Back to business

Well, it's been a helluva last couple of months to say the least. In the middle of September, my elderly parents asked me to come help them move from North Carolina to Florida. I was planning to continue writing blogs while I was gone but just simply didn't have the energy or time to do it. The entire trip was filled with packing, cleaning, organizing, and working. We barely did much of anything "fun" because there was just so much to do. Plus, I hadn't seen them for about 4 years, and there was a lot of time spent trying to catch up.


For the first part of the trip, I took about a week or two helping pack up the rest of their belongings for the trucks and there was a lot more work to be done than originally had been anticipated. My dad is 75 and considered 100% fully disabled by the VA at this point. My mom is his caregiver and she is still pretty able bodied for being 71 years old. She had done quite a bit of packing over the months prior, but still needed me to come help with the rest. Even going through the pantry items, there was a soup can that dated back to 2008... and I needed to make sure they weren't taking anything like that unnecessarily.


It was finally moving day, and the following day they had to be in Florida to sign the papers for the house. We finally got all the stuff in the house packed in moving containers and began filling the truck with the moving guys at the end of the month. We got the biggest size U-Haul had to offer, but it ended up not being big enough, despite my dad saying that all their stuff had fit into one truck when they moved to North Carolina. My dad is somewhat of a known mini-hoarder and has a hard time letting go of things or buying things and never using them. When presented with the idea that he leaves some of it behind, he wasn't too keen on it. So, everything had to come. There was really only one option for what needed to be done, and that was fill the truck we had, the real estate agent/friend would drive it to Florida over-night, we would rent an additional truck (which I had to drive by myself for the first time in my life) for the rest of the stuff to be filled the next morning, and my parents would get some sleep to then leave at 4am to drive 11 hours to sign the papers for the house. We looked into the docu-sign option, but they had chosen the in-person signature and it couldn't be changed last minute. If they didn't make it in time, then they wouldn't get the house. It was all very stressful, but it needed to be done. So, with 10 minutes to spare before U-Haul closed for the day, we got a truck for me to stay behind and fill while they all drove to Florida in the Prius with the cat and dog. I had some help from a few amazing dudes that honestly kicked ass, but I still helped fill the truck as well.


At this point, I was pretty exhausted having not slept at all the night before because I was so stressed and worried about my parents driving that far, especially with my dad's back. He has degenerative disc disease and currently has about 6 ruptured discs which need another possible surgery for. He was in so much pain the day we filled the first truck, he didn't even know if he was going to be able to take the trip. But we carried on. The second truck was filled by 8am and I took a much-needed nap. I wasn't comfortable having to drive that far in a 20ft truck I'd never attempted to drive before on no sleep, so I took the day to rest and clean the entire house since it was part of their rental agreement to leave it cleaned up. They made it to their appointment to sign the papers with about 30 minutes to spare, but the good thing was, it was done, and I was thrilled.


I woke up at 5am the next morning to pack the rest of the truck with the mattress I slept on, the cleaning items I used and random things around the house and was on the road by 6am. I was still extremely tired but at least had gotten enough sleep for me to make the 10-hour trip to Florida. I stopped at a gas station to grab some road snacks and fill up the tank. I ended up getting a Subway sandwich for my lunch later on but unknowingly it was a terrible decision... Around 10 or 11am I had gotten used to driving the massive truck and started to get hungry. I whipped out the sandwich and I was so excited to eat. I took the first bite and somehow a bit of the creamy sriracha ended up in my eye, a kind of pain I've never felt before this moment. I was convinced that was when I went blind and crashed from a stupid fucking sandwich. It was also burning my mouth so badly, but I still kept eating it because, it was also delicious and Kayrae doesn't waste a perfectly tasty meal even if it was burning the inside of my mouth and eyes.


The drive was actually really beautiful and there was a ton for me to look at. I drove through 3 new states I had never been to before and stopped at a few gas stations along the way to use the bathroom and stretch. Man, I'll tell you, the looks I got from dudes seeing me drive that truck was epically priceless. I still feel badass about it. The cool thing is, there were a few occasions I surprised or impressed myself by doing things I didn't know I could do, but now I know I can and that's a dope feeling. After 10 long hours of car karaoke and trash snacks, I had finally arrived, in one piece thankfully.


