Monday, March 25, 2013

Going Home

I've alluded some to our upcoming move, but things are official. We are returning to the USA this summer in late June. And we are moving to yet another all new location - the Pacific Northwest. This was a hard fought battle for Nathan. He has longed to be stationed there, but I cannot handle the gray skies for months on end. I desperately wanted sunshine and warm weather. And yet, we have met countless people over the years who go on and on about how wonderful the PNW is, how beautiful, how stunning. While I've found that I rarely agree with the majority of people on just about anything, Nathan won the battle and requested the PNW as his first choice. I didn't put up that much of a fight. I have to admit to a bit of curiosity as to whether or not that region can stand up to its reputation. It's a weird life to be able to move somewhere out of curiosity.

The pot was sweetened when a friend emailed after seeing the job assignment list come out, alerting us to a summer availability in his adorable rental house in one of our top 2 town choices. I had some requirements for our next dwelling and location. When at the height of my frustration here, I like to say at the top of my lungs, "My next house is going to have...[fill in the blank, but usually something along the lines of "a dishwasher," "heat," "hot water that works," "walls that aren't falling down," etc.]. I do recognize that my next house also will not have a view of the island of Capri as well as a 2000 year old castle, be down the street from some of the best Roman ruins in Naples, or have a gelateria around the corner, but there are limits to the Good Life.

Our view from the main level of our house.
My main requirement for where we lived next was the ability to get out and walk somewhere NICE with the stroller. I emphasize "nice" because while we currently live in a great area in Naples, to get out with the stroller means pushing it in a street that is filled with speeding cars, or once I actually come to a sidewalk, having to arm wrestle it over potholes and cracks, or wheel around dog poop, or come to a dead stop because there are people walking four abreast and are absolutely, positively, never, ever, ever going to give way even the tiniest little bit, even if it means they themselves trip over the stroller while it is stopped. There are some areas I can drive to that aren't far, but key word there is "drive." Given the choice between driving somewhere just to walk a stroller around or stay home and catch up on things (like this blog), I'm usually going to pick home. Ironic that we will be living in the perfect location, just one block from a great village filled with shops, cafes, restaurants, parks, and a boardwalk along the water, yet rain will be falling 362.5 days out of the year.  (Just kidding, it's really 160. The average number of rainy days just beats out the average 155 sunny days. And the average high in July is 75. 75! That's how hot it has to get just for me to break out a pair of shorts. [insert big sigh]). Although I hear one gets used to the rain - just put on the rain gear and keep moving. To borrow from Nathan's cousin, "I'll see it when I believe it."
This is one of those places nearby to which I can drive. See how nice this is!
It has a ton of dog poop and is an absolute mob scene in the evenings.
Nathan is still very careful with the stroller and hates inconveniencing
strangers around us, which makes mob scenes a nightmare for all, and by all,
I mean me. I, however,  have become one of those annoying stroller moms
who will mow you down if you do not at least try to make the walkway
mutually accessible. And I will like it.
The title of this post is an odd one for me, though, because where is home? I think it is such an issue that I've already written at least one other post on the topic. Is home a country? A state? The city where I grew up, yet haven't lived in for two decades? The state where I've spent the most time in my adult life? Where most of my family lives? We meet lots of new people all the time, almost weekly. Both Americans and Italians. I dread the first question out of their mouths: "So where are you from?" Absolutely dread it. Nowhere. Everywhere. Pick one of about three answers. Generally, we just say we're from wherever it is we just moved from. Every now and then, we'll each say we're from the place where we grew up (a more difficult task for my Navy Brat husband). Sometimes I just shrug. I do have a "real" life, a life of permanence, but I live it only in my head. Because my actual life is one of complete and utter transience. Every 1-3 years, I live in a new house in a new city and have to find new friends, new grocery stores, a new church, new knowledge of where things are and how to get to them, new weekend entertainment options, new festivals, new, new, new. Which can get old, old, old. And yet, we meet each move with excitement about the new opportunities, the new travels, the fresh perspectives. And in some ways, it's nice to get to restart every few years.

I was about to upload this post when I read my email. My mom's boss does a Thought for the Week via email, which my mom sometimes forwards on to me, that includes a quote and then a nice commentary that he writes. Here was his quite apropos quote for this week:
"I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning."
by Joseph Priestley 


  1. I think everyone's opinion varies and mine is not colored with as many moves as yours but I think home is where *your* family is. That being you, Nathan and Nora - your make your own place. Your friends and family will come see you in the PNW. Looking forward to having you back in the states.

    1. Hi, I just took a brief glance at your blog. Now I'm going to have to go back to the beginning and read it (in all my spare time!). We have plans of sailing away one day, and we just wish it could be while our baby is young. But the Navy calls for now.

  2. Maybe you'll get another nice view of water and an island...except they'll be on your left, instead of your right. ;)
    The coastline rivals any in the world, and the Olympia/Cascade ranges run the gamut from alpine to Amazon rain forest.
    When the sun DOES shine, its illumination is all the more glorious.
    I have no doubt you will love it there, and at least you'll have heat to dry out in :D

    1. We already have our rental house set up, and it DOES have a water view! Yay!!! And some pretty amazing looking mountains. But Scully is going to have a very rude awakening when he has to be an American dog again. No fenced yard (we're going to put a small one), not allowed to bark at people, no cats taunting him from the tops of fences - all in all, boring. He's going to hate it. But I sure hope I love it.

  3. I've been reading your blog for a little over a year... I enjoy reading your posts and will miss them when you move. I agree with everything you wrote here- It'll be nice when I can go out for a run without having to drive somewhere else to do it, even if it is a short drive. On the flip side I just don't think I'll have quite the view like I do now. Enjoy your time in the Pacific Northwest!

    1. Thank you! I'll have to start reading your blog. I don't currently have any I read specific to Naples, and I think having a Naples read will be nice once we're back in the States. And looking at your picture, I think we met on the Lungomare a few weekends ago. You were with another couple, as were we, and our friend knows your husband. Does that ring a bell? I could be wrong.

    2. Yes! A few weeks ago you put a picture on one of your posts and I said to my husband, "I think we met them on the Lungomare!" That's so funny!