On Vacation (From My Not So Strenuous Life)

Hi guys! Thanks for all of your wonderful comments and support on my last post! I didn't intend to leave it up there for so long with no new content to push it down the list, since it's quite depressing. And there's even a part of me that wants to deflect and obfuscate and say that I didn't really mean a lot of it, that it was late at night, I'd had some wine, and was feeling sorry for myself. Or to make a joke of it all. Because that way it seems less real. But the truth is, I meant it all. And it's all still true, whether I'm comfortable with that concept or not. So it took me a while to be brave and be able to write a post that didn't brush it all under the rug.

And then there were all kinds of busyness on my end. Well, who am I kidding? I'm unemployed, so "busyness" to me is anything that requires me to wear something other than yoga pants. But I did go on a weekend church retreat with about 30 teenagers (five hours on a bus there 40 hours at the camp, and five hours back, with very little sleep in between), which was fun. Fun and exhausting. And for a split second, it was terrifying, when one of the boys put another one in a headlock and accidentally choked him into unconsciousness. But then the boy came to and seemed okay and his parents decided we didn't need to take him to the ER, so it all turned out okay. No last brain damage to date (that I know of), so I think we're cool.

My sister-in-law (who is married to Biggest Brother) called on the Monday morning after the retreat and asked me if I wanted to come visit. We'd been trying to arrange a visit for me for a month or so, since they had some spare air miles to use up, but we hadn't nailed down any dates. So we looked online and talked and the just... booked a ticket. For the following Sunday night. So I jumped up and did loads and loads of laundry and sent e-mails to get out of my (very limited) duties at church. And before I knew it, I was eating frozen yogurt at the airport waiting for my flight. Almost 20 hours later, I was landing in--

You know what? I'm getting kind of sick of my own secrecy on this blog. I bet you guys are, too. It's entirely necessary and sometimes I love the anonymity of it and I'm not going to stop on a lot of the important things like my name, location, or profession (basically anything that is easily google-able). But it's stupid to be so secretive about where I am when I'm traveling! So I'm just going to tell you.

Biggest Brother and Sister-In-Law (and Niece and soon-to-arrive Niece or Nephew) live in AMISH COUNTRY. Yep. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. They just recently moved here from the suburbs of LA, so it's a huge change for them. And they LOVE it. There are rolling hills and farmland and horse-and-buggies and COWS and all kinds of countrish things. And it is wonderful. Brother has been known to yell "LOVE IT!" at random intervals while driving. It's actually unpleasantly loud and screechy (sorry, buddy), but the enthusiasm is infectious.

Also, Niece is in love with all things "horshie" (she just turned two years old), so this is like heaven on earth for her. Although I'm pretty sure everything dragon-related (what she calls "heynows" because of an Aussie kid's show called Jane and the Dragon, which has "Hey now, hey now now" as the chorus in the theme song) is quickly eclipsing the horshies. Heynows and drain-gons and Ell-ee-ut (Elliott from Pete's Dragon) are some of the favorite topics of conversation.

I've been here for almost a week and a half, which is exactly halfway through my trip (It's amazing how easy it is to travel when you have no responsibilities and someone else paid for the ticket! I could totally get used to this!). Niece's vocabulary skills are exploding! She speaks in paragraphs now and it's amazing some of the things she tells me. She calls me "Onnie [adorable child version of my real name that I wish I could share with you, but I cannot]" She even learned one of the songs from Pete's Dragon, "I love you, too," which she sings as "Ahlowah, too." That's also how she says "I love you" at bedtime: "Ahlowah, too, Daddy! You okay? Guhnite!"

The other day, she looked at me and said, very seriously, "Me two. [holding out two fingers] You a hunna dolla." We're still not sure if that means I'm worth a hundred dollars or if I'm a hundred dollars old, and whether that's big or little. But it was adorable nonetheless. She knows "hunna dolla" because when she sings "Tomorrow" from Annie, she sings "bet your bottom dollar" as "bet ya hunna dolla." I cannot get enough of this kid!

I'm loving it here and am actually considering a relocation. Wait! Pause. Slow down (Mom and Sister, especially). Don't get ahead of yourselves. I have no actual plans to move. But after my two failed attempts at being a Responsible Grown-Up with a Reliable Income in the Far North, I'm contemplating going back to school for some kind of grad work and any decent school would require a new address. Plus, the last few times I've been out of Far North, I've felt this pull to stay where it is warm and sunny and cheap...

