Happy 2019

Plate with pork, cornbread and greens

Lucky foods are a must for the start of the new year. Pork (forward progress), greens (spinach is our “cash”), black-eyed peas (pennies, also one of the few crops Sherman left Southerners following the Civil War), and cornbread (gold).

So far, we have been very lucky with warm, mild weather. I cleared gutters without falling off the ladder. We also witnessed a feeding frenzy at the bird feeder. Mr. McB got some great shots at the feeder. I spotted the cardinal after dinner and snapped a few pictures. I also got a photo of the squirrel who seemed unhappy that so many bids were eating from the feeder that he frequently robs.

Cardinal in the grassSquirrel

Catching up

Louisiana welcome signDespite my best intentions, I didn’t have the energy to chronicle my drive from Oregon to Louisiana with nightly posts. I have photos and stories, so those posts will come.

I have been running since arriving in Baton Rouge on the 18th. It took a few days to complete the work that Mr. McB began in the house. Most of the heavy lifting is done with just the storeroom left to organize. Some decorating remains, but it feels like home. We are establishing little routines and building the “boring” domestic life we longed for.

I forgot just how taxing daily life can be after a move. WAZE is my best friend. Though even after I find the store, I don’t know where to find the items I need. There are no quick errands when everything is foreign. In the grand scheme, this is a minor complaint, but it doesn’t ward off the anxiety and exhaustion. We all have those moments for one reason or another.

I find myself surrounded by helpful souls who are willing to aid in my transition. Their kindness and concern is overwhelming, in all the right ways. My spirits are also buoyed by thoughtful friends and technology that shrinks the distance between us. Time spent with family fills my heart with a peace and happiness that knows no words. 

A new job will come. For now I am keeping busy with the search, freelance work, settling in and caring for our little family. It’s amazing how those items manage to keep me busy.

Life is good and I am thankful for every minute.

Are we there yet?

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 9.33.15 PM

Head east on…

Here’s the drive ahead of me.

13 June Corvallis to Redmond, OR
14 June Redmond, OR to Pocatello, ID
15 June Pocatello, ID to Cortez, CO
16 June Cortez, CO to Albuquerque, NM
17 June Albuquerque, NM to Wichita Falls, TX
18 June Wichita Falls, TX to Baton Rouge, LA

Here’s a Google map that shows all the stops. I’m excited about seeing Arches and Mesa Verde.

Got a recommendation for food or sightseeing? Post it in the comments.

A lot to catch up on

“You should get back to writing on your website.”  A sweet friend, who speaks the truth

So much has happened since my last post. For starters, we are in the process of moving to Baton Rouge. Actually, I am in the process. Mr. McB is there and furiously unpacking. I love him for that.

I am a trailing spouse and on the job hunt again. That’s OK, I have been here before. I remember the lessons.

I am leaving Oregon and saying goodbye to dear friends, that is hard. I am leaving Oregon with a sense that I wasn’t tough enough for this wild place, that is equally difficult. Kind souls have told me that isn’t the case, but I can’t shake the feeling. Expect more on that as I have five days in the car to listen to loud music and think.

Feels good to shake off the cobwebs. Until later…

Not an easy fix

Sorry for stepping away from this blog for so many months. At first, it was all a matter of time. I couldn’t force myself to come home and write after spending hours in front of a computer screen each day.

When Mr. McB arrived in town after Labor Day, I wanted to spend time with him. When he adapted quickly to life in Oregon while I continued to struggle, I didn’t want to talk or write about it. I also had no interest in creating a fictional existence where all was rosy and bright.

Truth is, I am still trying to find my way. Admitting that is hard. I am also working too many hours to make that adjustment any easier for myself. It’s my own bad choice and don’t want pity, I just want to be honest about it. Without honesty, this blog becomes little more than a highlight reel ripe for unrealistic comparisons.

So, I am working on it. On the professional front, help will be on the way soon. Summer also brings at least a moment to breathe. 

Personally, I looking forward to little getaways. I am eager to explore, with Mr. McB or on my own if his work schedule continues to be a challenge. I vow to leave my desk at lunch at least once a week. I am indulging in a 60 minute massage every six weeks. I am making time to call and email family and East Coast friends. I might try a  little container gardening. I am getting back to blogging on at least a weekly basis. In short, I am getting back to taking care of myself.

  

Regaining the magic

I have vague recollections of the flights I took as a youngster. The oldest memories are fuzzy fragments – seeing blue lights illuminating the runway at night, receiving a pair of wings just like the pilot’s, wishing I had a jar to catch some clouds…. Somewhere between the bumpy rides on puddle jumpers and adulthood, what was once magic became routine.

Fast forward to 2008 and my cousin’s wedding. We decided to fly to Kansas City as a family. This included my grandparents and aunt who had never flown before. If you asked me then, I might have described the trip as a “production” instead of an adventure. I love my family but that’s a lot of moving parts.

My grandfather was a tall man so we arranged for his seat to be in the aisle but he was far more interested in the view than legroom. We shuffled him into a window seat. I’m not sure Pop talked to us at all during that flight. He was not a quiet man so this is notable. Throughout the flight his gaze rarely left the window. This was clearly someone who was capable of wonder and understood that safely speeding through the air is nothing short of miraculous.  

I have to admit that I remarked on it but it really didn’t change me very much. Flights were to primarily to be endured, not savored. When we flew back to Kansas City for another cousin’s wedding, I remember Pop’s perplexed, and perhaps mildly disgusted, expression as we put on headphones, pulled out magazines, and started all sorts of tasks that took us out of the experience. We could have it our way but he was opting for fascination and exploration.

Somewhere along the way, and it might have been the first flight I took after he passed, that I realized that I was wasting a perfectly good opportunity to experience awe and joy, two emotions that far too many adults are lacking in their lives. Now, I savor the glorious moment when the plane leaves the ground and begins to climb toward the heavens. I find myself peering out the window and counting my blessings. I don’t have a perfect life but it’s full of wonderful people and amazing opportunities. There’s something about lifting off the ground that puts everything into perspective.

These photos were taken on a recent flights between Portland and Seattle. I think he would approve.