driving me crazy

The better part of the last two weeks has been spent in my car.

It all started the Thursday after Thanksgiving. Mom and I woke early that morning, finished gathering the last few of my possessions, and set off for Maryland.

We drove straight through, stopping only a few times for fuel for ourselves and the car. It went surprisingly well... until we hit DC.

Having driven in both Manhattan and DC I can say with absolute certainty that I would rather drive in New York any day. DC rush hour was an overwhelming nightmare. Cars swirled every direction, paying no heed to lane lines or other vehicles. Very few vehicles appeared to actually be in one lane at a time. Everyone needed to be in that lane over there and they needed to be there right this very second.

Thankfully we made it out the other side of the traffic storm with only one near accident & having only screamed at each other once (Frack helped, chirping as loud as he could from the backseat).

The rest of the weekend was devoted to moving. Kara even came down from New York to help! There bed deliveries and POD pickups to coordinate, movers to instruct, and supplies to be bought. There were curtains to hang, dishes to wash, and box after box to unpack.

With the family gone, it was time to settle in for my first week at the new job.

In Delaware.

79 miles away.

While my normal office is only 3 miles from my apartment, I had to train in the Wilmington, Delaware office which meant everyday featured a close to 3 hour round-trip commute (and that only includes about 20 minutes spent sitting in traffic--the rest was spent actually driving down the highway).

Thankfully the drive was easy and the people were friendly. Having come from a different office within the company, I thought this one would be the same, just with people doing different jobs.

It isn't.

There are paper cups for the coffee and plastic silverware in case you forget yours. There's ice in the ice maker. There are 3 new flavors of coffee and 2 new teas for the coffee machine.

Sadly that last part does not negate the fact that the coffee made by the machine is just plain terrible. But, hey, at least I have more options for terrible coffee now.

They aren't hyper sensitive about badge swiping at the doors and you can actually enter the floor from the stairwell, instead of being forced to take the elevator.

Sometimes in life, it's the little things that mean the most.

My coworkers were very concerned about my ability to drive in the snow so they insisted that I stay at the Maryland office on my second day.  Secretly I was incredibly grateful; ever since getting stuck in Snow Jam last year, I'm quite leery of inclement winter weather.

Naturally it didn't snow even a flurry that day.

But the next day it snowed. I watched the snow in a panic, wondering if I'd ever make it home.

It took me exactly the same amount of time to get home from work that night.

With the first week under my belt, it was time to get social, which involved even more driving.

After law school, we spread like water to different areas outside of Baltimore so we have to drive between various apartments and houses to see each other. Thankfully we still did just that and I was able to see a good number of friends during my first two weeks back in Maryland.

Week two involved a little less driving but a lot more holiday cheer. I attended an office party in Delaware on Wednesday and one in Maryland on Thursday, both of which featured a gift exchange, with a high percentage of the gifts being alcohol. I wound up with a bottle of vodka and a bottle of apple pie flavored moonshine (yay adulthood!).

More than the new additions to my bar, I enjoyed getting to know my co-workers a little better. It's a good group of people and I'm excited to be a part of the team.

Friday night brought one more get together with my friends while Saturday brought errands upon errands. Medicine needed picked up, oil needed changed. Mass needed attending and suitcases needed packed.

Sunday brought even more driving: I woke up bright & early to head back to Georgia for Christmas. Way back in June I had requested the entire week off and was delighted to learn I had actually been granted my request. So I loaded up the car (again), strapped Frack into the passenger seat, and set off for home.

I am so grateful to be home and to not be driving all over the place. Poor Oliver and I both need a break from the road.

But more than that, I'm so glad I get this time to celebrate the holidays at home with Mom and our dogs. So for the next several days, it's nothing but cookies and downtime and a beautifully decorated Christmas tree.

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