Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mish Mash Moving Beeswax

Seeing as how we have put down a few roots and founded some routines and a lifestyle after being in the same place for 7 years, you may imagine it is not the easiest to just switch it up overnight. That being said, I wish it was that easy to get this done overnight! We have been swamped with life and such while we try to sort out our immediate plans for the future, but we have recently come to a conclusion, which entails a lot of buckling down.

We have been trying to have our lives as normal as possible up to this point, but that isn't going to work anymore if we are going to move. We have packed a number of things, though it still just looks a mess around here, and we have gotten rid of a ton, or so it would seem if we didn't have that much more lurking around the corner. By no means are we hoarders, but for goodness sakes, where on earth did all this come from?!!? I suppose when you lay down some roots, it is amazing what they can produce! Such a challenge.

We expect to be leaving around the same date, it looks like we will be having a short sale, since we are upside down in this mortgage, and we are all antsy to get out of town without even being packed. We discussed in depth how we need to really get this show on the road and be really serious about moving. Before we know it, we will be smack dab in Oregon, and I am sure we would all like it to be timely. Between all the church feast days, family birthdays, and our 10th anniversary, September is a busy month.

Our current packing regime is as follows: Monday through friday are packing days until around 4 or 5 pm, depending on when we are finishing up a project. Weekends are reserved for church, visiting Jay's mom and dad up north, Kat's Colorado birthday party, and seeing our church family. Wouldn't that be spectacular if we stick to it?!?!?! Our date we would like to be packed by, considering we can make it happen, is August 17th. We won't leave for a bit after that, but at least the feast of Transfiguration can be spent without any major bogging down of housing business.

I need to stop staying up so late! Things I have always been include, nightowl and last minuter. This does not, however, mean I dislike mornings or lack patience or foresight, only that this comes most naturally to me and I get discouraged by having to change my routine. I am rather adept at staying up into the wee hours, wherein I can contemplate anything I wish, or zone out, so I am in better spirits for facing the world next day. In fact, I oftentimes meet the next day as soon as it is rung in. I have a feeling that this old habit will die away quickly with the rising and setting of the sun on the acres of farmland we will be abiding on.

I almost won't be able to believe it until I literally breath it! Acres, creek, greenhouse, little house by the water, garden, bridge, orchard, family, quiet, moon, day and night, chickens, challenges, peace, and thoughts, with new adventures afoot.

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Heart Heavy Day

Just after I went to bed last night, a gunman came into a movie theatre hardly 5 miles from our house showing the midnight premiere of the new Batman movie and began shooting. At least a dozen people lost their lives, countless others fight for theirs, and we have two family friends directly effected.

One friend of the family has a teenage daughter who is out of town, though may have been there had she been here, but her friend was shot. She is apparently stable and going to make it, but the trauma is unspeakable.

Another friend had her two older kids in the theatre right next door where bullets ripped through the walls, nearly injuring them. They gave eyewitness accounts of their experience and are currently shaken up.

I pray that the dust settles soon to help people find more answers, but more than anything, I pray for peace. This is an absolute tragedy, it saddens my heart and soul, how could it not. Peace may not come soon, but I hope and pray that it comes in time.

Lord have mercy!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sweet Music

Kat and I laid there on her bed tonight, after she got in her p.j.'s and we called papa into the room, though I cannot remember why. When he arrived, he mentioned that it was creepy, because he couldn't tell whose voice he was hearing. She is at that age, I suppose, but still a mite young, where she is starting to sound like me.

My sisters and our mom have a always had a way of sounding like one another, but to each other, we are all very different. Perhaps it is this difference that we can detect on a minute level that helps us to have an ear for singing. People used to call the house and it didn't matter who answered the phone, we would inevitably get mixed up with someone else. It certainly was of no help that there were four of us to contend with, so I can understand to a degree, but there is nothing quite like your mom's co-worker diving head on into a conversation about medical whatnot, when you are expecting your best friend's phone call. To be fair, there were a few close friends who could tell the difference between us, or at least now it wasn't us.

