The first (long) leg of our journey is over. We made it to my parents’ house in Colorado, and the first thing I saw when I walked into my mother’s kitchen was my favorite cake waiting for me on the counter. Which is why I can’t write more right now. Don’t want to get crumbs in my father’s keyboard, you know.
Archive for the ‘The Cross-Country Move’ Category
We’re in Colorado! No web access all day yesterday, but loads of fun. Really. The Prairie Museum of Art & History in Colby, Kansas: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Super fun even in cold rain. More on that later.
More on everything later! For now: Pike’s Peak or Bust! OK, not really. We aren’t going to Colorado Springs. Grandma’s House or Bust! Only a few hours to go before we descend upon my parents in a noisy, rowdy, riled-up bunch. You sure you’re ready for this, Mom?
Cracker Barrel east of St. Louis. Full dish of cocktail sauce in baby’s fist. All over my jeans! Not my favorite perfume. Now at McDonald’s Play Place for some exercise. Is this what they mean when they talk about seeing America?
Next up: the Arch. (Singular and not golden.)
Belgian waffles! Sausage and bacon! All you can eat for the five of us who eat table food, included in the price of the room. Gotta love that. We are breakfasting our way across America. It was the Ramada in Charlestown WV that had (as icing on the cake) blacklights above the table. The kids loved seeing their milk turn blue.
This morning we’re in Dale, Indiana. I swear parts of southern IN look like the Shire. Except, you know, for the Denny’s billboards.
(BTW, no worries about the pinkeye. My awesome VA doc got a scrip phoned in to the Rite Aid in Winchester, KY. I’ll be fine.)
One case of conjunctivitis, two Belgian waffles, three states, four stuffy noses, five chocolate milks, six “Are they all yours?” queries, seven pieces of salt water taffy, eight choruses of Big Rock Candy Mountain, nine bridges, and I literally just fell asleep while trying to think of ten, so it’s time to quit thinking and go to sleep.
We’re in Charleston WV, not-sleeping in a hotel room. This morning was hard: the goodbyes. Then the Blue Ridge slipping away behind us. But oh the gorgeous views. We saw autumn progress by the hour: so many more reds and goldens in the trees here.
Stopped for a long break at the New River Gorge visitor center: awesome. Kids had a ball hunting the answers to nature mystery exhibits. I stopped there on a whim and we wound up staying almost an hour.
Oh hooray. Wonderboy is finally nodding off. Me too.
Well, here we are. Loading day. The girls have spent their last night in this lilting house. Tonight they’ll stay with our dear friends, the friends we moved into this town and this neighborhood to be near. The little ones and I will sleep here one last night on a borrowed air mattress, and tomorrow morning we’ll hit the road.
But that’s tomorrow, and first there’s today. The truck will be here in a couple of hours. We are ready. After all the frenzy of the past week, yesterday brought a bit of a lull; the packers finished early on Monday because we’d done so much of the packing ourselves (and by "ourselves," I mean me and a dozen-odd friends and neighbors, some of whom drove all the way down here from northern Virginia and New Jersey). (Amazing.) So we had yesterday afternoon to spend with some friends we met in our first weeks here but feel like we’ve known our whole lives. Eileen, the mom, is Wonderboy’s godmother, which means I get to keep her forever no matter where we live. Her six boys and two girls chased my gang around the boxes, and we dug up a clump of the mint that I planted from a sprig Eileen gave me when she was moving out of her old house. Her clump had come from her mother, and now she’ll start it at her new house on the other side of the mountain. I had saved some columbine seeds for her from my flower garden this year, too, and I like to think of those blooming in her pretty farmyard next spring.
Anyway. Lots to do this morning. I’ll probably be back to blubber on the keyboard tonight, though, me and my empty house.
Meanwhile, Scott has moved into our rental house in San Diego (where "moved into" means "carried in his bag of clothes and his guitar, which is all he took with him") and is eager for us to get out there and set it lilting.
The packers are here. I am sitting still long enough to nurse the baby, but I will take great care not to convey excitement or frenetic activity because PEOPLE WANT TO TAKE AWAY MY DR. PEPPER. Oh, look, I blew it already. Ah well. I’m a woman in labor, remember? Right about now Dr. Pepper is my equivalent of a nice hot bath. (Says the woman who spent most of her last labor in the tub. NOTHING beats a hot bath during labor.)
