Five years ago we drove a rented Ford Explorer through the Holland Tunnel, down Canal Street and across the Brooklyn Bridge. It was 2:00 in the morning and the car was so filled with our belongings that there was hardly room for three-month-old Simon.
We found our apartment, found a place to park, and spent the next hour hauling all of our stuff up two flights of stairs that looked and felt as though they might crumble under our weight. We were soaked through with humidity induced sweat when we finally collapsed on the floor to sleep.
The next day we drove to IKEA, bought a bed, a couch a crib, a table and chairs, a couple of bookcases. We assembled our furniture. We started unpacking. That night a thunderstorm rolled in. I woke up with a start that night at the sound of thunder.
In the morning we braved New York City traffic to return our rental car, then descended into the subway to find that tunnels were flooded, trains were behind schedule, and we were entirely overwhelmed by the prospect of getting home. Our branch president and his wife visited us later that day. “Buy yourselves a couple of fans,” they said as we all sat sweating in our air-conditionless apartment. I had never been so miserably sweaty in my entire life. The humidity was unreal.
But we survived. And even thrived. Since then we’ve moved twice, added two more kids to our family, held a couple of full-time jobs and freelanced for periods as well.
We’ve trained for races and pushed our kids countless times around Prospect Park training for those races. We’ve cursed public transportation (and our reliance on it) and thanked our lucky stars that we don’t need a car.
We’ve tromped through piles of snow and felt the shake of an earthquake. We’ve worked through a graduate program and attempted to navigate the New York City school system (jury’s still out on whether we’ve succeeded or not).
The thought of leaving this place is both a dream and a nightmare. But whichever it is when that time comes, we’ll be glad for the time we’ve spent here.