Spring by the sea

I miss the blossoms.  Last spring I looked around and noticed that I lived in one of the most beautiful places in the universe.  Every tree and bush in our neighborhood had exploded in blooms and the air was filled with their sweet smell.  I started waking up early to run before the kids were awake.  I would silently put on my running clothes and slip out the back door into the darkness, with the purple shadows of blossoms and warm air all around me.

I think maybe that's why the spring has been such a hard time for me here.  I was one with those blossoms and that place and that time.  And though it's getting better every day, it still feels like I don't fit here.  One night Eric and I went to dinner downtown and we were seated next to a table of southerners. I miss hearing that accent.  I almost cried when I looked up and realized that they had left before I'd gotten the chance to ask them where they were from.

Nevertheless, I trudged on, through Easter and spring break.

My mom and grandmother came to town for a very quick visit, and we walked, talked, ate and shopped.  That cheered me up a little bit.

For Easter my cousin Laura and her sweet boyfriend Tom made the trip from L.A., and my brother came down from Oakland.  He's going to make us side tables for our living room.  That cheered me up some more.  My brother is freakishly talented in a wide array of things, including making gorgeous furniture.

The sister missionaries came to Easter dinner.  One of them is from Brazil, and Eric knew her as a little girl on his mission.  The other one is from Newnan, GA, which, of course, made me want to cry.  Then Marley tried on her name tag, and I felt a little better.  That girl is going to make an incredible missionary some day.

The kids and I lived at the Boardwalk over spring break.  Eleanor rode her first roller coaster and took it like a pro (of course).  I rode the scariest ride- the Fireball, and was just so happy to make it off alive that I temporarily didn't care where I lived.

We ate a lot of fried things.

I look at these pictures now and realized that we really had fun.  There aren't a lot of things in life that are fun for a 2-, 4-, 9-, 11- and 32-year-old all at the same time.  

I bought some beach chairs at Costco since, you know, we live at the beach.  We should probably have our own beach chairs. 

And then a strange thing happened last weekend.  I fell in love with a house, and we made an offer on it.  We were driving along, and saw a sign and decided to stop in just for fun.  It was the first time I've ever walked into a house and been able to easily envision spending the rest of my life it.  Poor Eric went after that house like water in the dessert, knowing how happy it would make me, and wanting so badly for me to be happy here.  Unfortunately, half the town fell in love with it too and we didn't get it in the end.  But something about that house snapped me out of my fog.

For a brief moment, I could see my future here.  Not my past, never my past....but my future.  That's something.


Melissa E Photography said...

I relate to this in so many ways. And I about died when I read your age span of kids. Eric is 11!? ELEVEN!? Wow.

Miss you.

Kara Miller said...

Oh, how I can empathize! Being homesick is the worst. I'm so glad you're here and think you're awesome :)

E B said...

Is that a Banana Slug in an Easter egg?

Good luck adjusting. I was hoping to hear that it gets easier every time you move, since you've moved quite often and since we're gearing up for another move ourselves... too bad we're on opposite sides of the country!

Laura Oler said...

Oh, I relate to all this. It is especially beautiful here in the spring -- everything is blooming right now, and the new green of spring is so brilliant, it almost makes your eyes hurt. I think it is hardest to adjust to your "permanent" location. Everything else was kind of an adventure along the way, and you enjoyed all the beauty you found there. But now you're at the spot you might live for the rest of your life, and you miss all the things it's not, and you wonder if it's really where you want to be. I think it's easier to be critical of that place. It will grow on you! Mitch talked about leaving a few years back, and I realized I didn't really want to leave. Of course now that he's going up for tenure, who knows if we will stay or not! I hope you enjoy the present for now -- who knows what the future will bring! Good luck -- your family is so beautiful! I wish you were closer, and that we'd come to visit more when you were....

Robyn said...

Your kids are gorgeous. And WHAT is in that Easter Egg?

Lindsay said...

Yeah... I'm stuck on the Easter egg, too. Mostly just wondering if it was intentional or not!

Such beautiful pictures and beautiful words, too. I know you're missing a specific time and place right now, but I know there are people all over the country who miss you terribly - and I think that's a testament to what a great friend you are. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before you feel you're surrounded by dear friends again... and I'm guessing that will make the place seem much more wonderful. :) I love you, and am so happy you're starting to feel better... even if it's just a little bit.

Sara M. said...

I'm with some of the others asking - what is in that Easter egg? I didn't know about the house you fell in love with. I keep waiting for that moment here when a house will speak to my heart. I think it's interesting how we, as women, tie ourselves to a home. I don't know any men that do that. I'm sure they exist. Poor Eric- like water in a desert. I need an update on you! I know this post is two to three weeks old but it still makes me feel close to you! I will say, it is beautiful here. Everything is blooming. I do not mind the pollen. Thank god allergies are not one of my problems. Miss you!!

Melissa E Photography said...

A Banana slug! We saw those at the Redwoods and my kids were very impressed.

Katie, I had SUCH a vivid dream about you last night. We ran into eachother and I started crying and told you I was a little lonely here and missed having stimulating conversations with people. I asked, "What have you been studying lately?" and you spouted off something that I can't remember now, but I was super impressed in my dream and then burst into tears because I said I missed having interesting conversations like that so much.

You then proceeded to say some super wise words and quote a scripture which I can't remember now, but you helped me stop the ugly cry for a few seconds.

ANYWAY, I just thought you'd like to know that you were just as kind and wise in my dream as you are in real life. And my subconscious might be a little more lonely than I thought I was. :)

Lisa Thomasse said...

Hey ! I'm french, but i speak a little bit english ... So, just for say your pictures are very pretty ! Is yours kids ?

DNCBulldawg said...

Since you've still not answered the questions about the banana slug, Katie, I'll do it for you. The Banana Slug is the athletic mascot for The University of CA at SANTA CRUZ!!!!! http://www.ucsc.edu/about/mascot.html