I miss you Arlington. When you move away, you’re kind of caught in this weird love triangle. Us, Arlington and Kauai. Our triangle. We didn’t leave a place to reject it….we just fell in love with a place and wanted to jump in. A lot of people fall in love with places, so it’s confusing when people decide to just up and move to that place….I get it. But what you have here…with the two of us….are two humans who are a tad bit sporadic, unpredictable, lazily adventurous and throw-caution-to-the-wind type of people. And that was all before we even decided to fall in love and make a family. I think we even surprised each other when we got to the Bellingham airport on June 22nd, almost a year ago. After checking in for our flight and handing over just 9 bins of stuff to bring with us…..we sat down in the one restaurant in the tiny airport, ordered a beer and 3 sodas (beer….me). Then we looked at each other and I said, out loud, “what in the hell are we even doing?”. Then we laughed and watched the last part of the USA soccer world cup game. I think we even surprise ourselves and still kind of wonder where we’ll end up most of the time. Right now, we pretty much keep waking up on Kauai….minus the occasional work trips and visits back to WA.
There’s a lot to miss. We miss our daughters and our pretty much son-in-law….we miss our families….we miss our Duke. We miss the mountains with white on top. We miss Target. I miss Target. So do the boys. Doug doesn’t. He misses his fishing boat though…..that’s his Target. This right here though isn’t about that. This is about a little town. It’s 45 minutes north of Seattle with zero traffic. It’s 2 hours north of Seattle with normal crappish traffic. But this little town doesn’t worry about traffic to Seattle much. Unless you’re sitting in a yellow school bus with green seats on the way home from the Science Center/Zoo with 60 kids who ate sugary field trip lunches and need to pee. Then you care. Otherwise, Seattle is reserved for hot dates, Christmas traditions, scary doctor appointments….and if you’re me….any excuse to wander around pretending like you live downtown and are a city girl.
I love where we are. I LOVE our friends…framily…our Ohana here. You form a crazy close bond really really quickly with the tribe you land in here. You have to or you’ll lose your mind a little and start staring at the ocean and calculate how long it takes to swim to the West Coast. I love our little North Shore without any stoplights. I love our one lane bridges and our salty, sandy days. I love Hawaiian time. I love talking story. I love slippahs, barefeet and no daylight savings. I love being freezing cold when it’s 67 and hot when it’s 77. I now live in a 10 degree comfort zone and layer up for the fluctuation outside of those numbers daily. I love staring at the hills and seeing new things every day. I love staring at the ocean and feeling small. I love that I live in the same town as Ben Stiller, Chuck Norris, Mark Zuckerberg, Bette Midler…..they wear invisibility cloaks though. Because that’s like saying you live in Conway, WA with all those people and never see them. It could also be because they really, truly live in California most of the year….and only dream of a life chosen differently where they could have lived here full time too. If I do meet them, I’d tell them to stop worrying….if they would have chosen differently…they couldn’t afford to buy a house here….I know this.
