This post has a soundtrack. I don't know that I've ever written a blog post before with a song going around and around in my head so I guess this is a first for me. And of course, I can't find it on YouTube--how weird is that? But the song is "This Old Porch" by Lyle Lovett. Y'all can listen to it here for free.
I'm homesick for Austin.
There. I said it.
I've been trying not to give voice to missing Austin because I am all about blooming where I'm planted. Or transplanted in this case. I mean, it doesn't do any good to think about the people and things I miss about Austin because, um, well, I don't live there anymore. That chapter in the book of my life is closed. (Or will be as soon as our freaking house sells. Are you people eating enough spaghetti? Because I got nothing. Nothin', I tell you.)
Earlier this week, I got an e-mail from a reader who just totally read between the lines (because I'm so subtle that way. It must have been my bursting into tears over a traffic thing. Or maybe it was the DMV snafu... you can't BUY that kind of subtlety, people.) and sent me the nicest, most tactful and lovely note about big moves having stages, much like grief, and how after the initial "oh, we're on an adventure! See how much fun we can have with all this newness!" phase, it's pretty common to sink into the "Everything sucks here! Nothing sucked back HOME. Every bad thing that's ever happened to me can be traced to moving across country!"
Okay, so she didn't say it like that and of COURSE, it's not true. Lots of things sucked back in Austin. But back in Austin? I knew what to do when things sucked. Here I'm still foundering about, using my GPS and asking Lin about everything. When Lin moves, I will have lost my liaison to this new world. She's so good about not laughing, see.
But I haven't even told her how much I miss Austin.
You know what I miss? I miss those tiny, hyperactive geckos that used to get into the house and that we'd have to rescue. I miss having neighbors to either side who I KNEW would watch my kids, reflexively. Just because they were outside. I miss having neighbors on the street whom my kids considered second families--Jane used to run to their house and half the time she'd come home having eaten dinner and had a bath there. I miss the safety of knowing that our street was, like, some sort of bubble, you know? Like, we didn't lock our door for, oh, eight years. My new neighbors were telling me why we needed an alarm system here and you know, of course I KNEW that. I just didn't WANT to know that.
I miss Central Market and I miss Barton Springs pool. I miss Barton Springs Nursery and by GOD, I miss the Town Lake Trail. I miss walking my kids to school and knowing who to talk to when there was a problem. I miss my mechanic and my dentist and our pediatrician. I miss my gynecologist (words I bet you don't hear that often) and I miss Austinites. As a species.
I miss our community library, which was outstanding, and its dirt cheap continuous book sale. I miss the parties we used to throw and the music that was just down the street from us (and all over the city.) I miss the fact that my kids were in the same school and on the same schedule. I miss our pool and my screened-in porch and the way I did the most meaningful jobs of my life in Austin--even including giving birth and toilet training my children. Yesterday I actually let slip that I was a grant writer in my Life Before Kids. I mean, I told someone that on purpose, with hopes that maybe I can start getting involved and helping a bit. (I usually don't tell people because writing grants takes an enormous amount of energy and research and time and that would cut into my blogging. I have my priorities.)
And oh, I miss my old rambling house with its quirks and all the ridiculous colors I painted the walls and its loving craftsmanship that doesn't remotely resemble this slapdash new construction.
Don't get me wrong: I'm not taking anything away from Long Island and the good things here. (Put the flame thrower down and step away, friend.) I like it here and I think I will find a good groove once I find some friends and figure out where to shop for what and what camps to sign the kids up for and how to negotiate the traffic and the higher decibel level. It's GOOD here. I just miss my old life --which took me many years to dial in, right? I can't expect to have dialed in this new one in the two and a half months we've been here. I haven't even finished unpacking yet! It's not like I felt immediately at home the LAST time we moved.
I just can't help it. I miss my old root system. This growing new roots thing? It's sort of painful.