Sunday, October 30, 2011

October 30th ~ October, huh?

Something, something, something....

Hmmm, what was I going to write about?  Oh, yeah.  October.  I'm not quite sure how I feel about the month of October.  I have several friends and family members who were born in October, which alone should qualify it as a pretty great month - I really like those October birthday people, like my wonderful friend Clarissa, my cousin Roman and his cousin, Stevi, also my other cousin Ibel, and loads others.  As a kid I remember often being ill in October.  Looking back I'm convinced I suffered from seasonal allergies, which were probably ineffectively treated therefore usually developed into severe respiratory infections... so I was often sick the entire month and well into November.  When I was around nine, both my sister and I were super sick and mom had to go out, leaving us alone.  I started gagging on phlegm, then throwing up.  I was having trouble breathing out of my mouth, and of course my nose was stuffed too.  I chucked out a massive ball of guck.  My sister was terrified.  That was the first time ever, maybe the only time, I've ever heard her tell me "I love you." (That's how scared she was I might die in her care.)  It was nice that she would comfort me as it was rare that our paths crossed. (We lived in a four room house!  You heard right... f-o-u-r  r-o-o-m-s.  Quatro.  4 )

Like I said, I haven't made up my mind about whether to like or dislike October.  Some would say, "How about Halloween, isn't that enough reason to love it?"  Sure, there's a reason:  Free candy, who wouldn't love that?  But to be honest, as a little kid  I hated Halloween.  Being of Mexican heritage, with all their friggin' Dia de los Muertos folklore and crap, scared the bejeezus outta me.  My vivid imagination didn't help either.  Leaving all those stupid stories behind as I grew up, my attitude totally changed when I finally  had kids.  Halloween would now be fun.  Actually, we moved into this house on October 31st.  Vampire Emily was in third grade, Cheerleader Sarah was in sixth, and Monkey face-masked R.J. was in the seventh grade. *insert pics of kids from that day*

One reason I might not like October is because of how many times we've moved during this month in the twenty years Rick and I've been married.  Wow!  I may have started living with him by the end of October... of the same month we met!  So, if I have this right, I have moved four times in the month of October in the last 21 years.  That's a lot! Not so fun fact:  In my lifetime, I've moved about 26 times.

Let's look back shall we.

First move was gradual to say the least; I didn't keep journals back in the day, but I'm pretty sure Rick and I were cohabitating by Halloween 1990.  That's move number one - from Grandma Carmy's apartment to Rick's place.

October 1996 I was "out to here" with baby #3.  Rick was working a lot because the company had just downsized to skeleton crew and Rick's pay had been cut by half, so he was doing side work to bring in extra money.  We had sold the mobile home he had refurbished, and we were going to start renting his brother's house in a nearby town.  So because Rick was working day and night, my pregnant self and two toddlers boxed and packed as much as we could to move to our new big house - not too big a deal, we didn't have that much to pack.  It was time to go.

Rick's brother's father-in-law had bought his daughter and him a nice just built, fully furnished home, leaving their house for us to occupy now that we needed a bigger place for all our kids.  I was still reeling from having lost Sylvia at the hands of a brutal murderer, so I needed a distraction.  That was also around the time when diagnoses for this, that and the other were being thrown around health-wise for me. I remember that was also around the time when I had casually asked Rick where he saw himself (us) in five years.  I remember liking his answer.  Still working for Sunrise, achieving recognition for his hard work, moving up in the company, enjoying raising his family - That was good, right?  So, October '96 was our first move as a family, my second since 1990.


Not an October move, but something great that happened in Fall of 2000.  By then, as he had hoped would happen "in five years," Rick had done well at his job and worked up to leadership positions.   What came as complete surprise was his brother being fired after he was discovered stealing from the company (and other wrongdoings)... and, that's right, Rick worked at the same company.  So what happens?  Rick was offered the department supervisor position that had opened up.  Yes, a promotion and a raise.  Nice going honey, you've worked hard... and don't steal, do drugs, bite the hand that feeds you...

