We've lived in Bellingham for more than 2 months now and the novelty hasn't worn off yet. I thought I knew what the next however many chapters of our lives looked like, and now they look different. I knew we'd live in Seattle forever, maybe even in our house forever. Fighting over fussy remodels and maybe never totally finishing them. Like, ever. I was actually in the process of reconciling myself to that future when we made the decision to change all that. And then it all happened so fast. Even when we decided to move, I thought for sure it would take a year to find a house that would make the upheaval of a big move worth it.
Our Seattle house sold. There is now a nice Finnish couple living there, expecting their first baby any day now. Jeff and I were talking about it the other day and surprised ourselves by admitting that we don't miss our house. Not even a little.
I was starting to feel like there were very few big surprises left when I fast-forwarded my life 10-15 years. Maybe we would move, but it would be to a slightly bigger house in Seattle, or maybe the same size, but a more finished house in a slightly different neighborhood. Sure, we might take a cool trip or two and of course there's the big surprise of finding out what Edie will be, do and love. But aside from that, I thought I kind of had it tied up. I would buy my groceries at the Roosevelt Safeway and Trader Joe's. I would shop at UVillage and sometimes we would go to Chutney's in Wallingford Center for Indian Food and then treat ourselves to a cupcake upstairs at Trophy. Maple Leaf Park would be our park and Edie would figure out the Seattle School District. I would worry about her learning to drive in a big city later.
The fact that Jeff and I, after all these years, still have the ability to surprise ourselves as a couple has been one of the best things about this move. Every single morning I wake up looking at the ocean and feel like I've been picked up and dropped into someone else's life. Jeff and I are relating differently here and Edie said the other day that she doesn't miss anything about Seattle. She told Jeff we spend more time all together in Bellingham and that she loves our basement playroom. She did say she doesn't like that we walk everywhere in Bellingham - apparently it's going to take a little longer to toughen up this city kid. She is not as charmed by our morning walks to school as Jeff and I are. Yet.
Jeff and I are trying to use this move as a "reset" button in some ways. Problems have a way of catching up with you eventually, but ours are apparently still stuck in Everett traffic and I hope they never arrive. Instead of viewing our Seattle house as our "forever house", I see it now as a 10 year long teaching moment. How can we take the good things we did there and repeat them here and how can we leave the less pleasant parts behind. I keep joking that Jeffrey is almost unrecognizable here - we recently picked out two couches, a bed, and a TV in 2 DAYS. Those of you who know my husband will know how shocking and amazing this is. Bellingham Jeff is fun.
Everything about this move feels so unexpected that it makes me realize that I have no idea what the future holds, and actually, I never really did. For example - we have been invited on a big group camping trip with other Lowell Elementary families this Spring and we sort of accepted. WHO AM I? I HAVE NO IDEA.
ps: does anyone have any camping gear we can borrow this Spring?