Benny and his friend Griffin at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Arrival Day 2009

Today is July 22. That's a big day for our family, and not just because it shares a month with Independence Day, Bastille Day and the Moon Landing. July 22 is the day this blog stopped being Lost in BabySpace and became California Dreamin'. Because this was the day that myself, Ron, Benny and Callisto the cat arrived in San Francisco.

July 22, 2007 began at 1 a.m. when I finally lay down on an air mattress in our Michigan house to catch a few hours' sleep before our flight to San Francisco. I tried to relax and think about California but the picture was dim and undeveloped. "Who gives up jobs, cars and Mackinaw Island fudge to live in a tiny apartment?" I asked myself. "Who wants to wait at bus stops, wheel granny carts to the grocery, feed quarters into washing machines?"

Well, we did. The next eight months passed in a haze of stress: a mad dash to our airplane flight; tense negotiations for a transfer to an acceptable apartment; a frenzied search for a preschool; my return to full-time work; severe financial problems; no heat over Christmas; and an insane work project called "Real Estate Deals of the Year." The culmination was the months-long process to sell our Michigan house, which we finally managed in March 2008.

But there were many large and small victories. We found a great preschool for Benny and paid shocking amounts of money to keep him there for two years. Ron won a national award for a feature he wrote during that crazy August 2007. I edited some big projects that came off well. We paid our fiendishly complicated California and Michigan taxes. We also guided Benny through important milestones such as toilet training, advanced Lego building and the ability to eat something other than pancakes, corn and Mac&Cheese.

I'd like to thank all the little people who made it possible -- Kathy, our beleaguered realtor, who never did get a commission on the house. And who can forget Ralf, our chronically depressed mover, whose unexpected delay in Kansas allowed us to transfer to another apartment before our stuff arrived. Or my friend Angelic Coworker, who arranged for a $1,000 freelance paycheck before I'd written a word of the story .

Happy Arrival Day!

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