I’m there. It’s taken some time (as you know,) but I have adjusted and learned to really love where we live and how we live. I’m sure this ridiculously cute beach house had something to do with that, but hey, no one wants to know *why* mom is in a good mood. It’s just nice to be here.
For those of you who want to see this house, here are a couple videos I shot for Sophie (my sister.) Sorry they’re in French! And don’t mind me in my PJ’s. She was harassing me to send her the videos!
Perhaps one of the hardest adjustments was to turn off the lifestyle I had become accustomed to living. There has been no shortage of local Kiwi folks laughing at me as I struggled to adjust to life without Amazon, Instacart, Peapod, Wine delivery, Zappos, Uber, Grub Hub, Venmo, and (perhaps the worst of all,) without ‘Lice Happens’ (the service that comes to you when someone has lice.)
I’m still laughing at the dear pharmacist who looked at me with such pity as I clarified, twice,: “Now, just so I’m not missing anything, there is NO service whatsoever here that can come and help me? I’m willing to pay someone to help me.” … “No,” he said. “This is the comb you’re going to need.”
I’ve adjusted to life without a dryer (I *know*, right?!) I have to check the weather before I do laundry so that I can make sure the sun will dry our clothes. And when it rains, it’s indoor drying for all … As a family of 5, I pray for a lot of sunny days.
But at the same time, I smile when the kids help me hang the laundry and I notice that both Lucas and Chloe sing when they hang the laundry. Have we gone back in time to Little House on the Prairie?
There are so many less choices on TV that mostly the kids and I play RumiKub in the evenings, or Uno if Julien is with us. And when they do watch TV, they know to tune in on Saturday night at 7PM for the movie of the week – a long forgotten but generally excellent Disney movie. It reminds me of my own childhood, my mom and sister and I always watched the Saturday night movie while my dad worked at the restaurant.
Our life here is simple, but good. Really good, actually.
We go to the farmer’s market every Saturday morning. We eat local and when we run out of fruit, we stop on the side of the road because there is always someone selling citrus out of their driveway. And fresh eggs, and Avos (avocados,) and walnuts.
We have a vegetable garden that I love, because there are no deer and no rodents to eat our produce! Our yard is filled with cacti and flowering trees that I have never seen – due to the tropical climate.
And the laid back no shoes thing … Sophie doesn’t believe me.
She asked me to document it. And so I have – kids (and adults,) do not wear shoes. Anywhere. Not to school, not to stores, not to the farmer’s market, not to the grocery store. And no one bats an eye! I’ve given up, and don’t even worry about it anymore. Julien is only going to tell me he’s a “barefoot Kiwi kid” anyway, so why bother?
We spend less and travel more. We hang out together, a lot. And it’s really nice.
We meet new people and they’re genuinely interested in getting to know us. I suddenly feel so guilty for not giving new people in D.C. the time of day, simply because I didn’t have time to make new friends.
We have routines and activities and social plans – fundraisers and dinners at friend’s houses. We are hosting a Halloween pre-party. We have stables up the road and tennis and mountain biking around the corner. And lots and lots of Rugby, which Julien loves. We have 3 surfboards, which I don’t really understand why. But Jesse never buys himself anything, so whatever. The man can have 10 surfboards for all I care. 🙂
It’s a simple life, but it’s a good life.
And I am happy here.