is it always just Groundhog Day?

So many crossing, parallel lines, so many coming-back-tos, it can be dizzying once you start noticing them. When I left New York in November, 2012, after a couple of weeks in Austin I had to fly back to NYC to pack up my books and ship them to Austin. I was sorry to leave my cozy new place that was still in pupa form, really, not fully created, not fully settled, not all the way mine yet, to return to a painful place that I had painfully left.

The emotion isn’t the same, at all, but I’ve been here a couple of weeks and today I fly back to Austin to retrieve my car — and I’m sorry to leave my cozy new place that is still in pupa form, really, not fully created, not fully settled, not all the way mine yet. The only difference is that I didn’t painfully leave Austin, except for the pain of parting.

And most disappointing, I’m only going to be in Austin for one full day (with a night on either side) and I won’t have a spare moment to see any of my beloveds except for Katie and family….so grateful to see them of course, and to spend as many hours with them, with Lucy and Oliver, as I possibly can. I am sorry I won’t get to see friends, and I will hold space the next time I come to Austin for a get-together. Since I just made the 2000-mile trip, making it again is just kind of mind-numbing, so I’m taking a different route for two reasons: first, to take a different route because for heaven’s sake; and second, to make a pit stop in Chicago to see Marnie and family, which will allow me to soak up a little Ilan and break the trip in half. All in all I will be gone a week, arriving late on Monday night back at Heaventree.

I’m sad to leave this beautiful place so quickly, and I’m so looking forward to hugging and kissing and soaking up babies, and to seeing my daughters and their husbands, and to spending one night with my dear Dixie, and to seeing a different part of the country — up and over to the right, instead of across to the right and then up. But then, when I finally make it back home, all my stuff will be in one place. Whatever I want, it will be available. There’s still some stuff at the apartment in the city, my big Nikon camera and a bunch of baking gear, but Marc will bring that or I’ll fetch it at an upcoming trip. My stepdaughter is coming to the city at the end of July so I’ll drive down for that weekend.

But y’all. Home. Quiet, beautiful home. Since I learned I would be moving here, I started following as many Catskills-related Instagram and FB pages as I could find, and yesterday a caption on an IG photo talked about how lucky the person feels to live in such a beautiful place — still, after all these years — even though it isn’t always an easy place to live. And it isn’t, I can tell already, for all kinds of reasons. I don’t even yet know what winter is going to be like, and I feel all Game of Thrones-ish about it (Winter is coming!!!!). I mean, if you do a Google Image search for ‘winter in the Catskills, you get shots like this, and I somehow think it’s gonna be harder than this great picture suggests:

oh sure, snowshoeing is going to be lots of fun!

So today is fly day, and I remember that other fly day when my heart was crushed and my bones felt too heavy to keep moving, and I’m so grateful that today my heart is light and my bones are eager to fly, even though I will miss my sweet home.

* * *

A couple of PS points:

  • Thank you for your extraordinary kindnesses to me in response to my last post. I wasn’t expecting it, for some reason, even though I know you are always so kind and generous to me. Maybe the “Lori who?” made me feel so small and invisible that I had forgotten that others know me. I don’t know. Anyway. Thank you for all the love and beautiful words (that I insist mean much more about who you are than who I am), and for the big-hearted and very wise advice I got. I’m OK. It’s not echoing in my heart any more. xoxoxox
  • SO! You know how I’ve talked about bears up here, but I hadn’t seen one yet.  There is a house at the tail end of the private road I’m on, and we were invited to a picnic there on Saturday, something they organize every year. It was nice to meet them (excellent politics one and all, including some old red diaper baby connections). At the moment they are just here on weekends, but in a year or so they’ll be moving here permanently. They have a webcam on their house and they frequently catch wildlife on it, including this great shot of “the local big fella”:
a couple of weeks ago, right before we moved in! COME BACK, BIG FELLA!

I won’t be posting anywhere until I get back to Heaventree, but I’ll be around FB and IG once in a while, probably with pictures of grandbabies and daughters, knowing me. You know. 🙂


Lori who?

Friday evening a friend (who is some kind of distant family connection) messaged me on Facebook because my mother had contacted her completely out of the blue. My friend is the genealogist of our family, and so many wonderful things I’ve learned from her, photos I’ve seen from her, such a gift! She had written an article about some parts of her family tree and my mother saw it and wrote her for more information. When my friend asked how she was related to me, my mother said, “Lori who?”

her real estate photo — lots of bad plastic surgery since i saw her last.