BUT! I have not given the job search the old college try yet this time. Oh, Lord, this time? My life is kind of a trainwreck, huh? Okay, don't answer that. Where was I? Oh yes, reasons to stay in Far North. It's about to be spring there, which means there will be less snow on the ground soon, as opposed to the MONTHS of accumulating it ad nauseam. PLUS? I have a pretty sweet deal with Sister and I live so close to family. AND? More school debt? Not really an enticing idea.

BUT! The East Coast would be great for school and would be warmer for more of the year and also would be close to SOME family, especially the growing and changing portion of the family (see: Niece and soon-to-arrive Niece or Nephew), which I ache to know that I'm missing out on this for most of the year.


I have no idea. I'm really conflicted. And a lot of it is the fact that this winter has been hard. Don't get me wrong, Far North winters are always rough and getting to lay around in yoga pants all day kind of sounds like a dream. But spending a long, dark, cold winter cooped up in the house with Snow Anxiety and nothing to accomplish and beginning to feel like you left your job for no other reason than you are stupid and selfish and a coward who can't hack it is not really the delight it pretends to be. So I should probably give Being Employed in My Hometown one more chance before I make any radical decisions. I think....

What I do know is that I miss blogging. I REALLY miss it. I dream about it. I write posts as I'm drifting off to sleep (hey, do you think that might be why I dream about it?). And it's not like I've RUN OUT OF THINGS TO SAY! I've just gotten lazy. And a little discouraged by my laptop/Internet issues. And, as far as excuses go? NaBloPoMo was a lot of work, but it was fun and I loved having a relationship with my readers. But afterward, I felt kind of burned out and I totally used that as a crutch. But this is a thing I CAN accomplish. And I should pour a little bit back into the thing that kept me sane through my last job-failure. So while I am searching for and (hopefully) adjusting to a new job, I'm going to be here, yakking your ear off, come hell or high water.

Having good Internet here at Brother's house and a set nap time for Niece should totally help. Here's hoping I can find my rhythm again.


  1. Isn't being an aunt great? I love it. It appears you love it too. I applaud you for even considering a move. You are super brave. Anything new like that and big change freaks me out. Example? I bought a house about 1.5mi from the house I grew up in.

  2. It hard to know what to share and what not to. I didn't go the anonymous route when I started blogging and now wish that I had. I have so many stories to tell and things I want to say that I can't because my family and friends read.

  3. APrinceAndProzac3/27/12, 2:30 PM

    Yay, you're back! Only you're still on your trip! That's even more exciting!

    I hope you're enjoying the country, and I have to say I'm a little jealous. My family is from Southwestern Ontario. They all farm and all of their neighbours are Mennonite and Amish. It's nice in some ways (they have amazing produce stands all around them all summer long) but hard in other ways (they have no access to things like hi-speed internet because the demographic simply doesn't call for it!)
    Anyway, what I meant to say in less words was that your post reminded me of home.

    Also, I know all too well the feeling of the "I want to move but should I really move" situation. I know it can be hard. ALSO Also, job hunting = barfola.

    ALSO ALSO ALSO, I am so happy that you wrote the first paragraph of this post. Own it, girl.

  4. COME TO THE EAST COAST! COME TO DC AND WE CAN HANG OUT ALL THE TIME!!! (Lorelai is whining as I type this and I think it's her way of saying she needs Miss Elise to come baby whisper her!)

  5. I LOVE being an aunt. It's probably second best, eclipsed only by having my own kids (I'm assuming, but it's a pretty educated guess). And I, too, live only a few miles from the house I grew up in. I left for college, so I think that makes it both easier and more difficult: I've done it before, so I know I CAN do it, BUT I've done it before, so I know how HARD it can be...

  6. For me, it's about potential employers finding out--not that I say anything egregious, but my industry is completely ANTI-BLOG, no matter if the blog is completely personal and never mentions the industry. So I err on the side of caution and vague-ify my statements. But sometimes, that only leads to confusion, so I end up saying nothing at all. It's a hard line to toe, but I know I would regret it if I didn't.

  7. HA! I love this whole comment. The country is amazing, but it DOES have the technology drawbacks you mentioned. And job hunting is the ABSOLUTE WORST kind of hunting, closely followed by apartment hunting. I rate the killing of woodland creatures way behind those two, but then again, I'm from the Far North... ;)

    And thank you! I almost deleted that paragraph about six times. I don't know why I feel like my single-ache isn't a valid feeling, but it's a hard voice to silence.

  8. Oh my gosh, Erin, I'm like 2.5 hours away from you right now! All I can think about is snuggling that little girl and smooching those adorable cheeks. I have long wanted to live near DC. Maybe now that I have a friend there, I might actually do it! Whoa, that was a scary thing to type. But maybe.... :)