The past few weeks have been big for life changes. My son Matthew and I flew to Texas to help my daughter Beth and her family pack up and move back to California. They had to leave the burden of a house they could not afford and return after about three years of giving it a go in Texas. I admired them for their courage to make that move, but am not averse to the return.
I have my grandchildren back. Of all the things I have been and done in my life nothing has compared to being a grandpa. I very much missed my little ones when they moved half way across the country. Matthew's daughter Allie visits often, staying sometimes for days. That has been good, but having the whole herd back together is fabulous.
The return trip from Texas was a grand adventure. We took four days and managed to stop and see a few things. I have placed photos from that trip here. It was a lot of fun and provided me with some satisfaction of my desire to travel.
So, we got everyone back and unloaded the Budget rental truck into the house. This brought our population back up to nine people, four generations living under one roof. This also required us to combine the contents of two households into one house. After unpacking the house looked like a warehouse, and was equally comfortable for living.
I gave up my own room to my daughter and her husband, Dave. I did this gladly, though it did create a bit of crowding in the room my wife had claimed as her private sanctuary for the past few years. It took another week to get my computer set up in that space, and even now this set up is a bit temporary. Unfortunately I haven't converted to a laptop as yet.
Slowly but surely we are bringing the household together. Dave has returned to Amerigas, taking up the employment he had prior to leaving for Texas. I continue at the jail, and Linda is still Lunch Lady at Boulder Creek Elementary. Getting the household together shall probably be a long-term project, perhaps a lifetime project.
Did I enjoy having my own space? Absolutely. Did I make a reasonable exchange? Yes! I am frequently awash in grandchildren, and I find that wonderful.
So far my weekly camping trip to work has been adequate to decompress from living with so many people together. There, when I am not working, I am alone. At home I am seldom alone, and that is fine with me.
Over time we will have to rework our living space to accommodate everyone and make everyone comfortable. So far Linda and Beth have worked wonders in adjusting things so that we have gone from warehouse to house to a cluttered home. Over time the clutter will be settled (I hope) and we will have a cozy home for our family.
It has only been a few weeks. My life has turned upside down, and I am delighted. I look forward to seeing how things work out over time.
Cruise to nowhere, and a salty cocktail hour
12 hours ago