People always say that moving is one of the most stressful of all life events. I tend to laugh when I hear that because, for us, our list of Top 5 most stressful life events include things like cancer, chronic pain, a child with special needs, and a house burning down. Moving is a comparative walk in the park. Well, maybe it’s a comparative cross fit session in the park with scary people like Jillian Michaels shouting at you. I’m not sure she’s human.
The last time I wrote about our move, everything had kind of gotten upside down. I had no idea that thing were about to get really interesting in a “Hey, the seatbelt on this rollercoaster looks a little broken” kind of way.
In the month leading up to the move, I recovered from the flu, got Greg recovered from the flu, had a relapse of the flu, and Greg had a relapse of the flu. All the while packing and organizing and trying so very hard to stay on top of all the details. I discovered exactly how many details there are when trying to manage a rental house in another state, keep the house we were living in show ready at all times, leave the house in sub-zero weather whenever we needed to (which turned out to be 17 times) so that the rental agency could show the house, wrap up all our medical files (of which there are many), get Jake’s schooling and special needs info from one school to the next, sort every single thing out for throwing away, donating, or packing. Those are a just a few of the details. I actually had a huge binder with over 50 pages of things that had to get done. I was crazy prepared, but I just couldn’t foresee everything that happened.
There were some super stressful things that happened in the week before the move, but all of that doesn’t even matter anymore. And, I can’t remember it anymore. Oh, the blessings of a bad memory! Oh, wait. I DO remember getting bit by a dog on our farewell journey to our favorite park. That was dumb.
Moving Day arrived and I was so ready. In fact, I was ready the night before. See?
I woke up at 5, walked the dogs, and then began to take apart and pack the last bit of stuff before the movers arrived. I got Jake off to school and rushed back to the house, hoping that they hadn’t gotten to the house before me.
Then, I waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. The movers finally arrived over four hours late. Their truck broke down, so it really wasn’t anybody’s fault, but it put our whole day very behind. The actual moving out went fine and was done fairly quickly.
Since our washing machine had been donated a few days before the final packing, I was in desperate need of laundering everything that would be packed in the car for the trip. As the movers left, we waved goodbye to our stuff and I grabbed Jake and we walked out to get to the laundromat.
At which point, Lucy lost her mind. My poor sweet dog saw us put all our stuff on a truck and then walk out the front door. I can only imagine that she thought we were abandoning her. I realized very quickly that it was going to be torture for her if I left her in that state, so I changed my mind and brought everything back in, with the plan to do laundry the next morning.
Evening went fine, we all slept fine, I got Jake off to school and got our laundry done just in time. I went back to start packing the trunk. And realized I had made a gigantic tactical error. I had way too much stuff for our trunk. I have a mild form of dyslexia and the very cool part of that deal is that I can see things in 3D. I can see what will fit where without having to pack and unpack and repack it all. I can close my eyes and see how it will all fit together. For the first time ever, my superpower totally and utterly failed me.
About an hour before I was supposed to be leaving to get Greg from work and get on the road, I realized my only choice was to mail all those lovely clean clothes to our new address. With more than a few tears and swears, I threw all my clothes into my freshly unpacked trunk, threw an irritated Jake into his carseat and headed for the post office.
We rushed in to the post office to find out that the only boxes that would work for our stuff had to be purchased in advance, unlike the flat rate boxes I use all the time. I grabbed three and jumped into line. Sensing an impending crisis, the cash register shut down and refused to start for twenty of the longest minutes of my life. I tried not to scream or cry, finally paid for my boxes and ran out to the car. I stuffed my nicely folded clothes into boxes, praying that Greg would forgive me later for the state of his work clothes. I packed three boxes, taped them shut and realized I had a huge problem. I couldn’t carry all the boxes in by myself, nor could I leave any boxes on the curb or in the post office by themselves.
I proceeded to pray with desperation something along the lines of, “Um, hey. So, this day has kind of sucked. (Don’t worry, God is used to my language. I’ve said far worse to Him and He still loves me.) I really need actual people to show up and help me. I can’t do this one by myself.”
I turned to look for help and saw one of the largest men, hairiest men I’ve ever seen in my life. He looked a little frightening, but I figured since he showed up right after I prayed, I was supposed to ask for help. I croaked out something intelligent about needing help carrying boxes and he said he was happy to help. I handed him the heaviest box and went to pick up the other two and he told me to stop it and two other huge dudes showed up. So, flanked by my massive and helpful angels, I made it into the post office with everything I needed. (As an aside, every time I’ve ever prayed for physical help in an emergency kind of situation, guys that could star in Duck Dynasty show up. I must be assigned some very different guardian angels. I like them.)
If you look closely, you can see blood on the boxes from where my skin finally gave out after being attacked by my tape gun.
I paid for the boxes and said a final goodbye to the nicest person to ever grace a post office job and ran home. I wanted so much to have a final “moment” at our house. I really loved living there, but when it came down to the end, I yelled “thank you” to it, shut the door, and rounded everyone up to get out of town.
I raced over to Greg’s work and prayed that nobody had given Greg anything larger than a paperclip as a goodbye present, since nothing else was going to fit into the car. We had a few very hard goodbyes there, but only an hour and a half late, we hit the road.
The sun was setting behind Pikes Peak and even though it was dark and cloudy, it was a beautiful goodbye. The tears started as I said goodbye to the hills that have been the backdrop for every run, hike, walk, bike ride, park trip with Jake, every everything for the last four years. Just when I thought I had it under control, the song Bless the Lord came on the radio.
For the last year, that has been “our song”. I sing it to Jake almost every night and it’s one of those songs that has made it’s home in our lives. It was so fitting and timely that it came on as we closed one chapter and started another.
“The sun comes up, it’s a new dawning. It’s time to sing Your song again. Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me. Let me be singing when the evening comes.
Bless the Lord, oh my soul. Oh, my soul, worship His Holy name. Sing like never before, oh, my soul. I’ll worship Your Holy name.”
It was perfect.