July 25th we left the Valley for our new home in small town West Texas. (I’m still feeling odd about saying which town…) We got here well after dark. On the drive out, I managed to accidentally instill a fear of chupacabras in Mini Furious. Given how dark and empty that last hour of drive is, I don’t really blame her. But I told her that they don’t exist, and even if they do exist, they only eat goats. So as long as she acts like a little girl and not a goat, she’ll be fine. But they totally don’t exist. Even though one of her uncles swears up and down he saw one. It’s probably best that Professor Furious was driving the moving truck, because he revels in the part of fatherhood that involves terrible jokes and nightmare fuel.
We got in and my in-laws were waiting for us. This town is dark. We’re official dark sky country, with an observatory just up the road a bit. Spectacular views, terrible when you need to find the real estate office you’ve only been to once so you can get the keys for your new house that you’re only pretty sure you know how to to get to. And it was way too late to call our real estate agent for any kind of directions. Adventure!
Finally, we got in and got air mattresses set up. Of course, we’d only seen the house once before, and it is our very first house of our own, so everything looked terrible and terrifying and oh so very “oh god we’ve made a terrible mistake.” It’s gotten better, though. I’ve got a renovation list, and we’re getting to work. The hardest part has been the adjustment to being so rural. I told Professor Furious that I would be going full hippie once we got out here. Not out of any latent crunchy granola desires, but out of sheer necessity. We don’t have an HEB, Target, or WhatABurger. Y’all, those are pretty much my reasons for living. (You know, right after my child, husband, and cats.) My black thumb self is having delusions of gardening, since that’s about the only way to get fresh produce. We’ve been leaning hard on our Amazon account, and finally went in for the prime membership. I’m sure eventually I will get to a zen state of not needing things. But I’m trying to set up a new house here. I need things.
For now, the things are coming. The cats have stopped being terrified of everything, and discovered the patio is a good place for lounging. We’ve all survived our first week of school. (Even me! I’m currently Adjunct Professor Furious.) And I’m finally getting around to ripping my bathroom apart in the best possible way. It’s a big shift, but so far it’s a good one.
Buying a house is a web of lies. For arcane reasons our closing date has now been moved back to the 31st. Okay, not so arcane. Our mortgage dude found us a far better loan option, but it came with extra hoops to jump through. Of course, I found this out after reserving the moving truck. And our lease here ends the 31st, anyway. So we’re renting our own house for about a week. And hopefully no more than a week. This is me breathing deeply and calmly.
But it’s fine. It’s all going to be fine. I refuse to be stressed out by all of this. Really. But did I mention the black widow that had the audacity to crawl out into the middle of the living room floor last week? I’ve been seeing a bunch of spders around the house beyond the little black and grey not especially scary dudes. Professor Furious and I go back and forth about spiders in the house. I feel that if they’re not especially venomous, and stay off my bed, Mini’s bed, my desk, and the couch, they can stay. He is of the terribly mistaken opinion that all spiders are fine, and if it is an especially venomous variety, we should just not touch it and everything will be okay. Unfortunately, this is a hard concept to convey to the cats and child. He scooped the black widow up in a jar and released it outside somewhere. I called the landlords and asked for an exterminator. Luckily, our landlady is on my side here and got a dude out the next day. (Seriously, there are things I would change about this house in a heartbeat, but our landlords are fairly awesome about getting stuff done.) Happily, the spiders I’ve been seeing in the house aren’t brown recluses or hobo spiders as Google had informed me. This is because the brown recluses were hanging out in the garage along with another black widow. I would like it noted that I didn’t ask the exterminator to just burn everything to the ground. Truly I am a woman of restraint in the face of difficulty. As it was, I merely stood in the kitchen flailing my arms and trying not to cry. Like an adult.
In the end, the spiders were dealt with. The exterminator said we might want to wear gloves and long sleeves when moving the boxes in the garage, but otherwise we should be fine. Professor Furious has kindly pointed out that brown recluse bites don’t always necrotize, and that at any rate our new house will most likely have scorpions, which should take my mind off of the spiders. Useful man to have around, my husband, especially if you like nightmares about spiders and scorpions fighting for dominance of your house.
