Monday, 24 August 2009

Saying goodbye to Napa

So it's just about here, once again we find ourselves with tons of stuff ready to load up in our car, in the cargo carrier, and the beasties are all hiding in their bizarre places because by now they know all too well what this means.

Bye, Napa. You were so great to us that we decided to stay another 7 months because we were having way too much fun. This was where we discovered that wine is a hell of a lot more than just the Riunite crap in the jug. Where we took up a new hobby called wine tasting and would spend entire weekends in our car with a winery map, jug of water, and some bread. Where together we clicked on the final 'send payment' icon to end(!) our(!) debt(!) that had been looming and growing in the shadows since we got married. Where I learned that there are bad jobs and then there are bad jobs. And good ones too. Where we had good friends we could count on when things got gritty. And where friendships dissolved and left us bewildered, letting us down and increasing our need for family even more. Where I saw firsthand what it's like to be on the patient end of things instead of the healthcare staff perspective. Where I spent an entire day in December making batches of cookies after cookies after cookies, then wrapped them up and sent them to people I loved. Where I stood barefoot in the kitchen, leaning up against the counter, listening to my Dad tell me Roberto had died. Where I sat at the computer and confusingly blinked at Marmee's news that Polly had died, where I sobbed and sobbed knowing that I had let the chance to call her just to say that I loved her slip away. Where we had dinner outside our front door from time to time. Where I started to 'get excited and make things.' Where I watched Steve moan and cry and writhe from the worst pain of his life thus far and feel helpless knowing there wasn't a damn thing I could do to relieve it. Where for over a week I spent frenetic days waking up, running over to the hospital and staying with my husband until 10 pm when I would come home before doing it all over again. Where we practiced Thriller dancing every night in the living room 'till we got it nearly perfect. Where when some bubble of maternal instinct started to well up, I started knitting again. Where Steve called the French Laundry reservation line every morning from exactly 9:58 to approximately 10:45 for nearly one month straight until finally getting through. Where I blew off work one January morning in order to watch President Obama get inaugurated on tv. Where together we made the first Thanksgiving dinner since we've been married that didn't give us the runs. Where I walked into Pizzeria Azzurro last Halloween dressed as a skunk from head to toe. Where I spent entire nights uncontrollably scratching my legs, arms, neck, and face with what was my first and -please God--only case of poison oak. Where we drank a bottle of wine that cost me one hard day's paycheck in honor of my 30th birthday. And I would do it again. Where I laughed 'till tears rolled down my cheeks. Where I made birthday cakes for friends. Where I joined a gym for the first time and before I knew it was enjoying myself. Where I started to get used to these staggering views at every turn in the road, and sometimes even wasted precious time reading when I should have been looking out the window. Where we watched movies in bed with the laptop propped in between us, having to pause it every 20 minutes or so while it buffered. Where my sister told me Adam had just proposed to her while I was driving down Imola Avenue. Where we never bothered to buy a clothes hamper but in our arms would pile laundry up to our eyeballs, marching down to the laundry room dropping stray socks and underwear along the way. Where we got tired of living like gypsies and decided that maybe we could give it a go, living like other people in our age bracket do.


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