Saturday, April 9, 2011

A post {that became unnecessarily long} where I celebrate my one-year anniversary with Georgia

It's hard to believe we've been in Georgia for almost a year. This time last year, Andrew and I were packing boxes as orderly as possible and filling our car and one small travel trailer to maximum capacity. It was Easter Sunday and we were on our way to say goodbye to all our friends and family at church before we began our 10-day road trip across the country.

But as we started down the hill towards our final gathering in Oregon, our car didn't seem to be moving in any type of normal way. It was, however, making a very disturbing grinding noise that seemed to be coming from the back tires.

As we got out to survey the issue, we quickly learned that apparently you can't put everything you own in one small Toyota. We had essentially packed so much weight in the back trailer, that the car was literally riding on top of the wheels. As in, like, the wheels couldn't turn because the car was sitting on top of them.

It was clear we were going to have to lighten our load.

Seeing that I was already emotional, I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised that an argument immediately began between Andrew and me over what should stay behind and what should come in the precious space and weight we could afford.

The accusations were swift and heated. Andrew argued that I didn't need all my cookbooks. I returned that he didn't need all his computer textbooks. Unfortunately for me, we both agreed my beloved espresso machine and KitchenAid had to be left behind because they each weighed about 50 pounds.

Two hours later, the neatly packed boxes had been ripped open and scattered about. Our dishes, photo albums and winter clothes were tossed into several empty boxes. And the precious items we had so carefully selected, wrapped and placed in cardboard boxes, were overturned and left behind in Andrew's uncle's garage.

And so began our five-thousand mile journey towards Georgia: I was crying, we were arguing, church was long over, we were driving away from every person and place I had ever known, and we didn't have a clue where we were going.

And the espresso machine was still sitting in the garage.

It was a rough day.

But, in perhaps a way that can only be cheaply summarized on a blog, we got over it. We were on our way to Disneyland, we apologized (I was sorry I called computers "stupid") and I comforted myself with the realization that the remainder of our belongings would be sent to us in a few months. And as much as I had bemoaned the prospect of a week-long road trip across America, it is, ironically, now one of my favorite memories.

To be fair, the past year in Georgia has been very trying at times: Andrew was deployed, I went without human contact for 6 months when we lived in Augusta, and the humidity of the South may one day be the death of me or any joy in my life.

But it's spring right now in Georgia, and it's hard not to sort of love it here -- especially when I listen to country music, where, literally, every other song is about Georgia or some aspect of Georgia (usually having to do with women from Georgia or pine trees from Georgia or drinking beer under pine trees with women in Georgia).

Seeing as this week marks my one-year anniversary with the South, I recently went through all the photos on my camera from the past year -- I think they tell the story rather well.

When we first arrived in Georgia, we didn't have a home so we lived in a hotel for about 5 weeks:

I don't really remember what I did during that time, but I'm pretty sure my life was in fact a lot like the Suite Life of Zack and Cody -- I watched the View, the Martha Stewart Show, worked out at the hotel gym, read a free paper every morning and used the pool. A week is probably long enough to ever stay in a hotel though.

So we moved here:

And I survived with no dishwasher or microwave and this much counter space:

And an oven this big:

And I had to hang everything on the walls:

And apparently, from my photos, I did nothing in Augusta except bake:

Then Andrew graduated from Signal school or academy or training or whatever the Army calls it:

And we bought a house in Savannah and moved here:

We discovered our house has a bonus room with a stage in it:

We are still unsure of what to do with this.

While in Georgia, we have visited our neighboring states of Florida,

And South Carolina:

We went to a Braves game:

And apparently we tried to take about one-thousand pictures of ourselves. If I remember correctly, we were trying to send Andrew's parents some pictures for Christmas. So my camera is full of a lot of pictures like this:

(Andrew calls the frizz on my hair that results from the humidity my "solar flares." Fitting.)

And this:

Frame-worthy if you ask me.

So photogenic are we.

We survived Christmas without our families:

And finally managed to take a successful picture to send to Andrew's parents:
Andrew and Me
Though "successful" may be too strong a word.

And perhaps most notably, we discovered the joy and the wonder that is Waffle House:
But that you must experience for yourself.

I am truly looking forward to another year here in the South: we are thankful; we are content; and we have a stage with which to entertain our guests.

I think that is the very definition of happiness.


Mary-Anne said...

Congratulations of making it a year in the south! I'm sure this next year will be great. :)

Jenny said...

I think the stage adds personality. And a wonderful spot for impromptu talent shows.

Kari said...

Seriously, what a year. I remember the day you left. I was bummed Wyatt hadn't come before you left, I was waiting for you at church...and then I got the phone call.

Good post. I NEED to come see you. I miss you a lot.

I'm glad that you're happy and I think the South fits you. Although I'd prefer you to be here, living across the street from me or something :)

Ashley said...

Just thought I'd let you know that your blog is one of my favorites. You have such a gift for writing and you love Harry Potter as much as I do, so that automatically makes you about 100x cooler than people who don't really care about Mr. Potter (sorry Kari).

lyndsey said...

Jenny: It's on my summer to-do list -- write a dramatic play and perform it on my stage. I'll try to write you in.

Ashley: Good news! Kari may not want me to announce this publicly, but she has acquired the first four HP books and plans to read them. So maybe she can join our cool club soon? I hope you and Owen are doing well! Congrats on your lovely and growing family.

Kari: I miss you too. Let's have an HP book club pronto. Or better yet, just come visit and we'll go to Wizarding World of HP together. Hm?

Kimberly said...

hi lyndsey,

you don't know me, but i'm kari's sister-in-law...she told me about her friend who was an english major (i'm currently pursuing that same degree), so i found your blog from her page and i just wanted to say how much i enjoy reading it! you're motivating me to keep going in my classes. :) also, i'm semi-obsessed with georgia (though i've only been to atlanta), and have been dreaming about going to savannah for years. so this post was especially wonderful and just made me want to go even more.

anyway...keep writing! hope you don't mind my creepiness. ;)

Karyn said...


lyndsey said...

Is it strange to say I already know you? Or at least I feel like I know you because of Kari? Maybe I'm the creepier one.

I'm so glad you are pursuing an English degree and that you (presumably) share a love for literature. Yay for us!

And yes, Savannah is lovely. You should absolutely visit someday...and maybe you can drag your sister-in-law with you. Good to hear from you -- now we can be blog buddies.

Karyn, It's here. Just waiting for you. Chocolate chips and all.

Kari said...

i'm liking the interaction between my sister-in-law and friend in Georgia. i think you guys would get along beautifully. :)

Audrey said...

I want to come! You have this incredible gift: everything you say entertains me. "Successful may be a strong word" even made me LOL. You are a favorite, and there's nothing you can do about it. love.

KeriAnn said...

Wow, this was awesome. Made me miss you but glad for a picture of your lives. Did you ever get your espresso maker? And I know this post is like, so over, but I'm a bit everything right now.