After weeks of packing and saying long, hard goodbyes to people we love and friends that have changed our lives; an 18-wheeler from Missionary Transport, Inc. arrived at our house to haul our things from Virginia to Connecticut. An army of friends helped load the truck. Jim, our driver packed the truck as if he was playing Tetris. He built walls and new floors inside the truck, encapsulating our beloved belongings in a safe way. His attention to detail was amazing. He draped quilts over each piece of furniture and secured things to the walls of his truck. He taught me about E clips and the strategy of loading and driving a moving truck.
Mia came to play with the girls during the load. She treated them to the royal-tia-mia-treatment. Swimming, breakfast and lunch out, mini mani & pedi’s, and time with one of their favorites. She comforted their concerns of us forgetting something important to them and brought them back in perfect timing for a nap in the car.
In 3 hours, my entire house was packed and Jim drove away. His plan was to get to northern Virginia, get dinner and sleep for the evening at a truck stop. He would arrive in Connecticut Thursday morning. Until then, everything we own (minus what we stuffed in our car) was in his care. While Gil and I grabbed a slice of pizza in the kitchen, Ginger and Diane began cleaning my house from the back to the front. They were amazing. And despite my pride crumbling at the thought of someone else cleaning my nasty bathrooms, I needed the help and was thankful for true friends.
Long hugs were given to my helpers and we jumped in the car. We sat, with the car running, in the driveway. It was hard to put the car into reverse. We just sat there for a few minutes of tortured love. We loved that house. We needed to say goodbye, but didn’t want to. Gil prayed for us, for our safe travels, for our house to be used for God’s glory and for the things God had before us. Driving away was so hard. Can I say it again? It was really hard. I cried for the first 15 minutes of the drive. After 15 miles, we stopped to make a turn and Emma asked if we were in Connecticut yet. Her innocence and unawareness as to the impeding magnitude of change in her life was what we needed at the moment.
We drove to a friends house that evening. After a good meal and nice shower and some great conversation, we headed to bed. A few hours of sleep later, we hit the road again at 6am Wednesday morning.
With all my planning, I failed to remember to charge the laptop battery for our on-board movie viewing. My computer only lasted about 45 minutes. Ha! For our lunch and long leg-stretch, we stopped at Cabela’s in PA. We were even able to put Judah in the kennel in the parking lot so he could stretch his legs too. Gil made a few calls and checked some emails while the girls enjoyed the excellent animal displays they have around the store. Our one hour stop was far too short, but we had places to go!
We arrived at the campground around 8pm, tired and ready for a hot meal. It was nice to get out of the car finally. Gil set up the tent and I started dinner. Adison burned herself on the cooktop. Despite her grit, the pain from the burn was too much. She cried herself to sleep as I held her hand against an iced water bottle. Her pain was gone by morning.
As promised, we met the truck Thursday morning around 10 at the storage crate. Christian Life Assembly provided a space for us to store our things until our home becomes available later in September. Six sets of hands met us there to unload and 90 minutes later, the truck was empty. Jim told me that our things weighed 9900 pounds. With his formulas, I had estimated that we had 9780 pounds, just a few pounds difference! It was a little sad waving goodbye to Jim. We had only met him 48 hours prior, but we felt like he was a true friend. Before he left, Adison and I checked out the cab of his truck. Maybe one day, I will see him again.
Matt Kitchie met us at the storage crate to help unload. Seeing a familiar face was heart warming! Plus, he smelled clean and fresh- a rather different fragrance than the rest of us were wearing. He stayed with us for the afternoon and we enjoyed lunch with him.
We went back to the camp ground and decided we needed to find a different place the next day. Friday, we found a better, more pleasant camp ground, Salt Rock State Park in Berlin, CT. We also got our PO Box, visited campus and showed the girls the house we are hoping to get. While saying a few prayers over the property, I nearly stepped on a snake. This gave me a good case of the willies and was convinced that Judah needed to take control over all critters around the property once we move in.
Enough writing for now. More to come later.