St. Paul Sunday

I used to listen to this radio show every week and think that St. Paul must be a very good sort of place. Now I’m here, it’s my first Sunday as an official St. Paul resident, and I do feel a break in the stress of the past few days.

Emotionally I’m a bit of a wreck. I think I should just go off into a room and cry for a few hours, then come out and wash my face and move on.

I chalk this up to several factors, tops among them:

  • I haven’t been able to knit much lately
  • I’m tired
  • My knees hurt
  • Gerry’s back hurts (like hell)
  • I have two deadlines looming and I’m scared.

Lesser on the list, but still worrisome are

  • Will the kids like their school?
  • Will Gerry find a doctor he likes and heal his back?
  • Will I be make the mortgage each month (now that it’s all on my back?)
  • Will I need a doctor to heal my back?

Basically, the universal worries that everyone has.

We arrived in St. Paul around 6:00 on Friday, unloaded and filled up the air mattresses. I had a minor (?) meltdown – stress from the road and too much time with a pre-teen who tends to think that everything “sucks” – and while Gerry and the kids had pizza I crashed.

Our first full day in St. Paul – we headed over to the Mall of America because I was under the impression that I was supposed to be there for a signing or author thing. I guess wires were crossed, because I was cancelled (they weren’t sure I’d make it in) and my signing for 4 pm on Sat was canceled, too. On the very bright side we ran into Shelley Hermanson of the Knitters Guild and we had a nice chat and hug and she got to meet my kids (and hear Hannah’s two jokes several times – thanks Shelley for being so patient!)

Kind of a waste of a trip (and, of course, I’d promised the kids a few rides as a reward for being pretty amazingly wonderful for 3 days on the road…) so we had to do the ride thing. I used that time to sneak into Barnes & Noble and get online and wade through my 68 emails (not counting the spam – SO many emails…)

Then off to IKEA for some window shopping (we’ll wait until stuff arrives to begin adding to the array of items that will not fit into our new house.

I am SO worried.

Once again – proving what a small town these two big cities really are – we ran into Joe, our friend and real estate agent at IKEA and had a nice sit down and chat. We love Joe (& Jennie!) and it just seemed perfect to run into him our first day here. Poor Joe will think we’re stalking him…

After IKEA we went to Play it Again, bought roller blades for the kids, then to Target for some necessities. We were SO fried at that point that we had NO focus and although we didn’t buy things we don’t need, we missed some things that we GREATLY need (like a teapot…)

We did, however, get a garbage can. The way that I can tell that Gerry is fried is that he was SERIOUSLY considering a $99 kitchen garbage can. Hey – it’s only money, right?

Then the highlight of the day – a low-key highlight, but I don’t think we had the energy for anything else – we went to the Linwood Boosters skating party. There was ice skating (we didn’t get blades for the kids, just the used roller blades) so the kids skated inside with the other roller kids.

We were hopeful that there would be some kind of kid connection, but it wasn’t happening. As I said, we were all pretty fried, and have been our own little self contained unit for almost a week now – it’s hard to break out of that. At one point Max wanted to race some kids, but they weren’t into having him join them.

Hannah and Max joined into a ‘steal the hat’ game with some brothers and Gerry and I both thought H&M might have been a little on the rough side. Fortunately the brothers didn’t think. Hard to get used to society again after being cooped up in the big house.

The best part of the evening was the sleigh ride around Linwood park. The view up from the top of the hill was so lovely, and made me feel less lonesome for the beautiful view at the top of the hill by our old home in NJ.

Home to crawl into bed together and watch The Producers (I fell asleep, the kids enjoyed it – Gerry’s back hurt…)

SO today I was the first up, fed the cats, let the dog out, cleaned up the place in the basement where we hadn’t let the dog out yesterday, then headed out to find some wifi (our own phone/cable/wifi won’t be installed until Monday – then we will once again be on the grid)

And off for a walk – Grand Avenue is very cool – to the nearest Caribou Coffee for some free wifi, a chance m
eeting with a machine knitter who belongs to the Textile Society, and some time on my own when no one needs anything from me – mentally, physically or emotionally – for a few minutes.

I’m supposed to be at the Mall of America for a book signing at 1:00 and I seriously don’t think I’ll be removing my hat for the entire time. I also don’t intend to dress up. I am a slouch. I dressed up yesterday – that was enough for me… I leave on Thursday for Tampa, for teaching, and I must say that it will be a relief to leave some of the stress of moving in behind me.

Last week Gerry and I read an email that made us cry – the MN Knitters Guild (hi Shelley!) will be putting together a roster of knitters to come by and help us unpack next week. It’s hard to stress how welcome this assistance is – coming just when we need it (when the stuff has been in the house long enough for a first sort through, but not long enough for us to get to the unpacking…

It’s kindnesses like this that keep me going, mentally. Thank you so much, SH!

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