24.3.08

Moving.

My life is in boxes. My house has been slowly emptying, room-by-room, and box-by-box. My roommate (not LB, my other roommate!) has moved out most of his things. My parents came and went, taking with them all of the pictures and memories and fragile things that we could not take to Hawaii but couldn’t bear to part with. One of the couches is gone and the other is leaving in a day or so, leaving us with only the floor to sit on as the chairs have already been moved out. Even my plants have found new homes, all except for the one that I’ve had for over 10 years – the one I bought for my college dorm room – that one goes to my dear friend Kristin, for safekeeping. The woman who was going to buy our bed neglected to call this weekend and so, thankfully, we still have a mattress to sleep on until we leave - the extra fifty dollars suddenly taking a backseat to the comfort we seek in our sheets after long evenings of packing and separating, separating and packing...this to Hawaii, that to storage, this to donate, that to toss in the recycling bin or the garbage can...twenty-nine years of accumulation being pared down to only the most important of material things.

My kitchen is packed away, bundled in bubble wrap, coddled by tissue paper and Styrofoam, and taped up - ready to be shipped to Hawaii. Most of my bakeware, my pots and pans and kitchen gadgets, unless exorbantly expensive or very high quality, were given away or sold at our yard sale a week ago. The rest was stored with my parents or went into the 6 uniform cardboard boxes with the U-Haul logo printed on the outside in dark green ink. After our final round of packing tonight, LB will rent a mini-van and haul the boxes to Portland tomorrow to be shipped as freight, arriving a week after we get to the Island. Then, we’ll start the process of cleaning the house, hoping to retrieve as much of our rental deposit as possible, to put towards helping us afford this vastly expensive endeavor. Next weekend, we’ll rent another car (ours will be gone by then – it already belongs to someone else who has graciously offered to let us use it the rest of this week), we'll drive down to San Francisco, California, put our dogs on a plane as “cargo,” and hop on separate flights trekking halfway across the Pacific Ocean to Honolulu, Hawaii.

I hope it all goes well.

Moving is so hard. People keep telling me it is one of the most stressful things we humans go through. I don’t necessarily feel stressed out (more exhausted really), but I know that the increasing ease with which my tears come as I slowly say goodbye to friends that I won’t see again for an indeterminate amount of time is a sure sign that I’m feeling the impact of leaving and this chapter of my life coming to a close.

I know that this is an adventure; a unique experience that will be good for me and open up new opportunities that I never knew existed. It’s a chance to begin again and see what the world has to offer. And, though I haven't said it before on this blog, it’s my last attempt at a job in science – academia anyway. And if I find it isn’t what I want, that it doesn’t enrich my soul or make me excited like it once did, then I know that it will be time to move on to something else. Who knows, perhaps I will no longer be an “accidental” scientist or maybe not even a scientist at all...my forays could lead me to seek a job in the food world. Or, I could fall back in love with science – that complicated companion that has led me through so many ups and downs during graduate school, almost on the verge of quitting more than once. And yet, having given nearly 12 years of my life to it, is so difficult to let go of.

I imagine that I could love coral reefs and the scientific inquiries to be explored within them – that was what I originally set out to do in graduate school, after all. But that remains to be seen – my funding for the job I have there has yet to come through, meaning that the road is wide open and I will have to find a temporary job in the meantime (shhh...I’ve been looking at bakeries and restaurants). I will miss Eugene. I will sorely miss the people here and the community. And of course: the food. This is the town where I found my passion, my love of all things culinary. This is where I fell in love with Pinot Noir, with chanterelles and sweet black truffles, hazelnuts and oysters. This is where I really started cooking (I had only really dabbled before), it’s where I began trying new things in the kitchen and where I started up this little blog (nearly two and a half years ago!). The excitement I feel for a new beginning in Hawaii is tinged with bittersweet sadness. Still, my bags are packed, and the plane leaves in a little less than a week. There’s no turning back now, so I’m trying to face forward with an open mind and an open heart to what Hawaii has to offer.

I know that in a few weeks I’ll be sitting in my new kitchen, opening boxes instead of closing them. I know that my closest friends will be carried with me in my heart and are only a phone call away, and that I will meet new people and make new friends, and that comforts me. And I know you’ll be here, dropping by to say hello and offer support, to see what sort of new culinary adventures Hawaii holds for me – and I’m excited to be able to take you along as I explore my new home.

For those of you in this area, or interested in this area, I leave you in the very capable hands of Culinaria Eugenius – a new food blog here. Go and visit and read about her adventures in her kitchen; she’s sure to keep you entertained and coming back for more about Oregon’s culinary offerings. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I hope you’ll come with me too. The next time I post here will be from Kaneohe, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu – I’m not sure when it will be, but hopefully within a week or two...we’re hoping we have internet access at the house we’ll be renting (just imagine – weekend posts!!).

So, my friends, until then? I’ll see you in Hawaii...

14 comments from you:

linda said...

For some insane reason, I felt a twinge of sadness that you are moving away! Its not like I even know you or live in the same city as you, but I think where you live now has shaped the way you cook and blog and that will change a little when you are in Hawaii. Of course, I look forward to reading about all the new things to be discovered there!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oh Michelle I'm so impressed with the wonderful pull of the good-by and hello of it all AND that this "here" will stay but will reflect the new. What an interesting perhaps unexpectedness of this internet thing.
With or without the science job, it will always be reflected in how you see and reflect the world. It won't be wasted.
The good-by tugs at my heart. The hello lifts my heart. Can't wait to hear all about it.

