Dear travel mates,
Last we spoke I was extremely excited to end our month of non-stop moving and settle down. And we did! For a whole week! And it was glorious! And it started out DISASTROUS.
Picture us leaving Grand Teton National Park: Positively giddy at the idea of throwing down an anchor somewhere, doing laundry, cooking, setting up the Playstation (we all had our fantasies). We drove past the prairies and ranches singing with Otis Redding, listening to Laura Ingles, crying with Free to be You and Me (it always gets me.) And then we arrived at our supposed respite.
And it was a catastrophe. As it turned out, when the owner said she worked from a part of the house, she meant right in the LIVING ROOM, as a MASSAGE THERAPIST, with locals coming in and out of the house.
In Brooklyn that would have made me feel pretty uncomfortable. But in Idaho? NOONE HERE WEARS A MASK! And no matter how fluffy that sponge cake she left for us was (and it was,) I wasn’t looking for a COVID spa retreat.
So down went our hearts and into a tailspin we flew looking for a new place. Were you one of the people who answered my Facebook plea about where to go in Idaho? That was that night. And I was writing while eating chickpeas from a can for dinner and hoping Tsuri was getitng the kids into bed.
The next day we packed up once again, said goodbye to most of the money we had put down (we only got half back) and drove to a town called Lava Hot Springs. (if you work for Airbnb, I’m mad at you.)
Now THIS is what we meant. A quiet and clean house, a block from a basketball court and playground, on so called MAIN street that is no more main than Ikea at 3am during quarantine.
Now that we’ve been here a week I can surely say that there were things I took for granted, that now granted, have been enough for me to call this place home;
We have been living out of our bags for a month, wearing the same stuff over and over. Taking our clothes out of the bag was hands down the most exciting part of staying in this house. And actually, one shelf is all I needed. Because that’s all the clothes I got.
I am not a chef. My joy comes from eating, not making. But having a stocked fridge and a place to make a salad and soup have been thrilling.
The first couple days of being here were HELLISH school wise. I mean, I was in tears. We had so much to catch up on in their programs and no matter how hard we worked it felt like we would never be able to close the gaps. Also, there was constant whining – they all needed my help at once. They were anxious about being behind and frustrated with the system which felt clunky and hard to navigate.
And – i got an F. I mean, my daughter did, but it was really mine. She’s doing great! I was the one who didn’t hand in the assignment on “Meg’s Pet.” And that broke me.
So I pulled some mama bear moves – I requested meetings with each of their teachers and asked them reach out to the kids so they develop a personal connection. I had my F teacher switched because when a mama calls in tears you need to empathise and support and she did none of that. If we are going to paying what we are and doing as much work as we are from home I need WARM.
Now after only a week we are a new family. We’ve got a handle on things. My sons each work independently for chunks of time and get work done. I sit with my daughter and facilitate her work. We still haven’t caught up completely, but it’s doable.
Speaking to friends and family:
During the month of non stop travel I didn’t have a room with a door to close so I couldn’t have private conversations. Saying “close the door on your way out” to my kids was one of the most satisfying things to say. And then picking up the phone to call a friend was evn better.
Reconnecting with Tsuri:
Remember last post when I said all tantrums are about being hungry and tired? Well, tsuri and I really needed to rest, eat well, and take a breath before we could take a look at each other. And we finally did. And things feel a lot better.
Oh and did I mention the hot springs? That helped ease our tension. Which, it turns out, had built up quite a bit.
Tomorrow we take off from this lovely town and head south to Utah. There we will check out Bryce and Zion and hang in the area for a bit.
Thanks for joining me on this journey.