I never did extend my No-Frills 5 to 7, weekend included. Too hard to give up our weekend spending treats. Too hard to even want to.
But we’ll have plenty of time for weekends full of wholesome, creative, money-less activities this summer. Because, have I mentioned? We’re going home! We’ll be in our little coastal (read: cold and rainy) Alaskan town from mid-May through August.
I’ll be working part time, cooking at a local lodge. My Man will be working part time doing the same paper-wrenching he did before law school came along. We’ll split the parenting, which is always how I prefer it.
We do have a house back home, that we’ve been renting out, but we won’t be staying there. We’ll be living in an old broken down school bus! In the same hippie squat where we first lived together in My Man’s homemade tipi. Some folks might consider this going backwards, but we’re excited about it. It’s a great place to be, especially in the summer. It’s only a mile from town, and right off the road, so not bush living by any stretch. We can still go to the library whenever we want. And with a little community of good folks, and woods, marsh and a pond, it’s an awesome place for kids.
Although I haven’t been homesick really at all this winter, now that summer at home is approaching, I’m getting a yearning for mountains, wilderness, moss, dumpster diving, and especially friends who know me well. I’ve really made quite a few good friends here since my poor, lonesome me post. But there’s nothing like people who’ve known you for years… And especially having a community of friends. Pot-luck dinners, music jams, bonfires, “a pack of hippies” as we jokingly call ourselves to go berry picking, plant gathering, and adventuring. I’m sure I’m romanticizing, a lot of my good friends don’t even actually live there anymore, but nevertheless, I’m excited.
Every now and then My Man will get a restless look on his face and say, “Let’s do something fun tonight.” It’s interesting to compare what “something fun” ends up being in these two disparate locales. At home in Alaska, the only “fun” (which really means out of the regular routine) thing I can ever think to do is go for a hike. I had really imagined that here in New Orleans there would be so many exciting things to do at any given time. But in fact, with a toddler and a baby, “something fun” almost invariably means going out to dinner. There’s a few other things we do here, but they pretty much all involve money and consumption. We do walk or ride bikes in the park a lot, or go wandering around in the French Quarter, but even those often lead up to a purchase and frankly feel somewhat unsatisfying without one.
It’s the culture I guess. Here the culture is spending money. And don’t get me wrong, I am definitely enjoying it! I feel like a kid at the candy store with all the incredible food to be had here. (We just ate dinner at a Thai restaurant the other night that was divine. Scallops in a spicy basil sauce. Oh god, so good. But– there was a $52 bill at the end.) Still and yet, I do occasionally have a feeling of weariness about it all. And a sort of gladness that our time here is limited. I know myself, and my weaknesses, and although it’s fine for three years, it would be hard to balance in the long term.
So a little dose of home is in order. Where there are no scallops in spicy basil sauce, no chocolate croissants, no berry brioche, no 100 year old Italian gelato shops to tempt my weak self. Just good friends, fantastic pot-lucks, craggy mountains and wild rivers. Here we come!