I'm so tired. The past six weeks have felt like going through the wringer.
Jeff has been offered a salaried position with a company based in Texas. They made us a very good offer which includes an admirable benefits package. Shockingly good really. Offers like this haven't come around since before the dot com bubble burst. There's so much to be said about this, but I can't find the energy right now.
We will continue to live here in Taos, and we will have the income to do the things which we have been trying to hard to do all along, but first we have to go live in a corporate apartment for two months while Jeff integrates with the company.
It's been a lot to wrap our heads around. We have a good family who will be caring for our home and animals in our absence, but we're trying to prepare, not just for the move, but also for the cultural and environmental shock. We will not be able to have a garden this year, and we have filled our freezers with three goats, and a half dozen chickens. We'll have only our dogs, laying hens, and a pair of milk goats now.
A corporate apartment in central Texas, ya'll. I'm trying to think of it as a vacation... an escape from the last of Taos' cold, but any way I cut it I'm stuck in the city with three kids. It's a scary thing to go back to where you came from, even if it's only temporary. I know what it feels like to live in a drywall box with conditioned air... to be in a hurry everywhere you go, because everything takes forever... to know no one, and be a part of a culture that thinks eating out and shopping is a great past time.
Thirteen years in Texas, and I never acclimated to the heat. Never. People joke that Texas has two seasons: Winter, and Hell. I'm not sure it was a joke. Everything that I most wanted to get away from is there, from the oppressive heat and pollution, to the noise and consumerism, all trapped inside of a heat radiating, behemoth, steel and concrete universe. Road rage, speeders, helicopter parents, and crime.
I haven't been out of the desert for four years, where I have lived at 8,200 feet. Humid, hot, sea level is sounding like a very drastic change. We took a day trip to Colorado a couple of years ago to pick up one of our livestock guardian dogs, Zeppelin, and it was such a shock! We couldn't believe the humidity, and the hot stagnant air. Where we live it is always cool in the shade, you can get away with a light cardigan most of the summer, and you had better have one when the sun starts to go down. The inability to escape from the heat was strange, and frustrating. The feeling that the air was thick with moisture felt like our skin couldn't breathe.
Taos... the desert... I acclimated to that. Never having to speed, be honked at, or avoid crazies on the raod... I acclimated to that. Having everyone know my name from the post office to the grocery store... I acclimated to that. Seeing people hugging in the street and in the stores every day... yeah, I acclimated to that.
It's all a lot, but here's the truth... the thing that is actually scary to me... I don't want to be away from the mountains. I can't explain it. It's home, yes. They're beautiful, yes. But there is something else. I can't say what. I just know that the thought of not seeing them all around me feels scary. I know that on the rare occassion when the fog is so heavy that it obscures the mountains in all directions, leaving it to look like we live in the prairie, I have this uneasy, depressed feeling. I don't like it at all, and I find myself searching the sky for a hint, an outline, a shadow of those mountains, and when the wind blows it all away, and I can see them again, I am filled with this deeeep sense of relief.
What's that about? I wish I could say. I know this though, there is a power, deep and quiet, in those mountains. People talk to them, pray to them, offer to them. They draw people from all across the globe, and they change you.
I haven't left yet, but I have been homesick for 6 weeks already. I don't want to go. I don't want to miss the Lilacs, the apple, pear, and apricot blossoms raining down, the sweet scent of a wild space in the spring.
But this is a great opportunity for our family, and this is, in truth, the best way for us to ease into the transition of Jeff being tied to a desk for 40 hours a week. We are headed back to the place where Jeff and I took our first vacation as a couple. There will be multi-story libraries to explore with the children, and new museums. We're planning a weekend trip up to Dallas-Ft.Worth to walk through the Botanical Gardens, the art museums, and to see family.
We will be able to prepay our lease here in Taos, and to build the fences that have been needing to be built all along. We will finally be able to afford to do our garden right, and to get a proper barn built. We can build a root cellar, an underground greenhouse, and invest in the things that would have kept us from this had we had the money before. The kids will be able to take more classes, we can finally fix our truck, and get that fuel efficient family car that we've been needing.
It's all good, we're just a little scared. It's very new, and it's a lot to take in.
Jeff's company is footing the bill for our travel expenses, housing, and car, so aside from missing Jeff, it will be like a paid vacation. Right?