Friday, June 27, 2008

Who Says You Can't Go Back?

We made it!

We sold our house, packed everything we own, and arrived here at our destination, the San Francisco Bay Area. This is the result of no small effort and plenty of aggravation, but it is primarily the product of Leslie’s sheer will and, of course, her good design sense. I am ever amazed at how thought can indeed become action when strong will propels it.

God, I love that woman!

It took almost two full weeks to pack the house, which was a huge ordeal. I was still boxing things from the shed in the back yard until two hours before the tractor trailer was filled and backing out of our cul-de-sac. Have you ever worked until you could barely move? And then had to get up and do it again regardless of how you feel? When you move across country, every single item must be packed in a box and sealed. Every single item. And the clock just keeps ticking away in defiance of your work. There were many moments when I thought I should’ve started my “personal revolution” about eight months ago.

A long time colleague of mine who works for one of the nation’s biggest trucking companies filled me in on issues caused by the flooding in the mid-west. Apparently, cross country tractor trailers traveling on I-80 are being sent up to 600 miles out of their way to avoid flood zones, which means delays of up to a week. While our things were picked up from our home on time, they will be warehoused until a California bound trucker is available to pick them up. Right now it looks like it will be July 3 when our things leave Connecticut. Even though it isn’t exactly desirable, warehousing isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Having a house full of personal belongings on the day of close would have been the worst. It does, however, open the window significantly for problems like lost items.

Don’t worry. We don’t have anything that is truly valuable. That is, except one another, of course.

Also, because of the flooding (and for other more esoteric reasons), we decided to fly rather than drive to California. After working like dogs for two weeks, I doubt Leslie, Elizabeth, myself, and our two dogs would have been able to remain trapped in the van for another week at least.

Let’s give a round of applause for good sense in the face of Mother Nature’s unbridled fury!

Last Tuesday, the Faber Girls began their journey by spending a day doing last minute packing, making sure the house was cleaned to a “T”, and then driving the hour and a half it took to get to JFK.

We were there in a Ramada Inn for one day and two nights, and completely grossed out by how disgusting the hotel was, a sensation broken only by the good news that our house closing went well (we signed with our lawyer in advance) and our money was in the bank where it belongs. Leslie abhorred the place and slept in her clothes. Elizabeth ended up with an anklet of bug bites. Daizy, who is in charge of security in the family, was up barking at every fart and whistle. And there were plenty. This Ramada Inn has people lined up out the door all night to check in because it’s where the Port Authority sends passengers when flights are delayed or overbooked. There were doors slamming shut constantly.

Let’s recap.

Our hotel room was the size of a shoe box, the walls were made of spit and toilet paper (and mold), and our Boston Terrier aka Boston Terror, Demolition Daizy, freaked out every half hour, give or take, launching herself off the bed growling, barking, and snarling. The good news is that it was so noisy in general, no one (but us) really noticed, and we didn’t get kicked out. Needless to say, no one slept.

The second morning, we were up at 3 a.m. and had a driver waiting for us at 4 a.m. Jack, our Golden Retriever, was relegated to fly cargo because he and his airline approved crate together were 20 pounds over the 100 pound limit. We had him there; in a separate building location we had the foresight to scope out the day previous, by 4:30 a.m. There was paperwork and weighing, and then of course, getting Jack into the crate itself, which I was worried about. The last time he flew, it scared the stuffing out of him. I was certain I’d have to wrestle him, Greco-roman style. This time, however, it seems he knew what was happening, and, as soon as he got into the cargo warehouse, settled into a resigned sort of depression. Poor Prince Jack. He went into the crate with minimal pushing and prodding, and only trembled a tiny bit.

Daizy, on the other hand, handled the entire trip quite well. She didn’t even pee on herself, which I found surprising.

Long story short, we made it here to San Francisco, and we are in a lovely Marriott. The view over the Bay is stunning. We’re in a beautiful one bedroom suite, and they give you breakfast for free. We haven’t found a place to live yet. After all, this is only our first full day. But we are officially homeless. It’s a strangely liberating feeling. If we haven’t found something in about a week, I’ll let you know. Chances are we will have graduated from liberated to slightly hysterical.

This weekend we will attend San Francisco’s Gay Pride parade. Leslie and I have done it before, but I expect it will take on new and special dimensions with our eleven year old in tow. This is, after all, her birthplace and part of her legacy. Elizabeth wants to make signs that say “Gay Means Happy” and march down the middle of Market Street. Given the condition of Leslie’s knees after all this … well … we’ll see how THAT goes, hm?

This Monday, June 30th, Leslie and I mark our 23rd anniversary together. We met the day of the Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco in 1985. It’ll be a special day for the entire family, but I find it particularly special under the circumstances. We’ve spent the last two years in Connecticut addressing and putting closure on emotional issues, relationships, and circumstances rooted in the past. I’ve made wonderful discoveries about myself and my spirituality. I’ve also been blessed with precious time spent with my grandmother who, for the most part, raised me. Leslie was gifted with time to heal physically after almost 10 years of various surgeries. Elizabeth got to see some of her own lineage, as well, even if it was particularly intense in Thelma’s rest home some of the time.

They say you can’t go back.

I did go back, you see. I went back to the state of my birth for two years and was given the opportunity to clarify how I felt about issues that caused me pain. That clarification led to closure. Now, we’re back in the Bay Area and it feels like we never left.

That is, of course, except that I feel lighter in mind and spirit.


Sue said...

I hate cliches, but full circle seems to be pretty appropriate. What a tale. I feel lighter from having read it. Have fun at Pride, the birthplace of it all.


Jane said...

Beautiful! I will wish you godspeed in finding a great and CLEAN place to live, where poor Elizabeth's ankles remain free of bites, you and Leslie can sleep as nature intended, and little Daizy does not have to go crazy trying to protect you all.

Much love and tons of good wishes sent your way!

Donna L. Faber said...

Thanks so much, you guys!

Man, what a couple of weeks. We are starting to adjust to the new time zone now, but we're coming off the rush and starting to slow down. Tomorrow, our van comes off the carrier, which is a good sign. Makes Leslie very happy. We didn't get to the Pride Parade, though. Ended up having to look at a few rental places and then honor Leslie's knees, which have adamantly declared they've reached their limit and need rest, not marching.

Come to think of it, I'm pretty pooped myself.

Night night.

Thanks again for the support. It's so nice!


Liara Covert said...

A friend of mine acted as a photographer for the Mardi Gras in Sydney which is like a gay pride parade. He said that the experience was priceless. You could feel the energy, the tolerance and freedom that so many people lack in other areas of their lives. As you evolve to accept all of yourself, then you don't need a parade. Just decide to "be yourself."

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