In one way this wasn’t surprising; at some point in the 1990s, a different friend happened across my mother’s real estate website and told me that my mother said she had two children (she has three….the missing one was me, of course), so my mother has long been in the habit of not claiming me. And while I don’t see or speak to her, or ever want to see or speak to her, and while I feel like it would’ve been much less traumatic to have been raised by a wild badger, I do claim that she is my mother. I was given birth to by her.

It’s very complicated trying to understand how it made me feel to see that “Lori who?” in writing. On one hand, I was grateful that she didn’t put my friend into some kind of uncomfortable spot by trying to turn her against me, which has been another of my mother’s life-long strategies. I was grateful she said that and then moved right on to the questions she had about family. And I don’t want her to try to learn anything about me. But I guess the formulation of that question — Lori who, as if she never even heard the name — still hurt. And I wish it didn’t. Maybe it stung more than it hurt.

I immediately lost my appetite when I got the message, and started shaking a little. It felt like I had been walking around in this Edenic paradise, and then suddenly heard the rattles of a snake nearby, and I hadn’t realized there might be snakes in the garden. The way she can pop in out of the blue in the most random ways . . . and she wasn’t trying to find me or anything, it was just this unexpected appearance . . . unsettles me. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this since I got the message Friday evening. I will, it will fade, but for now I am ‘Lori who?’ Negated by the one who gave birth to me.

I mean, it’s OK. I’m 58, a mother and grandmother, surrounded by so many people who love me, and I have collected an assortment of chosen family members over the years, fathers and brothers and sisters, and I know who I am. This will be our relationship to the end of her life, and I don’t want anything else from her. I’m OK. It’s just …. something.

added bonuses

Moving into this house has been complicated by the fact that everything had to be unloaded into the basement, since the former owners were still living in the house. While it was a relief to be able to do that, instead of renting a storage unit (especially since they left three days later), it means that everything is in the basement. I want the empty boxes to be there instead of in the living space, and the boxes are kind of heavy (especially after the first couple), so this means that I go downstairs into the basement, collect a giant armload of stuff, walk up the basement stairs, and for all the bedroom and bathroom stuff, then also up the stairs to the second floor. It doesn’t take long to put away an armload of stuff, so a few minutes later I walk down two flights of stairs, and repeat.

This is obviously good for glutes and thigh muscles. And exhausting. Yesterday I think I made 7.3K trips, and boy did I sleep well last night. So there are two added bonuses to life at Heaventree, right off the bat. Lemonade!

Another added bonus is that it’s critical that I am mindful, here. It’s critical that I not just dash around with a distracted or unfocused mind, because I am here all alone, in a remote and rural place. I am alone in this house, and if I am out of the house, I couldn’t call for help. I am kind of a weirdo on stairs — worse going up them — because my foot plans to take one step at a time and my brain says, “No! Take them two at a time!” so my foot gets confused and strikes the riser between the stairs, and I stumble. The basement stairs are wooden steps, and I am afraid of heights so seeing between them, as I get nearer the top, always produces a kind of scared paralysis in me, also not good. This combo could obviously be bad news, especially if I were to fall into the cold basement . . . and especially if I didn’t have my phone on me.

It’s critical that I pay attention and be present, and how wonderful is that? I’ve gotten so far off my mindful track, ever since the dreadful election and the ensuing chaos and trauma of life under this nightmare administration, and what I’ve needed most was the ability to return to myself, to stay present, to be. And now I live in a place that both makes it a necessity, and provides me the most beautiful sanctuary (thank you for that word, Dixie, you’re so right) in which to do it. So when I am ‘forced’ to be present, what I see is beauty, what I feel is peace, what I hear is nature, what I feel is the quiet brilliance that surrounds me.

This doesn’t feel at all like making lemonade out of lemons — it feels like the biggest gift I ever could’ve received. Sometimes life is like that. Once in a while, more often than a blue moon but not so often that you take it for granted.

It’s Friday, which means that Marc will head to Heaventree after he sees his last patient for the day, and he’ll be here until we leave Tuesday morning for the airport. I have the kitchen fully unpacked now, so cooking will be less stressful for us both (“Honey, do you have X?” “I do honey, but it’s not unpacked yet.” [said for the millionth time] “Sweetie, where is the X?” “It’s not unpacked yet sweetheart.” [said for the millionth time]). He’s bringing a cooler full of food, stuff that’s more expensive to buy here than in NYC, and my little 3-day period of complete silence means I welcome his conversation with eager anticipation. Happy Friday y’all, I hope you are happy today. xoxox

a little bit of housekeeping

to get to my place, turn left at the big Indian.

