I went into town yesterday to get a few things: Groceries, a new dog collar, picking up a parcel from the post office.
The day was beautiful: Sunny, blue-skied, with friendly people everywhere (one of them complementing my purse), me finding a great store with amazing clothes, right across from the library I had been looking for since we first got here.
Everything was great.
But as I was pushing my grocery cart, in the middle of the cereal isle, I suddenly had a big lump in my throat.
My eyes started to water.
I had the sudden, overwhelming urge to cry my heart out, in the middle of the Save-On-Foods.
I fought it with everything I had. Finished my shopping as quickly as possible, and fled to the car, where my corgi was waiting for me.
I didn't cry in the car. But I had a long talk with my dog, which is something I do frequently, to figure out what just happened.
Here is what we came up with:A week ago, I fell into a rabbit hole that ended on a treadmill, and I have been running ever since, with no time to catch my breath.
A week ago, I went to work for the last time in three weeks, and as soon as I got home, I went into "GO"-mode.
I loaded up my car with as much of our stuff as I could.
It was pouring rain, with me getting drenched, and several of our things falling down into the mud and puddles, getting soaked, in my effort to load up my arms as full as humanly possible.
I fed all the animals.
Then I took off, in the pitch-black, rain still falling down as hard as it could, to drive up the treacherous mountain road to our new home.
I wasn't scared, just excited AF.
Three hours later, I arrived at our house, tired but looking forward to seeing Rich after three days' absence. I stepped in - and was greeted by absolute, unimaginable chaos.
Richard and Steve (a friend who is helping us with the move), had arrived on the Friday previously, to get started on building the shelters for the animals. I hadn't been up there for two weeks myself, but had packed numerous things for the house, imagining that they would unpack and use them.
Nothing was put away. There were boxes everywhere, half-eaten containers of food they had ordered were slowly rotting away on the counters, dirty clothes on the floor, garbage strewn around, and they had simply rolled out sleeping bags on mattresses on the floor, instead of using proper sheets and covers.
Richard was almost comatose with exhaustion when I arrived, only able to give me a quick peck on the lips and mumbling an "I'm so happy you're here", before falling onto his mattress and falling asleep.
I looked around me, dismay struggling with my exhaustion. I didn't want to go to bed in an environment like this, but exhaustion won. I located a blanket and pillow from the mess on the floor, claimed my own mattress and laid down, falling asleep in seconds.
At 5am, I was wide awake. My fingers were itching to get started on the mess. Should I wait a bit longer to give them some more sleep...? But with no Internet and no cell reception, and no patience to read, I told myself "screw it", got up and got started.
And I haven't stopped since.
Every day we get up at 7am, have a coffee and tea together, and then Richard disappears outside to make fences, build stalls, and remodel the barn to house our chickens for the winter. I tackle the never-ending flood of boxes, unpacking, putting stuff away, not quite believing how much of it there actually is. I thought I had done so well with decluttering and getting rid of things, but as it turns out, everybody else was right: I still brought along way too much. Part of the challenge is that the size of our new house is 1240 square foot, and the old one was twice as big. There's a growing pile of stuff that will be donated/given away, because we simply don't have the room.
It is satisfying, rewarding work, but it's also supremely exhausting. In addition to organizing everything at our new place, we have to drive to our old one almost daily, picking up our animals one trailer-load at a time. The road connecting our two places is the notorious Coquihalla Highway, which has been dubbed as "one the worst roads in all of North America".
Two nights ago it took Richard four hours for the 200 km, because of heavy snowfall obscuring his view almost completely. For large parts of the journey he only drove 40km/hr, carefully making his way over the mountain.
By the time we are finally finished for the day at usually 9 or 10pm, we are too tired and achy to talk much, and fall into bed to sleep like the dead.
That's why I haven't been blogging, or spending much time on social media at all.
That's why tears were filling my eyes yesterday: I haven't taken the time to process everything the way I usually do, by writing about it, and all the feelings had to come out somehow.
For the past eight days I have felt like I imagine a new mother does, being all-consumed by her new baby, having no time to shower, eat properly, or feel human. My "baby" is our new house, and it has demanded all of my attention.
The good news is that we can see the end of the tunnel: We have moved almost everything from one place to the other! The house is taking shape, and I will share a progress report soon. At least twice a day we tell each other how much we love it here, and how lucky we are to have found this precious place.
There are deer walking through our yard every day.
Two of our new neighbours came by to welcome us, bearing gifts of wine and sausage rolls, and the offer of feeding our animals if we want to go away.
The nights are still and clear, with millions of stars twinkling in the sky.
I had an interview with the manager of the local hospital, and she hired me on a casual basis, warning me that there might not be a lot of work to begin with, but thrilled to have an x-ray tech locally now. Most don't stick around, treating Merritt as a stop on their way to bigger places, but I assured her that I'm here to stay!
Thanks for listening to my ramble. I feel so much better now for having it gotten off my chest!
I miss you guys, and promise I won't stay away for that long again.
Thanks for being here!