My parents have a beautiful house that they have painstaking designed, built and moved into over the last couple of years. It was built on land that my great grandmother’s house was on many years ago and is located right next door to my great aunt, and two doors down from my grandma’s house. My other grandmother lives less than 30 miles away, two other uncle/aunt sets live nearby, and many other cousins and their families settled within just a few hours’ drive of the town my mom grew up in.
Yes, we are living the small town life. It’s much different than the two bedroom, Seattle home I grew up in, that’s for sure!
I noticed a few things about the house over the last couple of weeks as I’ve unpacked and settled in a bit. Not only is the surrounding area, on the merit of its very rural status, pretty darn quiet, but the house kind of echoes because of the massive ceilings. The house also has giant doors that don’t slam, everything is gloriously matching and there is a giant colorful ceramic rooster that sits on my parent’s dining room table.
It is also hermetically sealed and completely self contained, like a nuclear bunker or Fort Knox. And it kind of (really) terrifies me.
Here’s the thing- I’m used to all my windows being open (Jordanian air conditioning!), things being a little dusty, and being in my own space with no interruptions except the ones I make for myself. Now my room is the size of my Jordanian apartment, the hallway between the kitchen and my room takes 5 minutes to walk down, and everything has its place and I know where nothing belongs.
I’m super excited that my parents have a great, new house. I love that they love it. I love that my dad has his own office, the dog has his spot squishing the new cushions on the top of the couch where he can look outside, and I love that my mom has a giant kitchen where she never has to bump into anyone else.
But, as I’ve mentioned before, I can’t live in a place where spiders drop into coffee. And where things can’t be spilled. Or where the second you open a window the smell of the outside comes in and everyone freaks out a little bit. I need to be in a place where I don’t have to worry about grinding a little dirt into a carpet, where I can enjoy a beer and pizza in the comfort of my own bed, and where smoking hookah isn’t a punishable offense (to be fair my mom didn’t realize she was locking me in the second storage room, and it only took me an hour to remember where the spare key was. I had to pee outside. It was disconcerting on many levels).
Adjusting takes time, and adjusting to a new place is more than just unpacking a few bags. I have to get used to being around roommates (aka my parents) and they have to get used to being around their adult daughter who likes to drink and smoke and occasionally forgets and swears a little bit. But I like that I could help out around the house, get a few things done that needed to be done, and that I can go escape to Grandma’s house if I need to, snuggly puppy in tow.
Small town life isn’t so bad. Life in the Bubble House, however, is going to take some getting used to.