Thursday, February 21, 2013

From "Bleh" to "Whoopee!"

So, we've been feeling kind of "bleh" for a while now. We had a GREAT 2011 and it continued into 2012 and then just got sort of "bleh." Not bad, mind you. Just bleh.


See, I think the Johnsons ruined us. Remember them? They moved here in 2011 for a temporary traveling nurse assignment - they were here for 3 months and we clicked like nobody's business. We clicked so much that they took their next temporary assignment in an area near here so that we were able to continue to hang out. It was far enough away that we couldn't see each other quite as often, but close enough that they could spend weekends with us. Which we did. With great frequency and much food, talking, and laughter (and very little sleep).

Then they moved to other assignments back in their home state of Arkansas (too far), New Hampshire (closer and we were able to get together a couple of times, including a really fun New Year's Eve celebration), CT (even closer - we were able to meet in the middle, get together here, get together there, and visit NYC together), MA (a little farther, but again, able to see them here and there - no posts up yet because we're all so ridiculously behind on them). And in between all this, we'd Skype, text, and call each other.

Then they settled in Springfield, MA. We knew it was coming. He's on a heart transplant list and we always knew the eventual goal was for them to live closer to Boston. In fact, he had to be within a 4-hour radius of Boston and his doctors there. And since we're 2 hours outside of that radius, I just kept hoping for an earthquake (one that wouldn't hurt anyone or anything) that would somehow just shift Boston about 2 hours closer to us so that they could be in their radius but be near us, too.

They say we ruined them, too. This was their first assignment and we clicked so well and have so much great stuff here and live in such a cute town and all get along and have the greatest homeschool group . . . you get the idea. So, they always said that post transplant, they'd want to settle here long term. But for now, it had to be MA, that long-term plan years away.

I've blogged about them a lot, but not nearly enough - we've done far more together than I've told everyone. We've visited places together, we've visited each other frequently, we eat everywhere we go and enjoy THE BEST food, whether we eat out or cook together. We talk non-stop FOR HOURS on end. We like many of the same TV shows, movies, books, hobbies, foods. We pontificate about anything and everything. And we laugh like crazy. 

Something I have failed to blog about is that fun New Year's Eve visit. It. Was. Awesome. We decided to make it a tradition. This past year didn't work out, because they had just gotten a new puppy and they were sick on top of that, and my mom was here with a hurt back, but in general, yeah, tradition!

When they came that New Year's, on their way to NH from Arkansas, I think the entire neighborhood knew they were back since they were yelling in excitement from a mile away from us and we were yelling in anticipation (yes, we texted this entire thing as it happened), and we couldn't even let them in the house without hips and hollers from everyone and jumping around and screaming and hugging on the porch.

That night, we exchanged Christmas presents together. And here is their most awesome gift to us:

Awesome, right? They made that for us. I love gifts like this! It's a framed collage of pictures of all of us. Can you make out what it says? "Friends: The Family We Choose." Yep, we'd known them less than a year and this is how we mutually felt about each other. Close like family.

It's nuts that we've only known each other for two years (this Saturday is two years exactly!), because it feels like so much more. We celebrated our 1-year anniversary by giving them a photo book full of pictures of all of us. (Shut up. We're awesome.) We absolutely love them and they love us. We often say that everything would be better if they just lived here. :P

Wow. Holy tangent, Batman! (See? They ruined us).

So anyway, back to the "bleh" thing. We have been feeling restless. Maybe it's because we've been here for 10 years - the longest we've ever lived anywhere. We wondered if it was time for a new place and experience.

I have, at times, felt sick of just about everything around me, even though there's so much we love about this area. I could list all kinds of things like how I miss New England personalities, more liberal politics, and more progressive thinking (though I do see that changing in an overall positive direction). We don't have any extended family support here. At times we feel lonely. Just bleh, bleh, bleh.

It isn't like me to feel negative, so I figured it's my yearly seasonal-affective-disorder episode talking and that, come spring, I'd be fine again.

See, here's the thing. There's so much to love here.

