No, I'm not referring to the parasite often picked up by drinking bad water in Mexico. I'm remembering the ride at Knott's Berry Farm. For those of you who've never experienced it, it's your basic simple thrill rollercoaster--you take off like a rocket from the starting gate, go straight into a gravity-defying loop, then straight up until you slow to a stop and begin to roll backward through the same loop from whence you've just come. But rather than slowing gently to a stop this time, the brakes are slammed on suddenly at the loading dock, for a jolting stop that could only have been designed by client-hungry chiropractors.
That is how I feel. I've spent the last six months preparing for this big move and I've been busy as heck (however busy that might be) for the last month or so leading up to the big day. My head had been spinning with all the details, the order of events. Even the drive to get here was a wild and crazy ride--more details on another post, but it involved much car trouble, spread evenly over three different vehicles.
But now I'm here.
After only a few days, Andy had to go back to Vancouver to try to rescue two of our vehicles that had to be returned there. He and Grandpa have been gone since Monday. Internet service was delayed for various reasons and just became functional this evening (Boy, did I have a lot of reading to do to catch up! Welcome Amanda and Gary!). The kids have made a new friend in Justin, the eight year old neighbor boy and are spending all their time playing with him. Even the dog is preoccupied with his new buddy, Tucker, Justin's yellow lab (after every long and energetic wrestling session, Drake passes out for a long nap and we joke that he's been "Tuckered.").
So with Andy and Grandpa gone, no possiblility of vegging on-line (or in front of the TV--as that is yet to happen, as well), kids and dog occupied, I have spent the week quietly unpacking boxes and trying to make the Grandpa's old house feel like our new home. I have not worked at a frenzied pace. I've worked slowly but steadily to the soothing eclectic soundtrack of NPR (thank-you, Jesus, for the good FM reception) on my kitchen radio, taking frequent breaks to sit with the kids at the table with cookies and milk, sit in the outdoor swing and gaze at the mountains, scour through rusty old junk littered about the property (that is a requirement around here--to have rusty old junk scattered around one's yard), make the long and dusty trek past the neighbor's horses to the mailbox, study the birds as they busily work on nests in the birdhouses or line up to take drinks from the bird bath, admire the occasional deer grazing in the yard, gaze at the mountains--oh, did I already mention that one?
SCRREEEECH. My wild ride has come to a full and complete stop, it seems.
Permanecer sentados, por favor...
And now silence. Silence like I've never experienced before. I am learning "the sounds of silence." A distant dog bark. Grasshoppers. The whinny of a horse. Wind chimes, tinkling softly in the gentle breeze. A child being called home to eat. The pounding of my dog's feet as he runs past on the hard, dry earth. The whirr of my computer tonight seems loud and noticable to me now--obnoxious and almost offensive for the obviously man-made sound it makes.
And stillness. The movements that catch my attention now are the swishing of a horse's tail across the street, a falling pine cone, a bird darting past the window, a small plane crossing the sky, the occasional car on our private road.
There will likely come a day when the quiet and the stillness make me crazy. But that day is not today. I am enjoying the peace and the solitude.
I have had fun with my kids this week, laughing at the silly dogs tackling each other in the yard. I have baked cookies with Elli, devoured large quantities of fresh strawberries for no good reason, enjoyed the tiny Stevensville public library and the friendly staff at the hardware store. I have indulged in the lost art of writing letters (by hand!) for hours at a time, both alone and with my kids. My one potential friend that I have made so far, a fifty-ish woman named Cary, came by unexpectedly with produce from her garden and we sat and enjoyed lunch together.
It took a tremendous act of the will to shut down after my previous "goodbye Vancouver" post. I haven't even once accessed my own or any of your blogs until this evening--even when I found hi-speed at the little library the other day. But to be quite honest, I am not as thrilled to be back on-line as I had assumed I would be. I am so enjoying this simple, uncluttered life and I don't trust myself and my amazing ability to get sucked into endless hours on-line.
Must find balance.
Just so you know, my new life in Big Sky Country isn't all sap and sentimentality. My computer set-up as I type this is really quite comical. We had set up the desk in the far corner of my bedroom, not remembering that the one and only phone jack in the house is near the dining room. The longest of my phone cords *almost* reaches from the modem to the phone jack, so the CPU is literally tipped diagonally, with a taut phone line stretching across my bed, diagonally through the hallway, looped over the linen closet door handle, then bisecting the entry way. Every time the dog has wanted in or out all evening, I've had to cross over and under this maze to get to the door. It is like Tom Cruise maneuvering between the laser beams in Mission Impossible--only not quite as compelling or suspenseful.
Oh, and speaking of the dog--when I went to call him in for the night, moments ago, he arrived with part of a furry animal carcass dangling from his mouth, his chest puffed out with pride. I'm not sure what it was--not sure I want to know. Once I convinced him to leave it on the porch and come inside, he promptly became tangled in the Mission Impossible phone cord, causing an already precariously perched CPU to wobble dangerously, held in place only by the cords pulling it in two different directions.
Sorry this has been so long. I haven't even touched on a fraction of what I want to share with you all from our experiences so far. More will follow in the coming days.
God's perfect peace to all.