SO. As I said before, I am wanting to pay extra close attention the first year in our new home, in Heaventree. My husband suggested that I start a blog for it, as I would for any of our vacations, so he could read it (he does not read this blog). I’ve done that on a blog in a subdirectory of my pillbug queen site (, and if you follow my blog page on Facebook you’ll see that posts on that blog are automatically feeding there — so if that’s where you find me, on Facebook, it should be invisible to you which blog you’re reading. All you see is a new post.

BUT if you don’t follow me on Facebook, you won’t know about the Heaventree posts; I mean, I’ll still write here too of course, but this blog is more personally personal, if that makes sense, and that blog is looking closely at my first year here. If you are an email subscriber to this blog, I’ve made it possible for you to email subscribe to the Heaventree blog too, so head over there and you’ll see the email subscribe option in the right sidebar.  (EDIT: I was having trouble with the feed, sorry, try again! It worked for me……let me know if it doesn’t work for you please.)

I won’t be flooding both blogs with words; if you’ve been around the Palace for long, you know that I typically blog in bursts, with long fallow periods — but never more than one post/day. Even with both of these blogs up and running, I seriously doubt I would post on both blogs in a single day. And you can always unsubscribe with a click of a link, if you like.

I’m getting used to the soft shushing of the trees all day — not so used to it that I no longer hear it, but just used to it so I don’t think it must be raining. This is truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. xoxox

a quick note of personal honesty

SO! Last night I slept in the house all alone; Marc went back to the city for three nights, and I’m here car-less and in the silence. I was a little bit afraid but not too much. There are so many second homes up here — lots of people in the city keep a summer home in the mountains — and if anyone had been watching the house, they might’ve thought that the house would be empty. No car in the driveway, after a few weekend days of a car in the driveway, typical summer home appearance. Apparently there were two escaped and violent convicts from Tennessee in this specific area (even spotted on Saturday in Margaretville, the nearest hamlet and where we shop for groceries), I mean this sounds like a movie doesn’t it!

So I left a light on downstairs last night and the fan was whirring in the bedroom window, and I hoped for the best. And of course this morning I woke up unmurdered. 🙂

But my quick note of personal honesty is that I’m so very very glad to be alone in the house for a few days. Marc is so chatty. So chatty. Chat chat chat chat chat. And he’s not a loud talker, more of a mumbler, so it takes a bit of focus to hear him….and he is a slow talker, and he just seamlessly goes from topic to topic in one very long breath until he runs out of air so it’s hard to get a word in, and by the time he stops for a breath the topic has changed a couple of times from what I wanted to say in response to where he started.

There are trailheads all around us — this was a walk to the Lost Clove trailhead after dinner yesterday. It’s just so beautiful I can’t really believe it.

The relief is, of course, that we are in this very large space, two floors and a full basement, and then the glorious outdoors –so it’s not like being in the tiny little apartment in the city, where there is no place to step aside for a moment of solitude. The house is so tightly built, and so well-insulated, that unless we are on the same floor I can’t make out anything he’s saying…..and while I have told him that 2.3K times by now, he just keeps chatting even if I’m on a different floor.

So there is today’s moment of personal honesty, not appropriate for the Heaventree post I’m composing in my mind. So much to share about the early days of living here, both in the area and in this house, but that will be a different post to be written later.

[And in the “good grief, she would complain if she were hung with a new rope” category, the irony is not lost on me that I lived in a kind of despair with my first husband, who almost never spoke, who never shared himself in any real way, and who wasn’t at all affectionate….I never dreamed I would complain about someone talking too much, telling me his thoughts and feelings, and being affectionate! I keep having these moments of awareness during my ear-craving for a bit of silence that he is wanting to share himself and his thoughts with me, and I’m grateful for that. But with just a little bit of silence too. (Please.) (Thank you.)]

to be one with

Oh Lordy am I eager to get moved in. To be one with my stuff again, and to have my stuff unpacked and settled in. It’s going to be a while, since I have to make that trip back to Texas, and then the long drive back, but I really cannot wait.

