humor

Your New Life Has Arrived! (some assembly required)

I instinctively lifted my foot off the gas pedal and gripped the steeling wheel. My car slid backwards as I stared in the rearview mirror, wondering when the pick-up truck behind me would realize what was happening. Before or after we collided?

I can’t believe this. I cannot believe this.

The truck narrowly missed me, charging up the steep hill while I reached a trembling hand toward my hazard lights. As if it was my poor, low-riding, two-wheel drive Acura’s fault for not being able to overcome central Oregon’s lack of snow management.

F$&@%. What am I going to do?

No. Just…no.

Meet Suba-Ruby. SHE EATS CRAPPILY MANAGED ROADS FOR BREAKFAST!

Over the coming days, I moved countless boxes over icy sidewalks, painted walls and ceilings that felt like sandpaper, and waited for my couch to arrive so I could collapse at the end of each long day in anything other than a cold, metal camp chair.

I want my mommy.

And my couch did arrive. …Three weeks later.

F@&% you, Ashley Furniture!!! …No! No, wait! I’m just kidding. I love you. Come in. Do you want water? Cookies? Marijuana-infused soda (apparently that’s a thing here)?

I also checked my inbox repeatedly for any updates on a job offer I’d accepted earlier in the month. By the second week of December, with the apartment still in partial chaos and no news on the job, I flew to New Jersey for my twin niece and nephew’s Sweet 16, a.k.a. A New Circle of Hell that Requires Its Own Blog Post.

I now know what it feels like to be Leonardo DiCaprio in the face of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences circa 1993-2015: totally invisible. I had to sneak this photo before they kicked me out. I THOUGHT I WAS THE COOL AUNT. I THOUGHT I WAS THE COOL AUNT!!!!

Throughout the last few scattered and uncertain weeks, I kept myself sane by continuing my marathon training and French lessons, binge watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and creating the greatest calendar the world has ever known.

I know. I KNOW.

I also became an expert in cheap furniture assembly…

…Are there supposed to be this many leftover pieces?

…learned how to paint ceilings in high heels…

Because there was No. Way! I was going back to Home Depot for a pole extender.

…spent my first Christmas without my family…

…learned I can no longer party like it’s 1999…

…and attended my first drum circle, along with 66 other women.

You would have loved it, Jenn. (Photo taken from our 2019 Kristmas Krafty Korner – YES! We’ve kept the tradition going every year SINCE FIRST DOCUMENTED IN 2011 ON THIS VERY BLOG! …Not sure about our crafts, but both my camera and Jenn’s cocktail recipes have markedly improved.)

Though life kept marching onward, a familiar soundtrack accompanied every moment. Am I doing the right thing? Will I like this new job? Is this really the proper place and time to spend all of my savings on furniture plant roots? Will I ever find TRUE love? Why is Uncle Jesse looking at me like that? 

It seems I forgot to read the fine print on the “Live Your Dream Life!” manual.

I also went temporarily color blind when picking the bathroom paint color.

Despite taking a series of ballsy actions over the past year (like quitting a steady corporate job, selling all of my stuff, and moving across the country), building my dream life has felt a bit like parasailing. You experience the thrill of soaring freely through the air, all the while still tethered to whatever beliefs, constraints, and values you had before. Crippling insecurities, societal expectations, questionable past decisions… they don’t go away the minute you decide to spread your wings. 

Thankfully we are not tethered to paint colors. Ahhh. Much better.

Now, from the comfort of my new couch, Suba-Ruby sleeping soundly in the parking lot, I feel my pulse finally beginning to settle. Though the past six months have brought wave after wave of change, and though I cried at my friend’s Thanksgiving table when talking about having to sell my old car often think I might capsize beneath it all, I know I’m home. Because that boat I’m tethered to isn’t my shortcomings or my past or my fears – it’s my heart. No matter where I go, I can’t be anywhere BUT home.

~*~*~*~*~

What are you hoping 2020 will bring? (Psst, I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long. I’VE MISSED YOU EVERY DAY.)

~*~*~*~*~

Animals, Chipmunks Forever, Just For Fun, Kvetching, New Jersey is breathtaking, Uncle Jesse

And on the 7th day, there was light (…and labradoodles in costume).

When Seasons Collide.

Once upon a time, Mother Nature had a stroke and decided New Jersey was getting off too easy. Sure, sure, there’s tolls on the highways and you can’t bring beer on the beach, but…no scorpions! So, she threw us a heaping scoop of hurricane with a sprinkling of tornado. Nah, she thought, still not cutting it. I know! Earthquake! That seemed to satisfy her for a while, but when October 29th rolled around, she was restless again.

Mother Nature decided she’d start with a smattering of snow. Odd, I thought, but pretty.

Who doesn't like a Christmas tree farm dusted with snow?

Then…BAM!

FULL-ON SNOW STORM!

By the way, that ‘bam’ was the sound of every tree in New Jersey falling on every power line. As the most densely populated state in the U.S., that’s a lot of power lines. The snow was too heavy and the leaves too plentiful; giant branches bowed and then broke.

We weren’t anticipating a true storm (there’s no storm like it on record [for October] since the Civil War), so when it really started coming down and we lost power at 1 o’clock last Saturday afternoon, we headed out in search of a generator and bottled water (we have a well that doesn’t work when we lose power).

We encountered 5 power lines down in under an hour...which is how long it took us to go 6 miles.

We got the last generator, and it was enough to power the fridge. Not the heat or the water. So we waited in the dark. And waited and waited. We blanched at the news that 95% of New Jersey Central Power and Light’s customers would have power restored by the following Thursday, the remaining 5% on Friday. By Thursday?! That was 6 full days away! We had needs! …Like showering for work.

Guess who was in the 5%? Yup. That’s right. 7 days of flushing the toilet with melted snow and creek water later…

I’M BACK!

Of course, I have to return with a bang, so for your viewing pleasure…

Uncle Jesse in costume!!!

I'm not sure he grasps what a privilege it is to be a chipmunk.

There are many like-minded souls out there, which fills my guilty pleasure heart to the brim. For example, I discovered via Twitter that last Halloween Second Husband bought a squirrel costume from Target for his brother’s dog:

He's carrying an acorn! OMG. (Click on picture for photo credit, but only if you dare.)

Annnnnd this is why Second Husband is about to get upgraded to Soul Mate status. I mean, a squirrel is almost a chipmunk. Does anyone else see interwoven destiny here? …No? Pssh. See if I try to pawn off my leftover candy corn on you this year.