Last weekend I had the opportunity to housesit for a family I’ve known for several years here in Seattle. The family is actually one of the first families I babysat for during graduate school.
I’ve told it many times. When I left Georgia four years ago to move to Seattle, I packed everything I owned into my 2006 Civic and took turns with my father driving across the United States. Only leaving space for my father to put his small carry on bag in the back seat, I carved just out enough room for my rearview mirror to see over my mountain of possessions carefully crammed into the car and set my sights for the Pacific Northwest. That drive was once in a lifetime and I will forever be grateful for the experience with my dad. In short, when I left Georgia, I knew who I would be living with but it wasn’t until my dad and I were driving through southern California that I knew my roommate found us a place to live.
That’s six, long days of driving and thousands of miles spent trusting that someone you barely knew would find you a good place to live. I was nervous, excited, fearful and hopeful that things would work out. I couldn’t understand it, but moving to Seattle somehow made sense. Yet I can’t forget the one moment I was completely overcome by the feeling that maybe, just maybe, I had made a huge mistake. To this day I still can’t believe I experienced only one quiet, yet very contained, breakdown in the middle of Utah on I-70. It ended with this question to my father, Do you think I’m going to be okay in Seattle?
To be honest, I can’t remember what my father said to me but I’ve never regretted my decision to move once.
My roommate couldn’t have picked a better location. We were on top of Phinney Ridge in north Seattle, within walking distance of a corner grocery store, across the street from a local coffee shop and close to numerous stores, restaurants and boutiques. Little did I know that within a short six months, I would become a babysitter or house-sitter for three families within a 1 block radius of my apartment. After growing up in a small town, I quickly felt at home in this new and foreign land.
This weekend I was asked back to take care of Hank, the dog, and enjoy a few walks in my old stomping grounds. So much has changed for me in such a short amount of time and as I walked the blocks of Greenwood Avenue, I couldn’t help but feel completely different from the person I was before my graduate program. It was a great weekend of reflection…and a great weekend for grilling out on the family’s amazing Weber grille. On my way to their house on Friday night I stopped by to pick up some ground beef and steaks from Whole Foods. One of my conscious decisions this year with regard to eating is to start purchasing quality food and taking time to make sure I eat well. And eating well, I did this weekend.