Whew, this might be my longest blog absence. My apologies. I don't think I anticipated how much that move was going to take out of me, and how quickly the week or so after it would fly by. Here's a quick rundown, just so I can feel caught up:
It took my Dad plus ten people, give or take, to load a 14' Uhaul 3 times with our furniture and remaining boxes and get it all crammed into our 10x20 storage unit, in about 4 hours total. I don't know what we would have done without all that help from the amazing guys (and girls) that Don worked with at the Station. The cheerful generosity of these people was really wonderful.
My mom helped with the kids and the cleaning, and helped me from going insane. It was touch and go for awhile. I was disappointed with myself, because I did SO much packing ahead of time, and felt SO prepared for this, and yet it still ended up being a chaos of "whose stuff IS this??" at the very end. Not a fun feeling for an in-control person.
Somehow I managed to get all those last things out of the house the next morning in time for our 9:00 inspection and check-out from the housing office. I filled the garbage can twice (thank goodness it was trash day). I gave away Amy's cardboard house. I left the pumpkin on the neighbor's door step (trick or treat!). I threw out a lot... and that hurt, too, even though it was nothing major. I hate waste, and I hated that panicked feeling of knowing that I simply couldn't take it all with us.
I drove away from our house with my kids' carseats crammed full. No visibility. Hand-truck tied (poorly) to the roof of the Subaru. Three cats in carriers in the back. One half-full fish tank. Got weird looks from the gate guard on my way onto base to give my keys to the housing office. Went to the UPS store to ship some stuff home to make room in the car for, um, my kids. Went back to storage and with A LOT of prayers, made those last few things fit. Gassed up the car and picked up Mom and Amy and William from the hotel. Drove 7 hours to CT running on pure stress and adrenaline, and swearing the whole time I am never doing that again.
Oh, and to top it all off - my parents drove down just before that huge snowstorm slammed Connecticut. So they hear from the neighbors while we are in Maryland that the power is off, trees are everywhere, it's worse than Irene, etc etc. Sunday afternoon, before leaving on Monday, we go to Lowes to buy a generator, which my dad takes back ahead of us on Monday morning, while I was doing all the check-out stuff.
By the way, the maintenance man who did my inspection could hardly believe we'd been in the house for 3.5 years - he said up and down how clean and well-maintained it was. Thank you very much!!
The other bright spot of the super-stressful weekend was how GOOD and go-with-the-flow my sweet kids were through all the upheaval, topped off with a long car ride. Little freakin' angels.
The best thing in the entire world was arriving home to a warm fire, a house partially-lit thanks to the new generator, and being all together. We made the trip, the move (at least the hard part) was done, the cats were fine, and all was well.
The next day seriously felt like Christmas morning: Snow on the ground, bright sunshine, overflowing gratitude for the simple pleasures of running water and a little bit of heat. And just being home. All week long we developed a nice routine with the generator, and I learned all about filling gas cans, the proper order of choke, ignition, breaker-flipping, etc. It really was fun. Power was restored on Saturday night - a full week. The tree damage around here was really amazing; I've never seen anything like it.
So, that was the tale of our move. Oh, and I don't think I've mentioned here - we will be going to Charleston after Don graduates! He will be reporting aboard the CGC OAK after Christmas. The Oak is a 225' buoy tender, a multi-mission ship that travels all over the Gulf and Caribbean. It was his first pick, and should be a wonderful tour. I will be glad to get all our stuff transported and safely settled; then the fun begins.
In the meantime I am soaking up the home-time and enjoying a New England fall in the house I thought I might never return to when we left in August (house was on the market, now it's not - for now). Whatever may be in store, for now it is just good to be home.
AND my Amy celebrated her 4th birthday on Sunday, in the same house that I celebrated my 4th birthday. That's kinda cool, I think. Four, already, really?? That means I've been in the mommy-business longer than I was in college.... or high school. Whoa. Anyway.
Better wrap up this long and rambling post. Just thought you'd like to know where we've been all this time. Will try to resume my regularly scheduled programming here before we finish our move. Thanks for sticking with me!