Saturday, April 10, 2010

Once Upon a Time in New Hampshire or Herpes is Forever

Finally, all those flowers, succulents, herbs, and tomatoes we bought are in the ground. It was well into the afternoon by the time I was done planting window boxes and man, do I regret not wearing gloves. My garden gloves just felt too heavy and I didn’t feel like going in the house for examination gloves. Mom never works outside without them and there’s a reason she brings them to me by the boxful. I’ve scrubbed my hands and used lotion but they’re still rough and dry. I don’t know what I was thinking.

Right now Michael’s got the oldest three and they’re watching “Clash of the Titans” after Kenny’s soccer game. The day’s grown overcast and the wind’s kicking up so Sam, Josh, and I are inside watching a Pok√©mon movie. I guess I could be ironing clothes for the boys tomorrow or folding some laundry but you know, I could also just sit here and procrastinate. And/or finish telling you about our move to New Hampshire.

Let’s see. I had the kids in Yelm with my parents, right? I think it was something like the last week in October of 2000 that we flew back to be with Michael. We moved into a hotel for a week while the house sale was finalized and on the evening of Halloween, papers were signed and we received the keys to 226 Lawrence Road (these two photos of the back of the house and backyard were all I could find). We spend the evening Trick or Treating in the rain with Rick and Elizabeth’s girls and I remember she made the yummiest tacos in the crock pot. I wonder if I have that recipe lying around? I’ve asked for it more than once and lost it as many times.

During the previous year or so I’d purposely avoided getting pregnant. I just really wanted to feel like we were making more permanent roots before going through all that. I guess I really thought New Hampshire was the end of the line; I was pregnant before we moved in. Which wasn’t the greatest plan. I had painting to do (lots of painting; the living room was Battleship Gray), lots of heavy lifting, tons to unpack. Christmas was less than two months away and we were hosting. No time for slacking off.

November was good but stressful in that Too Much Too Do in Too Little Time sort of way. I unpacked and painted like mad. I didn’t take time to find a doctor; I figured I’d done this before and it could wait until after the holidays. On the day before Thanksgiving we brought Skipper home from Maine and we spent the holiday with Rick and Elizabeth. Sometime around here Ellen and I realized we were both due to have babies in July. This is one of my favorite memories.

December came and with it a stupid cold sore. My body responds with cold sores whether the stress is from too much good stuff going on at once or the really lame stuff. HSV-1 is the one thing my mom’s given me that was truly uncool—I assume it’s from her as she’s dealt with cold sores as long as I can remember. Unfortunately friends, herpes is forever. So anyway, I was sporting this beauty when the month began and was only just healing up when my 31st birthday rolled around on December 12th.

A week or so earlier I noticed some sores on Sierra’s gums. She would fuss when I brushed her teeth and I had no idea what to do. I talked to my parents but it didn’t sound like something they’d ever seen. Mom said I needed to keep brushing but it was awful to hear her cry. I hadn’t found a family doctor yet, leave alone a dentist but I knew it couldn’t wait much longer if something didn’t improve.

On my birthday Elizabeth and the girls took the kids and I to Chili’s for lunch. I miss Chili’s. I really miss their All-You-Can-Eat Fajita nights. But anyway, Sierra wouldn’t eat but I wasn’t surprised. She hadn’t eaten much in days. After lunch I put her down for a nap and continued with the unpacking. What happened next I figure I’ll probably never forget. I heard Sierra crying and I ran upstairs to see what was wrong. The poor thing has stuff oozing out of these sores and it was on her pillow. Just then the phone rang. It was the guy who’d been Michael’s contact person for the job at Energy Northwest when the offer came up the summer before. He wanted to speak to Michael about the job. Could Michael give him a call back? What what what what what what???? This was not computing. “Um, sure.”

So. I’m freaking out. Sierra needs help but I don’ t know what sort. It’s late afternoon and I don’t even know who to call. Michael’s deal was making my head spin. So I called him. I needed some answers.

When he answered I heard lots of voices in the background. He was at a restaurant. I asked him why I answered a phone call from someone from Energy Northwest. Guess what? He and almost everyone else at Lavastorm had been let go. This was the moment the internet bubble burst. For us at least. He was having a late lunch with what had been his co-workers. What in the world? Tears flew from my eyes. Happy Birthday to me.

As it turned out, we were lucky. When Michael found out he was out of work, he immediately called Energy Northwest and they were still willing to offer him the job. They would send a moving company a few days after Christmas and they would fly us to Washington before the end of the year. It was an awful lot to process but we were going to be okay.

I still had to figure out how to help Sierra though. I grabbed a phone book and found the name of a pediatric dentist and gave his office a call. They said they could take a look right away. I don’t know when I’ve ever been so appreciative of anything. So I packed up the two kids and Michael met us there.

The dentist was young and he knew right away what we were dealing with: Gingivostomatitis. And how did he know? Only because his daughter had just recently had it. Wow. As it turned out, there wasn’t much to do. A medicated mouth rinse, bland soft food. It was sad though because these sores weren’t just any sores. Gingivostomatitis is an outbreak of cold sores on the gums. I’d given this to her.

We met with the same real estate agent that sold us the house—she was more than happy to list it again. The next few weeks were crammed with getting ready for my family’s arrival and our move a few days later. It was exciting to know we were going back to Washington but it was very sad to leave our new home. To knew I wouldn’t have a chance to paint the kids’ rooms. To see green leaves on the huge maple tree in the back yard. To take the kids to see the Old Man of the Mountain (at least I saw him before his nose fell off). To find those boots and bushwack my way to Worlds End Pond.

On the night we turned out the lights for the last time, I felt the familiar tingling. This is where I would insert curse words if that was my thing. I was furious! I felt, totally unjustifiably, that I’d been Jobed. Sure, Job went through way more but you know, I was pregnant. Emotional. House ripped out from under me after just six weeks. Forced to move again. At the busiest time of the year. Didn’t know where we’d be living. There was a lot coming at me at once.

So anyway dear hearts, this is it. We moved to Richland and lived in an apartment at the end of Duportail for a few months. Our house sold in less than a month to the folks we outbid when we bought it in October. Because we lost everything we’d gained from our sweet home sale in New Jersey, we rented an “A” house for four years. And that, as they say, is that.

1 comment:

  1. I pretty much love this story. You have my attention. Are you sure "That is that?" I could go for more.


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