When home isn’t “home”

I had the great fortunate traveling to Burlington, Vermont for CASE’s Summer Institute in Communications and Marketing last week. Quick review… Burlington is an adorable little town. The “crepedilla” from Skinny Pancake might be one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. If you are a marcom professional working in higher ed, beg your boss to send you to this conference. You will come home with fantastic contacts, good ideas, and a determination to become more strategic instead of simply being a task monkey.

After recovering from the red-eye, I found that my body happily adapted to being back on Eastern time. I had settled into a comfortable routine and rhythm in Corvallis but there was just something about being back on the East Coast that put me at ease. When I wasn’t in sessions or catching up on work, I could easily chat with friends and family without thinking of the time difference. I wasn’t prepared to feel at home in Vermont but I did.

Maybe a little too at home…

On Thursday night when I was waiting for my plane to leave JFK, I had the strongest urge to simply not come back. I was boarding a plane to go home but suddenly, Oregon just wasn’t home. I felt a tightness in my chest and tears bubbled near the surface when I thought about coming back to a place that is so far away from family and dearest friends. I seriously planned my escape. I pondered what I would need to do to get my checked bag. I wondered if I could call my husband’s family in NYC to have a place to land for a few days.

Thankfully, I am far too responsible and boringly predictable for all of that. I got on the plane and made my way back to PDX. I wasn’t happy but I was coming back. When I woke up on Friday morning, I cried and questioned what I had done. It had been weeks since I felt like that. I went into work on Friday afternoon and kept myself busy with tasks. I was so tired that work pushed away all my anxiety and sad thoughts.

I knew I had to get a handle on this so I treated myself by stepping away from work and driving to the coast yesterday. I had a great time in Newport and felt that maybe, just maybe, I could get used to this. Part of this is doing a better job of taking care of myself, one cannot center everything in her life around work. Fun has to be a part of the equation.

I don’t regret my choice but this opportunity didn’t come without sacrifice. That’s true of many things in life. I am not writing this for sympathy. I want to faithfully document this whole move and just like with life, skipping over the rough parts isn’t an option.

 

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Tastes of Oregon

On Friday, I had the opportunity to sample some delicious new flavors. The first was the coconut oatmeal cookie created by Mennonite bakers. That is a delicious flavor combo. Overall, I prefer an oatmeal scotchie but the coconut oatmeal is not as rich, making it a better choice for summer.

On Friday night, I sampled the bacon guacamole from Del Alma. I enjoy my guac with loads of lime and cilantro so I wasn’t sure about this concoction featuring bacon, chipotle peppers, and chopped hazelnuts but it turned out to be so good that my taste buds did a little dance. The hazelnuts were a perfect balance to the heat of the peppers. The bacon appeared in thick, flavorful chunks. It isn’t an everyday guac, but it is delightful!

Yesterday, I thought I would order a pizza because I had good experiences on Friday and good things come in threes, right?

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Wrong! Woodstocks delivered this pizza in a timely fashion and they use quality cheese. That ends my list of positives. The crust was burnt on the edge and soggy on the bottom. The sauce tasted like spaghetti sauce and the seasonings didn’t belong on a Hawaiian pizza or any pizza for that matter. This pizza was not great cold on day two. At least American Dream had that going for them. A good pizza is hard to find in Corvallis!

Pretty little pity party

Sing it Puddles!

Generally, I am not one to feel sorry for myself or at least not one to wallow in it. That has not been the case over the last few days.

Until a couple of weeks ago, Mr. McB and I thought that he would be able to make a visit here in conjunction with a  business trip to California. Plans changed and that all evaporated. I was sad but then on Thursday, the day he was to arrive, I just hit rock bottom. I saw the shuttle that would have brought him from Portland to Corvallis no less than four times during the day. Normally, I might see it once in four days. I sat in the parking lot at work and cried. It was not a good day.

Thursday was also crappy because once again Anytime Fitness refused to accept documentation that would allow me to cancel our contract. They keep moving the goal line when it comes to what we need and it is infuriating. They have six different pieces of information but keep asking for something else even though what I am providing what they ask for. They also didn’t freeze our account as promised. It is corrected now but I’m annoyed that I had to follow up on it and ask for the charge to be reversed.

I was also frustrated because the trash company did not take away the cans left by the previous tenants, even though I was assured that they would. I also still have car parts, including an entire exhaust system, in my garage. Not major things but I cannot stand it when people don’t do the service I am paying them for. I don’t have time to call repeatedly but I don’t have much of a choice.

Friday, I woke up grouchy but pulled out of it when I was able to spend the evening with friends and their family. It was nice and I felt better.

Saturday, I was able to get a local bank account without any fuss. I went to the farmer’s market. I was really having a great day. I decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and head to the shore. I made it 10 minutes down the road when my “check engine” light came on. I was able to make it in to Firestone only to learn that my catalytic converter is toast. Thankfully, I have a wonderful friend who just happens to be getting his Ph.D. in automotive engineering and he made sure I knew that the federal government requires automakers to have nice long warranties on catalytic converters. The warranty covers eight years and 80,000 miles and I am at 7 years and 75,488 miles. I should have focused on how fortunate I was to be safe and to know that at least part of the repair is covered under warranty. Instead, I picked up the “woe is me” flag and there was more crying last night.

Today I am finally getting in the right frame of mind. I went to church and was very touched by the message. I remembered that I am never alone and even when things seem hopeless, I’m not doing the heavy lifting on my own.

I am thankful for my Creator, my family, and my friends. They all sustain me during the rough times and love me even when I decide to throw a pity party.