So my cousin once said to me, “Don't be afraid to go. If you go and it sucks, you can always go home again.” Well, it didn't suck but I still find myself home again...and it's really weird. After living in England for almost two years, it was a bit of a blow to the ego to find myself back in the United States. But it was California and California can be very awesome in so many ways (she says as she ignores the droughts and high cost of living and never being able to wear a sweater) and overall it wasn't so bad. In fact, it was kind of really good...except for the droughts and high cost of living and never being able to wear a sweater. About 8 months ago, I took Henry and we went back to Wisconsin for 3 weeks. It was just a visit. We wanted to see family. It was also March and Wisconsin was still knee deep (literally) in the polar vortex of snow and cold. Andy joined us for a week. For some reason, we decided after that visit that we would move back there...here. We first thought we'd move April 2015. Then it moved to October 2014. In the end, we stepped foot in this frozen tundra on September 17, 2014.
When Andy and I decided we were going to move to Wisconsin, we didn't tell any of our California friends about it until 6 weeks before we left. It's not that it was a huge secret, we just didn't want to get any shit from our friends about leaving what is essentially paradise (if you ignore the droughts, high cost of living and oh, did I forget wild fires?). We needn't of worried. When we told our friends our plans and our reason for leaving, they all completely understood. We didn't get an ounce of shit from any of them. You know who we got shit from? Our friends in Wisconsin who could not fathom for a minute why we would leave California for here. While heartbreaking, knowing that they had lived through the hell of last winter, I kind of understood (read: Yeah, thanks a bunch Wisconsin friends, excuse me while I cry in my brandy old fashioned.)
So why did we move? It's not like we didn't love the weather. It wasn't that we didn't love our friends. It wasn't that we were bored from all the things to do. We moved because we have Henry...and we wanted our little boy to not only grow up around family, but to also grow up in a house. Not a triplex with the landlord banging on bongos to the left and the neighbors to the right blaring books on tape at 7 AM Saturday mornings. We wanted him to go to a school where his friends wouldn't ask him why his parents didn't drive a Mercedes and vacation in the Maldives every year. No matter which way we tried to swing it, we couldn't do those things in California. So here we are...in Wisconsin. Yes, I had to buy a coat.
Maybe some of you are wondering where Wisconsin is. It's not a foreign thing. I had people in California who mixed up Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin. Wisconsin borders one of those big lakes to the north...you know, near Canada. Wisconsinites talk funny but not as bad as Canadians with their 'a-boot''s and 'eh''s. 'Happy Days' was based here. So was 'That 70's Show'. We are known for our cheese, beer, brats and Green Bay Packers. It's close to Chicago (ish)! Still confused? Pull out a goddamn map.
Look for the state that looks like an oven mitt.
So what's it like being home? I admit that I was a bit depressed for awhile. I feel I was in mourning. It was like how I was depressed when Henry was first born. I mourned the fact that my carefree childless life was over. I was happy to have Henry but still had to grasp that I'd never have that life again. It's the same being back home. I had to mourn my old California life, try to say good-bye, try not to keep thinking that we'd be back there someday (to live). It's been better recently. It helps seeing Henry thrive in this environment. He loves his grandparents, uncles and aunts, and especially his cousins that are all around his age. He loves running across the field in my parent's backyard to feed the horses carrots. He loves the two parks by our house and all the friends he's been making. He loves wearing snow boots. He's happy and that's what matters.
The boy, happily throwing rocks into Lake Michigan even though it's fuck-all degrees out.
You know what I love? I love owning a house. It's not my dream house and it needs a lot of work but it's our house. Did you know we bought the house without ever setting foot in it? It's true. We had to trust the photos from the realtor (ha ha ha! THEY LIE) and the opinion of my dad (better, but he doesn't appreciate modern kitchens like I do) as the sources for our purchasing decision. It turned out alright. Though I wish someone would have told me that many times when you buy a house the previous owners don't clean the place before you move in. OH MY GOD. I hope never to have to scrap off three years of pubic hair from a shower ever again. Feel free to gag a bit when you read that. I hope to never have to scrap off ant traps from the top of my kitchen cabinets again. I hope to never have to wonder what that gigantic 2 foot oil/dirt/fur mark was in the living room again. And previous owners...WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH ALL THESE CABLES??
So that's what's been up. I finally decided to try to start writing again. It's time. I've joined up with the YMCA and they have a child watch (where Henry is currently playing very happily in) and since I screwed up my knee (urg) I can't work out but why not use the child watch while I write since dammit, I'm paying for it. They did just filled for bankruptcy so I might only be able to write for a month before they close down (um...yay?).
How are you all doing?