Thursday, June 7, 2012

Like a Rag-Tag Band of Refugees

Let me just start off by saying that I was certain we would not survive the seven-hour flight to Houston. POSITIVE. I hate flying. Boo hates sitting still. Makenna doesn't hate much, but she's 11 months old and how much can I really expect from her?  And Patrick, well, watching him finagle his frame into the iPhone-sized economy seat is painful in a very real and very empathetic way.

But guess what? We made it. One shot, one kill...boom. We landed in Houston bleary eyed and sweating profusely the moment we left the sanctuary of the airport's refrigerated air. (This was a 6:37 a.m., mind you...)

The last week has been sort of a blur. We arrived. We stayed in a stanky Motel 6 with scary prostitutes and truckers outside. Good thing nobody bothered us because all four of us slept 13 hours straight in that Twighlight Zone hotel room. (That was sort of freaky, to be honest.)

We moved into our new place. As you can see in the first photo, we don't have much. For the first week or so, we mostly sat around and lamented the fact that our butts hurt and it was too hot to do anything outside but melt.

Little by little, and with the most awesome help from our surrogate family and fellow Alaskan transplants Ricky and Keri, we're finding our own, new normal. They let us borrow a television and digitial atenna and you would have thought we lived in a cave, we were so grateful to see evening news and Gordon Ramsey.

Our trucks are lost some where between the Puget Sound and Purgatory, so for a while we travel in and out of a vehicle-less state. We gave up and rented a car last night that we probably couldn't afford...but we are at the point where eating Beenie Weenies is a fair trade for being able to get out and about. (I am DYING to check out the Katy library branch. I have it on my itinerary for tomorrow. Woo hoo!)

We're learning to move around the heat and humidity. The other photos above were taken at a neighborhood park. At 7:07 a.m. Yep, we get all our playgrounding and excercising in before 9 a.m., folks. And don't bother suggesting I wait until the evening in the Gulf Coast, 9 p.m. means a drastic cooloff to a balmy 91 degrees. No thanks!

The pool. Oh, the pool. Not only can I thank it for the awesome tan I'm building, but I forgot just how fun these things are. How could I have existed in a place for eight long years that had NO OUTDOOR POOLS in the entire state??? Yes, folks, I'm elated at the fact I have a pool a few steps out my front door. Spoiled even.

Today I made it to the downtown Houston office via the Katy/Houston metro. Me and about 40 other worker bees piled into a touring bus and thumbed our noses  from the HOV/Commuter lane at the poor slobs sitting still in traffic. Downtown Houston is beautiful in a big, intimidating way. My phone battery was dying as I desperately prayed Google maps to hold out for just a couple more blocks while I found my way to the office.

I am so happy we made it and so happy with our decision to return to my homestate. But it's different. The air is different. The coffee is different (terrible, actually). The routines are different. The vibe is...well...different.

I keep asking P how long I'm going to feel like a a refugee looking for a home. But check out those kids up there. They don't look very lost, do they? Seems to me I could take a page out of my childrens' playbook and just get with the program and enjoy the new view!

Hope summer is beautiful where you are!


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