Now before you continue reading, it's not all that exciting. Trust me. It's not stuff a Danielle Steele book would be made of, nor is it the makings of some hot and steamy Harlequin Romance. It's just your average, ordinary, living-away-from-my-husband, living-away-from-my-daughter, living-WITH-my-2-sons, working and living in one place, living in a different place when I'm off work.
Doesn't that sound ordinary? Yeah.
A little background for those that don't know (although I'm not sure how you wouldn't because if you read this blog probably know me and you are well aware of the job I have, or at least the hours required to do it) I am a shift worker. I work 12-hour shifts and rotate between nights and days. I work on a 6-week rotation: start at the beginning, work all these crazy shifts, am off for a couple of weeks, then start the whole 6-week cycle over again. So while I am on shift I work and live in one place with my sons. Then when I am off work for my 2-1/2 week "long change" I travel to a place 2 hours away and live with my husband and my daughter....here...in this cute LITTLE house.
There they are, my husband and daughter and our little dog, all happy and giddy in that cozy little house. We call it the vacation home because, well, I'm basically on vacation while I'm there. I don't work and pretty much just lounge around while my wonderful husband waits on me hand and foot. We go for walks in the morning after my daughter leaves for school. And we visit this wonderful little drive-through coffee place that wrote down my own special coffee concoction on one of their cards after MANY trips, adjusting and tweaking until it was JUST RIGHT.
It's all the wonderful things a small town is made of. Where the neighbors say "hello" as you walk down the street. A place where a 10 minute drive gets you from one end of town to the other even if you hit all 9 traffic lights red on Main Street. Where there are only about 9 more traffic lights in town besides Main Street. Where people drive at a pace that makes your stress level subside and you finally ask yourself, "What *is* the big hurry?" Where some of our most interesting evenings are spent on the front porch listening to the crazy whack job across the street talk on her phone outside while she tells her friends about her medical issues that we would rather not know about. (Ummmm....she's seriously loud! Can you say, "TMI"?) Where the guy working at the local garden shop knows my husband's first name because he goes there so often for plants/flowers/gardening stuff....the likes of which I know nothing about because my thumb is completely brown. Seriously look at this picture of the front porch. It's all him.
Have you seen that many plants on the front porch of a 44 year old biker dude? Seriously? Yeah. I've seen it on my Grandma's porch and that's about it.
I love it there. I really, really do.
And I would love to be there permanently. I really, really would.
My husband and I jokingly refer to our situation by our pet names. He is my bee-otch and I am his candy mama....meeting up every 3 weeks in our little vacation home, drinking coffee, watching movies, gardening (well, HE gardens and I sit on the porch drinking coffee watching him) and living the "high life". Well, as much as you can live the high life in a town with a population of 14,000.
So I've probably peaked your curiosity about why we are in this situation. Or not. But I'll tell you anyway because after 9 months of living this secret double life it's getting slightly old and spewing it forth on the computer makes it more manageable. Or less horrible. Or less true because I can add the idiot factor called "Cheri-ism" and it's seems more like make believe.
It all started when my sweet daughter started getting harassed and bullied her first month of high school. I lived through the drama with my boys. Tired of it. Very. Tired. So I yanked her out of school after these mean chicks followed her off campus to her non-school related activities. I drove her up to her Grandma's house the very next day, enrolled her in the very high school that my husband and I met and graduated from, and drove back home to continue life as "normal". And thus began spending my "long-change" 2 hours away from where I worked/lived. That was almost 2 years ago...20 months to be exact.
Then my husband lost his job due to a disability last June. He moved up where my daughter was living.....before she and her grandmother went down in a fight likely to mimic the WWF. "Let's get ready to rummmm-bllllllleeeee!!" Seriously. I mean, they got along great and my mom loved having another person in the house. For awhile. But then she realized she had agreed to a teenager living in her house, not a person. Then the generation gaps became like canyons and it was time for her to live with a parent. It naturally became my husband since he had lost his job. And Grandma was made whole again. And their relationship is better and more loving because of it.
And so here we are. 9 months later with one failed job interview, one crumbling housing market, several holidays and weeks of lurking on the job listing website for the one company I could do my specialized job at in the town where I really, really want to be.
Living my secret double life.
That's not really a secret.