Ok, so back to my original purpose here. We have the same pitch. Kat and I can synchronize our voices and, with the right training, we will be able to harmonize without effort. It is a fun little addition to our crazy lives, but I imagine us sitting in the great out of doors, papa on the guitar strumming a chord, and we girls, singing little song. Just tonight we sang our musical interpretation, however goofy, of Let It Snow! replete with random sound effects. like popcorn popping.

So far, this is a really great part of my job as mommy, especially after a day of backache that caused a headache, this was supremely wonderful.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

More and More

It seems like every couple of days something else is changing, and I am NOT just talking about this whole shindig all together! We have confirmed we are leaving and chose the end of August, great. Then we found out that Kat and Jay's Godmother's would be at Platina over labor day weekend. If may not be such a big deal, but they live on the east coast, Kat has never met her Godmother in person, and it has been over a decade since Jay has spent any time with his. So, what does this all mean? We are leaving after the liturgy for the Dormition of the Theotokos, o.s., which is just a couple days sooner.

We went from thinking we would get an entire moving truck for all of our 'stuff' and driving the car out separately, to now thinking that towing a gi-normous trailer behind the car and save more than half the cost, which is huge! That would mean we can spend that money on new items that we left behind, not to mention there is already a decent amount of furniture in the house we will live in, because it was used as a sort of guest house. That being said, this completely reshapes our plan of what will be coming with us. It probably be Kat's bed (she insists on having it), her horses, clothes, etc., Jay's freestanding tool box filled with needed items, my craft stuff minus some fabric with all of the material my mom has, our clothes, bikes, and, um, dogs and cat.

Hmm, what else? Our days are filling with things that need to be done, with a little bit of sanity on the side. It's like we are moving, but we are not. It has been 7 years since we have moved and it still seems a bit surreal. We are looking forward to it, but we all have our struggles in leaving. Kat was just expressing how hard it is going to be to miss her friends, so we are trying to set up some meaningful time with them before we go, plus a birthday party for her, which I still need to plan...ugh.

In all of this, I am realizing the importance of having fewer things in life. How many of them do we really need and how many do we accumulate to make ourselves feel comfortable? That being said, I hope it is a long time before we have to move again, if ever at all!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Swimming in a Massive Pile of Packing

So, we have a plan for getting things done around here, but it doesn't mean it's gonna be easy. In fact, I am feeling a bit swamped and as though I am going to drown in the mess that is our stuff. Jay says I will feel better when the donation truck comes on friday and we have a ton of things gone, and the boxes that are inside, can go in the garage. We have already donated some things to the church if the choose to keep them, packed cookbooks and all of my sewing/knitting bins (but it still feels like too much!), Kat packed some of her more fragile horses, Jay has stripped the hallway book shelves and his own, etc. It just feels like more mess, than progress.

We have to decide what we will actually need, too. Ann already has a number of items in the A-frame because it has been used a sort of guest house, so all of ours aren't needed, but Jay is worried about getting there and wishing we had something we left behind, especially since the size of moving trucks only increases $50, instead of having to replace things for hundreds. I can totally see his point, but once we get there, I really am not looking forward to having to be sure we are uncluttered. This is a huge chance for us to get outta here without so many things. We always try to keep things to a minimum, but they seem to breed like no one's business.

I am trying immensely to enjoy the journey to our new home, but it is increasingly difficult, since we now have a countdown on the books. We expect to be leaving after the liturgy of Dormition (o.s.), aka- Aug. 28. We hope to arrive in Oregon by thursday, unload everything, take the truck back on friday, then send Jay and Kat (minimum) to Platina for the 30 year anniversary of Fr. Seraphim's repose. Both of their Godmother's will be there and Kat has never met hers in person, though even for Jay, he only spent time with her in person 11 years ago. I am happy enough to stay behind to care for the dogs and cat, especially with Ann planning to go. My parents also have made arrangements to go, which they have done regularly since they were close with Fr. Seraphim Rose. He is Godfather to my sister and brother, as well as, another family friend. Needless to say, if they can go, they will.

