Trouble on the High Seas

5 Oct

I’m not going to lie. The first day on my own in Newport was hard. When I moved to Lynchburg I went from getting married to going on our honeymoon to starting my new teaching job. It seemed life would never slow down, and really, it didn’t. So it was hard not to think of everything we had left behind. This crazy journey we had been preparing for over the last few months had come to a screeching halt and reality was setting in. A reality that included a twin air mattress to sleep on because Ryan had confused the terms “twin” and “double.” By the time the mattress was unrolled and the mistake was realized, the store was closed and what could we do. I couldn’t help but laugh as Ryan tried to figure out why the picture on the box showed a much bigger mattress than the one laying on the floor in front of him. It was around 3:00 in the morning when we realized that the one furnace in the house was not working. A very cold Abigail made for even tighter conditions on our luxurious air mattress. Morning came, Ryan went off to work, and I was left with nothing it seemed except for a very cold house, a very cranky baby, and a very needy Newfie. It was camping at best with the movers not expected to arrive until Wednesday. I was optimistic, I would spend most of the morning running errands and when Abigail went down for her long nap I would be able to clean most, if not all, of this little house. The errands which would have take several hours in Lynchburg, took an hour, if that. I stopped by the rental company to see about the furnace. “Did you know the furnace is not working at the house on 11th?” “Did you have the gas turned on?” Nope. Whoops. I got back into my car and felt the tears that were surely on their way. How could I have been so stupid, but more than that I was embarrassed. I drove the mile back to our house and realized that it was 10:30. Now what? I tried to put Abigail in her pack-n-play for some “play” so I could put some things away or at least get started on cleaning. I couldn’t even lay her down before she grabbed my neck and started screaming. A pattern that continued well through her long nap time. I alternated between sitting on the fireplace and walking around the house trying to comfort her. As I walked, I wondered how everything on that moving truck was going to fit into this tiny space. It wouldn’t and I already knew that. But suddenly it felt like all of those boxes were pressing down on me. A big gust of wind came and knocked over the 6 foot piece of fence on the side of the house. Hank was bounding around desperately needing exercise, or at least a potty break, and Abigail was still crying and holding on to me for dear life. I was lonely and sad and I really needed a friend at that moment to call and say, “I am having the worst day ever.” But I couldn’t pick up the phone without choking up. I had been feeling so positive as we drove across the country and I hated that I was already wishing I was back in Lynchburg. I took a walk around the neighborhood and tried to memorize the order of the streets. We walked until Hank sat his big booty down on the sidewalk and refused to move. And I laughed.  As the laughter poured out of me I realized that as foreign as it seemed to be in this new community, some things would never change. In a couple days we would feel more settled. We would be able to make a meal in our kitchen. Abigail would have her favorite rocking chair back. The gas would be turned on. And we wouldn’t have to sleep on that twin mattress.

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9 Responses to “Trouble on the High Seas”

  1. Emily Cannon October 5, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    You are such a beautiful writer. I started crying when you got to the part about walking around trying to memorize the order of your new streets. I’ve moved with Jamie now about 4 times and left my family in DC about seven years ago, and I still feel so out of place and nervous and sad each time we move. I am on the verge of tears for the good part of the first two weeks or so, but then like you say things do tend to work out, the furniture gets put in the right places, and you always make new friends. Good luck and keep up the amazing prose. You should write a book.

    • smargiek October 5, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

      Thanks, Emily. I can’t imagine having done this 4 times!! I admire you guys!

  2. Lindsay October 5, 2010 at 3:58 pm #

    Sarah – I had to laugh because Jonathan calls our full size bed a “twin” bed all the time and I have had to explain many times that “twin” is actually a bed for one! Also that our very first time going home for a holiday after we were married – Jonathan sat on one of the two twin beds pushed together in my old bedroom and it collapsed beneath him after we quietly snuck in at 3AM trying not to wake my family – we squeezed onto the other twin that night! Also I hear you on being in a totally new place and want you to know that in the past couple weeks with Connor I have cried and just given in to laughing – like when I have been in pain from nursing and changed him into a fresh diaper just for a second attempt at that painful nursing and then hear the loudest, most ridiculous gas/poop noises ever…what can you do but laugh? I’m praying that tomorrow is a great day for you!

    • smargiek October 5, 2010 at 5:49 pm #

      Oh girl! I’ve been there too! Hang in there! I know you are a wonderful mom!

  3. KathyMagnusson October 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    Call me anytime! I sometimes also even in my home miss some one to talk to when Eizbeth is in school!

  4. Carole October 5, 2010 at 6:47 pm #

    Oh,my dear child, and I do count you as one of my sweet children, nothing lasts forever and you can stand anything for a little while. I could spout cliches at you all day and they would all be true. Trust me when I say that everything is going to be all right. You have come to the end of what has been an arduous journey that started the day you and Ryan decided to accept his new position. We all believe that when we get where we are going, all will be well. We forget about the stumbling blocks that we’ll inevitably find in our way. So you’ve stumbled over a too-small mattress. At least you had the forethought to buy an air mattress. One day you’ll remember your snuggly first night in you new home and smile. Abigail will finish teething and Hank will settle in. All is not lost. You can still laugh. We love you and miss you. Carole

  5. Sue October 5, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    Hang in there Sarah. It can only go one way – UP:) Laughing about the situation is the only way to handle it. It will make a great chapter in your book. I always try to focus on people worse off than me – soldiers, people out of work, women that have a daughter and no husband, etc., and it helps me stand tall and thank God for my many gifts.

  6. Jen October 6, 2010 at 6:34 am #

    Someone needs to go to the library this week for story time and then see about finding a playgroup. You need more people in your new life or you will feel isolated and sad. Abigail needs a happy mommy and she will love watching other kids while you reach out to new friends.

  7. peggy October 6, 2010 at 7:08 pm #

    Nothing I can say that more eloquent writers have not already said. It will get better. I miss you and think about you a thousand times a day. Call or text anytime. I will answer- – -even from an airport bathroom!

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