Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Week in Which Home Really Was the Pennsylvania Turnpike

"Home could be the Pennsylvania Turnpike 
Indiana's early morning dew
High up in the hills of California
Home is just another word for you." 

"You're My Home" ~ Billy Joel

This is going to go down as 1) The Week We Moved to Pittsburgh and 2) The Week I Drove Across the Entire State of Pennsylvania Three Separate Times. 

Pennsylvania is a BIG STATE, in case you were unawares.  It takes upwards of 6 hours to drive from one end to another. And yeah, yeah, yeah, we all know the joke that Pennsylvania is my hometown of Philly and my new town of Pittsburgh with Alabama in between, but you know ... whatever.  Say what you wish, but there are some gorgeous mountainous spots here in these parts.  It's really a pretty place. And thus far, I am impressed with what Pittsburgh has to offer in terms of things to do and whatnot.  We're really looking forward to getting to know our new city.

We're finally starting to exhale (just a little bit; the stock market shenanigans aren't helping) after what has been quite the exhausting week. This is the first week since February 21 that I've seen The Husband every single day. It's great to be back together again as a family and I don't think it is much of a coincidence that today was the best day (behavior-wise) from the kids that we've had all summer. 

But getting to this point ... well. That was fun. Last weekend was awful with all the last minute packing.  All the stress brought on a horrible migraine (naturally), and I think the stress of the last five months itself was finally catching up to me.  We had planned to have the kids stay at my in-laws for a few days, and thankfully, they (and my SIL) drove down to pick them up a few days earlier because I wasn't feeling well.  I will be forever grateful to them for watching them (and our cat) for a week. 

All it took was one look at the moving trucks in our driveway and I absolutely lost it.  (Thank you to those of you on Facebook who became my therapists for a bit there on Monday morning.  You know who you are.)  

I've written before about how hard this move was, emotionally. I loved our Delaware house and it wasn't until recently that I realized that building that house 4 years ago was one of the last times I felt as if the future was unlimited, that hopes and dreams were still possible.  Logically, intellectually, I know that isn't true. I know that this most recent move was the right move at the right time, that we will find new dreams to dream here and that maybe some might actually come true.  And the reality is that our time in Delaware was pretty tough. So maybe I'm romanticizing what never was or recreating my own reality (or not making any sense at all, really).

So all day Monday I was kind of in a weird spot - sad to be leaving the house of my dreams, but also relieved to finally have our family back together again after five months and glad that The husband didn't have to commute for 6 hours each way every weekend and excited about the new possibilities here. 

As the movers (who were AWESOME) were loading the trucks and I was throwing anything that wasn't packed (which was a lot of stuff, thanks to the weekend migraine) into my car, I happened to look down on our front lawn.  In the grass was this butterfly, just sitting there, still.  I stared at it, and realized that it was identical to a butterfly that we'd seen on the kitchen floor of our house almost exactly four years before, when we were building it.  That butterfly was dead, and I'd always thought that was kind of a creepy thing.  Maybe it should have been a sign to us of things to come.  I don't know.  I wasn't blogging then, but I took a picture of the dead butterfly anyway:

So with my arms full of stuff and feeling utterly exhausted, I looked at the butterfly on the lawn ... and watched as it took flight.  A simple thing, really, but it was at that point that I knew this was going to be OK. 

Then, about 6 hours later, I was driving in the dark on the Pennsylvania Turnpike - for what would be the first time this week - and I was flipping the satellite stations and heard Kenny Loggins's song "Celebrate Me Home." That song has special significance to me and The Husband in connection with Betty and Boo's birth, so hearing that right then just filled me with this sense of calm and peace that I can't quite describe.

And then shortly afterwards I arrived at the hotel, and collapsed into bed. 

We went over to the new apartment on Tuesday morning and waited for the movers to arrive - which they did, right on time.  (I'm telling you, if you ever need a Delaware-area mover, Hopkins and Sons are the go-to people. They were simply awesome. Everything arrived on time, the guys were nice and friendly, and the best part was that our total bill ended up being $500 less than the estimate!) We spent most of Tuesday unpacking what we could.  And our apartment is great so far.  The Husband picked it out for us (I hadn't seen it until Tuesday) and I think we're really going to like it here. 

Back on the road for me.  I left the 'Burgh to drive back to Philly to pick up the kids.  We stayed overnight at my mom's, and were surprised by a visit from my brother, SIL, and niece who stopped by to say goodbye.  (Although we really do think we will see each other just as much as we have been.) 

Drove back from Philly to Pittsburgh with the kids AND the cat, all of whom were troopers during the 6 hour ride. They've adjusted much better than I ever imagined they would, and in a way, it feels like we've been here much longer than just five days. 

Just like home is supposed to feel.

(Sorry about the funky white highlighting in this here post.  Not sure what, exactly, is amiss, but ... meh.)

copyright 2011, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


Elizabeth said...

Well, welcome home! As for the signs -- the music, the butterflies -- you know what they say that there are no accidents.

I wish you many happy years in your new home, much success, peace and good health.

Oh, and lots of reading!

Book Dragon said...

Is this where I write about a window opening when a door closes?

I love the part about the butterfly.

I understand about seeing the husband, I went through that for about 8 months (grrr) and the relief at being together, for good, was very great.

You are wonderful and an inspiration to me....have a great day!

Melissa said...

Oh, I am SO happy for you!! Such a wonderful post, Melissa. Here's to hoping that nothing but good stuff is in your future. :-D

Shieldmaiden96 said...

We did this five year ago and I know all too well the rollercoaster of emotions that accompanies, particularly the husband separation part, which I hated major big time. But starting anew is very exciting and I'm excited for you!

Meg said...

Wishing you all the best in your new home. And a new job soon!

Kelly said...

So, so glad you are altogether and making your new house (apartment) a home! Many hopes for good things and a bright future to come your way!

Anonymous said...

Moving is hard. I've been reading your updates and know that even though it's hard it is best for you and your family. I bet you grow to love Pittsburgh. The friends I have who have lived there have loved it. Good luck :)