Day 3 – Goodyear
This morning when Greg, my mom and I went on a walk around the neighborhood, we noticed two cop cars outside an empty and foreclosed house across the way. “Uh-oh,” my mom said.
We decided to find out what was up, but as we headed up the long drive an officer hollered out to us. He explained that someone had kicked the door in, so they were giving the place the once-over to make sure nothing was missing.
“It’s a pretty weird house,” he added.
“I’ve always wanted to see inside,” my mom said.
“I think we better go and take a look,” I joked, “you know, to make sure nothing’s missing.”
To our surprise he laughed – and led the way. He showed us around inside, adding commentary on various design elements and paint choices and speculating on what had happened to the owners and who had kicked the door in.
Greg leaned over to me, “This is the strangest real estate tour I’ve ever taken – and the most unusual thing that’s happened to me all week.”
This week? I thought. We said good-bye to our lives and we’re moving to a new place where we don’t know a soul! Granted, having a cop give us a home tour was pretty surreal, but the most unusual thing this week?
In this recent article in the Washington Post, it says that Americans are moving less frequently than ever before. According to 2007 Census Bureau information, the average American will move 11 or 12 times in his or her lifetime. But I know plenty of people who’ve never left their home state, so someone’s got to skew the average.
I figure this is my 11th or 12th long-distance move, depending on if you count my leaving L.A. in 2010 to work on boats and in Brooklyn/New York. If I count the times I moved locally within Michigan, California, New York, Sweden and North Carolina, this is my twentieth. As we sat adding up our transits like pocket change, Greg figured this is his fifth interstate move, though he’s moved twelve times within California. Assuming we’re halfway through our time on this earth, I think it’s safe to say that we are the skewers.
“I didn’t realize I was stressed,” Greg said today about the move. And I guess that’s why – moving is no longer an unknown to either of us. Hell, it’s practically a common occurrence, which makes it easy to forget that it’s still momentous.
“Is there anything else we have to do today?” I asked my mom when we got back from our walk.
“Nope,” she said. “Just hang out and cook.”
My uncle came over and hung out for a while. We grazed on dips and crackers for lunch. Then my mom and I threw ourselves into making tamales. We combined the slow-cooked pork butt from the day before with dried cherries and raisins and persimmons from my friend Larkin’s mom’s trees. Mom made a mole sauce and I made the tamale dough, which I was determined (but failed) to make fluffy. Greg spent the day putting gas in the car and returning the faulty bearing buddies. After dinner we took a walk to the star tower. Greg and I observed them walking ahead of us hand in hand, my dad kicking occasional stones off the path and my mother giggling about something.
Back at their house we ate homemade sticky toffee pudding for desert. It was one of those slow-paced days where you wonder what you accomplished and where the time went – and I enjoyed every one of those slow-paced minutes. Just the respite we needed for the long days of traveling ahead.