Sunday, September 6, 2015

Last Day in California, First Day in Oregon, and the Trip Between the Two

Hey everyone!

I don't know why it struck me just now to write a blog, but here we go! I decided that I would let everyone know how we're settling in Oregon the the first few days or weeks, depending on what develops in that time. Lots of my friends on Facebook have liked my statuses regarding our move and our trip, so I figured at least one of you is probably interested (it's probably just my grandma, but that's okay-- hi grandma!).

So first let me recap the last few days/weeks.

Patrick was out of town in New Jersey from August 23 until September 2, and our movers were coming on September 4, so I had a LOT to do. I wanted to make sure that I did as much as possible before Patrick came home because I knew he would be stressed out. I sacrificed my lower back for the job, but I finished everything that I wanted to finish, including but not limited to packing the rest of the kitchen, my bathroom, the various odds and ends throughout the house, all of the art that we had left on the walls. I also finished removing the nails/screws so I could putty over them and reorganizing the boxes in Patrick's office (lots of books, clothes, and those plastic three-drawer cart things that he has packed full of random things *coughpackratcough*), and finally, meticulously and cautiously individually wrapping around 30 bottles of wine. I got it all done-- and then some-- and when Patrick came home he was pleasantly surprised at how little we had to do until the night before the movers came on the 4th. (By the way, a huge thank you and big hugs to Mandy, who went out of her way to purchase bubble wrap for me and come over, one-year-old in tow, to help me pack up the heavier art pieces and move the heavier things out of the office. If not for her, I would have absolutely had back spasms the next day.)

THANK GOODNESS FOR MOVERS. They came at 9AM on the 4th and were done packing in under three hours, so all we had left to do was wait. We organized everything we were going to take with us, I bathed both cats so they would be clean and worn out for the ten hour drive, and after a long nap, we left around 10pm. By the time we stopped at Brook and Mandy's to say goodbye and dropped off the modem at Xfinity, it was around midnight and we started our trip.

The trip went excellent, to say the least. We were thankfully able to stuff every last thing we had planned on taking into the car and were still able to 100% see out of the back window and nothing was on top of or under the cats, who slept 95% of the trip and didn't have a single accident or get sick the entire ride. To say I'm proud of them, and us, is a total understatement.

We rolled in to Beaverton around 9:30AM, however our apartment complex's front office doesn't open until 10am, so we had a little bit of time to kill. We stopped at Xfinity to pick up our modem and grabbed a couple of things from Rite Aid and ended up arriving at the apartment complex at 10am on the dot.

Let it be known that the very first thing we did was lock our car in the garage with the garage door opener inside it, because we have a lot of common sense, don't you know?

We unpacked the car, got the cats settled in, went to lunch with our friend Dennis, went to Target for some essentials and Office Depot because Patrick needed a desk chair (his broke a few months back and he has been using my desk chair, which I need but also is really low quality and isn't good for him to be sitting on while he teaches all day-- plus, we let the movers take it and he teaches two days in a row before they get here and he can't sit on the floor for that), and then I had a nap before dinner.

Now that you all know what we've been doing, I'l let you know how we're feeling and how we like it so far.

Obviously, we're both exhausted. We haven't slept regularly in many days and now we'll be sleeping on an air mattress (thank goodness for Gina and Dennis, who loaned it to us-- we were honestly planning on sleeping on the floor), but we're glad that we are finally here and most of our anxiety is lifted.

Patrick was excited on the way up here because that's just how he is, but I felt differently. When I'm having a lot of emotions, I shut down completely so I don't feel any of them: this is called dissociation. This often happens when you're driving a vehicle-- you pretty much don't notice the road passing around you and your mind wanders until you reach your destination. Dissociation is my go-to coping mechanism for every scenario in my life that I feel I cannot emotionally handle. So yes, I am internally thrilled about this move, but I shut down all emotion because I'm so sad about leaving our friends behind (I did the same thing when I left Michigan, which is why I wasn't a mess then, either). I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing that I didn't shed a single tear about it this entire time, when usually I'm very emotional. I know it's not healthy, but it's how I cope with big life changes.

Now that we're here, I'm still ignoring the fact that we have moved away from our friends, but I am truly so ecstatic that we're here. First of all, the weather is right up my alley and I'm soaking it all in. I was laying on the floor earlier today, relaxing after moving everything up two flights of stairs (we're on the third floor), and I heard pat pat pat. I thought it was one of the cats eating from their food bowl until it started to get more steady. When I looked outside, I started crying because it was raining and I love rain so much. Next to my family and friends, rain (and weather in general, but especially rain) is the thing I miss most about Michigan.

It's also really chilly right now, especially when it's raining. We only packed summer clothing and we're both pretty cool right now, so we'll be going to the thrift store to pick up a coat and maybe a long sleeved shirt or two soon. I keep saying that when it finally snows, I'm going to lay outside naked and let the cold freeze me to death because I have missed it so much. I'm only exaggerating a liiiiiiittle bit. The worst part about living in Tracy was that it was so hot that you literally couldn't leave the house at certain times of the day. Today, we walked to dinner and did it with great enthusiasm. There is something so energizing about being able to do any sort of physical activity and not want to keel over and die after only a minute or two.

In regards to our apartment-- we LOVE IT.

In our old apartment, we could hear the people next door to us snoring through the walls. Here, the neighbors behind us have a young baby (probably around 1 or so) and we haven't heard a peep out of them. They've been home all weekend. In fact, we can't hear any of our neighbors.

The area we're in is actually really nice and we are in the back corner of our apartment complex so we don't get a lot of traffic or noise in general. We especially can't hear people running around outside (obviously because we're on the third floor), but even so, the people we do hear are very quiet and aren't shouting. We even live near lots of executive areas that have random walking trails on them and beautiful landscaping just for people to walk through, which we're excited about.

The people we've encountered so far have all been fantastic. There's something to be said about the phrase "Keep Portland Weird". I know we're not in Portland (we're about 20 minutes away), but this whole area is so chill and accepting. No one cares what you look like or how many piercings or tattoos you have or what color your hair is or if your clothes aren't their taste-- they care about who you are as a person. We walked through Target yesterday and I made an offhand comment about how much laughter I've heard so far, and it's true. The people here are genuinely happy and friendly. They don't drive like maniacs (and they use hand gestures to thank you for letting them go, like polite people do!) and they even say please, thank you, and excuse me. It's a startling difference from the Bay Area.

Our apartment is so roomy and so well laid out. We're excited to get our belongings and start nesting in it. We also have so much storage that I can't even think up an item, or group of items, big enough to fill all of the space that we have just for storage-- on our patio, in our garage, in our apartment.

And lastly, because our apartments are only about 1.5 years old, we're the second tenants to live in our specific unit. It also means that everything is still basically brand new. We have high end appliances and really nice carpet... It's just thrilling. Our apartment still has the "new carpet" smell, and we even have regular blinds instead of mini-blinds, which is AWESOME.

Today we were supposed to go to the thrift store which we had to cancel so that we could take me to urgent care (I'll probably do a health update soon), but Patrick did make it to Frye's Electronics and Bed Bath and Beyond for a few things that we've been needing while I napped (health issues = very little sleep = exhausted Brook). I'll continue to keep you all updated on the happenings with us. Have a gold star if you've actually read all of this-- I know it was a very long update!

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