So here's what's been happening these past few weeks, but in the abridged version:
We moved to Florida. The end.
No, really, there's more but I'm not totally sure it's worthy of the play by play. One thing I do know is that I can't relax. Not even for a second. Not even while sitting on a lounge chair near the pool of the fanciest hotel I have ever stayed in. But first, some background.
We, meaning the six of us, left NY (okay, NJ) this past Monday morning. We packed up the van with more things than we probably should have and headed down to the auto-train out of somewheresville, Virginia.
This was the longest drive we have ever taken, with kids or without. We're just not road trip kind of people. Never have been and after this trip, never will be. We left at 8:08 am and arrived at the auto-train at 3:03, exactly 33 minutes too late to utilize our "preferred car unloading status".
When I first made the auto-train/Amtrak reservation I was told that for a mere fifty dollars extra I could have my van be one of the first 25 cars unloaded off the train. Who wouldn't want they? I was all over it, telling Josh that this was going to be the best $50 we ever spent. And it would have been, had we been told that "preferred loading" must be before 2:30pm. Hmm.
We also weren't told that the latest time to load your car was 3pm. No exceptions. Except for the exception. Like today. Because there was a huge accident on I-95, they held the train for us, because they thought we were on I-95. We didnt admit we were just late, and had been nowhere near i-95, there was no point.
We grabbed our stuff from the car, the kids and headed to the train. We did hear one of the workers behind us say something like, "oh man, how are those people going to get all that stuff onto the train!" but I can only assume he was talking about some other family who had an ever bigger cooler than us and more than seven bags because a big cooler and seven bags is totally normal for an overnight train ride, right?
After much maneuvering, we reached our sardine can, I mean room, on the train and it was at that moment that I understood why Amtrak recommends one small bag per person.
After spending a very very (very) long night on an upper bunk (don't ask), we arrived at the other end of the auto-train tracks, somewheresville, Florida. The big signs outside the train read "Orlando, Fl" but I know for a fact this wasnt Orlando, so I'm guessing this was something like what happened to my sister-in-law when she was in Israel.
The conversation went something like this:
Other guy: where are you guys from?
Other guy: oh! Me too! Where in NY?
Sis-in-law: um, NJ.
So I'm guessing that the people who live near the auto-train kind of wish they live in Orlando.
Anywho, our van was number 273 coming off the train. That, if you're still with me here, is definitely not one of the first 25 cars off the train.
This story is taking super long so I will just say that three hours after we got off the train, we arrived at the fanciest hotel I've ever seen in St. Augustine, Fl.
And that's where this story started, sitting at the pool and watching the kids swim and/or hold on to the walls of the pool. And where I can't relax. Because I have what seems like 4573 boxes to unpack, with no shelves upon which to do so.
If you have been following along for a while now, you will remember how fond I was of the built in shelves in my porch - and which we no longer have now that we have moved down south.
And that's where I am now, kinda standing around with lots of boxes thinking hmmm, I kinda wish I could have taken those built-ins with me. But I guess that's kind of the point of built-ins. You can go ahead and think about that now, I'll wait for you; I spent a lot of time pondering that today.
This moving story is taking quite a while to tell and even longer to type on my iPhone so I'm going to stop here before I need to get myself a pair of reading glasses with the promise to continue then story soon.
Thanks for sticking with me through this.
Be back soon,
We've been up since 5am, everyone dressed, davened and armed with packing tape.
We've been shoving things into boxes and labeling them things like "box of crap" and "top of dresser" and "bottom shelf".
Bottom Shelf of what? Who knows? And does it really matter?
I'm kind of sad this morning. Josh thinks I'm nuts, he's ready to move forward and onward and upward and all those other buzzwordy kinda words but I'm not totally there yet.
This house, while far from perfect, has been home for six years - we showed up here with almost no possessions and two small babies and we're leaving with 86 boxes, 36 bins and more couches that normal people should have. And most importantly, four kids instead of two and all four of them, if they're not exactly big kids, they're not exactly babies either.
This house and this community have been very good to us and we will miss it.
I think it's okay to be a little teary eyed this morning, and not just because the movers are an hour late.
Onwards and forwards - sure. But also looking back and remembering the good and the fun and the memories.
Sitting down and reading the three-week-old newspaper that you are, at that moment, supposed to be using to wrap the dishes is probably not the most efficient way to pack.
But let's be honest, neither is blogging and look where I am now.
But everyone needs a break and we have made a lot of progress in the packing arena. The attic is done. All books and linen and um, not much else, is all done. So maybe we have not made that much progress but I feel like we are still using the rest of the stuff. But I have to work on changing my mindset because we are t-minus 9 days until the movers come. Well, really 11 days, but Josh is away (you can laugh now; I cried) the day before the move, so we're going with 9 days. But the upside? We actually have a mover. Because if you have been following along, you will know that we did not have one until what feels like five minutes ago, but is, in reality, two days ago.
I was actually starting to get a complex about the whole moving industry.
I would call a mover and then one of three things would happen:
1. They would not call me back. I would call again. And again. And then it might have gotten a little stalkerish.
2. They would call me back, promise to come take a look and never show.
3. and this might have been the worst - they would call me back, promise to come, come and look and then I'd never hear from them again. And the whole stalker cycle would start again. It was not an attractive moment in my life.
I could not understand what the issue was.
Do we really have that much stuff?
Or not enough stuff to warrant such a far move?
I still maintain that we should just dump everything except the kids and buy new, but Josh just looks at me funny when I say that. But he's not the one packing the boxes, so really, I think my point is very valid.
Anyway, the packing of the basement, which terrified me, is mostly done and pretty much everything we are hoping to sell at the yard sale (yup, yard sale. Should I laugh or cry?) is piled up in one of two places.
The only problem with a yard sale is that the kids forget what they promised to the pile and so every single time they walk past the yard sale stuff, one of them yells, hey! that's my favorite toy ever! completely ignoring the fact that they have not once picked up that toy in two years. Oddly, the crowd favorite is the exersaucer. No one even fits in the exersaucer and yet I keep hearing Mommy! We can't sell that! That's the best! and my personal favorite, Mommy! What if we have another baby!? Where will it play?
A phrase like that would normally make me laugh 'cause I think we're good in the baby department, but then the other day we gave away seven bins of baby girl clothing. And we all know what happens when you give away ALL the baby stuff. It's called the Theory of Need. You give away the stuff and hey, look at you there! You must need new baby stuff! And you must need a new baby too!
So call me crazy, but to hedge my bets, I kept back a few teeny tiny baby stretchies, just so that anyone looking to sprinkle baby dust around here knows that we're currently running at full capacity here, no need for a sprinkling.
I told Josh my theory of giving away baby clothes and he almost passed out. Josh, the lover of getting rid of stuff from the attic was very close to keeping every last baby sleeper just to be safe.
Anyway, Josh is back. He's going to change the packing tape dispenser thing for me now. For the life of me, I cannot figure that thing out.
But here's the Packing Tip of the Day: Wearing a white t-shirt while wrapping fragile items in newspaper will not leave your shirt white for long
Are you a Mom?
Of course you are,
your shirt is dirty :)