My Adventures as a Homeless Hippie Vagabond

Yeah, that sounds much more interesting than it actually is. The truth of the matter is that I packed up my tiny little apartment at Aggie Village on Monday and have not yet decided where I'm going beyond that. Part of the problem is that I want to make sure I move somewhere with decent job aspects (for me) and education aspects (for Brendan) and possible PhD aspects (again, for me) so that my son and I can settle in for a while and actually build some roots. But more on that later...

...For now, back to Monday. I actually woke up on Monday and thought, "Hm. Today is moving day and I have absolutely no plan with which to attack it." Granted, I had spent the previous month packing my place, and it was all finished and ready to go, but I had no idea how I was going to transfer the contents of my life from the apartment to the storage unit downtown. To make matters worse, I quickly realized that it was Memorial Day (how on earth had I missed that one?), and that pretty much every moving company in town was closed. My good friend Charlotte Kondel and her family were coming over to help me, but I was dreading the inevitable time when they showed up and I had nothing to offer but a house full of boxes and furniture with no way to move it all.

So in step my neighbors. I didn't know my neighbors very well (the combination of my semi anti-social nature and my incredibly busy schedule made that increasingly difficult throughout the course of last year), but somehow they'd gotten wind of the fact that I was moving. Before I knew it, there was a couple offering to let me use their van, two strong men to actually do the moving, and their two wives to help me clean the place out. That, combined with Charlotte's family, made the entire ordeal a very, very easy experience. Let me just pause here and say that this is one aspect of LDS culture that has really begun to impress me. These neighbors did know me well enough to know that I was a single mother who had no interest in joining the LDS Church, and yet wanted to help me out simply for the sake of helping me. They wanted nothing in return, but were so eager to make my life easier. I can't thank them enough -- I don't think they'll ever know how their kindness affected me.

So with all of my things in storage, I spent the night at Charlotte's house and had a great time watching Law and Order while the children played. Even though I slept on the couch, her dog made it a point to show how much she likes me by curling up underneath my blankets and snuggling me all night. :) The following day I drove to St. George, where I spent the evening catching up with my good friend Cathrine Glover. Her son recently went away to college in central Utah, so Brendan and I got to use his bedroom.

In arranging visitations with all of my friends in St. George, I did the stupidist thing. I meant to arrange a lunch date with Amanda Scott, who went through college and graduated with me. But I wound up accidentally texting an Amanda I knew in Logan, thinking it was the one from St. George, and when we both wound up at Cafe Rio six hours away from each other, I almost slapped myself for the idiotic moment of the week. But I did get to see old friends Kaye Berry, Kathy Gubler, Dustin Jackson, and my college mentor, Sue Bennett. I had a lovely time with all of them.

On Thursday evening, Brendan and I had tickets to see Disney's The Little Mermaid at Tuacahn, so we drove out there eager to see a good show. When we got there, however, we were told the show had been cancelled due to the director's feelings that the cast was not ready to open. I was kind of livid, but they did say that anyone could stay and watch the final dress rehearsal, as long as we understood that it was just that -- a rehearsal. So Brendan and I, along with a couple hundred other people, watched a professional dress rehearsal.

What I can say is this: I would have loved to see the show in its entirety, nonstop, because it was positively stunning. It was definitely on the same caliber, if not better, than the showing of Wicked I saw last summer in San Francisco. The actors were phenomenal (with the exception of King Triton, who was somewhat of a weak link), the sets were amazing, and the special effects breathtaking. And even though the lights continually came up in the house so that scenes could be redone and notes could be given, and a two hour show took almost four to complete, Brendan and I were happy we stayed. Every time the show stopped, too, some of the actors actually chatted with the kids in the audience (which Brendan found to be enchanting), so there was some good that came out of it.

Right after the show I drove to Vegas to spend time with Lisa while Tommy is away up north for the weekend. We've been drinking and playing video games (and, yes, I've also been keeping up with my online students in the meanwhile), and it's been a great, relaxing visit. Brendan got a chance to visit with his dad and grandmother, too, which was nice for him.

But, all right, I do have to take a moment here and gripe about the driving situation in Las Vegas. Last night was the most ridiculous experience ever. In dropping Brendan off with his grandma, I got lost three times (I know, those of you who know me well are so surprised about that one), had to find gas in the middle of the Strip (possible, believe it or not), and fought a low blood sugar episode with Brendan's stash of car treats (which turned out to be a nasty Fruity Pebbles cereal bar). Then, in picking him up, I got stuck in ridiculous traffic and found myself behind a woman whose car stalled right in the middle of the street. She put her own gas in to help the problem, but then decided to stare at her gas tank for a while instead of getting into the vehicle to move it out of the way. That's Vegas for you. It took me forever to actually pick up Brendan once I found out I could not turn down the Freemont Street Experience (thanks, GPS), but all turned out well.

In the midst of all of this ... yes, I have been thinking about where I'm going to move after I finish this little vagabond trip. I have some ideas, and have pretty much decided to follow Lisa and Tommy up north, although if I miraculously get a job elsewhere you never know where I may end up.

Okay, so here we are. If you've actually made it this far and are still reading, then hooray for staying tuned in to my crazy life! I think that Lisa, Brendan, and I are going to play some Castlevania and eat pork tonight, but before I close let me brag about one thing that I've discovered: I can still shoot tequila without lime or a chaser. Go me.