First Night

Tonight we finally get to spend the night in the new house. We are buried in boxes. I know we’ll get through it eventually, but it’s hard to get anything done. Just walking down the hallway, I’ll pass a box and feel compelled to open it and start putting stuff away – even though I was on task to do something completely different.

It is pretty cool to finally be HOME. The challenge with this house will be storage – the house itself is quite a bit smaller than our last and there’s just less storage space overall. It’s going to take some creativity to solve the problem. Especially since we’re minus an office ROOM. My new office is now basically a hallway. So no office closet or anything like that. To compensate, I put a book shelf in the hallway with me, and bought some pretty baskets that fit on the shelves to put stuff in. So when you walk down the hallway, instead of seeing a bunch of office supplies hanging out everywhere, you just see the pretty baskets on the shelves.

Our kitchen has a lot of available space, but to make the most use of it, we’ll have to get some roll out shelves. Wherever I can put a piece of furniture that can hold things, that’s what we’re doing. And of course, we’re continuing to junk as much stuff as possible.

But even with all the boxes everywhere… I’m still so glad we’re done.

Settling in

Things have settled down from when I posted last. We got some resolution on some open and scary issues. With that resolution, we were able to make an offer on a really nice townhome, just outside of a really nice town (walking distance). Everyone has signed off on the paperwork, so now we just wait. It will be about a month or two before we can actually start moving in, but at least we know a home is definitely within our future.

Living here will not be easy – and we’ll be carefully watching every penny we spend. We’ll be living on a tighter budget than we ever had. That is pretty scary to me – but we’ll do what we have to do.

Anyway – the last time I posted, things were pretty much at their worst. So I felt I had to update. The next few weeks will still be hectic – I have work that has piled up while we’ve been busy with house stuff. And then there’s Thanksgiving – we’ll be visiting Sam’s family back in Massachusetts. And then right after that is Hanukkah… then Christmas… Then sometime then or shortly after we’ll start moving into the house… I’m glad we went to Hawaii when we did. It will be a long time before I can afford another trip like that – and while the rest of the chaos is going on, at least I know the place now and can go there in my mind when I need to escape. 😉

A Beautiful Mess

The last month has been a whirlwind. We’re in California now, but I’m not sure for how long. We made the decision to come here based on some things that have now apparently changed since we arrived. It’s a total mess. I hate to say it, but this was a horrible horrible mistake. It feels like a long series of events happened that were never meant to be. I’m praying that there will come a time very soon that we can get back on track, my kids can get back on track – and we can all live our lives with minimal damage from all of this – both financially and emotionally. I keep trying to find the bright side and at the moment it’s not real clear. Aside from my getting to spend some quality time with my parents for the next 6 months or so – that’s about the only good that I think will have come from this.

We may still yet be headed to Portland, OR. I’m not sure. Our lives are completely up in the air, but I’m done destroying my kids academic year. We won’t make any more changes in their lives until the end of the school year. Then I’ll work on righting the wrongs. Until then we have to live with the mess we made.


This time next week, I will have started an entirely new phase in my life. At least that’s the way it feels. Everything will be different than it was before. I’m definitely ready for some “different.”

When we moved here about 5-1/2 years ago, I always knew this was a temporary arrangement. I never intended to stay in Utah forever. When people asked me what I thought about living here, my canned response was “It works for us for now.” Over the past year, it’s been more and more clear that it was working less and less for us on so many levels.

I am not a very religious person, and I don’t believe in “God” per se, but the way things have been going, I feel that what we are doing is following a path that “something” laid out for us. Everything has fallen into place, like it was always meant to be. Like it was planned out that way long before the thoughts came to me. It’s a weird fence to be sitting on when I really don’t “believe.” Either way, I’m just following the road as it goes along. The decisions were tough because of the doubt, but once they were made, everything came together.

I’ve been looking at houses out there, and I’ve found a few things that were close to what I would like, but not perfect. This of course makes me question everything, and lets doubt creep in – but I’m also trying to hold onto the belief that this is all happening exactly as it is supposed to and no matter how much I worry about it – it makes no difference. It will all fall into place at just the right time, and not a moment before. It’s true – if the perfect house came on the market now, it would not be good – because we are not there yet, and can not buy it. So I have this crazy hope that just when I need the house, it will be there. And that may be the first day we get there, or it may be a few months from now. But we won’t be “homeless” forever.

The other thing I’ve been thinking about is how we will survive the next while… Let me paint a picture for you: my parents house is relatively small. Well, it’s a perfect size for them: a retired couple that occasionally has a visitor. Not really designed to hold as many people as will be living there very soon. A 1500 (or 1400?) square foot, 3-bedroom house for 6 people. “Tight” doesn’t even begin to describe it. We’ll be loading up their garage with all the stuff we couldn’t put in storage. We’re converting their office into a bunk bed kids bedroom, and of course Sam and I will be taking over their guest bedroom.

