Wednesday, June 30, 2010


We are 79 days from wedding day and I must admit I have a lot of mixed emotions. I am very excited to celebrate my partnership to G in front of our family and friends. I can't wait to wear my dress. I can't wait to see our friends from far and wide as well as those who live right down the street. I CANNOT wait to see my brother and my parents. However, had we known we would be buying a house and all of this nonsense mere weeks before the wedding I think we likely would have opted for a wedding in G's folks backyard followed by a camping trip to the coast or something like that with our buddies. And, with guilt in my heart I must admit that right now that sounds like a lot less work.

The truth is that I feel married to the Hubbs. I feel like we have forged the first of our bonds in the fire of this past year. It sounds all cliche' but it has been a hell of a year. We have moved in 4 days and lost another house, we have (very much together) put me through a fast paced year of medic school and done it all on less than 2 full paychecks. We have dealt with lots of challenges and come out (as I see it) on top every time. We are like a cat who seems to land on its feet.

Wedding wedding wedding....It all seemed like such a good idea at the time. We were happy where we are and with all of the things we had. We have asked for money to help send us on a trip to Africa with Project Helping Hands as "honeymoon mission". NOW we are looking at all the stuff we need for this new house. I am not talking about candle sticks and crock pots or fancy linens and crystal. No, I am talking about a door that fits the back doorway properly, a deep freeze for the basement so we can buy locally raised antibiotic and hormone free meat in bulk and at a budget saving cost, shelving for the basement. I am talking about frames for the artwork we have recently acquired so that we don't start in this house with the same college kid feel as our houses before. It is all very materialistic but they are things that would make starting out in this house so wonderful. Anyway, that is where I stand in my poverty mind swirling with wants and "needs".

I must give a thank you to the mother in law, without whom I would have significantly more anxiety about just about everything from school loans to commitment. I will preface this by saying that my mom is one of my very best friends and she is number one in my book of bad ass, smart, wonderful women. That said, the mom2 is a total gift in my life. She is a friend in the same time zone when I need one. She is a total insomniac so she is my late night life line occasionally. She has a wicked sense of humor and she seems to "get" me. She certainly loves her son but on some fundamental level I think she must see something of herself in me. She seems to get the person I am trying to become as well as the person I am right now. She seems to understand that occasionally I need to share difficult things and I just need an ear not a remedy and I don't want to worry my mom so far away. Also, she is married. She has been married to the same wonderful, funny and stubborn man for over 30 years and shows no sign of changing that. My parents were married for 32 years and for 95% of that time I saw a happy, compatible partnership. My parents did not fight, nor did they speak disparagingly of one another ever. I had a true friendship as my model for what a partnership should look like. My parents divorced and I think I have said before that I think it has all shaken out for the best. I think they are more truly themselves now and I am happy and proud of them both in their own ways. I think I win twice because I saw a healthy marriage model as a child and then saw two people self actuate as "grown-ups". That said, my mother is no longer married to a man and there is "stuff" around all of that. This makes her not the absolute best person to talk about weathering the storms of a life long marriage. Not for lack of wanting to be that person....she just has some opinions now that I can't totally access on this end (the new end) of a partnership and adult life. It does make her a very open person to talk to about shedding the weight of the "musts" and "shoulds" and for that I can't begin to thank her. Anyway, the mom2 and I see eye to eye on so many things and that brings such a light to my heart I am tearing up now as I write about it. Talking to her today was really great.

Wow! First let me say that I haven't even done anything cool yet but I LOVE being on the ambulance and running calls! I am starting to get pretty good at starting IVs in the back as we trundle down the road at a bumpy 40-60mph. I have spent the last two weeks running generic rather crap calls. We had 2 trauma entries but nothing even all that grand about either of them. The take home message is DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE MORONS!! Next week I will be working with a medic who is known to be intense and a little "particular" about the way things are done. Ed, my preceptor now, is a pretty laid back guy. He is a good teacher and since we haven't seen anyone who requires ANY sort of medical knowledge to care for it has been a little hard for him to challenge me. R.C will challenge me no matter what. I have already started reviewing protocols and medication doses so I can be ready to be "pimped" (put on the spot with questions).

