Life back at home


It hasn't taken us long to get back into the groove of things, that's for sure. When we drove up to our house on Monday afternoon, we were greeted by the Scotts, a family from church that is living with us temporarily. When we walked in, we were blown away by the transformation of the house. They had worked 6 short weeks to clean the house up, from top to bottom. The basement, garage, play room and entire backyard were cleaned and organized...a project that would have taken my family probably half a year to finish! Everyone was so blessed by their work and Mom almost started tearing up :)

Just a week after getting back, Mom and Dad were right back into hosting a big week-long event at the house. It was Vacation Bible School for the neighborhood and about 170-190 kids showed up everyday. Breakfast and lunch were served and kids got to enjoy music, dramas and lessons every single day. All in all, I'd say that the transition from the nomad life to the home life went smoothly.

BUT not without a couple of road bumps.

One of the first things I wanted to do upon returning was transfer all of my stuff in the garage from moving out of Newport into the tower room where I'd be sleeping from now on. As I walked into the garage, Jeannie (the wife of the Scott family) asked me if I was looking for something in particular. I told her that I was getting my clothes. She looked at me with this horrified expression on her face and said, "OK...I'm not sure it's going to be in here because Todd just took a bunch of bags down to Salvation Army. In the midst of cleaning up, we texted your mom last week, asking her what we should do with the bags of clothes and she told us to donate all of them." Immediately, my stomach dropped but I stayed hopeful as I made the long walk around the garage. I looked around every corner, under boxes, behind pieces of furniture and found nothing. I reassured Jeannie that it wasn't her fault and made my way upstairs to figure out some damage control.

Instead, I sat upstairs and sobbed like a baby. Everything that I had collected over the last 4 years was gone...all I had was my carry-on sized suitcase from the road trip. I wasn't upset about the cost of losing my clothes. It was more about the sentimental items, like the coat from a vintage store in France and the black dress I wore in Paris and Rome. To me, my closet was less of brand-named items and more of an eclectic mix of vintage finds that defined my creativity and the way I interpreted fashion and style. Needless to say, I was so upset.

After a few minutes of feeling sorry for myself, I went downstairs to ask my mom what happened. The mistake was totally understandable: she had told Jeannie to donate everything thinking that I had moved all of my stuff into the house. Mom felt so bad for the mistake and told me that she and Dad would do whatever they could to fix or replace it.

I discovered that my bags of clothes were donated just a couple days before we returned. So the following morning, Mom called the Salvation Army and tracked down the trailer that Todd had taken the bags to. We found out that they were still in their original bags and not yet distributed. Salvation Army said it would take a couple days to pull out all the white bags (the color of bags my clothes were in). For the next week, we called to check on the status and they kept telling us "not yet."

By the second day or so, my sadness had pretty much dissipated. Although my clothes collection was fun and kind of funky, they were just that...clothes. I didn't want the clothes to define me and it would be silly to stay upset about it. In fact, I found it kind of liberating to be able to let go of my possessions (even if it wasn't originally by choice!) and with my approaching move to Korea, this made it easy to decide what to take and what to leave.

I wish I could give you a happy ending to this story, but I ended up going to the Salvation Army on Thursday to go through 6 large bins over 6 feet tall, filled to the brim with white bags, and found nothing of mine. But it really is OK though...I'd argue that it is a happy ending because I'm genuinely OK with it now.

Just until the end of this week, I was feeling crummy about life though. My car was in the shop for two weeks and finding a job in Korea wasn't going so well. But with a little encouragement from friends and family and a lot of patience, the days have significantly picked up. I got my car back a couple days ago (and it looks beautiful!) and the response rate for Korea has increased. I also found out that I can apply for a visa specifically designed for Korean-Americans. With this visa, I don't have to have a job before leaving...this means that if, for some reason, I can't secure a job by the end of September, I may pick up and leave for Korea anyway and try and find a job there!

Other than the few hiccups I've had to overcome, life at home has been pretty sweet. I've already had some wonderful times with Mark and my girlfriends and it hasn't even been 2 weeks yet! Last Tuesday, Mark and I went to the U.S. Open, the surf competition in Huntington Beach, and listened to Cold War Kids play. Then, we headed over to the South Coast Repertory to see the musical "In the Heights." On Thursday, I had a wonderful night of cooking and conversation with Jamie and Candice. Last night, I went to the Harvest Crusade, a huge concert and evangelical event at the Angels Stadium. Then, I went to my friend Tanya's house to celebrate Diego's 22nd birthday. Today, I am heading over to the South Bay for a good-bye bbq that Candice is hosting for Jamie, Mark and me. See? Life has been absolutely wonderful!

[The Cold War Kids at the U.S. Open]

[Dinner with the girls]

[Mmmm! Bruschetta]

[Pesto sauce from scratch: basil, olive oil, garlic, s & p, pine nuts]

[The final product]

I hope everyone's summer has been going just as well. Tell me...have you ever had something happen to you that seemed like a crisis at the time but ended up being easy to overcome? Did you surprise yourself with the way you handled it? I sure did!

1 comment :

Kaylenr said...

I so admire the way you handled that Liz! Very impressive. What you'll find is even when you move somewhere with only a suitcase, you will accumulate things all over again. When I moved to the East Coast 5 years, I came with only two suitcases. Within a year, I had a full closet and dresser full of things. Geez...