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Enough adventures.

“You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to.” (Frodo Baggins quoting Bilbo, LOTR)

Anyone who knows me knows I love a good adventure, a long road trip, a calculated risk, a new horizon. But when that’s all you have for more than a year, things start to wear on you. You begin to feel sort of stretched, if you know what I mean.

I’ve had that Bilbo Baggins line rattling about in my brain lately:

“Why, I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread. That can’t be right. I need a change, or something.”

Ironic, isn’t it, that what got us started on the adventures of the past 18 months was the feeling that we needed a change? It’s been something like this:

2016

February – April:
– Both start new jobs, both remote.
– Decide to leave Chicago sometime soon.

August:
– Visit Denver. Fall in love.

October:
– Begin making serious plans to move.
– Eat at all the favorite places.
– Rent out the condo.
– Say goodbyes.
– Brother gets engaged on the night of your farewell party. You know then there’s a crazy year ahead.

November:
– Pack up life & cat.
– Drive from Illinois to Iowa, Kansas, Colorado.
– AirBnB a house for a month while looking for a house to buy.
– Have four houses fall through.

December:
– Pack up life & cat.
– Drive from Colorado to New Mexico, Arizona.
– Work from in-laws for two weeks. With cat.
– Drive from Arizona to California.
– Work from parents’ for two weeks. With cat.
– Get so plastered at your parents’ New Years’ Eve party that you faceplant into the tile floor.

2017

January:
– Wake up January 1 with bruises you don’t remember getting and your husband and future sister-in-law telling stories about how ridiculous you were last night.
– Pack up life & cat.
– Drive from California to Nevada, Utah, Colorado.
– Spend a week in the AirBnB From Hell.
– Feel very relieved to move to the La Quinta for a week.
– Frantically search for a place to rent.
– Sign lease.
– Pack up life & cat.
– Realize all the furniture is in Chicago.
– Buy a mattress, sofa, just enough kitchen stuff to get the job done.

February:
– Husband flies to Chicago, rents a truck, hauls your stuff back.
– Attempt to unload piano from moving truck. Fail. Succeed.
– Google “how to repair piano lacquer.”
– Unpack.
– Unpack.
– Unpack.
– Ask, “Have you seen X? Did we get rid of that?”
– Buy new X just to find it later.
– Marvel at how weird it is to see all your stuff in a new place.
– Deal with new presidential administration shaking things up. Think that, of all the times you could have become a federal employee, you would of course somehow pick this one.

March:
– Fly to Florida to teach a Python session at a journalism convention.
– Go skiing for four glorious days. First real vacation since November 2015 (not a typo). Perhaps things are becoming normal again.
– Buy a house — in Fresno. To turn into a rental. Not just any house. Your future sister-in-law’s house.

April:
– Spend most of the month in Fresno renovating the new house.
– Continue to find new things that you thought wouldn’t need renovation that need renovation.
– Try to keep on top of the five family birthdays that happen in a two-week span this month.
– Build website for brother & fiancee’s wedding.
– Whiskey.

May:
– Spend only a third of the month in Fresno working on the house.
– Spend the rest of the month coordinating house work with brother, husband and assorted contractors.
– Forget both best friends’ birthdays.
– Plant a garden, because you need one more thing to take care of.
– Come to grips with the fact that every time you or your husband remembers a restaurant you want to go back to, it’s actually in Albuquerque, or Gilbert, or Fresno, or Chicago.
– Cat decides corner of living room is his new favorite place to potty. (You won’t realize this until July.)

June:
– Spend most of this month shooing cat out of corner of living room.
– Onboard on to new, fast-paced work project.
– Fly to DC for project kickoff.
– Officially become a software engineer at work.
– Miscellaneous conversations and prep for brother’s wedding in July.
– Forget mother-in-law’s birthday.
– Somehow manage to make dinner reservations for husband’s birthday.
– Realize you two haven’t been out to a place that isn’t a bar since you left Chicago.
– Work reorganization shakes a bunch of things up again.
– Say, “We need a vacation,” until husband just makes reservations and tells you when and where you’re going.
– Husband’s best friend comes to visit. They play a wedding and a church service together.
– Realize the best things never change.

July:
– Find tenant for house!
– Fix a bunch of things tenant notices are wrong with house.
– Brother gets married!
– Recover from brother getting married.
– Almost forget your own birthday. (Fortunately, your husband doesn’t.)
– Fly to DC for project wrap-up meeting.
– Start new project at work.

August:
– Celebrate 4 years of insane married life with the Caribbean cruise your husband booked.
– Maybe never come back from the Caribbean.

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