Saturday, February 28, 2009

We're In.

What started the last week of January is now finished on the last day of the last week of February.

It took us just over a month to go from living in a little house in Ngaio in Wellington New Zealand to be living in a little house in Lucas Valley in San Rafael California.

The last month of our lives has been moving through compartments.  We'd open a door in front of us, close the one behind us, and move forward--never to return.  First it was our house, then our hotel in downtown Wellington CBD.  Next it was a hotel in Terra Linda, and finally to our new rental house.  Each time we moved from airlock to airlock, shoving all of our crucial belongings out in front of us, and sighing with relief at each stage.

Big sighs tonight.  Big big sighs.  The steady state of Marinite life that we'd missed so dearly for the last year has been re-established.  All together now---and from the shoulders:


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Everything's Exactly the Same. Except for the Different Bits

So yeah, we're back.  And it's like we never left, except for all the new stuff, stuff that's gone, and stuff that's just... different.

The girls have commented that New Zealand feels like it was just a dream.  I get that too---in some ways it seems so improbable that only a few weeks ago we were sitting in a house north of Wellington.  Another country, another culture, another land mass in another hemisphere.  Weird.  

I'm back at work already, having clocked a full week of work already and things are the same way at work as they are in general.  Intense familiarity and comfort flecked with bits of the strange and unknown.  Much of the last bits of code I wrote are still in use at work, but there's tons of new stuff and a new overall organization to things that makes the familiar slightly unfamiliar.  A lot of water has passed under that bridge while I was gone---yet I feel at home amidst my coworkers.

We're still in between countries in some ways... using a hotel room as our bedroom and spending daytimes either at work (for me) or at Ruth's or friends' (for everyone else.)  Soon we'll have a house rented and be able to move our suitcases full of stuff into a big empty house that echoes with the lack of our stuff in it.  

A home isn't about a house full of stuff.  We've learned that.  But it is at least a house with some stuff in it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

We're Back

Home is where the heart is.

And right now my heart is in Marin.

After 26 hours of plane travel and airports and recycled air, we're at our journey's end at last: a hotel in San Rafael.  I have almost no energy left, mental or otherwise, but I wanted to post something before turning in tonight---after two long Wednesdays full of planes, trains and automobiles (without the trains.)

The Ruths pulled out all of the stops for us, retrieving a Zachary's Pizza from Berkeley at some point during the day so that we could feast together at their house prior to turning in at the hotel.  We were greeted at the airport by their clan and Sharon, faces pressed to the glass just on the other side of the security checkpoint, as we shambled down the walkway from the gate.  Our two groups crushed together in a cloud of hugs and kisses and ooh'ing and aah'ing at heights (up for the kids) and weights (down for the grownups) and Zoe broke out the Burger Rings while airport staff tried to squeeze past our throng with their carts and trolleys.

We collected our bags, moved them to the parking lot and then immediately set about the comfortable and familiar madness of group problem-solving for arranging the bags in the cars, picking seating and getting the carts back to the building.  It felt like home in all of its frantic, erratic and ecstatic glory.

I'd like to say something deep and meaningful and philosophical at this point.  Something that sums up our last twelve months in such a way as to set a tone for the immediate future... but I can't.  So instead, I'm going to go to sleep.  It won't be the restless and halting sleep of someone with too many loose ends to keep abreast of, or the cramped and desperate sleep of someone strapped to a bolted-down metal airplane chair but the satisfied and restful sleep of reaching your destination and being able to sigh a deep full-body cleansing sigh of contentment.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Beginning of the End or the End of the Beginning?

I'm not sure which, but here we are after nearly a year in Wellington, New Zealand, on the eve of the day we return to life in the States. I'm sad and happy and pensive and giddy all at the same time. I've got the sense that life here is fleeting too fast and that I can't grab enough of it while it's still here. I think I'll look back on it from afar and think, "Why the hell didn't I take advantage while I could?" I'm not sure what of, though.

Cheers, Wellington, and hello Marin!