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A Tale of Setting Our Roots

By Beth Yoon

he Prologue. When my husband and I first met, we were what you might want to call modern day gypsies. We moved all of the time, never staying in an apartment longer than the one year lease. We went from the city, to the mountains and back to the city. We were engaged in Telluride, Colorado after a day of snowboarding and we were married in the evening by tiki-tourch in Boca Raton, Florida. One year later we had our son in New York City. Directly after having him, I felt an intense desire to “set some roots”, and stop moving around without attachments to any one place. I wanted to have a place to set up some family borders. I wanted a home for myself and my family to create traditions and many, many memories.

This is the comical tale of our adventure of setting our roots.

Finally, after years of searching and contemplating….after years of tossing pros and cons….after years of living in apartments and moving at the end of each lease… we have finally bought and moved into our first home.

I was so excited the day we moved in. This was going to be the first day of the rest of our lives. We moved out of our apartment in New York City and into our beautiful home in up-state New York. Ahhh… the fresh country air. I could almost see the wonderful parties we would have, pumpkin carving in the fall, the fire-place always lit in the winter and of course, croquet in the summer. I even imagined my husband and I sitting outside when we’re older and our son bringing friends home to visit from college (he is only 3 now). It was a page cut right from a Pottery Barn catalogue. There it was, all in front of us, I had the seed in my hand and I was, on that first day, planting it. Our roots were about to be set. The ground however, had other plans for our “roots” and within hours my storybook became not so “storybook”.

It started with the first sneeze. Somehow, my son and I were very allergic to the fresh air that I thought would be so great. I suddenly felt like we were living smack in the middle of a “Zyrtec” for allergy commercial. “OK” I thought, “we can deal with this, it’s just a trip to an allergist.” I made an appointment for the following week and went forth with our move.

Still optimistic, I killed my first really big spider. Then another, and another. Then came the ants. We also found out that bats lived in our garage and attic. Great. The exterminator was called. We waited until his appointment which was not for another week….we waited….and we killed. Fabulous, we were now killers. Again, I thought “OK” everything is fine and on I went. I was a sneezy, bug killer - but still, I marched on.

After all was unpacked and we were now producing a huge pile of dirty clothes. I thought, “what a great time to test my washer and dryer.” I lugged a huge load of my favorite Juicy Couture sweats and Banana Republic shirts down to the basement for the first washing. Did I mention that our basement had a huge leak and there were now about ten men from a basement water-proofing company that had set up camp down there? How could I have forgotten to mention that? After all, they woke us each morning by jack-hammering under our heads. In go the clothes, detergent and turn of the knob. One hour later I took out my clothes to find not only lint like substance all over everything but also the washer had ripped the “J” off of my “Juicy” sweat pants. They now say “uicy”. Great, I am now a sneezy, “uicy” sweat pant wearing, bug killer who is covered in lint and awakened each morning with a jack hammer. Still, on I march. I am determined to set these roots.

Another funny thing which baffled us was that our home was custom built in 1991 and yet the folks who built it did not install central air conditioning. Perhaps at that point in time global warming was not having the effect that it does presently. Suffice it to say that on top of it all, we were very, very hot. Sneezy, “uicy” bug killers and HOT!

This was certainly not turning out to be what I thought. A huge part of me wanted to run, run…. RUN… back to the city. Where was the fresh air feeling? Where were the neighbors popping by with baskets of freshly baked muffins? Where was my game of croquet? Instead of answering these questions, I just kept unpacking. Until…. After reaching to pull the blinds up one beautiful morning I got a shooting pain from my shoulder blades all the way up into the back of my head and was absolutely unable to move my neck. It was now obvious to me that this house must be trying to kill me or at least get me and my family to move out of it. I thought about this as I sat on the couch with a moist heating pad on my neck, in the blazing heat of summer with no air conditioning. I sneeze. I kill some bugs. I pick some of the lint off of my “Uicy” sweat pants. But, on I went. I was going to set these roots!

I thought for sure things could only get better. Nah. After two weeks in the house my son had to be rushed to the emergency room due to a swollen lip…cause unknown. At 1:30 in the morning and with muscle relaxers sufficiently in my system we hopped into our new car, trusting our GPS system, lovingly named Betty, to get us to the closest hospital. She did just that (thanks Betty). 15 minutes and about 12 missed deer later, we arrived. My son is fine but that was not the way I intended to research the local medical community. The End. Ohhh wait, there is an Epilogue…

So, after all is said and done, it is one month later, the allergies have been treated, the basement is dry and I wash all of my clothes on the gentle cycle. The “pests” are, for the most part, outside and my son is doing just great. We now even have a cuter than cute little puppy for him to run around with and the company installing our central air conditioning is almost finished. Thanks to some physical therapy I can once again move my neck. At last… I can almost begin to revisit my storybook. I think that the ground is becoming more accepting to our roots and they are about to start growing. I also now wake up to the sound of beautiful birds out side of my window and I lay there and think, bring on the pumpkins, the fireplace and the croquet and hmmm…maybe today I will pop by my neighbors with a basket of freshly baked muffins. These roots are not so bad and it’s just the beginning.

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