There is something cool about riding around all night keeping watch on the city. It feels a little like a band of secret superheros. I know that sounds super geeky but I can't help it. No one thinks about it but at any time of day or night there is an ambulance not more than about 8mins away from where you are ready to help you if you get ill or hurt. We will come to your house, check your diabetic husband's sugar and put a line in, give him an amp of dextrose, wait until he is conscious again and making sense, then we will make him a turkey sandwich or maybe PB&J, check his sugar again and when we are satisfied that everything is OK, we will pack up our stuff, shake your hand, pat your husband on the back and tell him to finish the whole sandwich before going back to sleep, and we will leave....back out into the predawn darkness....back to our street corner. It is not a glamorous world. It is full of dirty corners and dirtier houses. It is full of people who want to hurt one another or themselves. It is full of sickness and death and bullshit. But it is a noble profession. I never would have thought I would be joining the ranks of these superheroes but here I am. They won't give me my own cape or even a good superhero name for a few more months but I am here, learning. Helping the watch standers and watching over the city.

So that is about the gist of things right now. I have been writing to my best friend who shall be henceforth known as "the captain". I have been trying to put together weekly house/wedding/school updates for her. It has been helpful for my processing. I find sometimes (like today) I just feel totally socked in by worry. I worry about everything but mostly money. I hate not getting a paycheck right now. I hate having to rely to heavily on the Mr. Its not really my style. However, it is my reality. I suppose I shall just keep my snoot down as the Mr likes to say, and work hard, try not to kill anyone and get the house packed up. That is the best I can do so off I go....

Thursday, June 24, 2010

And The World Spins Madly On....

The Hubbs and I escaped to the woods a little over a week ago for a little camping trip with friends before my internship started. We packed (waaaaaaay too much shit into) the Jeep and tossed the dogs in on top and headed out of the rainy blah on this side of the mountains, to the sunshine and PERFECT weather on the other side. We spent the first night setting up camp and gathering wood and oh yeah, seeing a black bear and cub trying to cross the street! Eeep! It was a sight I won't soon forget. The momma came lumbering down out of the woods and saw us, turned tail and headed back up the embankment. Seconds later a 5oish lb cub comes tumbling down into the road, sees us, sees that his momma is already splitting in the other direction and follows her. G and I looked at each other and were dumb struck. "Duuhh, I thought you said there were no bear out here?". "Duuuh, I didn't think there were any." Thank you Steve Irwin!

We had a wonderful time with our friends G and C. They are recently engaged and planning a wedding for fall 2011. C is my kind of girlfriend. She is a little off beat and has a sly sense of humor. She and I fall just about equally on the apathy control freak scale of wedding planning which for me lately, has been just apathetic of center. Anyway, we both fret (very small scale) about things like our dresses and the food. She too is going the simple inexpensive dress route but still, like me wishes on some level to feel more beautiful than on any day of her life so far. I feel that! I am not even squeamish about it anymore. I love G and I am pumped to marry him! I want to look smokin' hot! Or AT LEAST feel really, really pretty.

On Thursday, G and I ran around the lake we were camped by (13 miles of trails!). It was a fun and staggeringly beautiful run. My shins couldn't even complain with the soft spongy trail beneath my feet. We took the young dog who did a great job on and off leash in the woods. I love taking her to the woods to run. It just makes her so happy.

On Friday, our other friends showed up expanding our merry little camp to 5 people and 3 dogs. It took a little time for the freak dogs to all settle down but soon it was a peaceable kingdom and the people were roasting sausages and drinking beer. It was so much fun. The next day I went for an accidental 9 mile run. I miscalculated my distances and my planned 6miler turned into a 9 miler. I did it. I just wondered why I was so dammed hungry. :)

The next few days were filled with failed attempts to fish, canoeing adventures, hikes to lost lakes, watching the dogs tear around by the shore some swimming and others doing everything in their power to "get" the other dog without having to get more than ankle deep. Every night was the same....The old dog would lay down on her bed facing the road on guard duty, the young dog would get very cold and end up either zipped into my jacket on her bed like a sleeping bag, or under a pile of towels and blankets like a living laundry pile. It was stinkin' cute.

