It's finally hitting me that we're leaving - Kathleen Celmins
leaving portland

It’s finally hitting me that we’re leaving

On Friday, we had people over to play games.

We’ve done this more or less every weekend for the last 6-9 months. We have people over around 6, we make something for dinner, we chat and socialize, we put Clara to bed at 7, then we play something.

We always host, because leaving Clara to sleep by herself is not just frowned upon, but illegal.

This last Friday, we didn’t host dinner. We were pretty sure “the boys” (my phrase for them, not very creative, I know) wouldn’t want to come eat frozen peas and a salad kit, and when they offered to bring something, we knew it would be pizza, and we had pizza plans on Saturday. So, instead, we went to the convenience store a block away from our house and bought $10 worth of candy, which ended up being a lot.

We played a really fun game that I didn’t grasp until it was too late (which is my M.O. for new games, so I wasn’t sad), and then, as we were wrapping up the evening, they were talking like they weren’t coming back.

In my head, I thought, “why aren’t they coming next Friday?”

Then I realized.

That’s our move date.

That’s when the keys officially change hands.

Holy smokes, that’s soon.

It’s funny how you can be completely on board with something intellectually but totally not prepared for it physically.

This move has consumed my waking (and much of my sleeping) thoughts for the past few months.

But not being able to make plans for next Friday was what threw everything into stark realness.

We’re leaving the state.

Here’s what’s happening this week:

Tuesday (today): Clara and Brent leave

Brent and Clara fly to Phoenix with a few extra bags. Clara begins a week of fun at Nonie and Lat’s. Stanley goes to Fetch, where they call him a “really good boy” and where he’ll get to have plenty of dog fun the rest of this week instead of being a fur-stress-ball while we make the finishing touches. I’ll take them to the airport, then go pick out the pictures I want from our family pictures my friend Jessica (oh wait! I do have a friend I didn’t meet online or at work/school!), then get my hair done for the last time by my stylist, then meet Kim for a quick hug before heading to my final Prompt writing workshop.

Wednesday: Brent comes back

Wake up in an empty house. Early, I’m guessing, because I am unaccustomed to being alone, especially alone-without-dog. Clean the rest of the house. Work, some. Pick Brent up from the airport in the early afternoon. Have a meal with him. Somewhere swanky, we’ve decided.

Thursday: House gets packed

Movers come between 8 and 9. Chances are, we’ll have been awake for several hours by the time they get here. We coordinate. “Move this. Don’t move that.” The new owners bought some of our furniture, so we’ll want to make sure we don’t accidentally steal it from them. After what will probably be a mind-bogglingly short time, the house will be empty, and we’ll take our final trip(s) to Goodwill. Then we’ll be unmoored. We’ll find something to do, and knowing my propensity for sentimentality, it’ll be something cheesy. Then, we check into the Heathman (early, maybe? who knows), and at 6:30 we meet Ashley and Dave for our final meal in Portland. We’re using our last gift certificate and going to Kachka, which they will hopefully not hate.

Friday: Portland –> Crater Lake

We’ll pick Stanley up right around the time his sleepaway camp opens (we keep telling each other, “we can’t forget Stanley, we can’t forget Stanley”) and we’ll grab coffee and drive to Crater Lake. We want to get there as soon as we possibly can, because daylight is at a premium, and neither of us have seen it in person. I am really excited about this piece of the trip, and Brent is … not as much, simply because Crater Lake is hard to get to except between July and August and we’ll have to pack our winter gear, including snow chains. But he’s a trooper. We’re staying in an adorable cabin (whee! dog friendly!) and we have medium hopes that we can take our “not that kind of dog” on some of the trails. Hiking is in order, but I’d be lying if I said my goal for this leg wasn’t primarily photography.

Saturday: Crater Lake –> Sacramento

We’ll take our time on Saturday, taking breaks for coffee, food, and dog walks. Then we’ll meet up with Brent’s friend from school, Mike, who lived in Japan for five-ish years and now works for the state of California and lives in Sacramento.

Sunday: Sacramento –> Los Angeles

I imagine Sunday we will be hitting the road early, because we have people we want to see in LA. Randy and Nona, my uncle and aunt, live there, and so does Brent’s oldest friend (which always sounds like I’m describing father time) Alan. We’ll hang out and play, although when I was trying to coordinate with Nona, I planned around Clara, so we talked about going to a park. But then I realized that Clara will already be in Phoenix, so four adults at a kid park sounded significantly less appealing.

Monday: Los Angeles –> Phoenix

Again, this will likely be an early morning, given our rhythms, and given our desire for three things: being done driving, seeing Clara, and seeing the house (for the first time for me). We’ll get to Phoenix in the early afternoon, and our plan is to stay with Brent’s parents since we’re pretty sure we’re beating our stuff there.

Tuesday: Start living in Phoenix

Which… whoa. That’s a week from this post. And I can list on two hands the things I know about where we’re living. In fact, Monica knows more about Chandler than I do from doing research for Spring Break!

It’s dizzying.

Miles to go, friends. Miles. to. go.

Then, the next time I come to Portland it’ll be as a visitor.

Photo taken at the Chinese garden. From my big camera.

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