1. It's affordable.
2. Nice pace of life (and it's gorgeous).
3. Location: small town near some really nice big cities.
4. Our own business/Great moonlighting gig
5. Nice, 4-season weather

We have a great homeschool group, parks, libraries, swimming, activities. We have good friends here, a book club, and an absolutely wonderful independent theater and adjoining coffee shop in town. I don't think you could find a better place in many ways.

But yeah, we've been feeling bleh. Maybe it's a mid-life crisis. We need to mix it up somehow - in a good, fun way.

So, we've been brainstorming what to do - move away? Move within the area? Start a new business? We like what we're doing, so we wouldn't want to get rid of it, but maybe just change it up somehow. Our business is in its 6th year - maybe it's time to expand? We love our 1850s farmhouse, but maybe it's time to update?

I don't know. We're considering different options. But things just went from "bleh" to "WHOOPEE!!"

Wanna know why? Okay, then keep reading. It's me telling this story, so there are many, many details to share. I'm fun like that.

Remember this past week when we went to our favorite old-fashioned ice cream shoppe? Remember how we told you it's closing? Remember how we cried with the owner, the sweetest ice cream lady ever who is so awesome to our kids? Remember how we took her flowers and a card because we found out that her husband had died and that's why she was closing shop? Okay, I don't remember if I said that on the blog, but that is why she's having to close her business and it's so sad.

Well, she and I got to talking and she explained that her husband had had a heart transplant over 20 years ago. I hadn't known that. I shared with her about the Johnsons (who have eaten ice cream at her shop with us) and how Dave has HCM and is listed and waiting for a transplant. She nodded at all I was saying and then smiled a bit and said that that all sounded familiar, as her husband had had HCM as well. I did not know that. She then said what a wonderful job the local hospital did with it all and joked that we should tell the Johnsons to move here for their medical care. I chuckled with her and joked that we and the Johnsons could keep the ice shop running together. She liked that idea.

I texted Dave, knowing that they of course are committed to their doctor in Boston and already listed on the wait list there and settled in a house in Springfield, and told him of our experience at the ice cream shop. Small world, you know? They've been in a slump, too, so we text now and then and commiserate.

Fast forward to two days later. That night, our family had a fiasco of a dinner preparation in our kitchen that turned out so horribly that we bagged the experiment, left the mess, and went out to eat. We sat in the restaurant, all down and bummed and trying to cheer ourselves up. We felt lonely and isolated. I've been in such a slump for weeks. Mark and I have been mulling over our restlessness and ideas. Lots of thinking. Lots of sighing. Being out helped and the food was wonderful. 

While we were eating (and rediscovering a great place we hadn't eaten in a while, so of course we were saying, "Oh my gosh, we have got to come here with the Johnsons when they visit!"), Dave sent us a text that said, "We REALLY REALLY need to talk to you guys, like asap. Something good hopefully. Can you Skype?"

I looked at Mark and half-laughed, "Heh, wouldn't it be awesome if they had to talk to us to tell us they're moving here?" We knew that was kind of out of the question, but it's fun to dream.

Mark texted and said, "Stacy's been depressed for like 6 weeks, so unless you guys are moving back here, I'm not sure what would be 'good.'"

To which Dave replied, "Then we need to Skype."

We raced home and got on Skype immediately. The kids took their computers upstairs and got on Skype with the Johnson kids and we got on with Dave and Christie. They were flipping out. It turns out Dave went to the doctor that day to deal with some of the progressive symptoms he's been having and, while there, they learned some new information.

It's long and complicated, but the gist is that people who have the disease he has are waiting much longer for transplants up in the Boston area and with him progressing the way he is, they need him to be somewhere that wouldn't make him wait as long, bonus if it's a less expensive place with more of a support system to boot. Topping the list? YOU GUESSED IT.


They mentioned this area to their specialist, given the recent story we heard from the lady at the ice cream shop and relayed to them. They did their research and this area is TOPS for a good fit for them. Like there's nothing better in the whole country. The specialist loved the idea of them moving here. AS DO WE.

We are over-the-moon ecstatic. WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!? Crazy slim, that's what.

