Sunday, June 28, 2015

San Antonio.

Hold on to me, as we go.
As we roll down this unfamiliar road.
And although this wave is stringing us along

Just know you're not alone
'Cause I'm gonna make this place your

Phillip Phillips

On a Tuesday morning, I pressed my nose to the glass cutout in our new front door.  Cars zoomed forward, then slowed as they braked for the speed bump, right in front of our house.  There was a lot of life moving around, just feet away from where I stood.  For me though, the life was foreign and felt very overwhelming.  I watched for a few minutes more, just like this.  Nose to glass, sighing every now and then.  Feeling the weight of it all.

We had rolled into San Antonio in the early evening the day before.  Ben, Caleb and Claire were ahead in the minivan while Leah, June and I followed in our white car.  It had been a long 3 day trip full of sad goodbyes, dead car batteries, washing laundry in a hotel until 2 am, and trading off sleeping sideways on a queen-sized bed next to two extremely rowdy little sleepers.  We had fun along the way though, mixed into the normal chaos.  Frozen yogurt stops, swimming, and dance parties to loud music in the car.  

I stared at the green trees lining the highway as we drove through our new city, trying hard to tell myself that one day this would all be familiar instead of new and somewhat intimidating.  As we turned onto our new street, kids playing soccer scattered out of the way of our caravan-ing cars.  This is good, I thought.  Lots of families.  

We parked in front of our new home, and I took a picture as the three oldest kids ran up the green front yard onto our porch.  Ben found the hidden key, and unlocked it.  I could hear the squeals and yells of excitement as they barreled through the entryway.  I picked up Claire from where she was waiting patiently in her car seat, handed her to Ben, and walked into our new home.  

We searched each room, noticing the size of them, the insides of the closets, the number of sinks.  It had a good feeling inside of it, with a lot of space and light.  We walked out on the back porch, and I smiled at all of the green facing us.  There were no homes behind ours, just masses of trees so thick you couldn't see through to the other side of them.  

Ben, Caleb and I unpacked our cars, and met neighbors who came outside to introduce themselves.  Our first family meal was Chick-Fil-A, eaten at 10 pm, while sitting on the floor.  Then we unrolled sleeping bags, brushed teeth, changed clothes, said a family prayer, and after finally winding down from the excitement, fell asleep. 

It has now been almost 3 weeks since the first morning we woke up in our new house, and I pressed my nose to the glass on a Tuesday.  

Some people look at a big move to a big city as a big adventure.  Ben is one of them.  I am not--but I'm trying.  I signed on to this move, with 100% support, knowing it would be difficult for my personality.  I am a lover of comfort zones, and for the past few years have felt such an intense need for setting down roots that the knowledge we are still several more years and a couple of more moves away from that makes me want to openly weep and then crawl into a hole.  And then take a big long nap.  (But that last part is irrelevant--naps always sound like a great idea, to me.)

The three weeks here have been nothing short of a little ridiculous.  The first week, Claire got a major fever, then June started up right behind her.  Soon every single one of our family was hit with some sort of a major flu bug, except for me.  June and Claire had it the worst, I have never seen June this sick.  Every night she would throw up from coughing, and her fever was 104 for 4 full days.  We had no insurance, no money, no belongings aside from one pillow and blanket for everyone, a few toys, some clothes, a couple of towels, a T.V. and a very small amount of kitchen supplies.  When June would throw up on what we had brought, we would do laundry in one of the bathroom tubs, and went without our own pillows and blankets.  

The second week, we discovered a mold problem in our master bathroom.  We're grateful they repaired it quickly, but this entire week was spent cooped up while waiting for them to finish.  Two days ago, we found a scorpion in Caleb's room.  After panicking a bit and trying to find creative ways to remove everything off of the floors we had been using as our dressers, we got a pest control company in here and bought traps.  Fingers crossed the scorpions are managed.

We are on week three now, still without our belongings.  Luckily, Ben is finally a legit member of the army, we have insurance, our friends lent us a card table, chairs, and a couple of games, June is back to her hilarious self, we were paid a portion of our move reimbursement, we are learning to live with less, and I have finally made peace with the laundromat and the homeless "regulars" who initially terrified me.  Not only that, but we've felt the love of our family and friends from far away.  They have checked in on us with phone calls, and texts, sent letters or packages...and those things have meant the absolute world to us.   

This life will take some getting used to, I know.  It will take a lot of pushing and stretching, again.  These are the parts that are uncomfortable, but bring the most growth--when I can look back at them. 

In the meantime, I'm trying to stay sane in this big, empty house that I can't feel settled into yet without our pictures and curtains and furniture.  I'm trying to get out and drive and find libraries and parks and fun things for our kids to do.  I'm trying to not let loneliness swallow me up, and walk outside to meet neighbors and make an effort.  

San Antonio is beautiful, and the people of Texas are friendly, and I'm trying.  

And it will take time.