Anyway. Jane thinks you should entertain yourselves with her favorite website today: Absurd Math.
Much better, wrist and knee-wise! So that’s good. Knee still gets me whenever I forget and kneel or squat, but we can work around that. And by "we" I mean me and the small village of people who have assembled to help me through this last push. Push! The pushing! I think that’s where we are! Four days of pushing ahead! I think I want an epidural.
(When Alice reads this she will be saying "Those are words I never thought I’d hear Lissa say." Ha! I am all about running a metaphor into the ground, baby!)
So: yesterday. Got a call from a realtor Friday night. She wanted to show the house yesterday morning between ten and twelve. I left her a message asking her to just call when they were heading into the neighborhood because there was no way I could vacate the unpacked premises for a two-hour chunk of time. Never heard back from her. We tidied up as best we could and my mom took all the kids to the playground. Lisa came over with her vacuum because mine is kaput. (Nice timing, Eureka.)
House readyish for showing, we turned to the dreaded Loom Room closet. The Loom Room is so named because it’s where we stuck my table loom when we moved in. I have done no weaving here and for months at a stretch the loom itself moved to the girls’ room (named the Blue Room because of the lovely coat of paint Lisa’s husband Dave gave it as a housewarming gift to us the week before we moved in—how awesome is that?)‚ where it (the loom, if you lost track during my long parenthetical) served as a combination playhouse/pirate ship when the mood struck. It sits upon a little stand, see, just the right size for draping with silks and hiding under. It’s hard to beat a playhouse with cool levers to move up and down and a beater bar you can bang really hard.
But good golly, how I digress. Anyway, the point is Lisa and I packed up the craft closet. During which time I learned a couple of things about myself, which were: 1) I am not the sort of person who should stock up at sales (case in point, the twelve boxes of crayons I bought for a quarter each at Staples two Back-to-Schools ago, ditto the fifteen packages of loose-leaf notebook paper); and 2) I really really love Waldorf-type crafts. Various people had mentioned to me the FlyLady rule of thumb regarding Stuff, which is that you should only keep those things which make you really happy. And every time I happened upon a ball of wool, a tuft of doll hair, or a box of that gorgeous translucent colored beeswax, my heart went pitty pat. So I kept that stuff. But I passed most of the loose leaf on to Lisa.
By noon I was pretty much clued into the fact that the realtor wasn’t coming. (Because that’s how sharp my deductive powers are.) Later in the day I discovered she had left a message at ten thirty, which I probably missed during the vacuuming. They are coming TODAY instead. "Between ten and twelve." Ha!
More darling friends (including Hank’s mom, Holly, and our longtime online pal, Sue) showed up after lunch to fetch the other loom, the one that lived in the basement, and to be at my general beck and call. Which was fabulous. Plus I got to meet Hank! Who is an absolute charmer! And who dazzled me with the boatloads of English he has mastered in an extremely short time.
So the rest of the day was work work work pack pack (nurse baby) pack sort sort sort (nurse baby/eat slice of pizza) pack sort pack (eat a brownie and then one more) call Scott with questions every 45 minutes (keep this? toss that?) exclaim over old picture at top of box but do not look at the rest or else blog commenters might scold you for slacking off but oh look how cute she was!
Everyone cleared out around dinnertime, my mom and I got the kids to bed, and I went back to the basement to work until around midnight. Which: thanks Alice, Chari, and of course my Scott for the phone company while I tackled those last boxes. I made it to the bottom. At last.
Crawled into bed between sleeping baby and toddler, tried to sleep but couldn’t because, well, THE PUSHING. Then DID sleep because I woke up at 3 in a panic: RAIN. Oh noooo. Ran outside (blessing the child who carelessly left her umbrella on the porch so I didn’t have to hunt one up because I think the rest are packed already or else are in the van) and moved all the Freecycle stuff I’d left in my driveway up onto the porch. Stupid move, the "leaving in the driveway" bit. Whoops.
Fell back into bed, rather damp but too tired to bother finding dry clothes in the dark, sank (I think) instantly back to sleep. Woke up at five because Wonderboy was, I don’t know, annoyed about something? That’s the best I can explain it: just a random toddler sleep-gripe. Then the baby woke up and thought about staying awake, but I drugged her with breast milk. Good stuff, that.
And here I am at sevenish, awake again for the next contraction. I can’t believe the packers will be here tomorrow.