So all this exciting stuff is happening in Fall of 2000, but the grand kicker is when Rick got offered another raise and promotion if he would be interested in relocating out of state and be director of new home warranty and customer service department.  He came home and asked me what I thought.  I said, "Let's go."  So away we were going.  I spent a good part of October packing up the house to move 1600+ miles away.  I remember having to brainstorm Halloween costumes for the kids that year.  We had the orange paint left over from a giant jack-o-lantern Rick had made previous year for the Montessori school party and cardboard boxes.  I constructed and painted two flower pot shapes for the girls and bought bunches of artificial flowers and leaves to put in headbands and attach to shirts.  They looked so cute.  For R.J., we took a heafty bag, stuffed it with balled up newspaper, taped "trash" on the outside... and voilà!  He went trick-or-treating as a sack of rubbish.  They all were so adorable, I wish I had photos.  So while not technically a move, by Halloween that house was just waiting for movers to come load it's contents into a container for delivery to new home in Texas.  Oh happy day.


Oops!  Sidetracked just a bit.  Next move was a minor move which followed a delightful inconvenience.  We had been spared by the goodness of God and all creation that year. Rick had been laid off from his job when the US home-building industry suffered a blow after 9/11.  November 2002 he was laid off work from the company he had worked for since 1985.  By summer of 2003 we had been surviving with help from interfaith community; my spirits lifted by our wonderful neighbors and friends in Texas.  We had just filed bankruptcy and were wondering aimlessly into God knows where, when finally in August a job came up for Rick... in Hawaii.  Again, I was left to pack up the house with the help of my little friends, my kids.  Moving container was loaded and shipped a couple of days before the kids and I would travel to join Dad.  Wonderful friends sheltered us for a few nights, neighbors fed us.  Two days before leaving Texas our vehicle was reclaimed as scheduled by loan holder and on our travel day, I gave our house keys to a friend who would be there when bank representative would arrive to "take possession" of what was once "the home of my dreams."

Now this doesn't count here, because it was mid August.  That Summer we arrived in Hawaii and found ourselves living in "rock star" accommodations at a top-rated golf resort & hotel destination until our household furnishings traveling half way across the United States, then half way across the Pacific Ocean arrived to the island and the cottage we eventually chose was ready for us to move in to.  The few USPS Priority Mail boxes (containing important documents and precious family items) that my friend Sarah and I had prepared at the house in Texas that Summer - which she sent out to me a few days later -  and five suitcases were all we actually had to move, but that move from The Lodge at Koele to the little house "up on the hill" counts as "month of October" move number 3.

This House

In Fall 2005, I didn't feel time was right for us to buy a house yet.  I wasn't "feeling it" here in this part of the country.  People were different here... not particularly friendly, often times downright unpleasant. (I still wonder why that is.  Maybe they don't like the cold and stay miserable about it year around.)  Rick thought otherwise.  He took a job in Denver that came with relocation and temporary corporate housing allowance for first six months.  We could have stayed in the apartment we were renting after the six months, but Rick decided to go ahead and find a house.  We knew we wanted to stay in the area - apparently, from my initial research, it was safe, had good schools, great nearby shopping... what more is there, right?  Having friends nearby and welcoming neighbors would have been great. (Maybe, that's a year-round, warm and sunny state phenomenon.)  Like I said, I wasn't into it.  Since we  were looking in the same neighborhood as the apartments were were renting we at least were familiar with the surroundings.  So, when I saw this house, just a few yards away from the high school the kids would eventually attend, and less than a quarter mile from the middle school R.J. was already going to, I pointed at it and said "Let's just get that house."  Done.  October 2005, move number 4.


November 2007, layoff number two.  November 2010, layoff number three.  This might suggest I hate November, but actually, regardless of  layoffs, November remains my favorite month - filled with birthdays of people I love dearest and Thanksgiving holiday memories I shall cherish forever.

I am pretty bummed that tonight wasn't spent filling our extra large yellow metal bowl and matching platters with stuffed packages of assorted candies to hand out to trick-or-treaters.  Not looking forward to turning everyone away tomorrow.

Oh well.

Happy Halloween

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