On the Move Again

looking over the Mojave desert

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Yep, we are moving again. Twice, actually. Internationally and transcontinentally at about the same time. One day recently, it became very obvious that we should stop trying to return to China and less than 24 hours later Shon received a job offer in California.

what is moving to California really like? In our case, it's not stunning beaches and palm trees swaying in the wind but a small desert town in the middle of nowhere.

So for the past week or so, my life has been nothing but sorting, packing, repacking, writing lists, and researching with some freaking out thrown in for good measure. It’s mostly a nightmare.

I’ve sat through an hour of real-life video of people, some of whom I’ve never met, walking through our home in China, looking through our stuff, disassembling the life we’ve lovingly built there. It felt like watching something die for an hour. I may have yelled at someone to put down my kid’s toy.

I’ve consoled a crying child who was heartbroken and angry to see that someone’s been through our apartment and left it in a disarray.

I wept, too.

I’ve worried about moving my city-girl self to a rural town, about letting the kids try out the public school, about living without greenery, about being able to travel again. And yes, the tarantulas as well.

I’ve made up lists of things to do before departure and things to find and pack in China. Do you have any idea how hard it can be to say exactly where your friends can find that one particular item, when you haven’t been in your home in a year and a half? We couldn’t even tell them where to find the light switch in the kids’ bedroom, for crying out loud.

I’ve left requests for quote after quote on moving company websites. I think I finally know what company will ship our stuff from China (it will take at least 2 months to get it!) but have no idea how we will move our things from Georgia.

I’ve looked at every house for sale in the town we’re moving to. I’d look at the rentals, too, but there aren’t any. I’ve looked at the hotels as well. A month in a Motel 6 sounds like torture. It shouldn’t be allowed.

I’ve looked at different types of loans. In this week, I’ve learned more about mortgage than I’ve ever known and I haven’t even scratched the surface.

I’ve looked at the possible routes. I hope we get to see some friends on the way.

I’ve calculated the distances to the closest cities, airports, and stores. I haven’t lived this far from an IKEA in years. I may need to get Amazon Prime.

I’ve looked through boxes that have spent years in a closet. Some of them have been there since 2012. Getting rid of books is painful. Getting rid of things you don’t like anymore is liberating.

I’ve packed almost all of our kitchen/dining stuff. These boxes are our life in miniature: a dallah from the UAE next to Shon’s grandmother’s china tea cups, my grandmother’s glassware, and a bowl from South Africa, carefully wrapped up in a hand towel I bought in London. Little things, big memories. They give me hope more than anything else, I think. As overwhelmed, and stressed, and exhausted I am, these things remind me that life will go on.

Maybe I could get a dog.

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