Saturday, August 9, 2014

Eat Cake

Hello!  We moved.  To Michigan, of course. 

Earlier this spring, around the time we were tapping our feet for Ms. Samantha to arrive, my husband received news of a professional opportunity, so when Samantha was five days old, we loaded her into the car to drive downtown and do what we always do with good news: eat cake.

It was an unusually busy night at our favorite coffee shop and the barista had to ask an attractive, talented young woman to move her charcoal sketching from a four-top to a two-top to make room for my husband, my baby, my mother and I.  My lasting memories of this coffee shop will therefore be of this woman's gorgeous artwork alongside Samantha's tiny head which was topped by a hand-made, crocheted beanie given to us by a nurse in the hospital, a nurse who was from Michigan herself. 

That was the first and last time Samantha slept in her car seat in public for months, by the way.

In case you didn't know this - as I seemed to forget it every two years in my twenties - moving is hard.  Thankfully, we had lots of help from Tim's industrious co-workers and people handy with a broom.  Tim's father helped him load our entire life into a trailer last week and drove one of our cars across the Great Plains where we camped and took breaks and ate ungodly amounts of peanut butter before arriving at our destination. 

Having accomplished this feat, I have two lasting questions:

1. Why do we own so many basketballs?
2. How did I forget how beautiful Nebraska is?

Last weekend, Tim's family descended accidentally en masse and turned our home into a hive of activity.  His mother washed all our dishes.  His father swept and trimmed and dandied our backyard.  His brother drilled holes into bookshelves and assembled them and blessed our home with his presence.  It was a little like living inside a Nikki McClure calendar and, also, like being Steve Martin in the remake of Father of the Bride.  Or it was like being a bride on her own day-before-the-wedding.  There were not enough minutes in the day to give proper direction: whatever happened was going to happen and it would have to be okay.*

Then everyone left, returning us to what is becoming a theme in our life lately and thus on this blog: I miss them. 

Being pregnant and having a baby and then moving halfway across the country makes me realize more than ever the value of help and in particular the unsanctioned kind, the kind that happens whether I like it or not, whether I am involved (in control) or not.  These days, I like this kind of help.  In fact, I like it a lot.   

I suppose it's all a little cliche, like having a baby suddenly sets your priorities straight, but in my case, life is full of such wonderful chaos right now and if someone wants to unload all my furniture and set things in the "wrong" place, I say, please do.  Because it might be years until I have time to set it in the "right" place, and I can't leave things on my lawn that long. 

Speaking of leaving things on your lawn, I've been unpacking to the soundtrack of a country radio station.  It's like the dog I don't have underfoot anymore - static, company, entertainment.  Molly Wizenberg writes about it in this post, and I write about it in this post, and Tim and I keep talking about it lately, which is this: there is something so satisfying about country music!  Even when the lyrics are terrible.  It's true, I love country music's culture and cliches and even moved out West to be close to some of them: horses I will never ride, sagebrush, a scorching sun, the Wyoming I like to admire from a safe distance. 

But now there is new land to explore: cherries, apples, a big ole lake, and apparently a whole culture that supports inexplicably shirtless people.  The dress code in Michigan is endless fascination already and like a proper housewife I watch it from every window I can.   

Wishing you a blissed out August, full of blessings for which you'd never ask.

With love,

*This is a metaphor I know in metaphor only.  My own wedding was a deftly choreographed thing of beauty designed mostly by my mother, involving everyone lovely in my life.  I simply showed up in a white dress and it was beyond glorious.  The only credit I take is in choosing one helluva handsome man to stand beside me that day.**

**I'm reading Chuck Klosterman right now (IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas) which makes me want to footnote everything.  I am dreaming in footnotes right now.   Klosterman is like a David Foster Wallace sandwich with George Saunders and Rob Sheffield smashed in between.  And while I am (sadly) not one of those DFW zealots who run around this world, I find Klosterman pitch perfect. 

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