Saturday, July 30, 2005

Logging out just for a few weeks

Tonight is our last night in our apartment, and our last night in Seattle, for a while anyway. It is late, we're exhausted from packing, and if you barely scratch the surface, a bit emotional about moving. Well, actually, I'm a bit freaked out about someone else moving our stuff. I tend to imagine the worst, and so I'm fairly certain that we'll be one of those people who wait for our things to arrive only to discover that they were lost somewhere in the Dakota's. And that .60 per item insurance- well, mmm.. does that mean that Jack's crib only gets .60? Ed was right to remind me that now is not the time to research more into our company or even think about all the possible things that could go wrong.

So, I did go out on our deck to check out the stars - without my contacts all I can really basically see is the bright red neon cross - the one that seemed to take up the entire sky line the first night I slept here last June, but now only just catches our eye when we look at the houses below our spectacular view. I went out to pray. You know, say thanks for this last year, and to ask for guidance, safe travels, and love. I don't know why, but I keep thinking about all those walks that Jack and I took when he was just born. What I know of West Seattle is pretty much within a 3-4 mile radius and most of that is an intimate knowledge since I walked it for a good nine months. I like that when I will think back to 2004-2005 I won't think about the absolutely stressful adjustment to parenthood and the anxiety about moving to Boston, but about my leisurely walks in the residental neighborhood just west of our place- how Jack would ride along (still in his "baby" stage), just looking around or sleeping. That was when we got to know each other, I think.

Anyway, in the middle of my prayer, I realized that worrying about all our "stuff" was silly. Honestly, the most important "things" to me are that Jack feels safe and loved and that Ed & I are able to stay present in the process of this transition- to embrace the newness of it all and realize we have enough just being a family. I'm not sure how regular we'll be able to post in August (not that July was a feast of words). We'll be living in Tacoma with Ed's parents and then heading off to our new place hopefully just in time to intersect our furniture. In the meantime, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Until Boston-

Laura, Ed, & Jack

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Bubble Man Cometh

You can scratch "Woodland Park Zoo" off Laura's before-we-move to-do list. We went yesterday. I think we both kind of expected Jack to be visibly excited about the animals, but, just like our trip to the Aquarium, Jack thought the whole point of the zoo was the floor lights and not the animals.

Me: "Look Jack, a lion!"

Jack: [looking down and picking up a gum wrapper]

We're probably a few years off from being excited about the animals.

A friend of mine brought up her son to play with Jack the other day. I think we forget that we have to learn how to play. Jack seems fascinated by other kids anytime we encounter them at the playground. He walks up to them and stares, almost like alien-visitor might do to one of us. " this is a human child, fascinating..." Other kids are busy playing, so they always seem a bit put off that this one-year old has invaded their personal space in order to study them more closely.

Went and got ice cream in the early evening and the streets had been cleared in prepartion for the West Seattle Street Fair. This is when a purple VW mini-van painted with bubbles rolls up in front of where we're sitting. Licsence Plate: Dot Calm. The standard bumper stickers: Kill your television (dot calm?) Bush lied, blah, blah, something about the environment. Apparently the Bubble Man entertains the youth by making really big bubbles. No problem there.

But 10 minutes into his show, no bubbles for the kiddies. But we were reminded that regime change begins at home, of American deaths in Iraq, and something about protecting salmon. With all the promise of such bubble-induced fun, I couldn't help but feel an undercurrent of anger below Bubble Man's bubbly show. We left before Bubble Man could work Karl Rove into his act.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Blogging in a Vaccuum

We really are the most self-centered family on the planet. I was just perusing some favorite blogs, reading a handful of posts about the recent terror attacks in London, and realized that as a part of the blogging community, NOT mentioning them in some way is, well, hideous-- particularly when Ed has family in England (very few near or in London, but still).

I did wonder about the individuals Thursday morning- were any of them embarking on a new life? Maybe going to a job interview or heading to the florist to discuss wedding flowers - or even, god forbid, a pregant woman was going to a routine OBGYN appointment? Little did they know some crazed lunatic (whoever the F**K they are) intented for an appointment with shrapnel.

Seems I've (yes, me again) been craving perspective lately. I really don't need it that badly.

I think I'll focus my prayers across the Atlantic for awhile.


Mariner Mortality

No, this won't be about how bad the Mariners suck. It should be, but I don't know jack about baseball discourse.

