Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Tale of Two Cities

Kip is there- he's THERE there! He is living in our Netherland Noser Nest, and Megan and I are still here in Houston, packing, cleaning, freaking out and missing him like crazy. Here's what's been happening over the last 2 weeks and the state of things right now:

The Saturday after we landed, my most wonderful photographer partner in crime, Jayne, and I shot a wedding! It was great fun, very challenging, we learned a lot, and we can't wait for me to move back so we can start doing things like that on a very regular basis. It took me 3 days to recover- 10+ hours of shooting with tons of heavy gear, my shoulder is still a little mad at me!

This last Wednesday night we had a family "Farewell" dinner for Kip at our local Double Dave's Pizza- Karaoke night, which is his favorite. (sarcasm) Megan sang TWICE, once with me and once with Kathryn, and was onstage when Kathryn performed solo. I took photos, but for the love of all things chocolaty, I will not have them up online anytime soon.

Kip flew out Thursday night, after selling one of our 2 cars, he took 2 giant suitcases, his work bag with computer, and just left- Megan's world was completely turned upside-down. Thursday was the hardest day- she cried the entire 25 minute car ride back home from the airport and said things like "My heart is hurting!" and "I can't stop my heart from thumping so fast and hurty" and "The only thing I want in the entire world is for daddy to come back" and "I was so mean to daddy- I am NEVER going to be like that again!" and a million other tear-jerkers. We went home, consoled ourselves with Ben & Jerry, and went to bed way too late.

Kip's flight was mostly uneventful- he said that there was a rowdy drunk they threatened with handcuffs to keep him under control, but other than that it was wonderfully boring and predictable. I'd hoped for nothing more than that!

He went into the office, borrowed the fleet car (we're going to get cars and other stuff once Meg and I are there next week) and dragged his jetlagged self to the house.

Meanwhile, back in the States, Megan and I had a busy Friday- Megan went to the Planetarium with her Auntie Anne, and I cleaned, threw junk away from my bathroom and bedroom, then ran out to the new Houston Outlet center to see if I could find a winter jacket for her, and some new Crocs. (I know- I swear they wear them in the Netherlands, as ugly as they are.) My parents were on their way in to Houston to see us, so they met me there and sprung for some things for me, too- they spoil me, which I totally support and appreciate. I even found a suitcase (with a cool carry-on overnight bag) for $40, so it was a great trip out there. I have been the Queen of Craigslist for the last week, and have been keeping track of and scheduling pick-ups of all sorts of junk we're trying to shed with a small financial recovery. I was up late getting emails sent and things scheduled, but did get to visit with my folks for awhile that night.

Saturday for Kip was a bit frustrating- he drove in to the office for a little while, then headed towards Ikea for some creature comforts, but ended up sitting on the side of the road for TWO HOURS because the car stopped working. (Poor guy- I feel so bad for him, but also a little relieved that it wasn't all 3 of us, I can't imagine that being pretty with a five-year-old: "THIS IS BO-RING! Let's GO, PEOPLE!" I think she may not have survived, what with our combined stress level at the moment.)

After someone came and "rebooted" the car's computer (I still am foggy on the details of that repair technique, but if that's what car repair has come to, I COULD BE A MECHANIC!) he was off to Ikea, which he reported is HUGENORMOUS. He grabbed some things to eat on and with, ice trays, and a few other basics, then headed to our friend Elaine's house for a very international dinner- Elaine and her husband are Irish, and they had their downstairs neighbors (a mixed German and Dutch marriage) up for the evening. He got home around midnight, willing the car to stay alive the entire trip back home.

Over here in the US, I tackled the bags of clothes that plague our garage- my sister is so generous, and every time she cleans out her daughter's closet of outgrown clothes, she sends them our way. We had several bags of hand-me-downs that hadn't been examined in months, some years, and found a couple of jackets (none quite Dutch Winter weight, but will get her by until it gets really cold) and long-sleeved shirts! I got some "don't need now" clothes put in cool vaccuum-shrink bags (these are SO cool) and got 2 giant bags of clothes to the donation box.

We managed to squeak by to my friend Greg's apartment for a pre-screening of a film from the 48 Hour Film Project that I was the photographer for, and had a nice visit with him and a few of the other collaborators from the project, including Kathryn. From there, we all (mom, dad, me, Meg) hit the laundromat to get the pile of linens and comforters cleaned and ready for packing- our washing machine decided to stop spinning clothes the week before we went to the Netherlands for our first visit, so things that I can't personally wring-out before putting in the dryer had piled up considerably. We had a laundromat Subway sandwich dinner, packed my car full with clean linens, and Mom and Dad gave us one last hug and went home. Another hard goodbye- Megan is not taking them well these days. FORTUNATELY, Mom left her pillow and we forgot to give them their souveniers we had picked up on our home finding trip, so we got to steal just a few more minutes with them before they left for home.

We're just not sleeping real hours these days- Megan is up and watching TV, and every time I tell her "Ok, kid- time to brush teeth!" she claims unbearable hunger and gets something more to eat from the kitchen. I can't wait until we are THERE, settled (as much as we can until the rest of our things arrive via slow-boat) and get a normal groove going. No late-night runs to the storage unit, no more strangers in the house looking at furniture, no more tearful goodbyes- just everyday living at it's most boring... maybe then I'll remember to eat and sleep again.

1 comment:

kip said...

Reading what Megan said makes me so sad. I'm sorry I had to leave earlier than you guys. I love you both so much.

Oh, and it is a German/Swedish couple that I visited with.