I don't know where to start. So I shall start here.
I am here.
I made it.
Michael and Xan flew into Albany late on Thursday night and we spent the weekend packing up the 28 foot 'pup' (as it is called in the biz). We had friends and family there all weekend standing around why Michael's brain considered the complexities of how to fit three 20 foot storage units into this 'pup' and then we all went into action as he directed and pointed about at things and we brought them up for loading. HE DID IT! That amazing man made it all fit and we brought some stuff from the house and made that fit as well. It was a glorious feeling to have to done on Sunday afternoon.
We had our going away party on Saturday evening. Many of our family and friends came to celebrate our time in Saratoga with us. I had a friend make a gluten-free chocolate cake and we bought those disposable cake decorator tubes filled with icing and had everyone sign the cake. We ate the cake in celebration of knowing each other and having all of us together. It was a fun evening. Some relatives on my side of the family had some pre-grumblings about it being a vegetarian potluck but they got over it because there was such a delicious spread!
We packed up the remainder of items from our house and garage, got the cats settled in the van, and we drove off Thursday morning September 25th. We laughed ourselves silly thinking about the 10 hour drive we had ahead of us and how it was the most relaxing thing we had done in weeks. The cats complained for their usual 45 minutes and then settled in. We arrived late at night without incident in New Stanton, PA.
Now it was time to drop off Artie at The Douglas Education Center. We nestled the kitties into our hotel room and made the short drive to Monessen to check Artie into her new house. She was arriving early because of our move and the housing people were making an exception. We arrive get the keys, sign the lease, drive up the ridiculously steep hill to her house, and start the unloading of her stuff. Jeeze, she had a lot of stuff! This kid was set with enough food and kitchen supplies to open her own her cafe. A few boys came out of the woodwork to help and meet the new girl. Her new house is nothing exceptional and her new room is bigger than if she was in a dorm so it's a good trade-off. Michael and I spent the afternoon at Lowe's getting her some muchly needed shelving and went over to the dreaded Walmart and picked her up some hangers and some more pots (I swear she needed them!). She opted to stay the night be herself in the house figuring that she would have to do it sometime and she wanted us to be in close vicinity for that emergency phone call. She was great! She spent three days sleeping all be herself alone in the house before the other kids arrived.
The next day we goofed off in Pittsburgh. We went to this place called the "Mattress Factory" it is a museum that is all art installations. It was very cool and real creative turn on. We then headed over to Trader Joes to do some stocking up for Artie and ourselves. Again we have chosen to live somewhere not near a Trader Joes.
On Sunday we said good-bye to Artie and drove off in rain toward West Virginia and Kentucky.
It was an uneventful drive through hilly West Virginia and into the flatness of mid-Kentucky. We laughed, we listened to a book on tape. We arrived on Monday afternoon.
Home. I am home.
There has been an adjustment period (I'm still in it). I surprised myself that I would feel such a sense of being dis-placed. Everyone is so nice. The air is soft. The sounds are gentle. I am feeling quite out of sorts.
The first few days I moped about. I think it was because I had so much focus and so much to focus on this summer and then I arrive and don't know what to do with myself. The house is coming along nicely. Michael learned that not so much gets done in his absence. I love to walk through and imagine it all done. We are in the process of insulating, sheetrocking, and laying flooring. Our shed was completed one hour before we started unpacking the 'pup'. Michael got some lovely strong burly men to help with all the big furniture and the potter's wheels. Since I have been here we have purchased a fridge, a dishwasher, and a grill. We have acquired a totally groovy antique stove for my Mom's apartment.
This weekend is our first art show since May. I was so looking forward to it but alas I got sick. I am sick with a cold. I think I've working into this tragic cold since about July. It finally truly got me by the balls (so to speak) and I am it's grasp.
And...this past Friday night our beloved cat, Godiva, passed over into spirit. It was a very sad evening and I am beating myself up with not treating her warning signs with more timely concern. We ended up at the Vet's at around 12:30am and Godiva passed over not 10 minutes later. The vet, bless his heart, worked so compassionately and diligently to save her life but she was gone. I still can't believe it. Xan was there and witnessed her first close death. I was there holding Godivan and trying to keep her convulsing legs out of the way of the doctor. We are saddened and heart heavy this weekend. I am so fortunate the universe conspired to make me ill, to keep me home with Xan this weekend (who was going to stay home alone...can you imagine?). The vet seems to think that Godiva has kidney failure. There is a possibility that she got into something toxic. Yesterday Xan and I spent the whole afternoon in our bedroom (where we have been keeping our cats) watching movies and checking Ethel every 10 seconds to see how she is doing. She is doing just fine, by the way.
I am reminded of being a young child and heading off to the vets with a sick pet and having my parent go in there and not coming out with our beloved pet. Now here I am the parent with a child of my own who witnessed the sometimes unpleasantness of passing. I am the parent who comforted my child while saying goodbye to our beloved pet. I am the parent who reassured her that it was Godiva's time and there was nothing we could do. I am the parent who took off Godiva's name tag and told the vet that we need her cremated so that we can plant her in the garden. Xanny lost it in the clinic, I lost it when we got home. Xan stood in the kitchen at 2am saying, "Hey Mom, we switched. Now you are crying."
And I, the parent said, "Well, someone had to drive us home."
I am here.