This past Labor Day weekend, my husband had to travel to Phoenix from Saturday afternoon to Sunday evening to do an unusual pastor-related thing. I was hoping that AM, my adopted sister, could drive up from our old place and visit the girls and I. But, since AM had already come up the previous weekend, and since JJ was going to be gone, I decided that the girls and I would drive back to the Bay Area and visit AM at our old home on the S.F. peninsula. So, the girls and I left on Friday afternoon right after school, and we returned back Sunday afternoon.
It was very odd to be back “home” again. We didn’t stay in our old house; we stayed in AM’s apartment. But, on Saturday evening, we did go up to the parsonage, our old house. The vacancy pastor and his wife are currently living there, and I had a bag of things to give them that belonged in the parsonage but had accidentally made the move with us. It took less than 60 seconds of me being in my old house for me to burst into tears. I had asked the vacancy pastor’s wife if my girls could go looking around their old house, and she said something to the effect that it was much more our house than theirs, and I just lost it. Even now as I type those words, my eyes tear up. This was our first home! It was the house where I unpacked all of my wedding gifts! It was the home to which I brought my babies after they were born! And where they learned to walk and talk! Christmases, Thanksgivings, birthdays… So many wonderful memories were made in that house.
It was SO strange to be back in our old house again. It was strange to be back in our old town again! All the roads, the trees, the views, the stores — everything was just where it was when I left. For a few moments as I drove up the main road through the town which I had driven probably over a thousand times, I imagined that I had never left, that all of my things were in my house just as they had been before we had moved, that it was still my home, and that nothing had changed. But I wasn’t able to imagine it for long.
It was bittersweet to be there, but there were good things about being there, too. It was nice to go to my familiar Farmer’s Market and know exactly what vendors would be there and what I would want to buy. I know there are good FM’s around here, but I haven’t found them yet.
It was nice to go to our old church and be welcomed so warmly. People were surprised to see us, that’s for sure! It was nice to feel like I was still a little part of that world, even though I’m not really anymore.
It was nice to have an appointment with our former chiropractor again. Jujubee refuses to let our new chiro adjust her, so that was one of the reasons for driving down on Friday afternoon – we wanted to get in to see Dr Joe again. Despite getting stuck in rush hour traffic in Oakland, we made it to his office before he closed, and boy, was he surprised to see us! We all really needed our adjustments; my neck had been so stiff lately, and when he adjusted it, I’ve never had so many joints crack back into place as I did that time. My neck ached the entire next day thanks to that adjustment, but it’s feeling a lot better now, and it’s no longer so stiff.
I don’t know if it was that massive adjustment to my neck as well as my back, or if it was just being back in Belmont, or who knows what, but I ended up having the biggest anxiety attack in months the night we arrived. That was unexpected, to say the least. It was kind of a bummer, but I made it through okay. Oddly enough, what seemed to cure it was the tears I shed in my old house on Saturday night. Perhaps I needed the emotional release, but after that, my anxiety was pretty much gone.
Best of all, it was nice to spend a weekend with AM! I love her like a sister, and it was fun to spend time together. One of the things I like least about this move is that I’m further away from AM. Sigh. But, at least we’re only two hours apart (in good traffic) and the trip truly does go fairly quickly (as long as you don’t try to drive through Oakland on I-880 at 5:30 on a Friday afternoon!)
I don’t know when we’ll be back to our old house again. But I’m glad we made the trip. It was a needed opportunity for me to say a final goodbye to our old house, and it helped me transition to thinking of our new place as home. You see, when we left Sunday afternoon, it was the first that I felt like heading home to our new city was truly heading home. There will always be things I miss about our old place, but this is home now, and I’m finding lots of things I like about life here, too.