necessarily where the heart is. John and I left California back in 1975 and I still refer to it as home.
When we lived in the West Indies, in Trinidad to be specific, we lived in an oil camp in company housing. When someone asked where another person lived it was always that they lived in the so-and-so's old house. It never became your house until you moved out of it. Maybe there's a human gene that makes us feel that home is always the place that we grew up in or the place that we just left.

Glad you’re safe and sound in your new habitat. May it prove to be a marvelous and happy new adventure.

Rosebud Collection said...

I kept checking in to see if you were happy you are there safe and sound..You know Jenn..I always refer to Greenport, as home..guess that will never leave me..I have been here 33years..and if I ever get out of Maine..will never look back.but the funny thing..will never head back to L.I.either.
You are going to have a new adventure and wishing you both all the best. Sending you love..xoxoCarolyn

Rosebud Collection said...

Hey, did you see the dust storm there? That had to be frightening..the pictures were something else..

Judi FitzPatrick said...

Tears in my eyes as I remember the goodbye on Gra. St. Wishing you both the best, of course, and I'll be out soon to visit.
Love to you and Matt, Mum

Judi FitzPatrick said...

Just remembered, there's a Sally Fingertt song that goes something like this - "home is where the heart is, no matter how the heart lives, inside the heart where love is, that's where you find yourself at home." The song is not about moving, but this portion seems appropriate.
Love, Mum

Anonymous said...

Happy you and Matt made it safe and sound. Looking forward to hearing about your trip, and your new city.

Bridgete said...

I still have a weird back and forth thing with Portland and I've been in Boston for 4 years. And for 3 years I've been certain Boston is home. So most of the time I don't refer to Portland as "home"...unless I'm discussing or planning a trip there. Then all of a sudden I'm "going home." The best part? When I'm IN Portland, I return to calling Boston home. It's a weird thing.

Anywho, I'm so glad you made it safely. Can't wait to read the rest of the adventure!

Julie said...

Home is where you've grown or changed for the better, I think. I still call my parents' place home. When someone asks where I'm from, I say PA, though I've lived in SC for nearly a decade. SC is home, and I'm starting to admit to being "from" here -- mostly because my KIDS are from here.

Good to hear from you! Looking forward to reading more of your new adventures. :)

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Thanks everyone! The support and encouragement to continue reveling in the adventure really means so much to me :-) Not to mention how many of you can relate whether you moved to the next town or across the country too. I guess its just one of those things that has to play out huh?

We're here and safe and there will be a post a day for the next handful or so of days to share the journey!

draagonfly said...

Oh good lord I missed your birthday here and on a calendar and on Facebook even! Gods! Well Happy Belated Birthday!!! You know I always wish you happiness. :) Can't wait to see you when you're ready to head just a wee bit further west!