This week has been an absolute sleep-deprived blur. Goodbyes and hurried packing, last minute details and "last time" visits to favorite restaurants and places; we were ready for our house cooling party Wednesday and to pack up the trailer. The party Wednesday was an epic success. At one point there were at least 40 of our friends crammed into our small house and spilling out into the backyard. We made two crock-pots of bbq pulled pork and everyone brought side dishes and desserts. By the time the last two people left--our neighbors, Hayley and Adam--I thought I would be ready to collapse in bed. But I couldn't relax, so I swept and mopped instead. At midnight. By the time we did go to bed, it was after 2am.
Thursday morning Kirk picked up the Uhaul trailer and then we went out to a Guatemalan breakfast joint in the city. Then we dropped the girls off at a friend's house, ran some errands, and headed home to load the trailer. Another good friend, Laura, spent the entire day with us; she was my true right hand and an absolute angel to help us pack, clean, and deal with our stressed-out antics. We started at 11am, and we were nearly packed with a clean house by 4pm. There is nothing more bizarre than seeing the contents of your 1300 sq. foot house fit into a 6'x12' trailer. The last few weeks we sold, bartered, and gave away nearly 75% of our belongings. A year in the making, and we were able to drive away with all of our possessions in the world in a small pull-along trailer--no secret storage unit, that's it.
We left the house, picked up the girls and took our friends who helped out to dinner. Then it was back to the house to load up the Goodwill pile and say our goodbyes to the house. It was so much harder than I expected. Walking through the empty rooms, I felt the memories playing through my mind like a movie reel skipping from scene to scene. Birthday parties, hospital homecomings, tears and love were all celebrated and felt under that humble roof. Anyone who has sold a house might understand this feeling: the worry that somehow without the physical place the memories lose their meaning. But I also know that we are more than a house, more than the four walls that surround us. Home is our family, together. So I welcomed the tears, and took the following pictures as my farewell. [And sorry for the photo quality. My phone had died (of course) so I was using Kirk's not so great phone camera and battling late afternoon lighting.]
In the next post, I'll get to the awesome, the bad, and the ugly of driving cross-country with two kids, two dogs, and a trailer. It's been a wild ride the last few days, and I can't wait to share it with you!