First 6 months back in the U.S.

 

For the first 33 years of my life, moving was within a reasonable distance from place to place. I moved from Camarillo to Malibu to Ventura back to Camarillo back to Ventura (East then Central) to Malibu. Then I made the BIG move. The move to Washington. That was somewhat uneventful as I did not have much stuff and I had all my belongings with me during the trip north. I collected more furniture, among other things, and when I moved to Bahrain I did not need to take all the things I had collected.

When I moved back to the U.S., the government allows 90 days of living in a hotel on base. Of course this is not done easily as every 30 days you have get approval for the next 30 and then the per diem also decreases. So in November, I landed in the ending of fall with the clothes in the suitcases I had brought with me. Oh…and they don’t provide a rental car, so that is all on my own as well.

I didn’t get to explore the area very much, but did see quite a bit as I went through the process of finding an apartment. The city of Newport is a beach town that has highest volumes of traffic during the summer. I spent time on Craigslist and other rental sites trying to figure out what would work best. Unfortunately, the stuff I had collected in Washington would not fit in any of the housing options I could find. I even tried an hour or so north of work and those places were just too small and actually kinda shady for my tastes. I am on a budget, but couldn’t drop that low.

I was finally able to find a nice 2 bedroom in Warwick. The place I have is pretty great. Lots of property, nice spaces, good people and the management company doesn’t seem to be too ridiculous.

I moved in in December, but because of all the regulations and timing and whatever, I didn’t get all my household goods like my couch, dressers, or winter clothing until late February. Yeah, it sucked. My only option was to use my ironing board as a table/desk and to buy an air mattress to sleep on. Not comfortable.

It has been difficult enough with just me, but to do this with the whole crew of a spouse, kid(s),  animals etc…I don’t see how it all works out. And financially it has completely screwed me over. Lessons learned, I suppose. Next time I move I will know what is coming.

Winter

California doesn’t have “winter.” I’ve explained to people that winter to us means not being able to go to the beach at 10 am, that we have to wait until around noon or so. I’ve never driven through snow, barely lived in the stuff in Washington, and did not even have clothes for winter when I got here. The snow didn’t come down in December, and early January the stuff was rarely around.

 

Then February hit. They say it has been the worst winter in quite some time, with Boston an hour north, getting something like a record 100 inches. One night we had to work late because of inventory. We were pushing to get out of there because the snow was coming down at around 7 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They announced the bridge would close at 8 pm and that anyone on the roads after 10 pm would be on their own. Some places were saying people would be arrested if they were out so late. At around 730 or so I finally got on the road. NO idea what I was doing. I kind of knew where I was going, but still did not think this as a good idea.

 

 

I couldn’t see the road. I could barely see out the windshield from the snow. The drive that takes me 35-40 minutes on a clear day took me almost 2 hours to get home. I drove along the freeway at 30 mph, along with some other people that I am sure were doubting their life decisions at that point. I am pretty sure that on most of the drive I was on the side of the road and not actually in a lane. I continued on, and felt relieved when the plow train came through. Whole lotta good that did. It was pointless since the snow was still coming down hard and fast.

I made it home and everything was shut down for the next two days. Most of state was shutdown as well. I had gone to the store the few days before and stocked up on food etc. When the snow stopped falling it still took another three or four days to clear up the roads so they were drivable. I had never dealt with winter before and it sucks!!!

That is how February went. Every Sunday a new winter storm would roll through and we would get pounded. We lost about 3-4 days of work, and I had a few more than that because I was not able to drive through the conditions. Although the roads were open the snow was still on the ground. At least twice I spun out or couldn’t stop. Yes, I was driving slow, and yes I was being careful. Still, sometimes shit happens.

Spring started recently and we still had a few inches of snow on the ground and then we got ANOTHER storm. Perfect. Just perfect. It looks like it has started to get a bit better so we will see. As annoying as how much havoc the snow created, it is really really beautiful to see all the white.

