Thursday, March 6, 2008

At times we felt like hobos

We drove, we hauled, we laughed, we cried, we got gas, we yelled, we got gas, we yelled, we got gas, we sang songs, we got gas, we got gas, and we yelled. No one was injured.

We had a full load. The van was packed and the uhaul was loaded so tight, we didn't dare open it until we were ready for everything to come flying out the back. The scenery in the first few states was the same, repeating shades of gray and white with the occasional billboard for Jesus.

As we got further and further south, we started to feel like dazed time travelers every time we got out of the vehicle. We went from the coldest part of winter to what felt like the middle of spring, complete with green trees and birds and sun. The van was still covered in salt from the roads in northern Minnesota and the boys were wearing t-shirts and winter boots, squinting at the sun, wondering how it is possible that the weather can be so different in two places at the same time. Our skin was so pale from a long winter of being covered from head to toe in layers of wool and flannel and down that we looked like sheep after they are freshly shorn, feeling half-naked and confused.

When we arrived, we drove around for a while until I eventually remembered my way around, but we found out the hotel we wanted was only available for one night so we had to unload the back of the van that evening and load it all back up in the morning. Then we would drive about 2 miles away to another hotel in the afternoon and unload it all again. And that hotel would only be available for one night, so we would do this 3 more times, each time causing the van to look more and more like a dump truck. Hello! Don't mind me, I'm just the garbage man.

The boys had reached near-lethal levels of boredom and were so ready to run and jump and climb that we almost had to sedate them to get them back in the van. Whenever we would get to our hotel room at the end of the day, Dylann's natural reaction was to leap from one bed to the next like Tarzan. When I came out of the shower one evening, my aunt Wendy was sitting on the bed looking like she had been abandoned in a chimpanzee cage. She said Dylann had been flying through the air on the beds and she just didn't know what to do, so she told them we would go down to the pool if they would calm down, even though we were exhausted and hadn't eaten. We had learned that ceaseless bribery was the only slightly effective tool we had. Without it, we would not be here today.

By our fourth evening here I had found the house I wanted, laid claim to it, and we were unloading the uhaul and the very disgusting van into the garage. That was followed by two days of loading and unloading everything we own from a storage unit into the uhaul and then into the house. As hard as it was, we still had a lot of laughs, mostly because we were so exhausted there was nothing else to do but laugh and laugh and laugh. I don't know how I would have done it without Wendy! There would have been a lot less exhausted laughing and more angry cursing. She was a lifesaver on this trip.

We managed to stay pretty upbeat throughout everything, because each little hurdle is one more thing to check off the list and it all leads up to that day which is now less than one month away. We'll be back at the parade field waiting for the white buses to pull in and unload a group of very tired, very hardworking people who will be able to go home for the first time in many months. Until then I will be waiting just as patiently as the boys were on the drive down here.


cameo said...

hey! been wondering about you and the trip! glad you're settled for a bit. sounds very crazy, but one for the memory books.
what next? when do you guys head overseas?
and hey! i TOTALLY know what you mean about the brown & gray and the jesus signs.

Becky said...

Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile, right?

Glad to hear that you survived.

Jessi Louise said...

We are here until the end of the summer and then we get to do it all over again. Even though it will be overseas, it will be much easier than this move. I hope.

Backpacking Dad said...

So was it doom or not? Inquiring, vicarious minds want to know.