I started packing in Austin a long time ago — the stuff that could easily be packed, spare closets, books, stuff off the walls, various storage — so I’ve been living amid boxes and clutter for weeks. And in NYC, bless his heart, my husband doesn’t even seem to notice clutter. Every flat surface gets covered with STUFF, and I don’t like that. It makes me feel suffocated and panicky. And now, in preparation for heading upstate to the house today, he has been gathering all sorts of stuff to take up there (“Honey, do you have coconut milk? Honey, do you have an extremely large bowl? Honey, let’s go to Chinatown to get a gigantic wok for the gigantic burner! Honey, maybe I should bring fish sauce/olive oil/shrimp paste/medicines/bulk spices/glass canisters/a meditation pillow/etc etc etc”) and it’s all sitting on the countertops and table and coffee table and floor. All this individual stuff. And there’s my suitcase and toiletry bag and backpack and purse, and he wants to bring the kaffir lime tree and some cuttings of Thai basil, and how will it all fit into his extremely messy car, anyway?

I just kind of feel like screaming. I want peace and order. Harmony and neatness. Absence of clutter. A place for everything, and everything in its place. I want jobs finished, not done to the 95% mark and then abandoned. I want my cozy bed, I miss my wonderful couch, I want my neat kitchen.

And it’s just going to be a while. It is. I have to be patient, and at a time I feel like my patience is on the v-e-r-y thin side. He and I will be in the new house together over the weekend, and he’ll come back into the city Tuesday afternoon…….and then I will be all alone in the house for three glorious days. Three days of quiet. Three days to do some settling-in. I won’t have a car, so I will be completely house-bound, but at this moment that sounds better than anything else could ever sound. Solitude. In my own house, to put things where I want to put them. To make those decisions because they make sense to me.

Then he’ll come back Friday evening, and we’ll spend the next weekend doing more unpacking — then he’ll take me to the airport on Tuesday July 11. So really, the three glorious days next week will be my shot. I can’t wait.

here is the basement with THEIR stuff in it — all that is gone and now it’s stacked with boxes and furniture

We leave today after he sees his final patient, so 1:15pm. It’s a holiday weekend so we imagine the drive upstate might be crazy. Everything is in the basement, so we’ll need to either move the mattresses upstairs or just unpack the inflatable mattress and get the bedding and shower curtain and towels, which I (very smartly, I might add) packed in a giant black trash bag so they would be easily spotted and grabbed, like a kit. A “here you go, your first night” kit. And my Chemex coffee pot and filters are in another bag ready to go, along with coffee and a bean grinder.

[minus the US flag!!] Saturday morning, maybe we will sit on the front porch with our coffee — or maybe the back deck! Options!
For more than 4.5 years I’ve lived betwixt and between, and like a divorced kid whatever I needed was at the other house. Half of the month I’d have whatever I could carry, and stuff I wanted was always back in Austin. I just can’t wait to be settled. To be in the position where “uprooted” means I’ve driven into the city for a few days, that’s all — and I’ll be driving, so I can take whatever I want in my car and not have to worry about airline restrictions.

Wah wah wah. Poor me. I’m tired, y’all. Just like your immune system keeps working while you’re under stress and then crashes when the stress ends, and just like I had all the energy and focus I needed for the long trip from Austin to NYC and then crashed when I got here, I think my stamina for the betwixt-and-between is crashing now that it’s almost over.

It’s almost over. It’s almost over. Tonight I will sleep in my own home. My name is on the deed, I can’t be asked to leave. I don’t have a landlord who tells me what I can and can’t do. It’s my home. Tonight. Hallelujah.

not an omen

It was hard not to think of the collection of events last Friday as a sign, or an omen, especially as they kept accumulating. Friday was to be a long day: I had to finish cleaning my old place, spend time with Katie and family, and then pick up Marc at 11:45 pm at the Austin airport and we were going to start driving. Our planned stop would’ve been around 3:30am, and that after a full day of working for both of us.

It sure looked drive-able to me, but the wheel well was bent and had sharp edges curved an inch away from the tire. $5K in damage. Luckily the guy had insurance. (And so did I.) The cop had to cut the mirror off for me to drive it away from the accident. The entire right side of the car, from the back fender through the front, has to be replaced. My beautiful, pristine, not-a-scratch-on-it car.

But as I was leaving Katie’s house to head to my old place, to get the day underway, an old man in a pick-up truck crashed into my car. He came from behind, turning into me, so he hit the back and scraped all along the passenger side until he sheared off my passenger mirror and severely crumpled the front passenger door and front fender. When he jumped out of the car, his first words were that he’d just been in a wreck a week or two earlier. (“Not my problem!” I yelled at him. “I am driving to NY tonight!” He shrugged in an old hippie way and said, “Boy, that’s tough.” I wanted him to be more upset about it.)