Eugenia said...

You're going to have a great adventure. We've moved so much over the last ten years -- it's always hard! And especially a move overseas, wow. It sounds like you're doing a great job. I can't wait to see what you'll discover in Hawaii!

Thanks for the link, too. I'll try to keep the home fires burning. Or rather, simmering?

Good luck and bon voyage!

Terril said...

I stumbled across your blog by accident somehow while researching complementary site names to our new business site. Your focus on cooking (panty tickle fights aside) shows some real passion. I am sure you will find vast new things to explore in Hawaii. Much different from the cooler climes of Oregon for sure. So no fantastic varietals in Zin or Pinot Noir. But the fruits and vegetables will delight and surprise for many months if not years. The Hawaiians enjoy food as much or more than anyone, so you should have a great time.

I you need to restock any of the things that were sold prior to the move be sure to look me up. It was the phrase "my bakeware, my pots and pans ,,, were given away ..." that allowed me to discover you and I will be interested to see what you muse about from your new (rented) home.

yogiwan
http://yoursmartkitchen.com

Nerissa said...

I wish you well, my friend. Your post was very moving (pun unintended *s*). Cyberhugs to you.

Ryan said...

If you have time, it'd be great to knock out a bottle of wine with yourself and LB before you take off. If not, enjoy Hawaii and take solace in the fact that while Hawaii may not have much in the way of wine, they produce several pretty killer goat's milk cheeses.

--Ryan @ Marché Provisions

vlb5757 said...

Michelle, I am so excited for you! I have moved all my life and I know all the feelings you have inside about moving. It's a struggle with known vs the unknown. It's a free fall of sorts, but you will have a wonderful landing I am sure. I can't wait to see what HI holds for you both personally and professionally. You and I are moving in different directions. I am moving towards teaching and you are thinking about moving away from it. I have enjoyed food but want to move toward the land and animals. I never thought that I would ever give a thought to being a sheep herder. Life is so full of surprises and we should embrace they with all they have to give. I am putting in my reservation here and now to come and scuba dive with you! Keep a place for me. I will be there sooner or later. Have a great adventure!!!

Ann said...

Moving is always difficult. But you have so many new experiences waiting for you-- and I look forward to reading about them here. Don't wait too long to post and let us know you got there safely!

Michelle said...

Linda, awww...me too! Hopefully Hawaii will help me to grow in new and different ways too, and I'll take a little bit of Oregon with me when I go!

Tanna, it's true - I hadn't realized it until I wrote this post that all of you will still be here with me. I'm so glad!

Eugenia, Thank you! I know you'll be a great resource when I need a little Eugene back in my life while I'm there!!

Yogiwan, So glad that you stumbled across my little blog. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement - I'll take them to heart (and keep you in mind for replacements!).

Nerissa, thanks dear. So good to have you around again - hugs right back at you!!

Ryan, Be careful what you offer, my friend, I might just take you up on it. How about Friday? And I'll have to get the names of those goat cheeses...

Vickie, it's so interesting how life evolves, isn't it? I love that you're embracing whatever comes your way and moves you as you grow and change - what an inspiration. And there is always room for you, you know that!

Ann, So true. I can't wait to tell you about them! I'll post at the first opportunity I have...

Julie said...

Good luck with the move!

As a scientist who is currently grinding my way through grad school and slowly learning to cook, I've greatly enjoyed your blog. I'm looking forward to hearing about Hawaii. Since I live in Alaska and am still dealing with snow, ice, and subzero temps, I'm a little jealous. :)

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Good luck Michelle. Hope the science job comes through soon. Whatever twists and turns the imminent future holds for you, enjoy and have fun with it all. Look forward to hearing all about it.

Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

Like most good things in life, it's going to be an adventure and it's going to be really hard in some ways. I picture myself writing a similar post in a year! I've been behind on emails and blogs lately, so it's exciting to think that by the time you get this, you're settling in your new house or at least hopping on that flight!

Julie said...

I'm one of those people who become very attached to places and hate the idea of moving so I feel for you. But on the other hand, moving to Hawaii just sounds SO exciting!

Somehow I know the whole job situation will work out for the best. And by the way, if you're exploring other options, why don't you look at something that involves writing? You're a natural.

Looking forward to your adventures in Hawaii.

Michelle said...

Sorry about the delayed response to your comments! I'll be running around trying to catch up on what all of you are up to these days too.

---

Julie, thanks for the well-wishes for Hawaii. Where are you located in Alaska and what are you studying? My dad actually lives up there, but I'm spoiled and only visit in the summertime (which I love). Grad school is a great time to learn to cook - I did!! Come to Hawaii with me...

Amanda, thank you! I hope you're doing better these days...

Sally, very true and spoken with true SPA wisdom! I'll keep looking forward and maybe by the time you're moving, I'll have some tidbits to impart to you about your own move!

Julie, aw, shucks. Thanks for the compliment, and the wish for luck in Hawaii. I'll definitely keep writing here and we'll see what happens. Looking forward to having you here with me too...