But this isn’t about Kauai. This is about Arlington. I miss you. I miss the four thousand different variations of the Arlington hoodie. Blue, yellow, white, grey, pink…..football, soccer, track, band, baseball, softball, basketball, wrestling…… I miss the Blue Bird and our waitress, who we had 95% of the time, who knows that our boys like warm chocolate milk in the big white mugs with a huge dollop of whip crème. If someone else brings it to them in the regular beige small coffee cups with just a tad of crème…she’ll stop by the table and simply pick up the mugs and say “I’ll go make you new ones”. I miss the creaky floors of the hardware store and the magic feeling of knowing that no matter what I am looking for, they have it. Once, I went looking for windshield wiper blades. They apologized for not having them. I let them know that in the 15 years I was going there for stuff, it was good to know that I finally stumped them. I still was in that store for 45 minutes that day. Looking at wooden handled brooms, cowboy boots, cute cards, and spray paint. I walked out with licorice and a case of old fashioned soda. I’m sure that night when my husband asked me if I picked up new wiper blades and I told him the hardware store didn’t have them, and he mentioned that perhaps the auto supply store would be a better place….I was probably irritated that he didn’t share my same awe that I finally stumped the hardware store and asked him if he appreciated the soda I bought him….I’m very certain the licorice was gone by this time. I miss the football drama…the basketball drama…the baseball drama….the ptsa drama….and the complete lack of soccer drama. I miss Romeos. I miss walking into the wrestling room at the high school, where everyone has taken off their shoes, and it’s just a sea of Romeos. Do you know that in most parts of the earth…people haven’t heard of Romeos??? (p.s……a wrestling mat is like a house, school classroom, anyplace-with-carpet in Hawaii….you never ever wear shoes onto that mat). I miss the parades. Holy cow…the parades. Arlington has got to enter a contest for the number of parades a town holds in a year. I miss Friday night lights……and the boys wearing their youth football jerseys and staring out at the field watching the high school players with the same admiration as they hold for pro athletes. I miss the high school basketball games after a fall season of freezing our hiney’s off under the Friday night lights. I miss the band rocking out at the games….I miss seeing our stands FULL of people, and hearing fans from other towns say “is the whole damn town here???”. I miss the high school plays and musicals that blew my mind every time. I kinda miss spending our boys college tuition on the concession stands during these sports seasons. I miss the hot summer days jumping in the icy cold river. I miss the frosty cold early morning soccer games holding onto my coffee cup like it’s a pure golden goblet given to me from God….and seeing my youngest run out on the field with the same group of boys he’s played with since he was 6. I really miss the people. All of them. Friends, Framily, coaches, teachers, store clerks, LaHa waiter, espresso stand gals…..espresso stands. I miss those too. Do you know they don’t have drive thru espresso on every single city block in most parts of the world? You have to park your car, bike, etc outside of buildings and GO INSIDE for coffee…what?!?! But, I really, mostly miss the heartbeat of the town…the people.
I would love for all our people to be happy for us…and I think a lot, most, are. But I definitely feel the tension, hurt and anger in the 2500 miles of air in between us and many. I’m sorry for that. I’m not apologizing for our move, our decisions, our choices in the how and why of coming. I’m just sorry that it might feel sucky for some.
We are happy. We are learning a lot about ourselves. We have deeply changed in ways I hope will always remain. And I know we still have more changing, growing and learning to do. Just as I can’t begin to imagine ever leaving this place, I also truly can’t imagine never living in Arlington again either. When you choose to spend your life with someone…you hopefully are in love with that one person. (I’ve heard the whole “but I will always be in love with So-n-so”…let me say, as a complete side note…unless you have been widowed, that’s a pretty craptastic way of spending your life with someone…and that other person doesn’t smell your stinky self and see you pluck your chin hairs on a regular basis….and you aren’t arguing with them about the nordstroms bill, the power bill , or the fact that you forgot to pick up windshield wiper blades again…so that other one…that long lost high school/college love…that ain’t “in love” baby.) I do know now though, that you can be in love with more than one place. You can truly feel and call two places home. That can feel great….and it can feel really hard. I just don’t want my constant posting of pictures…. my obvious awe, love and wonder of this new home of ours, make it seem like we think it’s better than our other home….our Arlington. If we never would have done this, I think the itch would have driven me/us crazy. I’m glad we scratched…I’m glad we’re here.
We’ve proven ourselves a little nutty by moving here. Luckily, we are surrounded by like minded nuttiness in all our transplant friends. Where we go from here….it’s too early to call. I do know we are here for at least another year. We’ve grown to love so many friends here, most of whom have places they moved here from…places they are also in love with and miss. Mississippi, Wisconsin, Florida, Oregon, Illinois, California…..SO much California. Maybe we’ll take a skim through all those places on our next nutty journey…..bahahaha. Maybe Kauai will be our home until we are called to our forever home. Or maybe we’ll convince them all to move to Our Arlington.