We all rested for a day or so, and then had to unpack both trucks into the house in extreme heat and humidity. Everything was so unorganized, containers completely EVERYWHERE. The good news was, they had officially moved in, but the bad news was it was just in time for Hurricane Ian. We had never experienced a hurricane before and already had so much on our plate with very little energy. Along with all of that physical work, we had to prepare for the worst since their new house was directly in the path of the hurricane. We didn't know how bad we would get hit, but still needed to plan for anything. We got some food, water, and alcohol to ride the wave and pass the time if the electricity went out. Luckily, we only got some somewhat strong winds, and a ton of rain but no flooding or winds too bad. The electricity went out for like 3 hours one night but it never fully went out which was great. I think we were far enough inland and surrounded by trees that it was never going to be too bad, thankfully.


Once the drama of the hurricane passed, that's when the real work started. I still needed to work on my music projects, recover from the exhausting trip there, and then help my mom put everything away and organize the mess of the house. I spent about a week straight working on music, as well as a few random additional days while I was there. I was already so behind on work that I still have projects I need to catch up on. The rest of the time, I was organizing everything with my mom, since that is one of my strong suits. She was so very stressed about everything and needed her space to be put back together in order for her to be able to think straight. She and I worked together figuring out where everything should go in the house, or to be taken out for storage in the garage. Once the inside of the house was done, she and I moved onto the chaos of the garage. We took about a day to build the shelves, and 2-3 days to organize everything. That was very exhausting too, but we had to get it done so they could fit their new gigantic riding mower into the garage with the car. The before and after of that space was incredible and something I'm proud of. I wanted them to be able to find things easily and not be consumed by clutter or disarray.


My dad has been having some issues with his heart for a few years now, and he ended up having to go to the VA for about 4 days from having elevated BPM and chest pains. I was left at home alone during that time and it was a nice break of solitude for me, but I was also very worried about my dad the whole time so it wasn't very relaxing at all. I tried to work on music a bit, but just couldn't focus the way that I wanted to and didn't feel very creative because of it. Thankfully, his new doctor in Florida changed some of his medications and he is doing much better now than he was before.


Along with the physical work, I also helped them with some phone and computer things that were desperately needing to get done. Switching over addresses, updating card info, handling document submissions, things of that nature. They are getting older, and I don't like seeing them stressed about things which can affect their health, so my goal was to try and make it as easy as possible for them to transition over from the move. I did my absolute best with the time I had with them.


Besides all the stress and exhaustion, I did manage to do and see some cool stuff. The bugs in Florida are WILD. Biggest and most I've ever seen and some are scary as hell. So many black widows since their house is out in a rural area with like 5 acres of property. We had to knock down a ton of eggs to make sure they didn't multiply. I also saw a widow trying to kill and capture a centipede which was epic. Their new neighbors are pretty cool too. The man is very similar to my dad, being a vet, almost the same age. We got to say hello to their horses and menagerie of dogs and cats. I got to try fried alligator for the first time and it was fucking delicious. We went to the beach once and I also went on a few walks to help my stress levels and to get some vitamin D. Being outside in the country was definitely healing and much needed with all the chaos happening around me. I do a lot of self-work trying to manage my anxiety and stress, so being out of that and in this whirlwind of doing so much for someone other than myself was a lot to deal with.


I've been home in LA for about a week, and finally think I've settled myself back in. I missed my pup so badly while I was gone and I definitely drank and ate way too much while I was in Florida but now that I'm home, I'm happy to get some time for myself and bring my stress levels back down so I don't feel the need to self-medicate. I started going to the gym again, following IF protocol and eating clean which has helped immensely. I also haven't smoked weed for about 2 months now which is crazy. I haven't gone that long without it for the last 8 years of my life and I want to work on myself without it as a crutch to get through anxiety or stress. I'm actually doing a lot right now to try and fix some fucked up shit in my life or things I don't like about myself so that I can be and feel my best. I'm still behind on work and kind of broke from not being able to focus on my projects but I'm working hard to change all that and hold myself accountable. I'm thankful for the extended time I got to have with my parents though and will cherish the memories (no matter how exhausting or stressful) because time is going by so fast the older I get and I know I don't have much time with them left all things considered. I hope I can go visit them again once I work a bunch and catch up on life so that the next trip will be able to be enjoyed much more. But for now, it's back to business, onward and upward.

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