Thursday, December 1, 2011

My rocks are in disarray

Yesterday I drive into my parents driveway at 1 pm. I walked into the house, (the same one I grew up in,) and sat down. It was the first time in about 8 hours that I had nothing to do. Nothing.

Turns out nothing to do is pretty awesome.

Moving out of the house yesterday was a circus-not LIKE a circus but a true piece of entertainment for everyone watching. My type-A husband threw all kinds of products that don't go together into boxes-my funniest example of his packing skills: a half empty box of Golden Grahams, a set of knives, phone cords, bubble gum, and pillows all into a wardrobe box. I laughed so hard I cried and I cried so hard I laughed. It was pure insanity. We were so tired last night that we both just sat in silence watching the kids run laps around us. I'm so thankful my parents were here to monitor what they were doing because I can say with all certainty that I didn't care what they did. It was a free-for-all.

People ask me if I'm sad about leaving our house and I'm honestly not. We moved into the house 14 days before Charlie was born and most of our time in the house was a blur, a good blur--but still a blur. It's true that we made memories there but the heart of the matter is that I never felt like it was where we'd live forever. I always hoped to move back to my hometown and I think I'd have felt like I was living away from home anywhere but back here. I do need to tell you one of the reasons why I won't miss my old house. Whether you can relate to my story or not depends on how happy you are with your HOA if you have one in your neighborhood.

Like I said we moved into the house 14 days before Charlie was born. To say we didn't have much time to devote to our new house is an understatement. Y'all can imagine. It was easy to maintain our yard that winter because we didn't have to do anything. That Spring, though, apparently our landscaping wasn't up to par in our neighborhood. We got a letter telling us that our flower beds needed weeding. We laughed it off like, "Well if y'all feel that strongly about it maybe you'll do it yourself!" Our response wasn't that of concern--more of a stance of YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. So we weeded the beds when we could, but certainly didn't worry about it when the weeds came back. That's the thing about weeds--they come back. When you've got a baby crying in the background and a toddler running toward the street you really don't care about weeding because you know it's like groundhog day--spend a few hours working until your back hurts, finish up and go to bed. Then in approximately five days wake up and do it all over again. We got another letter about a month later stating that we'd better keep the beds weeded or the HOA would take "action." I'm not making this up.

Our next run-in with the HOA was right before Joy was born the following Spring. We got a letter about the flower beds again and hired a crew to keep the weeds at bay...a frustrating thing to do when money is tight and you have two toddlers running toward the street plus an extra 65 pounds on your body thanks to a new baby coming. I was all "YOU'D BETTER BE KIDDING ME" at this point. When I saw a letter in the mail from the HOA a week before Joy was born I handed it to Sean and told him that I was afraid if I read it I'd go into labor. My c-section for Joy was carefully planned out and my doctor was on vacation a week before the scheduled day so I wasn't having any surprises related to, well, anything. I was determined to keep all stress at bay. Ha! I vividly remember Sean walking into the room where I was sitting with a smirk on his face--He held up the letter and said, "Well. Our rocks are in disarray."


That's what I said.

"Our rocks are in disarray and the HOA said we better straighten them up or they'll take 'action.'"

I'm not sure at which point I started laughing but it was within the next few seconds. I mean REALLY. Y'all, they were out of control. What the heck kind of time do people have on their hands to wander around looking for rocks in other people's yard????

I also vividly remember Sean walking out into the front yard, picking up two of the rocks, (bricks,) and slamming them back into place. Then he called the number on the letter and talked to the man who answered about all that was going on with Joy and what we were doing--living and trying to survive the stress--and he politely but firmly said, "The front yard of our house just not been the priority to us that it apparently is to YOU."

The man's answer was that he was sorry for bothering us but that his job is to maintain the image of the neighborhood and he'd be happy to help with the rock situation. The rocks had their own situation y'all.

The End. I mean clearly the HOA people and I are on two different planets.


Moving on...literally...when we were looking at houses we cringed when someone mentioned a HOA but I'm assuming that ours in Frisco was super controlling and honestly a bit over-the-top. I pity the people moving into our house if they don't take their flower beds very seriously. Me, I think I'll always leave a rock or two out of place just to prove to the world that you can have a few rocks in disarray and still lead a perfectly happy life.

How are we doing living back in my hometown these last few days? Well, I need to ask Sean today but I'll speak for myself: I'm still terribly sad about leaving my friends and Ty's teacher. I hate the twinge of sadness I feel when I know my friends and their kids are going to the park and I'm here and missing it. Aside from that, though, I'm really happy. I love showing the kids where they will go to school. I love knowing the principal there and knowing how far it is between their school and the nearest Whataburger. (It's the important things in life.) I love that their grandparents will pick them up a few days a week just to take them to the park for two hours. I'm relieved in many ways and feel like I'm back home and back in the slower pace that I used to try to escape. The truth is this that this place, these people, they are a part of me. I'm sure I'll continue to cry and make the trip to visit my friends and I predict a few meltdowns in the future related to the slower pace and/or getting caught behind a train--a very normal occurrence and a valid excuse for being late anywhere in town--but for now, I'm settled.

As settled as one can be with her rocks in disarray of course.

Good night y'all.