Eric and I scanned the last of our earthly belongings comparing it with the quickly deteriorating space in the truck and had to make some fast decisions.
“The chairs are going, aren’t they?” I asked, knowing full well the answer.
“‘Fraid so,” he said.
I turned away when I saw him briskly carry the happy blue pair to the spontaneous free yard sale accumulating at the edge of the curb. They’ll be happier here in the warm San Diego sun, I thought. Good thing we are doing this before school lets out, as there will be lots foot traffic to carry away the things we cannot take with us. The little boy that yelled exuberantly about his new-to-him bike as he rode it away made me grin. Jake had been eating his knees on that bike for a few months now and it was time to let it go anyway. That’s what the song says, right? Let it go, let it go…..
It’s just stuff.
I stopped short when I saw our aqua Adirondack chairs nestled happily in their new yard. It was bittersweet giving them away. It was bittersweet walking the dogs this very last time in our San Diego neighborhood. I breathed it in. I noticed all the palm trees, took in the view down toward Mission Bay, and closed my eyes and sighed as the sun warmed my skin.
We started on our adventure a half day behind as we had some finishing up at the old house to complete. One last check of the mail box, roll up the garbage and recycling cans, and turn over the keys.
We had big plans to make it up to Washington in three days. With 3 dogs, 2 kids and me who gets what I call “car-koleptic” (extremely tired when driving in the rain) we knew our plans were way too aggressive. Once again I was reminded that I could never be a long haul trucker.
As California’s terrain changed from desert, vineyards and then finally to forested mountains, I found myself awed by the beauty of it all. I pointed out things to the kids. Miraculously the sights were stunning enough to tear their eyes from their iPods. “Ohhhh, wowww….” could be heard from both of them. I forgot just how little they were when we left this part of the country. “They don’t remember,” I thought sadly. Climbing higher into the mountains, and into Oregon, I chuckled when the car sounded an alert as the temperature was now below 40 degrees. This alarm came complete with a cute flashing snowflake on my dashboard. Poor car has never seen anything below 60 degrees! I tapped the dash and murmured, ‘Good little car, you’re doing fine!’
I grew up in the Puget Sound, but after moving out of state the first time, I was shocked by the heat and the humidity of Florida. “So that’s what that ball of fire in the sky is!” I joked when regaling people of the transition to the Sunshine state from the renowned rainy Seattle area. I have loved living all over the country, and yes, Hawaii has ruined us for all states. There is just something about the Pacific Northwest. It pulls me back in ways I can scarcely describe.
I tend to agree with Bon Jovi. Who says you can’t go home? Maybe not the way it was, but a place makes you who you are in ways that are non-tangible. Living away has given me a perspective that would not exist if I’d never left. There is breathtaking beauty here. The allure of the forests, the captivating mists – it’s magic pure and simple.
Hannah’s camera was clicking fast and furious as we traveled. I was curious what gems may be hidden on her device when she was reluctant to let me see. She had been working furiously on something, but promised she would share it with me when she was done.
Make no mistake, there is a kind of magic here – and I believe it has enchanted my daughter.