I’m finally back in Seattle.
The three weeks with my family were lovely and flew by. I managed to get a bit of a tan, and some new clothes and spent loads of time with my nephews and niece and my sisters. I was excited to come back. Excited to (as I told my sister) “just get on with it already.” I felt ready to start our new life in earnest.
My youngest sister flew back with us. Her presence made it felt like an adventure. We worked like we were under a spell, and decorated the entire house while she was here. We hiked in the woods, and went to the sound. We visited the aquarium and took the ferry to Bainbridge. We even walked to a used book shop and a local coffee place both just up the road.
After the kids went to bed we watched nerdy TV together, and it really was a wonderful week.
She left this morning, and with her all the excitement and joy left too. Despite having started this process months ago there was always something making it not seem real or permanent. First was the road trip across the country, seeing things for the first time. Then we were staying with other people without the kids and it felt like a vacation. Then I was off to Maryland for a long family visit. Finally my sister was here and I got to show her all the wonderful things that made me fall in love with the PNW to begin with.
But this morning it was real life. A life I don’t quite understand yet, in a house I’m not used to. Separated by an entire country from all of our family and most of our friends. I felt lost all day. Somehow my sister’s missing presence snapped the last tether I had. I Went grocery shopping (nothing will make you feel more alien then shopping in a new grocery store.), baked a cake, read a book in front of my fire. I even folded laundry, all in the hopes that it would make it feel real. That somehow those actions could anchor me to this new life.
Finally I went to words, to my keyboard and screen. Maybe here I’ll be reminded of why we came, and how it’s all going to be okay.