My car arrives

I am over my car by this point. I hate it. The last post, I explained what I went through in Bahrain. It took 3 months until my car finally arrived in the U.S. In order to get my car, I had to fly to Baltimore, then drive my car back. Google maps showed about 6 hours drive. Easy, right?

So I flew to Baltimore and started my trek. I got on the road about 11 am and figured I would be home around 6 pm with traffic and stopping for food. Well, that gotted stopped in New Jersey. My right front tire went flat. PERFECT. I got towed off the turnpike to a local garage and it just got worse.

The tire was gone and the wheel was not usable. I was already short a spare tire and wheel. The best the garage could find was wheels for $600 a piece and MAYBE 2 days until they got there. Not accepting this, I called tirerack.com and purchased 4 new wheels and they were able to get them to me the next morning. I also had to purchase a new tire. So this little road trip of mine to bring back my car to Rhode Island in a day turned into a two day adventure. I left New Jersey about 3 pm and got home around 1030pm. Friday night traffic through New York is not something I want to do on a regular basis, and the tolls cost about $50 bucks all the way through. This was the last part of moving that I had to do and I was just glad it was over.

Settling in and finding a groove

These past six months have been difficult. The past year and a half has been difficult. While finding a lot of positives in reflecting over this time, I find the negatives are always there. Surviving is how you celebrate the positives while acknowledging the negatives. You cannot forget the negatives or ignore them, but know they are there. This balance is what I have struggled with. I guess I always have. The first three months are always the hardest.

 

 

 

 

 

The first three months in Washington were difficult because the whole moving experience was the newest part along with the new job, and all the other unknowns. Moving to Bahrain, the first three months was difficult because of being overseas and a mix of other stuff I can’t go into too much detail on here. Eventually I settled in. In both places.

It has been more of a challenge moving to Rhode Island. I didn’t want to come here. This is not the “fairest” thing that has happened and yeah life ain’t fair. Again, there is more to it all. The first three months were me moving here, focusing on getting my things and knowing the place. The job I know I can do. I just mentally haven’t been able to focus since I have had all these other distractions. The two weeks I had off in February to move in and adjust helped. Helped a lot. I was able to focus on one thing. Myself. Getting things together piece by piece.

I listen to a lot of podcasts, and one of my favorites is Nerdist. I have always been a fan of comedy and great interviews, and this has both. Along with some really good people. Their mantra is “enjoy your burrito.” The explanation (done poorly by me) is that one day one of the comedians was having a shitty day and nothing was going right. He is at a restaurant (want to say Chipotle…yes, I can look it up, but just not in the mood, and does it matter?) eating a burrito and says to himself something along the lines of “this shit sucks. But right now I’m going to sit here and eat this burrito. I will deal with the rest later.” Enjoy your burrito. Love the mantra. They end every show with it, even a computerized female voice. Good stuff.

I can say that helped a lot, and it did, but there is a lot more to go. I have a lot of things I still have to work on and things will still be negative. I acknowledge that.

Strength I have seen from my dad gets me through. He has been through so much and I can say that his patience and outlook I have triedto emulate. We used to tell my mom “24 hours. You have 24 hours to feel bad and then get moving on.” And she did. Why sit and piss and moan about the negative when you can look for so much positivity? That is what I look for in these situations.

That all kind of sums up the past six months of moving to Rhode Island. Not much going on. Winter, holidays, which I kind of just skipped. LOL. Actually, a coworker invited me to her house for Thanksgiving dinner which was nice. Christmas and New Year’s was just me hanging out. And that is fine with me.

Moving here I figured I wouldn’t be settled in here until about May. It seems that still holds true as things are settling down. I try to focus on the positive, but acknowledging the negative is still there and preparing to deal with whatever comes up.

I’ll let you know how that goes.

Thanks for reading.

 

Thanks for reading. Love to hear from you! :)