Monday, July 9, 2012

Leaving a Test Strip Trail to New Territory

In my defense of woefully belated posts, last month my husband and I picked up our family of five and made the life-changing move from Texas (where we resided for almost 15 years) to Idaho. It was an enormous undertaking, one I'm sure many of you can relate to: packing up and shuttling all that accumulates in a 2400 sq ft house; garage sales and donations of what we don't want to schlep along; transferring schools, utilities, doctors.Tears as we said goodbye to friends, excitement as we embarked on a new adventure. Add to that the fact that it's teenagers' lives we were upending...

As we traveled the 1300 miles across desert plains and mountains, I am horrified to think we might have left a trail of test strips in our wake. Picture Hansel and Gretel on their quest through the forest leaving breadcrumbs to find their way back. Then contrast that with my family--four out of five, type-1 diabetic--heading into semi-unknown territory leaving a trail of diabetic test strips as we traveled. As much as I try every day to keep them tucked into trash bags when spent, it seems the pesky little things end up everywhere--in couch cushions, the lint screen of the dryer, near the dumpster in the alley. I'm constantly trying to vacuum them out of my van--you can tell by my picture that I probably won't be able to ever get rid of two more because they're lodged in there in such a way that even an Operation game expert couldn't extricate them.

I know for a fact, I'm not the only one with this problem. One evening as we rode the elevator to our hotel room, I saw a test strip on the floor. Since it wasn't the same brand that we use, I knew it wasn't ours, and I had to laugh. However, if you come across one anywhere in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, or Idaho, you just might want to leave it there as a way for us to retrace our steps, should the need arise.

Not that I don't like our new home, community, and state. But I am finding some things are a little different. For example, I don't know what it is with Idaho and Pepsi! It's like the whole state has a contract and I'm starting to get a little paranoid--it's not a personal vendetta against me, right? (No, diet Pepsi not okay! I want to tell the waitress/cashier, store owner.) Seriously, how exactly does a national chain like Wendy's all of the sudden switch from carrying Coke products when you cross the state line? There is something gravely wrong with that.

One thing I do kind of's nice to be able to understand what people are saying when they use the word "oil" in a sentence, still, I thought there was supposed to be a distinct difference between the pronunciation of "sill" and "seal." Sometimes I miss the Texas accent I was never able to pick up, but there are some fun quirks here, too, k? (Yes, that's one of them.)

Within a couple of weeks of being in Idaho, I was starting to feel homesick and actually started to tear up when I saw the Lone Star state's bold flag flying--level with the American flag, of course--over Texas Roadhouse and had to talk my husband into dinner there, just so I could get a little feeling of home. I'm also trying to figure out a way to keep my old Texas driver's license (and remember my college roommate having the same dilemma), but I can't seem to find a way around having to relinquish it sometime in the near future.

Yet here we are, mostly settled (no, that paintbrush is not stowed away yet), and honestly, we do love it here. Although it's about a 100 degrees today, we still have green grass, raspberries ripening daily on our backyard bush, and friendly people just like Texas. Is there any way to claim dual citizenship? Well, at least I have my test strip link to follow...unless some janitor has come through behind us....