We had lots of moments during our transition back west that evoked memories of previous pilgrimages. A 2-ish year old boy running (and crashing) on the metal grated ramp into a moving truck, leaving town with the Subaru full to the brim, check engine light ablaze, and having no way to escape it but to finish a quadruple digit journey. Then there’s the feeling strung out, and missing the familiarity of having our own digs after about day 10. It only took us seven nights of camping, three nights with E’s good friend in Denver, one last-minute hotel in Utah, a final 15-hour day, and a partridge in a pear tree to get here from Louisville.
I even had the audacity to write “Oregon or Bust!” in shoe polish on my rear window as my way of accepting the very real possibility that our two vehicles (that share nearly half a million miles between them) just might not be up to the task. Little did that car know we’d push it across the country after the few previous sedentary years of grocery and school runs. I bet she thought we retired her. Oh contraire!
I imagined myself changing my window graffiti to “
Oregon or Bust!” after loading it onto the tow truck in the middle of Utah, but luckily that didn’t come to pass and we made it safely, if not entirely haggard. It’s hard to think about loving a machine, but when one delivers your family without incident on a voyage like that I think that’s the only way to describe it. It was drizzling when we pulled up to the property, not the sunny welcoming weather we all had anticipated (damn expectations!!). I did have to pee, I may have done a little jig but I did skip the dog roll and I didn’t even cry. Actually, I only teared up once on the way out here listening to Lumineers, and that’s pretty good for a recovering emotional basketcase.
It tugged at our heart strings when M would cry out ‘”home!” after he was tired of being on the road, obviously ready to return to the familiarity that he’s had since he was born. It was often a sentiment we all shared, but I guess us bigger ones learn to swallow it with a stiff upper lip or let it manifest in less direct ways. I appreciate his lack of grayscale in communicating his desires, as I’m not the sharpest when it comes to decoding emotions. I wonder which of T’s antics on the road were a result of the same need: was it when he insisted on carrying a stone the size of a bowling ball from our campsite 100 yards downriver, across said river, and up a 40’ embankment to the car? Was it fighting falling asleep in the car until we were nearly all in tears only to sleep for almost three hours solid once he finally gave in? When M was anxious, T kindly offered that instead of “home” we were on our way to our “new home,” and it seemed to set him at ease. Funny, we still call it that.
We’ve been on the property for nearly six weeks, and while it feels like we’ve been here for months it’s also blitzed by because of the insane amount of projects we’re tackling simultaneously. I guess that’s what happens when you jump with both feet, it’s a rush as you sink deep, and the only way to catch your breath is to paddle hard.
So we’re here in the new home, soon to be home.