Wow. We did it. We’re in Iowa. How did that happen? It all seems like a dream, even now. A fuzzy dream with a million blurry images mixed together.
Memories of packing a multitude of boxes then loading a moving pod with all our stuff, thinking the whole time we won’t have enough room for everything. Of trying to decide what we need and what we don’t, what we can live without and what we can’t. Of reassuring Reznor that, yes, we know what we’re doing—and hoping we sound convincing.
Of sharing a hundred tearful goodbyes throughout the month of July. Of the slow trudge through summer school and the rising dread of leaving Northpoint. The humbling joy of our going-away party with all our best friends and family coming out to spend one last afternoon with us, then that mountain-top feeling giving way as the last guests trickled out of our favorite hangout, Trustworthy Brewery, leaving Michelle and me to return to our empty apartment, tearful and overwhelmed with second-guesses. We fell asleep thinking about getting there.
I have some memory of loading our kid and our animals and all our remaining belongings into and onto our cars, then departing Los Angeles as the sun rose before us on that early August Monday, our hearts heavy with a deepening melancholy.
Then driving…and driving…and driving…
Fuzzy images shift in and out of view of progressively green landscapes as we traveled over the baking summer pavement of Nevada to Utah to Colorado to Nebraska and, eventually, to the Hawkeye state itself. Interspersed through those hours are brief respites in dog-friendly motels, eating mediocre sub sandwiches. Nervous rest stop conversations about just what the hell we think we’re doing out here, traveling across the country and uprooting our lives. Michelle and I doing our best to be strong for each other, and for Reznor too. In those moments, each of us reminding the other why we made this journey. Though miles away from our destination, we were getting there.
And now we’re here.
Our neighborhood is green and quiet and dark at night—natural beauty surrounds us. The bike path across the street winds next to a shady creek, past a serene pond called The Lagoon, and all the way to a park named Devils Glen.
The people here are friendly and the pace is much slower than LA—I can’t tell you how amazing it is to have a four-minute commute! At night, we sleep to the sound of cicadas chirping in the branches of the ancient oak tree hovering above our home.
Though we’re finding much to love here, we get homesick sometimes and we’re still not entirely sure of ourselves.
But we’re getting there.