The road had seemed particularly endless that day. It was HOT and we didn't have air conditioning, so we'd roll one window down and have one up in order to hear our books on tape. Our car was completely packed, and every time we stopped for gas or food, people made comments about how cramped it was. It's funny now.
The day was strange because we realized this is it. The butterflies I'd had when we crossed the Washington/Idaho border grew stronger with each mile marker we passed. We were going, in my dramatic mind, to the great unknown world, the uncharted territories. For better or for worse, Cleveland was going to be our home and the little house we'd found on Craigslist would be ours for at least 22 months. Would we like it? We didn't know. Would we find friends? A church? Jobs? Would we start our family here? Would it feel like home?
There was so much on our minds as we passed through cow-scented pastures and smelly cities (and we couldn't do anything about those because there wasn't any air conditioning).
It was nearly dark outside when we crossed into Ohio. I remember thinking that it was very boring, something I found pertinent, since days before we'd kissed the sights of mountains and pine trees goodbye. Ohio was hilly but sort of blah. It could have been anywhere. Was it home?
We were staying with friends that first night, since we weren't entirely sure that our landlord would love us coming by for a key at 11pm, so we didn't see our house, but we were able to see the surrounding area. It was very suburban, which I hadn't expected. There was road construction that made Google Maps reroute a million times, so we didn't get to the Storey's home until after midnight, where we were greeted with loving but tired arms and a wonderful air mattress (I mean that).
It was August 16th. 12:21am on August 16th, but I think it counts.
After a not-long-enough rest, we picked up the keys and made our way down possibly one of the worst roads in the area, to our new home. The lovely suburban area vanished and I felt like we were in the ghetto (okay not really, but the roads were horrible and everything looked absolutely dirty and broken-down). It was not the best first impression, but we pretended that it was, and laughed about it. Just about every other road in the area looks better than that one. Of course.
Finally, we turned onto our street. We'd searched it on Google Maps before, so that we could see what it looked like, but it was still quite different, seeing it on a screen and seeing it in real life. We drove slowly so that we wouldn't miss our house (we sometimes still have to do this - for whatever reason, we've driven past it several times) and suddenly there it was.
Carson turned the key in the lock while I snapped pictures, and suddenly there we were. We were home.
We're somewhat settled now. We've answered those friends-jobs-church sort of questions and we're familiar with street names and the fact that the weather is really crazy. Since we know that it's so temporary, I think that's still in the back of our minds, and we aren't truly settled here. It doesn't feel like home in the way that Spokane did, which is probably normal, since we were there for four years, but we do like it. We're making a list of places to go and see and eat while we're here, so that's fun. Mostly, I can't believe that six months ago it was hot outside. I think I've completely forgotten what it was like to be warm.