When we go rafting every two years, some or all of us eventually fall out and go under in a big rapid, and, for the rest of us in the boat, the seconds before we see that head pop up always feel like minutes.
So, to my loved ones wondering if I’ve gone under for good, here is my head popping up–pop!
Although the last few hours of packing on Tuesday PM bled into Wednesday AM, the Lord sent Angels (Shauna, Doris, Megan, and Jen, not to mention my angel mother) to help wrap things up so we could get out by 1 p.m. The drive was long but didn’t feel so bad, I had the two little ones in the van, mom had the older ones and the DVD player in David’s car. David and the moving van stopped in Las Vegas to stay with his brother (since the truck is so slow) and my mom and I went on to David’s parents in Bountiful, arriving at 2:30 a.m. Thursday morning.
I was pretty fuzzy Thursday, felt mildly confused and disoriented (“What state am I in? Why?”) and not a little bit cranky. My prayer that morning went like this: “Lord, this is a big move, it is overwhelming, stressful, and a huge change, my kids are out of sorts for the same reason, and I’ve had 4 hours sleep and feel crazy, wondering if this was a good idea in the first place. So, I’m making this day your problem, please take care of it. Thanks in advance, Valerie.”
And He did. I checked in with the owner of the house we are renting, and we went around the property and talked about things. I asked if it was ok if I fenced off the old garden for chickens, since we are plowing the pasture for our new garden. She had no problem with that, but then decided to give us (free) some more land they own behind our lot that is actually designed for that purpose (although we need to demolish the old hen house), plus two other animal pens (future use TBD)–that gives us a full acre! She also gave us the use of a landlocked apple tree (also their property, in the center of the block). Every new thing I noticed about our place made it just more amazing and more of a miracle. For instance, how did I not notice the oversized tub? (Didn’t look behind the door, silly.)
We were told the moving truck would get 3-6 miles to the gallon (that’s 700 miles with diesel at $4.50/gal in CA), and we were jumping for joy when we learned he was getting 10 MPG. David arrived at 5 p.m., exactly on schedule. Aunts and uncles, a great aunt and uncle, grandmas and a grandpa, and cousins, and cousins once-removed, unknown but friendly new ward members, all emerged to get the truck unloaded in under an hour, sorting each box into its proper room. I then walked away and slept peacefully at David’s parents.
I came back on Friday to start unpacking and just walked around, almost numb with joy. Space, grass, normalcy. Spring, in its true, everything-dead-comes-alive form, I haven’t experienced in over a decade. Crocuses and violets were pushing through in the front “yard.” I say “yard” because this house hasn’t been lived in for almost two years, and ivy and unraked leaves have taken over. There are random shoots and sticks everywhere, but we can’t start cleaning up or pulling anything out because they are just as likely to be flowers as anything else. So, we’re just watching and waiting to see what comes up.
My kids are in heaven. On Friday, Ben said, “Mom, if you say today is a ‘home day’ again, I’ll know that you really mean it’s a ‘park day’ because we have a park in our back yard.” Ben kept asking me to come help him swing high on the board-on-a-rope tree swing, and I told him to find a ladder and work it out, I had work to do. He managed to find a 20′ ladder (!), set it up, and starting swinging from 10′ up. He’s pretty much been doing that the past three days, along with “fixing up” the play house. He’s outside most of the time, Sophie a lot, although not quite a much, and when she’s out, she’s over petting the neighbor’s foals.
Today we had an Easter Egg hunt, thrown together at the last minute. We ended up with both grandparents, two aunts, a niece and our friends the Mitchells enjoying the festivities. I feel like I’m in a dreamworld, like I’m playing house.
I’ll be honest, when it comes to our temporal arrangements, it has been an awful three years, and very little good happened to us (temporally, mind you) during that time. Now I get something that I’ve always wanted and prayed for, but written off as impossible, and I am not sure how to take it graciously. I just keep saying “Really!?” and “Are you kidding me!?” and then repenting, “I mean– thank you!” But at the same time I see, that if He had said yes to any of the temporal improvements I had asked for in the past several years, this would never have happened.
It feels great to be close to family and get to know them better than the previous 1-2x a year made possible. They have been so there for us, and so excited about our being here, it has really taken me off guard.
I’m setting a goal to do 5 minutes a day here in the family blog, and I’m taking MamaMelodrama down to two articles a week (for quality purposes). That way my far-away friends can be with me through all the slapstick city-folk-turned-bumpkin antics that will surely ensue.