Ever wondered what it's like to live in the Pacific Northwest? Nicole Locke gives us a peek into her new neck of the woods...
Well, it’s 2018 and I can officially say I’ve been in the Pacific Northwest for a year. My husband and I lived here eleven years ago, but my children have grown up solely in London.
So we sold them on this region. The large house with a yard so there’s space to play and plant things. The mountains where we could ski and hike. The beach, where we could scavenge for sea shells, kayak, and get our feet wet. And we’d get a pet. Having lived in a flat in London, and with all our travelling, we could never justify a dog. Now we could have one as big as a house.!
Except... Except, we’ve done none of those things.
It’s the day to day bits of life that have kept us busy. The setting up and maintenance of the house, the kids adjusting to school, my husband’s new work. But mostly… Mostly, it was me.
2017 was the year I missed. Missed writing in my old café, missed my friends, the life we had in London. All of it. I won’t gloss over the truth, it’s been difficult, and I continue to struggle. It’s been a year and I still have boxes to unpack and furniture to buy. Thus far nothing is hung on the walls, and I can’t seem to decide on what microwave I want. Silly, I know, but I hate shopping and the sheer amount of shopping I’ve had to do has taken its toll. I have a serious condition of shuddering when I walk pass department store windows—except at Christmastime when I beg to look at the windows!
There is beauty here, something that my battered soul can recognise, and I’ve had glimmers of it. If I look outside my windows, I have views of Mount Rainier and Puget Sound. I can see ferry boats, tug boats and whales.
I’ve certainly experienced loads of visits from family and friends. I’ve made trips around the local sights such as Pike Place Market for fish and crumpets—yes, that’s a combo. The Space Needle and Chihuly Gardens. Numerous trips to the Flight Museum—it’s close, and I can write there—and the occasional trip to the aquarium and Spice Market.
But the moments that have kept me chugging along are those with my family, and their accomplishments. My son entering an American High School, and the strides he’s taken with the different culture and academics. His volunteer work at the library teaching math to little kids.
My daughter is embracing all the classes available to her. She’s participated in ukulele, circus acts, water colouring, drumming, girls rock, math classes. She’s joined her neighbourhood orchestra, and the Seattle Youth Orchestra. Most days I get greedy, and ask her to play more of her violin, which even with the squeaks and missed notes brings me more joy than listening to the most perfectly played piece.
As for all the promises of things we’ll do when we got here? Well, lately I’ve been trying for that as well. For months, I’ve been putting in application after application for a rescue dog—all to no avail, which perplexes my children and me to no end. I think I’m filling them out right…
And in 2018, I hope to capture more beauty, and eventually find a dog. I desperately hope my heart will ease. I won’t ever not miss London or my friends, but I want to find joy here as well.
Nicole Locke’s latest book Reclaimed By the Knight, is up for pre-order now and comes out this summer.
You can find out more about Nicole on her website, or follow her on Facebook, and Twitter .
Have you had difficulty settling into a new home or a year you simply missed? Tell us in the comments or join the discussion on this subject on our Social Media.