For the record, we both acknowledge that mistakes were made. Opportunities lost. Incorrect paths taken. But, given all of the things that could have & should have, this is what actually happened.
On Saturday we got the truck in the evening. On Sunday we said goodbye to the refrigerator (donated to my church), and our bed (donated to a lady in town). On Monday we started putting things on the truck. That night I volunteered to sleep in the recliner, but it was too awkward for me and I got about 4 hours of sleep.
On Tuesday, we worked HARD. Especially Dr. M. Up and down the ramp, lugging and pulling and toting, rearranging, offloading & reloading. It rained, hard at times. There was a thunderstorm. I worked in the house stuffing our belongings into whatever container I could find. We had planned to stay in a hotel about an hour away, and needed to get there by 2 a.m. on Wednesday (we laughed when we saw that – not a problem, we thought!).
At 1 a.m. Dr. M finished loading the truck and my car & took a quick shower. I was staying behind to finish cleaning. As he got ready to leave we realized that my car battery was dead. We opened the trunk to pull out the jumper cables & just stared at all the things. We were not going to unpack the car to get to those cables. Not at 1 in the morning. I told him to just go – I would call AAA. He headed off into the wind and rain. I headed back into the house to call AAA and the hotel (to let them know he would be late). While I waited for AAA, I cleaned. Please keep in the forefront of your mind that I am not a good house cleaner. And that it was after one in the morning. At one point the vacuum cleaner stopped working, and I spent about half an hour digging into the hose with a clothes hanger, pulling out wads of carpet fluff.
AAA came & started the car. I left it running for a little while, but needed to get back to cleaning. Does one wonder why I didn’t just leave it running while I cleaned? In retrospect, one DOES wonder.
I finally finished – or I was finished. At that point, nearly 5 a.m., I was drifting into a fugue state. I put (shoved, crammed) all of the remaining items into the car, and walked back into the house to say a final goodbye and lock up. And saw a painting on the wall. It was one that I had brought back from Zambia. Quite large. I might have said some words that I don’t usually say. I took it down, found a place in the car, and then locked up the house.
My car wouldn’t start. I called AAA. I waited in the empty house, sitting on the carpet I had just vacuumed, noticing all the things that hadn’t gotten cleaned. I listened to my audio book (Hamilton: the Revolution, by Lin-Manuel Miranda). I considered just sleeping in the house. But at this point, the house was my enemy.
AAA came, I drove down our street for the final time, and headed to the leasing agent to drop the keys, and then drove to Chillicothe. Through a monsoon, apparently. Wind, pouring rain, an urgent need to pee. I had been awake for over 24 hours and drove 80 miles per hour. I was reminded of the time I drove Mom & Mamaw to Victoria Falls and was trying to outrun my fatigue. I reached the hotel shortly after 8:00 a.m., had some breakfast and then slept for 2 ½ hours.
At noon, Dr. M & I headed out to drive through more torrential rain to our new home. I felt a little tested, you know? God, Satan, Ohio, North Carolina… For or against? Expelling us? Repelling us? Drawing us home? I do not know. We arrived at just after 7:00 p.m., slept for 10 hours, and awoke to a beautiful new beginning.
Note: Dr. M is a BEAST. So strong & strong-willed – powered through pain and rain and mental calculations. By the end he had bruises on his bruises, and could barely use his hands. I worked harder than I ever have (being a sloth by nature), but he KILLED IT. Have mercy.