The Emigration To California: Prologue


Several weeks have passed since the mini-apocalypse crashed what was otherwise a manageable life, and I remember it all, despite my efforts to forget, or at least remember it differently.

First of all, the greatest thing ever happened.  That was the start of my troubles.

My daughter, Aliena Evelyn Gaines, was born exactly on her due date.  As labors go, you couldn’t ask for an easier time.  Quick and complication-free.  Magnificent.

Details here are disgusting, so I’ll wrap up that topic by mentioning that for the last three months, she’s been a bright and shiny star, just the absolute cutest and most well-behaved baby the world has ever known.  This is not an exaggeration.

The very next thing that happened was the second greatest thing I could have asked for, and that was really when things turned horrible.  Literally ten days after she was born, I got hired by Edmunds.com and was given about three weeks to pack up and move from Chicago to Southern California.  When you say it nonchalantly, it doesn’t sound like a hard thing to do, but keep in mind a) I had a job still that I wanted to give two weeks’ notice for, so I had two weeks of still working to take time away from getting ready to do any prep work at all for a big move, and b) I had a brand new baby to figure out.

So.  Three weeks.  Two weeks at work, and an estimated four days on the road.  New baby, very little sleep.  Friends to bid farewell to.  Utility accounts to close.  A hoarders’ apartment’s worth of closets to sort out.  Biggest heat wave the eastern half of the US has seen in a decade.

Stressful?  Yes.

Exciting?  Also yes.

Obstacles?  Bring ‘em on, I thought, I’ll kick their ass.

I probably only thought this because of the sleep deprivation.  I had no idea what was coming.

Spoiler alert: I did kick their ass.  I moved my new little family out to Southern California.  We made it.  But it took a whole team of pro-Gaines vigilantes and technicians, and I owe the splendor of my new life to some people who may never fully realize how amazing they are for it.

Next: “We gotta get outta this place, if it’s the last thing we ever do!”

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