Getting out of London was complicated, what with revisions on the book and organizing the packing and helping the boys towards closure, but arriving in Los Angeles has proven even more overwhelming. For three of us, at least, it may as well be a foreign planet. Until two weeks ago, I had only ever spent 36 hours here. The neighborhoods, the highways, the rhythm of the weather, the architectural style – it is all different than anything I have ever seen before, and I spent the first week simply trying to orient myself, as did the children.
Neither of our sons had ever seen a palm tree before, and Benjamin, even two weeks later, is absolutely smitten. From their point of view, those trees are about as exotic as vegetation can be. Nor can either child quite figure out what to make of all that sunshine. Zachary deals with it by insisting upon having his window open every time we get into the car, while Benjamin starts screams “OUTSHIDE” the moment he gets out of bed. He stands at the front door in his pajamas and yanks on the door handle, stopping only to grab my shoes and then beseech me to put them on.
As we get our bearings, we are also trying to piece a life together. J has one more week of UK vacation time stored up, but we have been doing anything but vacationing. Our lives in Philadelphia were liquidated, and we are starting from scratch around here. J bought a car shortly before we came, on his last business trip out here, but we needed another one. We also have to find doctors, babysitters, grocery stores, and playgrounds, not to mention a few other salient items, like a place to live.
You see, we are in temporary housing, which, by its nature, is temporary. So, if you are wondering why the quality of my posts as nosedived and why I have not been reading or commenting very much lately, it is because we are busy going to open houses and scheduling viewings. In my quest for good air quality, we have landed ourselves in one of the most pricey parts of a very pricey city. Now, we have had to prioritize in very short order. We need enough space for all five of us, but how much space is enough? Can five people live comfortably in 1400 square feet if three of them are under three feet tall? We don’t know if we will send the children to public or private school, but which elementary school has what we are looking for? We have another six years at this preschool, so how far away are we willing to be? Will we trade five more minutes in the car to and from preschool for an extra 200 square feet of living space?
All we know is that we had better have a little back yard, because one of us plans on spending all day outshide.