On Monday everyone was packing up when The Hubbs received a text from his sis who requested he call as soon as he could. Lilsis does not generally call or text while we are away as she is freakishly respectful of our time together. (I know I said "freakishly" but I mean it in the most awestruck "nobody is as respectful of our time together as she is and we absolutely adore her for it" way). Needless to say he called her back as soon as he got the text. She informed us that we were going to have to move. AGAIN! Because our house was going to be put on the market. I say again, because we have only been in this house since November. We moved because the woman who owned our last place decided to move into it. We have not been here that long but I had imagined we would be here for a long time. I don't know why. We only signed a 9 month lease because she didn't want to end up with an empty house in the winter again...I just didn't think that it would mean we would have to move in the summer.

Anyway, I was mere nanoseconds from freaking out and spontaneously combusting when it occurred to me that I had a choice. I could freak out and cry and be generally miserable for an as yet to be determined period of time, or I could just chill my shit for five seconds, take some deep breaths, admit to myself that the last thing in the WORLD I wanted to do right now was find a new place to live, pack up all of our shit again and settle into a new house, and then I could realize how stressful this was going to be for my partner and best friend and I could rally a positive outlook and start brainstorming ways that this could be OK and good even. I could be a positive force and not just momentum. I could help him feel heard and seen and understood. I could do less freaking out and needing and more standing behind and supporting. Less MY way and more OUR way.

I am under no illusions that I am an easy woman to be married to. I am especially aware that this year sort of blows in sense that while we are trying to plan a wedding, settle into married life, and continue getting to know one another I went to paramedic school. I have been a giant money hole this year. I have been a huge financial burden and he has not said one word about it. He doesn't bitch or complain or point out that he is the money of this operation. He just holds up his end of the deal. ALL OF THE TIME! He does it so well and with no hint of resentment of the imbalance that I feel so strongly having never been the dependant in a relationship before. Anyway, I felt like the least I could do now would be to make a real effort to be an emotionally stable and even giving and supportive influence. I wanted to put his soul and heart in the black instead of the red this time.

We drove home from the mountains that afternoon, scrapping our plans for the second half of our vacation which included a trip to Bend and the High Desert Museum and a dinner date with a dear friend who just graduated from university. We felt like we had been punched in the gut. My wheels were spinning. Was there some way, any way that we could pool collective resources and *whispers* buy a house? That way, we would NEVER find ourselves in this shitty place again. We would never be at someone else's whim for a place to live. We could stop lighting hundreds of dollars on fire every month. The place would be ours to paint, ours to decorate, ours to repair and remodel. It would be OURS. The question would we put this all together? Could we do all of this in about 45 days? The wedding was in 90 days and we had a lot of people planning on staying with us for parts of the wedding weeks. I was also starting my internship (the work I am PAYING to do) 7p-7a four on four off for the next few months. What a cluster F%$#!

We called our moms. Yay moms! Over the next 4 hours (no joke people! 4 hours and these folks had it figured out!) Our families (all 3 of them) had lent support in various ways to make it possible for us to call a real estate agent and set up an appointment to look at houses two days later. And BAM! Just like that we were on our way to home owning.

Over the next few days we looked at a LOT of houses ourselves. We drove around peering in windows like a couple of perverts. We wrote down MLS numbers and emailed links to the parents. We wrote things of and underlined must-haves. When we finally met with Gail (the most amazing woman ever!) we had 7 houses to look at. This one was small, that one was a dump, this one had a horrible smell, that one a wet basement, this one was too much money, that one just wasn't "us". And then we stopped at Commercial St. A sweet little craftsman bungalow with a finished upstairs, a dry basement, a chicken coop and hardwood floors. (Sorry no pictures until it is ours for good. I am just superstitious) It was lovely and perfect and I wanted to move into it right now. I even like the color of paint on the walls. G agreed and so did Lilsis. We loved it. Gail told us to go home and talk about the houses we saw that day and to sleep on it.