When I described the situation to a client of mine, he said it sounded like the premise of a sitcom. I totally agree. I really feel like I need to document our life there, because at some point (probably not DURING) I’m going to look back on that time and laugh at how crazy it all was. At least I hope so.

But above everything else going on right now is this huge anticipation – that this isn’t “just another move.” This is just the beginning of something huge. That for the past 5-1/2 years we were in limbo – we were in the “waiting place.” And NOW finally, stuff is going to happen. What that “stuff” is… I really have no idea. But I think it’s going to be great!

I survived the road to Hana

Before we drove to Hana, I was noticing all these t-shirts that said “I survived the road to Hana” – and separately, both Sam and I had the same thought: “hmm… that’s a funny way to put it.” Whenever we talked about this “tourist attraction” to anyone, they all seemed to downplay it. They said – yeah, it’s kind of a long trip, plan for a full day, the road is a little winding.

A little? Wow. Maybe I when I tell stories of our adventures I go over the top with my descriptions, but still, I’d never think to describe that road as a “little” winding.

Quite simply, the road was terrifying. Now I understand why the t-shirts all say “I survived the road to Hana” – because just surviving that road is enough to brag about. Like “I swam in a river filled with Parana and sharks. And then just to make things interesting, they placed a hungry tiger on the shore.” Seriously, the road is nuts. It’s VERY winding, it’s VERY narrow. Some turns are so tight and so narrow, you literally have to hold your breathe as you make the turn praying that the person coming around the bend is far enough over.

This picture above explains why I would be concerned about that in the first place. The huge truck in front of us obviously felt the dividing lines between the two lanes was merely a “guideline,” and not something you really needed to pay attention to.

And with such a narrow, winding road, you’d think people would obey the speed limit. Oh, no of course not! Locals as well as tourists zip through this place like death is a paradise you can’t wait to see.

They also warn you that there is nothing from the town of Pa’ia all the way to Hana, so you better get a boxed lunch in Pa’ia so you don’t starve to death on your way. So of course we heeded these suggestions, but there’s actually tons of little roadside local setups that I would have loved to have tried. It makes me think that the hotel has some sort of deal with the “boxed lunch” place to send business their way. At one point, regardless of the fact that we had plenty of food in the cooler from Pa’ia, we stopped at a little local stand and picked up some of the freshest “Pineapple Bread” I’ve ever eaten. Actually, I’ve never eaten pineapple bread, and probably will never do so again, but that’s just because nothing will ever compare to how delicious this bread was. It was still hot from the oven, and just totally amazing. They also had little bags of fresh coconut. Seriously – how can you turn that down.

One of the things we were going to do, was listen to this CD that was supposed to be a “tour guide” for you as you drive. We didn’t listen to him very much. Although it probably would have been pretty funny to keep doing so. The drive was just so difficult that we needed to keep full concentration on every inch. The one part we did hear and are still laughing over is that he said that the road “used to be” terrible – full of potholes, but fairly recently (2004?) it was paved and widened. Seriously? If this road is wide NOW, I would hate to have seen it before!

The point of the trip, apparently, is not just to drive to Hana and back, but to stop at several locations along the way. In my mind, I pictured a decent sized pull-off on the road, or at least larger signage to indicate where you were supposed to go, but this was not the case. The pull-offs were mostly no bigger than a small ditch on the side of the road. For some of the stops, it required hiking into woods on a vaguely marked path. All that coupled with my severe car-sickness from the road, we didn’t stop much.

Look, honey, a waterfall!! Ok keep going!!!

At one of the bathroom stops we found on the way (we were told there were NONE!) we looked at the list of “sights” to see on the road to Hana, and decided the one and only one we REALLY wanted to see was the black sand beach. So we headed straight there. It was incredible. There was a lava tube right near the beach, and the sand was truly amazing. All of it comprised of black sand and rocks formed by lava flowing down to the ocean thousands of years ago. I so wanted to take a sample back, but then remembered what someone had told us about not taking sand or rocks… something about bad luck and really with so much of our life up in the air right now, I need as little bad luck as possible. I don’t even want to think about tempting fate.

Coming back was a much easier trip, for me anyway. I had been so wound up and felt so sick on the road in, that I was completely exhausted and fell asleep for most of the trip back to the hotel. Probably made Sam’s life easier that way too. LOL!

If you do ever come to Maui, and have never done the drive to Hana, and want to… well, at least now you’ll know what you’re getting yourself into. LOL! I’m not sorry we did it, but I can’t see myself ever wanting to do that drive again!