To recap: They moved here. We totally clicked and had a great time. They moved away and we all cried. We got together as much as possible. They love it here and we all wanted them to be here, but life said they had to be in Boston for many years until they could get back here again. And, in less than a week, everything changed - new information, changes, plans, updates, and big news. They're moving back for good within the next few months.

We are all shocked, reeling, and beside ourselves with excitement and happiness. They'll be here next month to house and job hunt. The kids are through the roof about this. We all are! BRING IT. We all needed this. I can't begin to tell you how thrilled we are.

So, a toast to "this very surprising turn of events!"

And a tribute (because we all - I'm not kidding - danced in the kitchen to this song tonight after hearing the news officially):

Yep, it's all "working out!" :) Because we have gone from "Bleh" to "Whoopee!"


Rich said...

Omg, i have no idea how to express how much i loved that vid, and how high I am jumping in the kitchen. This time last year, we thought that this was the last thing we would be able to do, now, its the best thing to do. My whole family is happy, but i think im the happiest. I get to play capture the flag in inch, i get to "Try" to kick Max's butt at Yu-ge-oh. I get to do archery with kate, and insted of saying "HI!!!!" on skype, we get to say it in real life, sleeping over, and its in a matter of months, a CRAZY turn of events.

Rich said...

Omg, i have no idea how to express how much i loved that vid, and how high I am jumping in the kitchen. This time last year, we thought that this was the last thing we would be able to do, now, its the best thing to do. My whole family is happy, but i think im the happiest. I get to play capture the flag in inch, i get to "Try" to kick Max's butt at Yu-ge-oh. I get to do archery with kate, and insted of saying "HI!!!!" on skype, we get to say it in real life, sleeping over, and its in a matter of months, a CRAZY turn of events.

Gypsy Schoolhouse said...

Yep, very surreal. My transplant coordinator keeps telling me we deserve a turn of good luck. I agree, and this is it!

That video makes me realize how much we've been together despite the distance. We've been worried that we would get on each other's nerves being so close, because it hasn't really happened yet. I've been thinking it must be the distance and time between visits. But when I see all those pictures together, I realize we should have gotten on each other's nerves a LONG time ago, about many things. But even in long visits, sleepovers, trips together, stressful situations, and bad times, we're still excited to see each other.

SO happy this is working out. Now to find a house, job, get know, all the small details...

We love you guys! And what is life...without love? (Stacy, you're supposed to answer). for how extremely normal I find it, that we all will be together.

Jimmy said...

Happy for you guys. And that is a cool gift.

Dr. Mark said...

So excited! This is going to be awesome! Words cannot even begin to describe how great we feel about all of this. We have always wanted the best thing for you and your family, Dave, and the universe has decided that what's best for you needs to align for what is awfully great for us.

We can be your, uh, friend, um, type things.

Emily Foley said...

Oh, that is so nice. I'm so glad for all of you!

Dave Johnson said...

Here's the other thing. I'm bummed nearly EVERY Sunday morning because I want us all on the back porch with juice, biscuits, gravy, tea, scones, eggs, (sadly, there is no bacon for some reason), Scout and Blitz begging, and the kids running around like crazy people. And WE GET TO DO THAT NOW. Only hopefully at our place half the time.

Boquinha said...

Rich, we are SO excited for all of that, too!!

Dave, this is beyond a turn of good luck. I don't even know WHAT to call it. We're ecstatic! And yes, we LOVE being together. :) It simply feels right.

Thanks, Jimmy.

Mark, YES! And awesome Russ reference. So appropriate. I mean, huh, it takes him, um, like, uh, huh, like, what, huh, a . . . a week? Uh, huh, to, you know, say, like, huh, a sentence.

Thanks, Emily!

Dave, I know! We can have entire traditions now that are more weekly/regular! We can homeschool together, do Sunday breakfasts together, eat out together . . . all things we do together anyway, but now we can do it ALL THE TIME. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee! :)

Dave said...

Excited for you, and hope you guys go in on the ice cream shop.

Boquinha said...

Thanks, Dave!