My thought was that I had to find a way to get the mirror replaced within just a couple of hours, which seemed unlikely — and I also had a LOT to get done, so the odds I could get it done immediately and get my work done were impossible. At the car repair place my insurance company sent me to, I was told the car wasn’t driveable for that long a distance, because the way the bumper was crumpled, if I were to hit a pothole the tire could be shredded.

Time for a very quick Plan B: Marc and I would drive the truck together and I’d just fly back to get the car when it was fixed in a couple of weeks. I got a rental car, and I’d just turn it in at the airport when I picked him up at 11:45, OK.

Plan C: His flight was coming from Boston and it couldn’t get out of Boston to get to NYC….so he changed flights and grabbed a plane to Dallas. OK, but I had this rental car to drop off at the Austin airport, so I took it to the airport and then took a cab back to my place, and then I’d just drive to Dallas and pick him up . . . in a 16′ Penske truck, and they don’t like big panel trucks at airports and DFW is a nightmare in the best of circumstances, but we’d figure it out. As I was driving toward Dallas, the sky was a constant electrical storm, frightening to me in a deep, deep way; I kept telling myself to think about it like the Northern Lights in an attempt to calm myself a little but that didn’t help. I kept feeling like I was about to lose my nerve for driving the giant truck filled with stuff, like it was taking all my focus and nerve and courage and everything else to keep pressing on the accelerator. And then, just as I was in Fort Worth, I noticed that his flight had been diverted to Oklahoma City. Was I going to have to keep driving on, now, to OKC? I was completely exhausted in every possible way. It was 1am-ish, and OKC was a good 3.5 hours away. Plan D?

I pulled the truck over and texted Marc that I knew his flight was diverted, and saw that he was about to land so I just parked and waited to hear from him. This is how dire he knew the situation was: he said, “Just get a hotel room somewhere it doesn’t matter how much it costs, don’t even worry about how much it costs.” (!!! You’d have to know him to appreciate that.) And I was so exhausted I didn’t even argue with him. I found a nearby nice hotel, parked the truck, and fell into bed at 1:45, not knowing how the rest would unfold. The airline offered him a hotel room for the night and a flight to Dallas the next day, leaving at 12:30, or a bus to Dallas. He and some other passengers organized an Uber. Finally I told him just to take the hotel room, and I’d leave at 6 and pick him up at his hotel. He finally got to his hotel room around 2:30 (families with kids were arranged first), and around 2:45-ish, I finally fell asleep and was woken up constantly by pounding rain and thunder and cracks of lightning.

At 6am, it was still pouring rain and crackling with lightning, and the weather radar showed that it was going to keep doing that until well after noon, but that the band of storms was basically hovering over the Dallas Fort Worth area. So I took a very hot shower, brushed my teeth, and ran to the truck. We had to be at the new house Monday morning, there was nothing else to do. It was Saturday morning and we had 1800 miles to drive (though by the time it was all done, I drove Austin to OKC [382mi], OKC to Knoxville TN [856mi], Knoxville to Newark airport [696 mi], Newark to Newburgh [72mi], and finally Newburgh to the house [66mi], for a total of 2,072 miles in 47 hours. I slept 3 hours in Fort Worth, 3 hours in Knoxville, and 3 hours in Newburgh).

So, Plan D: I would just drive on to OKC and hope for the very best. It was often raining so hard I couldn’t see the front end of my own truck. And lightning was flashing all around. My shoulders were up by my ears the whole time. I got gas before I left, and thought it would be an hour in the rain. The rain was so intense, and had been so intense, that there were giant lakes on the highway; in fact, coming in the other direction there was so much water standing on the highway near the Trinity River that police were escorting cars and trucks through, one at a time, backing up traffic for miles. I kept losing my nerve, over and over, and I realized constantly that I was holding my breath and squeezing my shoulders up by my ears but there was nothing to do but keep going. That’s all there was to do. And I know how to do that. I know how to keep going when it’s all there is to do. I know how to make it through, half a minute at a time.

Finally, 2.5 hours after I left Fort Worth, the rain stopped and the sky was blue. I felt like I’d aged 10 years within that last 24 hours. An hour later I pulled into the parking lot where Marc was staying and he practically raced toward me and threw his arms around me. He just kept hugging me and telling me how sorry he was about how it all had gone, but not to worry, he would drive. That actually worried me a LOT, because he doesn’t have the experience I have doing this kind of thing. I’ve moved so many times and driven these trucks so many times, and moved across the country, and he just hasn’t had that kind of life. Plus, he has a hard time multitasking and driving is multitasking, for him. So I drove us another tank of gas, and then he took over, and he was absolutely wonderful, it turned out. He drove most of the day on Saturday, the longest drive of our trip.

