See ya ’round, Town.

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This morning Bug and I decided to take The Hollster (aka Holly, the dog) on a walk around the block. When we first moved here we used to take her on several walks daily and she loved it. We all did. But then we stopped because I got this paranoid fear that my house was going to be broken into if my alarm system decided to go walking around the neighborhood advertising that she was not guarding all my valuables. In hind sight it was kind of silly to be so paranoid but I haven’t backed up my laptop in a few years (I know, I know!) and pretty much my entire career is tied up with that thing. I’m living on the edge.

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Today for some reason I decided to live even further on the edge. Maybe it was the cowgirl hat that Bug has been wearing since we bought it yesterday at a thrift store and the fake Texas drawl she’s taken to using all day and all night. This morning she sighed dejectedly, elbows on the counter leaning like she just walked the back forty and says, “Weeelll…I had to tayke mah horse to The Haven. Ah miss her so.”

The Haven is a nickname we call the local animal shelter. It’s called Ramona Animal Haven or Shelter or something like that but we locals often call it “The Haven”. Sadly, it comes up a lot in conversation around here. I’m not sure why other than the fact that pets are cheap and they multiply with no effort at all. People around here seem to like to adopt pets that they can’t really handle and then the next thing you know they are having babies. So somebody is always going to the Haven to get a pet or get rid of one. Somebody always has a batch of kittens to get rid of or a puppy with mange or some other even worse story. Bug knows all about animals and all the ways they are taken care of or not taken care of. Let’s just say it’s been educational.

I’m rambling. What I was getting at is that Bug knows very little about real horses or ranches or farms but she knows a lot about animal shelters and her imaginary horse had to get put down at The Haven, which apparently was very sad. So we decided to go for a walk and look for a new one.

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And we wrangled Holly to go along with us.

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This looked like a place a horse would live but no, just old dead cars.

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None here either. Probably because the grass was fake. Everyone knows horses don’t eat green painted rocks.

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Not even any here.

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Or here, though she did see some tracks.

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All the horses were in other pastures.

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So we walked back home. But it was nice long walk. We enjoyed it and I took about a thousand instagram photos, (because I didn’t have the forethought to bring a real camera with me) which I’m sure cost me a few followers but also turned into a little farewell collection. I might have to frame them all and put them up in my new place.

Packin’ and Stackin’

progress

We’ve got the AC and ihome stereo blasting as we pack up this old house. We’ve had all last week and all this week to pack so we have plenty of time which is nice. And we could even take longer if we wanted because it’s not like anybody new is moving into our old place anytime soon but I have the utilities going off on the 20th so I kinda want to wrap it all up by then. It shouldn’t be a problem. Everything is going smoothly. So far.

labeling my stuff goes in here

Even Bug has been helping. She’s quite productive, labeling things in her own way and fetching things out of the trash that I was sure she wouldn’t miss. Do we really need that old wooden birdhouse that you colored with marker pen? Really? Alright.

box head

instructions

She’s been drawing instructions for the moving men so they’ll know where to put things in our new place. I’m sure they will get a kick out of it along with the fun-loving instructions my neighbors added to my boxes during a late night packing party we had last week. I’ve sort of started a tradition of writing funny jokes and inappropriate things on boxes when friends are moving to make the process a little more fun.

Inappropriate box labeling

Don’t worry Mom, I’m not packing any whips, chains, crack pipes or George Michael collections!

My friends are helping me pack.

Some boxes are a little more sentimental than others…Moving is always so bittersweet.

packin' and stackin'

my morning spot

I really am going to miss this place. We’ve made so many memories here. It’s been a big year and a half.

Mary and Bug

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I’m going to miss our neighbors, but not all of them. Most of them. We’ve made some really good friends.

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I don’t even have to write about how I feel about the backyard. You already know.

flippity gibbit

perfect pancakes

This is the kitchen Bug made her first pancakes in. Not counting the funny ones we used to make with squirt bottles at Bethany’s. This is the kitchen I’d say she grew up in if we were going to stay ten more years. But we aren’t. I wonder how much of all this she’ll remember.

what's cookin' good lookin'? Chef Bug

This has been going on a lot lately.

I remember the old house we used to live in when I could do this. If I had a family album handy I’d scan a old photo of me doing the exact same thing.

the cat Aqui

This is where we got Aqui, that cat. I wonder how she’s going to take to apartment life…

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And her kitten, Fiesta, who’s just as big Aqui now and will probably pass her up soon.

I can touch the ceiling!

I’ll miss this too. What kind of mom lets their kid stand on the counters? I guess this kind. My sense of cleanliness has sort of gone out the window. Partly because we’re in the middle of moving and everything is a mess anyway and partly because now that we’re moving to somewhere so super white and clean, I kind of want to embrace what I’ll be leaving.

I used to clean this place like mad, trying to scrub the reck neck out of the cracks but not anymore. Now I just wander around soaking it in. This is who I was for so much of my childhood. This is a big part of me. This last year I have angled so many pictures so hard, trying to crop out the tell-tale low ceilings of a mobile home and the mud glue from old wall paper that had been peeled off unsuccessfully and dirty carpet stains…but I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to capture it and remember it. This has been home for me. It isn’t anymore and I don’t feel like I belong here but in spite of being scared and freaked-out about where my life was taking me, it kept me safe. Even with the scary neighbors creeping me out, I haven’t been hurt. I’ve been safe.

It was such an important part of my journey.

I'll miss the mornings here...

I got to say goodbye to my Grandpa here. I got to do it slowly. Everyday my actions traced his and I would see him in the most unexpected places reminding me fondly of someone I cherished. So, I am a bit sad to be leaving it all. Not to mention the rest of my family who are still here and have been rooting for me all along the way… It’s bittersweet.

older me

But it’s time.