One the way to meeting a dear friend of mine for drinks last week, I was trying hard to imagine what it would be like if I had two weeks to live. No, it’s not that I’m looking for a clearly defined future (although that would be nice), but while browsing another blog, postsecret, I discovered a visual that rocked my world. Basically, postsecret is a place that people can send their creative confessions to- in the form of a postcard. The postcards range from witty to hilarious to painfully pathetic to just plain honest. Like most of the postcards on the blog, the one that caught my attention used the visual medium to heighten the message. It’s a picture of someone holding a piece of glass, blue sky illuminates the background. On the glass, in black ink, it reads:

“Pssst, here’s a secret… Your last mortal thought will be, “why did I take so many days— just like today—for granted?”

Okay, we all have this thought at some point (right?) Or, at least, we all try to live up to the ideal that we should live like today is our last day. But, what does that mean exactly? How do you do that when you’ve got bills to pay and jobs to find, life insurance to research and buy, and grades due? How do you actually immerse yourself in such a mindset, figure out what those two weeks would be, and then blend it into “real life” without neglecting the responsibility of life? Every now and then I try to imagine that I’ve been given two weeks to live – or one week—or two days—whatever so that I can live in the present. I visualize getting the call, the moments after, and then what I would do that day and the next. Yet, I can’t imagine it.

I drove by Safeco Field on my way to Queen Anne. The lights were on and I could see the screen lit up with the players’ names. Nostalgia (that pesky, touchy-feeling emotion I try to avoid) overwhelmed me. Safeco has always been the one place where time stands still, where I could leave everything that needed to be done, needed to be thought through, needed to be obsessed over, near the big glove in front of the home plate entrance. (Even if Fenway Park could do the same, I heard tickets are tough to come by). Then, of course, I stared getting misty over everything from my view on HWY99- the port and her ancient, yet majestic container loaders, the piers, the buildings of Seattle, the Western Ave exit… It was pitiful.

Listening to one of my favorite DM tracks, “Insight,” I realized that in a way, a part of us is dying. We are leaving Seattle and the life that is here. That is a kind of death. Boston is a kind of rebirth, no? So, instead of being sad about leaving Safeco, I embraced all that is good about the ballpark and attending Mariners’ games. I realized that I could take it with me. And, in the meantime, I have the opportunity to imprint my senses with “this” life. So, here’s how I’m going to spend the next six or so weeks:

Visit the Seattle Aquarium & Zoo
Go to the Point Defiance zoo with April, Daisy, & Lily (yeah, love the zoos)
Buy Flowers at Pike Place
Hang out at Alki at least twice
View Seattle from The Smith Tower (cheaper alternative to the Space Needle).

This is just a preliminarly list. Please let me know if you have any other ideas!


Saturday, July 02, 2005

Not Such a Big Deal

Someone recently pointed out to us that moving to Boston really isn't that HUGE. Yes, it's a big move and the transition will no doubt be considerable, but in the scheme of things- what we're doing isn't that big of a deal. It's not like everything (our happiness, our success, our wellbeing) relies on this move. Sure, some days it feels like that, but ultimately, to quote EBTG's song, "One Place" again, "you can be happy or unhappy anywhere."

I've been trying to keep this in mind at night- I've had trouble falling asleep and feeling, well, discombulated. I'm simultaneously getting excited about living in Boston while begining to mourn leaving Seattle. It's all quite confusing emotionally.

Everything is just starting to fall into place (we think). I picked up a class at Edmonds CC this summer (Tuesday and Thursday nights) and since the quarter ends the third week of August, we know we won't be moving until mid-August (we still need to work out the logistics of the moving van, getting to Boston, etc.). Ed found a potential place to move to in Rosindale. Our friends in Boston will be checking it out early next week. It's a two family home - the owner's reside upstairs; we'd live downstairs. My only concern is that they have three kids- with a fourth about to be born anyday. I hope the walls/ceiling are fairly sound proof. I do like the idea of knowing another mom who might know about childcare options. This place is the best place we've found- and it's deleaded (no lead in the paint). 9 out of 10 places we call on have lead and since it's illegal to live in a leaded home with a child, our search has been frustrating. But, this place has a washer/dryer, new appliances, is in a residential neighborhood, is in our price range and close to transportation. It is also 9 miles away from the first Community College to get in touch with me about a possible job. A woman from the Writing Center at Mass Bay CC emailed me on Friday- she wanted to see if I was interested in applying for a team-teaching/tutoring position (yes!). While it probably pays a bit less than a strictly teaching gig, it's definitely a foot in the door.

So, of course things aren't such a big deal now that they seem to be coming together. While there are still plenty of variables and countless items on our "to-do" list, the essential basics (funding, job, place to live) are falling into place. Now if I can just get a good night sleep :)