Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Stress of Stress

I want to apologize for not following up as frequently as I would like on my blog.  I'm down to the last day of clearing my house before the movers come, coordinating moving the three animals, and getting myself ready for traveling. First week of April, I shall be back on the blog train again to share this experience with everyone.

Thanks for your patience.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

It Gets the Best of Us, Sooner or Later Part 1

My aunt  passed away on Monday of lung cancer.  Bringing the total count of family deaths from cancer in the last 18 months to three.  My family isn't that big to begin with and every little death is increasing the number on the other team.

I bring this up because death and illness tend to shatter bi-national couples.  They have  most certainly  done a number on my relationship with Alison if you consider I came back to the States 20 months ago to take of my Mom dying of skin cancer and never returned to England.

I called Alison about my Aunt Nancy passing she said, "I don't mean any disrespect and I hate to say this, but I'm glad you were out there when she died."  And yes, I was too. And I feel guilty about it. Grossly disgustingly guilty. Alison said the same thing when my step mom, Leslie, died last year of breast cancer. Again, I was "happy" to be back in the States. Again, I was grossly disgustingly guilty.  I'm sure the hell not happy they died, but I'm happy to be with my family under these caustic circumstances.

The feeling of relief  I was around when they passed intermingles with guilt of them dying to begin with.  Would I rather they live longer and I would be settled in England? Would I rather they pass quickly and I'm in the States?  I can't change outcomes, but these selfish human questions linger in my head like the stale stench of  liquor after a night on the town.

Cost: No monetary amount can ever equal the loss of a beloved family member or friend, nor can it express itself  in terms of being present with family for support and to be supported.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bidding Serra Adieu

Today, I'm jumping to the very present, move #2 to the UK.  I am in current keep of three precious pets.  Once, lovingly my mom's, now mine.  Their's is a journey tied into mine.  I can not take three four-legged buddies over to England with me.  Though, my cat, McCormack resides in England, whose travels I will explore in a later blog.

Presently, Serra, the 10 year old tabby, is heading off to San Francisco.  She's pretty chill about the whole deal.  She digs San Francisco, the salty air, the fog.  Born in the hills of Virginia City, NV. she became a regular at my mom's bar, Maynard Station.  She had her own bar stool, her own milk mug.  A tough kitty life needs to be washed down with a little nectar of the gods.  Now, years later, if she was a human, she'd sit in front of the fire with her feet propped up, top button of her pants unbuttoned...snoozing.

Here's to you Serra! Safe journeys!

(Side note:  She's headed out to live with my aunt in the most loving environment)

Cost of  this pet move:  Approximately $193 for the cargo ticket  (AA Cargo)  These guys are very easy to  work with.  $46 for her Health Certificate, a must need for flying.  $75 for her rabies/checkup for the flight. $25 for her kennel.
Total: $339

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

3470 miles (5585 km)

This is the distance between the United States and England.

I visited England for the first time in March of 2006. Um, side note here, I AM a mountain girl, at heart. My winters in Colorado, consumed with snowboarding and snow shoeing, my face buried in the stinging crisp snow many, many I'm used to the cold.....American Cold, that is.  The trip to England in March about did me in, it was beyond freaking arctic! Alison and I half heartedly joked around about me moving out.  Besides civil unions being legal  the idea of me moving across the pond made more sense. Alison owned a house, established in her career, while mine as a massage therapist was in it's infancy stage.  I needed the adventure, it's not everyday a gal from Denver gets a chance to unhitch the horse to move abroad!

Thus the first move begins.

One would think, moving to a country where the bond between two nations is absolutely stellar and the English language is spoken (at least, I thought English was spoken until I moved to Yorkshire) wouldn't be tough. I figured all would be fine and dandy. I transitioned myself to Denver from Kentucky, had numerous apartments in my 17 years of Colorado living, what could be so difficult about moving to England?  HA!  I scoff at the sweetolicious smell of my naivety! Try getting a "partnership visa" in the States, try asking simple questions about this new visa being offer. I dare you.

Where does one begin?  One word, very, very easy. "Google."   Google knows everything.  Sometimes, I wish I could have contacted people directly at Google as opposed to the British Embassy in Los Angeles.

The cost of my Settlement Visa: $933.  The lesson here, start saving your pennies. 

The cost of asking seemingly  "simple"  Visa questions: $2.90 a minute.  The lesson here, the government is screwing you, me, and anyone who needs help with following the laws of traveling abroad.

Deadline: March-ish

This week has been filled with the bliss of moving stress.  I am remodeling the house to be rented out (try going without a toilet for a month), while packing, coordinating 3 pets getting shipped to California, and running my own business.  I will get the next blog up in a couple of days, however the room where the computer resides is getting drywalled.

This is all part of the experience....

Saturday, January 23, 2010

1 year, 6 months, 7 days

556 days. 79 weeks. 48,038,400 seconds.
The precious amount of  time Alison, my wife and I have been living apart.

I've decided to undertake, in the internetual lands, the obligation I feel I have to explain how extremely taxing it is to be a binational couple of the same sex: The tribulations of being accepted in one country, lovely England,  but not the other, ahem... United States, along with  the daily occurrance of what it is taking to bring us together again and the cost which surrounds this gigantic undertaking.

Here's the basics:  Alison is English (though she only claims her Irish side), I'm American.  We met in 2005 online.  I was totally infatuated with the L Word and hung out in a fan-based chat room, at that time.  I met women from all over the world, devoured their experiences of being women who loved women.  Boy, I thought I had it good compared to these ladies! It soon changed, for better and worse. 

The Irish (as I call Alison) happened to be online one day.  Our relationship began with a snippy comment from me "I always wanted to do an Irish chick."  We chatted for hours.  As our friendship online unfolded, Alison asked if she could call me. "Sure". She called. I screened her.  I was scared to death of actually talking with her, but yet completely infatuated with her accent on that message she left!  Long story short, I picked up the phone,eventually.  We talked for hours upon a time.  Alison made her way over to Denver for a visit.  She stayed with me for three weeks.  I never allowed a  man or woman in my apartment longer than a night!  We fell head over heels for each other.  Alison, to this day is the only one who has been able to tame this beast we call, Kelly.  

Five months into our relationship she asked, "If we could, would you?" I looked at her inquisitively. She handed me a box, a ring inside.  I said, yes, of course, not paying attention to the ramifications of the distance between us, the pesky small details like when we would see each other again, or how we could even manage to make a long distance......a very very very long distance relationship work.

To my amazement ,utter shock, and an "Oh hell, what am I going to do now?"  December 2005 England legalized civil partnerships.

This is where the adventure begins.......