Things are getting nailed down for the big move. The biggest nail is that we’re buying a house. We close in a little less than a month, and frankly the whole thing is stressful and terrifying. Sometimes I look at our bank account and I just want to throw up. Getting so close to closing, though, I can start putting it a bit more out of my head, and start concentrating on everyone’s favorite part of moving: packing. We’ve got a stack of whiskey and vodka boxes in the living room, unfortunately entirely without their original contents, and I am supposed to be filling them with all the things that we don’t need right this minute, and probably won’t need in the next six weeks. I hate this guessing game. Mr. Furious packed up the dvds the other day. I stopped him from packing away Mini’s movies, because even though she’s mostly content with Netflix or no tv at all and just playing LEGOs and dollies, you never know. I will admit it was tempting to let him pack up Frozen so that I could be all “Welp! Daddy packed it! Sorry, you can watch it again after we’ve moved.” She’s got the whole thing memorized, and so now our viewings are in French or Spanish so she can start learning it in those languages. Anyway, so the kid dvds are the only ones not packed. This is unfortunate because we just started watching The Middleman again. (Cancelled before its time and very underrated except for the part where critics loved it and just.. argh. Shut up, ABC Family, you made a Fox level bad decision.)
Where was I? Oh right. So I’m supposed to try and figure out what we don’t need in the next six weeks. We’ve moved a lot. For a while it was once a year. We moved to Minnesota from southern-most Texas and back again. I know the actual how-to of moving. I know that I can pack away everything but my laptop and like two weeks of clothing and I’ll be fine. I also know that the day after I pack anything, I will need that thing desperately. Pack up these books I haven’t read or thought of in forever? Definitely need to reference them for a thing I’m writing. Pack up the muffin tins that have been used exactly once in the last six months? Oh look at this craft that would be perfect for entertaining Mini, and all it calls for is muffin tins! You can see my problem. I think the next time Mr. Furious runs by the liquor store to pick up boxes I’m going to tell him to make sure one of them is full.
What a day/week/month. A month ago we were frantically packing the last of our belongings and figuring out how to dispose of those things that weren’t making the move to Texas with us. My husband accepted a job back n our hometown. The time we had to pack was roughly two weeks. Oh man oh man. Cleaning, packing, disposing, trying to find a place to live… it was madness. Finally, Mom flew in to Minnesota, and the next day we loaded up a moving truck and began the three day drive back to South Texas. Also madness. A 16 foot truck crammed within an inch of its life, our little hatchback, also crammed within an inch of its life. Three adults, one five year-old, two cats, and a goldfish. Mr. Furious was doubtful of the goldfish’s odds of surviving, but happily I was right and she was fine. Anxiety Cat, however, lost about half of his fur to the stress. It was so bad I broke down and took him to the vet and spent money we really didn’t have to be assured that it wasn’t something more serious. Lumpy Cat cried whenever I wasn’t in the same room as him for about a week. They’re both fine now.
Mini Furious was meant to go to an elementary school that I am not impressed with. So I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to get that fixed, and have been met with varying levels of incompetency and laziness. Finally, after a bit of wrangling today, she is set to attend probably the best school in the district. There were also mental gymnastics involved as I was repeatedly told there are no gifted and talented kindergarteners, because they don’t even get tested until November, and the results aren’t back until March. I was also told that every campus has at least one GT kindergarten class. What. The. Fuck. So how is it decided which students end up in that class if they aren’t considered GT until first or second grade (another bit of information that seemed to vary by whom I was talking to)? Yes, I asked. No, I didn’t get a straight answer.
But that was my afternoon today. My morning consisted of teaching Mini Furious a difficult life lesson. She has a handmade bowl that her Granny and Grandpa gave her for Christmas last year, a mate to one given to her cousin. It’s her favorite. This morning she was using it at the fridge to get crushed ice when I heard the sound I’ve been dreading since we moved into this house with its tiled kitchen floor. She held it together as she started saying, “Mommy, I broke my bowl” and then she said, “It’s my favorite.” and lost it to the tears. We talked about how sometimes we break or lose things that are important to us. And it’s okay to cry about them. I told her about the things i’ve lost and broken that were important to me. Then I picked up all the pieces that were big enough to be picked up, and I glued it back together. Unfortunately, there’s one small piece that itself splintered into quiet a few just shards, so it has a small hole at the bottom on one side. But it’s back together and she’s decided that she’ll use it for her toothbrush in her bathroom, so she can still see it every day. It’s not the first thing she’s broken by a long shot, but it’s the first one that she’s truly valued. It had to happen eventually, and it’s a good lesson about being careful with the things we care about, and that things that are broken can be fixed, but they’ll never be the same. There is that part of me, though, that wishes I had gotten up and gotten the ice for her instead of letting the inevitable happen.