packing it in

We were over 300 miles away this last weekend, in our old hometown. The city John and I grew up in, met and were married, where our children were born. We went back to help Lee and Claudia pack and prepare for their Big Move here. It was a busy time, filled with hard, physical work. It was also a joyous time, celebrating this answer to prayer. And it was a sad time, saying goodbye to a place full of good memories…

The first day “home” we celebrated Josiah’s 13th birthday with family and friends. Here is a photo of the new teenager with Grandpa Del. (I’ll blog about that tomorrow)

We were thrilled to pick up Tara in Portland and bring her along (see how cute she is? all preggers with baby Savannah?) She was happy to help her Mom pack and sort. I couldn’t help but tease Claudia over her dish collection. When we finally emptied all the oak cabinets; it looked as if they had been haunted by some twisted poltergeist of Baptist potluck casserole dishes. Poor Claudia had to make a thousand-important-little-but-exhausting decisions (I think I’ll keep this. Will I ever use that? Where did I get these?!) Then Tara wrapped the keepers and I slapped .50 cent stickers on the rejected…

…which were happily snatched up by shoppers at Saturdays Moving Sale Extravaganza! Now don’t let this photo fool ya, it was taken in the late afternoon. There was very little sitting in the shade before this point. We sold all the big ticket items, and more than 3 tables of misc. small stuff, and made mucho dinero. Plus I got to chat at people all day, which I love.

Then John and I loaded a 12 foot trailer with boxes, while Caleb documented the fun of 6 foot 3 Daddy in a 5 foot 5 trailer…

We had a short but sweet visit with John’s Mom, Grandma Sandy…

Some of us choked up a little during dinner. It wasn’t the delicious spareribs, but the memories of the many, many meals shared under this roof and the shocking realization that this was, in fact, the last supper we would enjoy here…

Not knowing when our next trip this way will be, we had to abide by our 4 year tradition. The one in which John drives us slowly by our old house. And the boys each shout out their various memories. And I murmur about the weeds and untamed garden. And the new owners wonder what kind of freaks they purchased this home from?

We drove by our old High School and told the boys boring stories about our dating years which they immediately tuned out. The building surprisingly looks very unchanged from 20 years ago! Only the architecture now looks quite dated, with peeling paint and visible cracks.

but you can say the same for the alumni in the car, so…

And then we took the last “goodbye” photo. For over four years now, these final goodbyes have been tear-filled. Each time we knew it would be many months (or longer) before we see one other again, so we drag out those last hugs and thank yous and love yous…taking a quick snapshot to remember that last moment…but this time? Well, this time, we were all grinning. Because FOR ONCE, it didn’t hurt a bit!

Now our conversation was peppered with “We’re almost there!”

“Thanks for your help”

“Don’t work too hard”

“drive careful!” and best of all?

“See you next week.”

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About sparrowjourney

Christian homeschooling mom to three boys, married to my best friend, John, for over 20 years. I love gardening without gloves, learning history with my kids, cooking with lots of butter, serving others, great books, rich coffee, studying the Bible, camping outdoors, scrapbooking, vintage home decor, the smell of rain and cut grass, authentic people, poetry, laughing until your sides hurt, and babies. oh and black licorice is pretty awesome.
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