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So this is the New Year

And I don’t feel any different.

I find that the Pandemic gives me ups and downs.

Ups: my husband has now had 2 vaccine doses. We have no debt! We have a good savings. We both work. The kids are ok. One is moving to Canada! We could do lots of things with our future.

Downs: the country is a wreck. Half of the country voted for a wreck and I find those people unrelatable. Is there going to be more vaccine? Will we ever be able to travel? I am tired of being away from people. Are we stuck in this crappy present? How much longer do we have to do this.

I’ve been reading a ton. It’s been a good way to cut the bad. I’ve read a lot of books around WWII.

Last weekend we took a trip to a little cabin with no cell signal or wifi. It was a lot of fun. I read, hiked and wrote. I did nothing for a purpose, only for enjoyment. We had no news so it was like nothing bad was real for a weekend. Time was suspended. I decided to give myself a weekend of that every month. Maybe it will get me through the next few months while things possibly get better?

My husband has seemingly adapted to living here after 3 months. He loves it, he says. He’s buying a mountain bike. Me? I’ve gotten used to 40 degree weather, but 30s are hard. I’m still cold a lot. I try to get out and walk or hike. But I still feel like this is a place we are visiting. I’m not sure what happens after April.

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So much depends on the weather

I hope you had a good Christmas.

Recently, my husband told me that Death Cab for Cutie was formed right here in the city we moved too. If you don’t know, DCFC is one of my favorite bands. And Transatlanticism is the perfect album to play with the gray winter days. I am definitely going to be listening the New Year for the new year.

We got snow on the winter solstice, and it was pretty while it was falling. It didn’t feel so unbearably cold. I even went outside in it. But the next day it was cold and icy. Poor Teddy almost fell on the steps and in the street. I almost slipped on someone else’s driveway.

It rained the day after Christmas so the snow is gone now. And luckily so is the ice. But while it was here, mornings were 27° and we were wondering how long Teddy could be outside in it. I’ve seen lots of people take pictures or videos of their dog in snow, but now that we are here, I’ve been wondering how long his paws can be out in the snow.

When we were moving here, my friend Amber told me about what’s different in Washington from living in California. Like how some railroad tracks don’t have arms that come down when a train is coming. But she also said, she had to adjust to how the weather plays a big part in what you do. And honestly, in Southern California, traffic plays a bigger role than weather.

My husband was playing a video where a guy said there is no bad weather, just bad gear and bad attitudes. I am definitely in the needs better gear and a better attitude department.

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Vignettes

Trash

The trash service is a little more customizable than we are used to. At home, we signed up for trash service and on the trash day, they came and picked up our green can, our regular trash and our recycling. Here you can set up your account for every other week, every week or monthly. You can also choose different size containers. The previous tenant had ever other week

We made the service every week and the first 2 weeks, we had a lot of trash. The first week, they didn’t pick it up because they thought it was still every other week. We had just moved and we had so much trash. On trash day of the second week, it was super windy in the morning. The recycling containers are 3 small plastic bins with no lids, not a big bin with a lid like we are used to. Paper, cardboard, bottles and cans are divided up in them.

Shortly after he put the trash out, Will looked out the kitchen window and saw paper, cans, and cardboard blowing across the ground. It was our trash blowing down the street and into the neighbor’s yard. He ran after it all trying to find all of the pieces.

White people

This town is 82% white. Every where you look, it’s white people. The city we came from was 63% white. It doesn’t seem like a big difference but going from 8 to 1.5% Black people and 35% of people being Hispanic/Latino to 9% is very noticeable. It’s weird to have so much less diversity. There are Black Lives Matter signs on like 50% of the businesses, which you don’t see in LA. When I say signs, I mean lettered onto the windows, not a hanging poster. I’ve been trying to figure out if it’s marketing or genuine.

We went to the farmer’s market yesterday and there was a guy making a few different filipino lunch combos. We ordered some lumpia and pancit. While we waited, ever other person who came asked what each item was and asked if it was spicy. What’s chicken adobo? What’s pancit? It was brand new to them. He told us he is trying to get a food truck.

Mushrooms

I’m not a fan of mushrooms 🍄. I don’t eat them much. Mainly in salad, preferably not cooked, and usually the basic white ones. Will has been buying different ones and trying them out. I’ve been fascinated by what we see out on the trails. On the sides of trees and under ferns. But I am still not going to eat them.

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Welcome to our new adventure!

We made it to Washington state. It’s been a hectic move, but when is moving across states not hectic?

Will was driving his car and had to replace his tires on the second day of our move. Something fell into the road and he ran over it. It even scraped the underside of his car barely missing his gas tank. I was ahead of him a bit and he ended up 3 hours behind me in reaching Oregon.

When we arrived to our rental, the previous tenant was still there. We were pretty disappointed and ended up having to clean the kitchen and bathrooms because they weren’t clean. He got all of his stuff out pretty late at night. It complicated our first day because we had been driving for 3 days, we had a dog and it was raining. Oh yeah, and there is a worsening pandemic.

Then we found out that our stuff which had gauranteed arrival for Friday, won’t be here until Monday. We wanted a Friday arrival so I could set up my office before work on Monday. Unfortunately that won’t happen. We are basically camping in our house with an air mattress and camping chairs. But we do have my computer and wifi set up.

Some great things about the move include me having my own bathtub. I haven’t had a bathtub in my bathroom for over 5 years. I was so excited to have a relaxing hot bath and bought some lavender bath bombs and a book to read and spent a whole hour lounging.

We’ve had fun exploring some new neighborhoods and some parks. We did a 4 mile walk along a creek to the waterfall. We saw sea otters in the bay. We love the water everywhere.

The fall colors are amazing.

Moving is definitely an unsettling experience. All of your routines and norms are thrown off. There’s no order to your things, your time, and your calendar. But there is also a lot of opportunity and possibility in that space. A chance for new hobbies, new habits and new experiences. We are looking forward to them.

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Exhausted

You too?

Whew. What a week. Yesterday I was excited all day. I was ready to have a reason to celebrate so Trump losing and a female VP was a great one. I played celebratory music all day while packing up to move. There’s a lot more to say about the politics of this country, but I don’t have the energy for that in this post.

But today, I’m stressed about packing. We’re realizing we can’t fit everything and that we have way too much stuff. So it’s time to toss some things. We already filled up the trash for our condo. 😬 And I’ve been feeling like we are pretty wasteful to have so much stuff and to throw it away. Why do we need so much stuff?

And it’s not like we weren’t throwing out stuff before. A few weeks back I started tossing stuff and still I find myself surounded by too much stuff. In this big move, I’d really like to live a little lighter and a little leaner. At the begining of this year, I planned not to buy new clothes, only used. And then I was like, well, I will buy new socks and underwear of course. And then one day I was headed to an event with no sweater and it was cold. And then the pandemic hit. And going to thrift stores to look for clothes was too hard. I know you can by them online, but sizing is so hard online. And like everyone else in the pandemic, I gained weight. And moving to Washington requires a raincoat that effectively keeps out rain. So that new year plan didn’t quite work out.

2 more sleeps before we hit the road.