We never stopped to eat, only to fill up the truck with gas. We had food in the truck (Marc brought his wonderful sandwiches he makes when we go on vacation), and since we’d planned to have my car to hold a bunch of stuff, a lot of it was crammed into the cab with us. We were crowded, exhausted, stressed out, and under the gun — but we had such a good time together. Our taste in music couldn’t be more different, so listening to music was tough (and the truck was noisy), but we tried. And much of the drive was through beautiful country. Truck traffic was heavy across Arkansas, of course, but driving across the south was beautiful, with gorgeous weather.

I haven’t been in the south in a VERY long time and I had forgotten/was dumbstruck by the extent to which it’s a hardcore Christian and gun culture. Vans from churches everywhere, billboards everywhere (“Spare the rod and destroy your children!”), crosses everywhere, billboards about guns (“GUNRUNNERS” with giant pictures of AK47s), such a bizarre world. Living in Austin and NYC, I had forgotten what that world is like, what a backwards and horrible reality it is. I know people who are Christians and they aren’t that kind of Christian.

Marc has the most amazing mind for music — he can sing one song while another is playing (I can’t do that!) and he can just summon a lyric from the middle of a song. My mind for music is organized contextually, usually associated with a specific memory or emotion, but he can pull up anything anytime for any reason. So as we approached Nashville, he asked me to play Nashville Cats by The Lovin’ Spoonful — which he then sang, and he did the most hilarious southern accent (“Mountain Dew-ew!”) it had me rolling around in my seat.

Whenever we saw a highway sign for a city or place that had a song, he would ask me to find it so we could listen. “Honey, get ’24 Hours from Tulsa’ by Gene Pitney!” I really had such a good time on the trip with him.

The scariest part of the drive (other than the first day) was the NJ part. Marc had parked his car in long-term parking at the Newark airport, and we had to get there and drop him off so he could get his car and follow the truck to the house. They don’t like trucks anywhere near airports, so when we pulled up outside the long-term parking area, a security guard came running over and hurried us out — which meant suddenly Marc was out of the truck and suddenly I just had to leave the airport. If you’ve driven around Newark airport, you might have a sense of this. Cloverleafs. Lots of highways and turnpikes feeding in/out. Toll booths (and me with no EZPass of course) funneling lanes in and then fanning out dramatically, and me needing to be in a lane far away from the sole cash lane, in a big truck. And then the trip to Newburgh took me up 17 (if you are from here you know what that means, the horror)…..right past where Will and I lived together so that was a hard punch square in my heart.

But as I crossed the NJ/NY border, in the deep blue dark, Google Maps said, “Welcome to New York” and I broke down crying. It had done the same thing as we crossed the Mississippi River into Tennessee, but at no other state crossings. I don’t know why it did some and not others, but that “Welcome to New York” sure made me cry. Back home.

When I got to the hotel in Newburgh Marc hadn’t arrived yet so I went in to check us into the hotel, and when I came out, Marc was running toward me with agony all over his face. He was almost crying. He threw his arms around me and said he’d been so terrified, he kept expecting to see the truck mangled on the side of the road. He just kept hugging me and patting me.

such a beautiful morning

So we were scheduled to meet the guys who’d unload the truck at 8:30, and I’d been dreading that so much. My own childhood scars always make me fear being told I’m wrong, bad, too much, and I expected the movers to say something like that about the amount of stuff in the truck. Plus, we were meeting the people we bought the house from, and both Marc and I have such severe social anxiety that we were dreading that. But of course it all went perfectly and smoothly, and while it took 3+ hours to load the truck, the three young men unloaded it all into the basement in 45 minutes. No one said a word about it being too much. OF COURSE.

And then the best news, the previous owners are moving out on Friday, so we can drive up Friday after Marc finishes work and start the process of bringing everything up from the basement.

I named our home Heaventree. My favorite passage in English is from Ulysses: “the heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit.” That describes the night sky, of course, but on its own it seems to describe our new home in the forest and mountains.

I am so glad that trip is behind us. It was so so hard. It required all my mental, emotional, and physical strength. It was more fun doing it with Marc than I imagined it would be. I still have to fly back to Austin and make the trip again, by myself this time, but that’s in a couple of weeks. For now, no driving.