We went home and decided to meet a buddy for a happy hour beer. A little while later we called Gail and asked to make an offer the next day. It was too good to pass up. It was in our price range, it was in our neighborhood area of choice, it was cute as shit! She agreed to meet us the next day to sign offer papers. We got drunk. I think there was even a shot of tequila from our buddy.

We met Gail at the house the next day and toured it and then another house in the same price range. The second house looked like the set of a horror movie. It smelled, it had frightening siding, the trim and floors were a total mess, there was tile and carpet in one of the upstairs bedrooms and the basement was horrifying. I wanted to cry. "OK, Uncle! We will make a competitive offer! The house is a good value! I can't see anymore!" Gail laughed at me. We signed the offer and she turned it in.

They countered and we countered their offer. We agreed on an offer that weekend, 5 days after receiving the letter from our current landlord. Two days later we met the inspector who found nothing majorly wrong with the house. Tomorrow the sewer will be scoped and the radon testing will happen. We will be back to negotiations by Monday or Tuesday. We want them to put in a new back door (one the mice can't get in through) and secure the electrical wires to the house. Minor things really. Fingers are crossed that the sewer doesn't have roots in it!

The Hubbs struggled a little getting in gear with all of this but as of today we have thrown out and recycled about three bins of shit we moved and never unpacked the FIRST time we moved together. We were packing and talking last night and he brought up something really interesting. As a culture, we associate much of our identity with place. Who we are is very closely linked to where we are from and where we live. Moving is a very unnerving process and lends itself to clinging behavior. Especially in our unattached youth. When you are leaving your parents or packing up at the end of university, you hold dear to every stuffed animal and ticket stub from every concert you saw with your buddies as a way to cement that you have a place. A way to be solid in such a groundless time as moving. Even as G and I moved into this house, there was so much uncertainty. It was mostly good but it wasn't any less unsettling to find ourselves moving. This time, the potential is so thick you can cut it with a knife. This will be the house we bring our family home to. Hopefully, this will be the house where they are born. It may also be the house they first come home to though and that is good too. I have the baby bug pretty bad right now and so that is largely how I project my future. I see myself making PB&J sandwiches at the kitchen counter and listening to G reading to our small people on the sofa in the living room. I picture us collecting eggs from our chickens in the backyard and planting veggies in the side yard. I see my life unfolding in that house. Because of all of that potential somehow I am ready to shake loose some of the clutter of my life up to now. I want to throw out those boxes of random shit. I want to send all of those clothes I haven't worn in forever to Goodwill. I want to streamline. I want to prune and make room for the new. It all seems very exciting to be "making ready" for our lives together in this way. Even if the small people don't arrive the way I dream or at all for some time. The house seems like the beginning of something new and wonderful. I need space for it to bloom.

Well, that is just about all the news fit to print. It may or may not be obvious that there are a few upcoming posts. Internship is awesome! I can't wait to start my memoirs of a baby medic. We had our "engagement" photos this week. As if we needed one more thing to worry about! It turned out to be a real blessing. It felt like the cap of a monumental week. It was nice even, to have someone telling me to smooch on The Hubbs. I also need to post about how much my mom rocks. She has just been a shooting star this week. I don't know what I would have done without her. Our moms are a pretty rad pair actually. G's mom is one of my favorite women in the whole world. I can't believe I scored so hard in the mother-in-law department.

Well, I have been running! I am running a half marathon on the 4th of July and I am feeling pretty darn optimistic! I think I am going to win this one! Haha! No really, I have done many more high mileage runs in prep for this run and I think it is going to be more fun than any of the other halves I have done in the last 2 years. I am excited. My body continues to change though not so much on the scale these days. I could eat less cheese and it is about time to go there in the final push for the wedding. However, I am happily trotting along eating what is good for me 80% of the time and getting lots of exercise. Life is crazy but life is good. I will keep posting as things keep unfolding.