Oh, and the house itself! We have to decide on whether we rent it out, which we would be most comfortable with if we can lock our % rate on the loan with a refinance, but if not, perhaps a short sale, which looks nicer to me every minute. I know it isn't ideal, but we can't sell it regularly for what it is worth, because we will get hit for a chunk since it never bounced back from the market drop. It has been good for our ARM, because we have such a low percentage, but selling is off the table, unless we want to take out a loan to pay off the rest. The absolute LAST option would be foreclosure, but I am almost positive that one of the other options will work out fine. I just like walking away and starting fresh; we have just had so much pain, illness, and sadness here in this condo. Rest assured, we have had some good times, but this place just makes me think about all the years we spent in some sort of struggle. Between Jay being a workaholic after the war, with little semblance of a marriage and family, to illness that nearly took him from us, and the things that have made their mark on each of us. I am grateful for the lessons, but I am not sure I like the frequent reminders. I am up for some new memories.

Well, here's to new things, but getting there is certainly half the battle, so let's just hope and pray that we keep our sanity in the meantime. Oh yeah, and I promised Kat a birthday party before we leave, because that is all she really requested, so we may combine a going away party with her birthday, just to be sure we see people, even if some of them will still see us again. I figure we will do it about 2 weeks before we leave, that way we aren't crazy busy without time and energy to spend on making sure she gets her fun time.

Ok, that's all...for now.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Dust Begins To Settle

It seems the dust is settling and we are now in the throes of shuffling things into boxes and trying to stay on top of what we are trying to do, like making realistic goals. It is hard when there is much to be done, but also many people to be seen. I have promised Kat a birthday party here with her friends and loved ones before we leave Colorado. It will probably be in early to mid-august, so that doesn't leave me much time for planning. Along with that, we are going to talk with bank about a refinancing to lock in a good rate, which would enable us to rent this condo while we are living in Oregon. We would also like to spend at least a weekend up north to see friends and family who are in the area, maybe a picnic sort of thing, I don't know. If we are renting out our place, we will be painting and redoing flooring, which will take some time, for sure. All while we do our every day house and family maintenence, we are adding a little something to our daily and weekly list of chores.

There are always things that come up that make it harder to go, or make the getting ready more difficult, but that is par for the course in my experience, I only hope and pray it doesn't get too ugly before we actually leave; I need Jay intact, since he has been so much more stable, and my quitting my job has already impacted him for the better. The poor guy had 2 migraines the first week I went in, but just kept pushing onward and upward, if I was going to keep on. As far as the job goes, I began, then we found all of these things come into place, so we knew it wouldn't last and even said that the end of July would be my last, if I didn't finish sooner. I had a pretty good first week, then everything fell apart, both there and at home, and I kept in contact with the manageent. We mutually decided to let me be done already and be home, so I am super grateful. I did learn a lot about myself and I am grateful for the opportunity, but I am supremely relieved I can be here for my family in this time. Yesterday alone was spent doing 'business' that couldn't be taken care of because I was always so tired and in bed so early, we never had a spare moment to tend the tasks at hand.

There is a family reunion in Portland in 2.5 weeks, but we can't go because I am saving our buddy passes to hopefully fly back to CO in december to see Jay's family and only have to buy one ticket then, but I REALLY want to go to the reunion! There is family there that has never met Katherine, who will be 9 this birthday, because all of our trips have been to So. Ore., or to So. Cal., but I suppose we will just have to make some trips northward to see them when we live there. Still, it doesn't exactly make up for getting to go run and play ball with cousins and second cousins in a park in the middle of summer and eat hot dogs and potato salad. (Can you tell I have memories of doing that very thing?) I miss that a lot. I remember going up there for 4th of July one year as a kid and we didn't have any bases for baseball, so we used paper plates...

Goodness, things seem so much like business as usual, but we ARE packing. We haven't moved since we bought this condo 7 years ago tomorrow! Thankfully we have purged some things somewhat regularly, but it still feels like AGES! What to bring, what to leave, what to donate, wat to sell (if anything), what to do?!!? Such a crazy time of change, I can hardly wrap my head around it.

