We made this same circuit around our valley last year before the fire on most days the weather allowed. It's about as grand a walk as one will find in the world. Yeah, a beach is great, and so are the mountains but walking through a green valley, past enormous Amish gardens, horses, and cornfields stretching to the horizon never gets old. It's big, wide open sky, rolling green hills and animals everywhere. Chickens and pigs and dogs and birds and horses. We say hello to these fine fellows who trot to the fence to greet us each time we pass:
I can't believe we're back. From being my unrelenting, unhappy existence the past six months now feels hazy, like waking up after a nightmare. Did it all really happen? It did. But it's over now.
Now that the hard part is over, the move is complete and we're getting settled again, it's the little things that are blowing my mind. This morning I took a proper bath for the first time this year. The tub at our old house made that virtually impossible. You'd get an inch of water in the bottom and the hot would be gone. Nothing worse than trying to shave your legs with goose bumps the size of marbles jutting from your skin.
Oh! I don't have to step out of the kitchen and into another room to wash my dishes or get a drink or wet a wash rag to wipe off the kitchen table. The house we rented after the fire was so old the sink was around the corner from the kitchen. You don't realize how much sink work you do in a kitchen until there isn't one there and you're missing it desperately. And there were no counters. None. We had to set up a kind of makeshift island we used to prepare food. Now I have counters that before I took for granite (heh heh heh) and here they are so damn luxurious, stretching all around the room just begging for a toaster here or for me to chop up some vegetables there. Oh! Oh! And not only is my sink in the same room as my kitchen but I have a dishwasher which I keep forgetting about. I'll do a whole sink of dishes before I remember I've got a dishwasher.
I was worried about feeling weird here after the fire but it doesn't feel creepy at all. It feels like home. The other house was so old and so unsafe for kids (old wiring, no screens in any windows, steep hardwood stairs, no fence) that this house is like a dream. I've been floating through the past week just tripping out on the craziness of it all. Who moves into the same house at the exact same time of year two years in a row? It was almost exactly this date last year that we left Utah for Pennsylvania.
I feel like I've turned a corner, like I can a breathe a sigh of relief and move forward after the whole Life, Interrupted scenario the house fire brought down upon us. Maybe now that I'm finally relaxing and letting go I can begin to process what I've just been through, what we've been through, and attempt to learn from it and get better.
While living at the other house I was frozen, just trying to survive. Anxiety attacks, depression, the whole nine. I was in survival mode, like I was dangling from the edge of a building, holding on as tightly as I could, waiting for help to arrive except no help was coming. That existence was just my new life. One minute you live in the house of your dreams and the next minute it's all over and you're stuck in some strange house in a strange town that's miles away from anything you've grown accustomed to and that's where you live now. And now, just as quickly as we landed in that other house, we're back in our home.
Here we are. I just can't believe it, from nightmare to dream.