Wednesday, June 22, 2011

still moving...slowly but surely

moving day
On June 7th, our move from Virginia to Florida began. Except that our movers didn't show up so it didn't. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise since I had, up until that morning, been completely unable to get myself into "moving mode" what with all the swimming and playing and other important bits of life going on. When I looked at the clock that day and realized I had a few short hours until strangers would (supposedly) begin stuffing our clothes and gardening tools and bath toys into boxes (or all in one box if we were lucky enough to get those movers) I finally kicked it into gear. I had a day to take things off the walls, fill a closet with "do not pack items" that would go in our cars, and get a jump start on the cleaning. So of course we spent that day in D.C. sightseeing and picnicking and driving around the Mall searching for parking. Also important stuff.packing
The next day, our movers did show up, along with extra help since they had lost a full day of packing. After about twelve hours and three trips to Home Depot for more boxes because they didn't bring enough in the Ford Explorer they all showed up in (seriously?), our house was packed and ready to load. Except for all the stuff they forgot to pack. So the next day, boxes were torn back open and missed items were stuffed in and boxes were taped back up and furniture was dismantled and wrapped and boxes were moved from one room to another and more furniture was dismantled and wrapped and more missed items were found in drawers and shoved into boxes as they were moved closer to the door...and eight hours later! the truck! was still! empty!playtime
Shawn was the only one at the house watching this agonizing non-loading fiasco because I was out keeping the kids busy at the library and pool and chick-fil-a playground and friend's houses. It was actually a pretty sweet time with them. When we had run out of things to do and energy to do them, we went on home to check out the progress. Of which there was none.playtime
It was 7p.m. when Shawn finally lost his cool. Unlike that other adult in our family, ahem, when Shawn loses his cool there are no harsh words or heavy sighs or rolling eyes -he simply starts moving. He began hauling boxes down the stairs like the house was on fire and managed to clear the entire upstairs -four bedrooms, two bathrooms and five closets worth of stuff- in thirty minutes. Thirty minutes! His quiet, firm and quick example was all it took to get the movers moving, and at around 11p.m. papers were signed and the truck drove away. Without our barbecue grill. Or fire pit. Or the jogging stroller. Sighhhh.moving day
At this point we had less than twelve hours till our move-out inspection and one very dirty house. And it was at this point that Kirby, one of the best neighbors ever, showed up at our door with a pajama-clad son and cleaning supplies. I could have cried. We set the kids up with sleeping bags and a movie and started scrubbing, vacuuming, sweeping, Mr. Clean erasing, and mopping. And the house got cleaned. And the inspection in the morning went fine. And the cars got loaded. And the door got closed.
goodbye, house
After driving around the neighborhood, stopping to hug and say goodbye to the friends still left (and totally losing it at my friend Jodie's front door as I reached my limit on goodbyes), we drove out the Quantico gates in two over-loaded cars. And in the quiet of that drive southward, I prayed. I thanked God that although our packers and movers had been less-than-stellar at their job, they had done their job and I had been given a few last days to play with my kids at all their favorite hangouts, and visit with friends I was about to leave. It was over a hundred degrees and I didn't have to haul a single box out the door. I thanked God for the amazing year we had in Virginia, for the fall leaves and winter snow and spring flowers and committed myself to practicing thankfulness in a land of fewer seasons. I thanked Him for the precious group of friends that squeezed into our living room every Tuesday night and prayed for each of them, their moves, their new homes, their children, their new communities. I prayed for the women who helped us with kids and cleaning and meals during our pack-out and I prayed that God would send them the same kind of love and support and help when they move. I realized as I prayed that I was searching for a way to say thank you but nothing, no words in my head seemed to say it as strongly as I felt it in my heart. This year in this place with these friends was a gift I didn't deserve.hello, Florida
After spending a comfortable night in the new Ft. Bragg home of one of our former Quantico neighbors (see how fun this community is?) we arrived safely in Florida where we left the kids in the much-appreciated care of my sister and parents and closed on a house that will soon become home. Already blooming in the yard were roses, day lilies, hibiscus, hydrangeas and more. More reminders from a big God that He loves little me. He tells me so with roses -such extravagance. More undeserved gifts.knockout roses
And this story isn't over. I'm in Texas right now. Shawn is in Florida. We've been visiting family and friends and the ER (don't worry). We've been protected on the road and we've had beds and meals and a roof over our heads every night. Our household goods are on a truck or in a storage facility or lost forever, who knows. Actually, God knows. And that's all that matters. I may be tired and missing home (although I don't actually know my zipcode), but as I think about these past days so full of gifts, and Shawn working so hard and going so many extra miles to make that house ours, I am humbled, thankful. So thankful.

(p.s. I told you there would be a lot of hipstamatics coming your way. and there's always more in my flickr stream if you're interested!)


  1. Girlfriend... you are something else... the patience of Job, and an attitude that is truly enviable. Just reading about your move had my blood pressure through the roof. I'm so impressed with the way you handle change. Thanks for being such a good example. :)

  2. I absolutely love this post and all of your military life adventures. Let me know when you are back in Texas and I will meet you wherever.


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