I know this is the right thing, there is no question, so it is a relief, but I lament how sudden this seems to so many of our family and friends here. I mean, we were only discussing it since mid-May ourselves, and for things to be so elastic makes it feel extreme one way, then another, but that is how things often come about. Any other time I have moved, things have come quickly, only months to do it, and they are undeniably set and perfect, though it feels a whirlwind! I await the sharp sting of what will present itself as our draw to stay, but we must keep our 'eye on the prize' as it were, or else we will get caught in what ought not be. I cannot imagine NOT moving to Colorado. I mean, look at my life and loves! But even then there were people and situations that made it seem unnecessary. If I never moved to the city, what sort of life and sanity would I have? Between church family and friends, we are so incredibly blessed it is immeasurable! It has been my stronghold through these years of trial and temptation. Now we embark on a new adventure, wrought with mystery, excitement, and bittersweetness. Though we love so much of what we have, especially our church family, who have been through every step of our struggles and triumph, it is time to leave the nest. Would that our wings fly us to the far reaches of our depth and the inner reaches of ourselves!

I am grateful for all that we have learned, those whom we have had the opportunity to grow with and love, the struggles and reverence that have availed themselves to us, and the sheer mystery of life, love, people, and God we have come to know. I am looking forward to new growth and remembering that which has formed us to this point. I hope we will continue in understanding and wisdom, though many roadblocks would slow us down. I sincerely believe that we are going toward something great and not away from anything here, so it is a wonderous journey we will have.

What a life, love, and mysterious being!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

This is Huge

Well, for the biggest news of the decade in our family: We are moving to Oregon. Good grief, if you had asked me two months ago if I would be saying this, I would have thought it eyond crazzy; seriously. We have been discussing it since we visited in California with my parents. We knew there would have to be a lot of things that needed to come together in order to make it happen, and they have all happened in under a week.

First, we had someone come along and help with all our bills for July, because things were very rough. What a relief when they came! We then recieved a statement telling us that Jay's coverage for disability is now doubled and they'd work out rectifying payment when they got it in order. Next, we spoke with Fr. Boris to talk about our ideas and intentions, to which he said we ought to be close to family, instead of further. I called my mom, who then asked people at church to pray for us. My mom called me a couple days later to say that a woman at church has been praying for a long time to have just the right Orthodox family come live on her 5 acres outside of Ashland, in exchange for helping around the property. Phew! I am talking in the span of about 5 days, this all happened! It was last sunday that my mom called and I told her that I was somewhere between hyperventilating and crying, I wasn't sure how to feel or what to think, only that we are grateful!

We have told as many people as we could in person about our intended move. We have accepted the offer to go live on land and work it and expect to be gone in just a couple of months. We hope to rent out our condo, which will take some effort on our part, I only pray it goes smoothly. Please keep us in our prayers as we make this huge transition. On the downside, we will be missing our friends and family out here, though I continue to think about what we are going toward, rather than what we are leaving. Nonetheless, there are a number of people we have become close with and our church has become a beacon and stability through many rought waters. I want to cry every time I think of having to leave them, but I know we are doing what we are supposed to be doing. If I have learned anything, it is how, when things are meant to be, they simply fall into place, as though they were just waiting for the right time.

Today during the homily, which Fr. Jan gave (which I always look forward to it!), he was talking about the Gospel reading in today's service, which includes the swine who take on the demons cast out of the people, then run themselves to the sea, where they perish. Among many of the things he mentioned, I relished to hear the part about our lives and how, sometimes when God touches it, things don't always look like we imagined, but often, they are far greater than we could ever hope to dream. This is how I see this move. We are meant to go, it is time to be back in the valley. I am older, wiser, stronger, and basically a solidified self, to the point of knowing myself, family, faith, and heart more than ever before. I am grateful for the opportunity to be near my family again, especially with my dad's health in consideration. I thank you in advance for your prayers.

Glory to God for all things!!!