The last couple weeks have been an amazing blur of activity and chaos. Several times I'd sit down to write and then think of 50 other tasks that I *should* have been completing. This led to me not blogging and running off to take care of other stuff. But now...there's nothing else to do.
Orders came through, Visas arrived, movers showed up and packed and crated our stuff. We took the car to Baltimore, cleaned, painted, steam cleaned, gathered, threw away, freecycled and said goodbye. And tonight we are in New York City, getting ready to begin our transatlantic cruise adventure.
Writing all that out makes it seem so, well, trivial and easy; as though we breezed through, with nary a concern or worry. As though we all ate three wholesome and nutritious meals a day, while getting 12 hours of sleep and maintaining socially appropriate personal hygeine. But of course that isn't true; the last two weeks have felt like a combination of running a marathon, swimming across the ocean and biking the Tour de France, all while juggling four living beings.
We got our orders finalized on Monday, same day the Visas showed up from the British consulate. There was a brief celebration, but then it was back to readying for the packers. They showed up on Wednesday. During the time the packers were in the house, I kept the kids outside. They played on the playset, in the wading pool and on the slip and slide. They were happy, I was worn out. At then end of the day they were filthy and tired. Next day the packers came and we went back outside. This time we went to the playground, then played playdough on the back porch and then took full advantage of our friends' generous offers to crash at their homes. Although, on the way over I realized my children were filthy beyond belief and I seriously considered purchasing new clothing for them because what they were wearing was so incredibly disgusting. Instead I made them wipe themselves with some baby wipes I had in the car and we called it better than it was.
On Friday, when the kids woke up, everything was gone from the house. It was quite an interesting scene. Elie, Isaac and Talia took it all in stride. All of a sudden there was a huge amount of empty space to play in AND the whole house echoed! Leila walked from room to room exclaiming "All gone..Oh My. Oh My! OH MY! All gone!" But soon she too got into the action and began enjoying all the emptiness.
We visited with Dadam's brother and his wife and our two nephews and niece on Friday night. It was so much fun to see the kids enjoying their cousins in such a lively way. As soon as they all saw each other, they were playing as though we lived next door and had seen each other more recently than almost a year ago!
Saturday more cleaning, it is AMAZING how dirty furniture gets behind it. And I suppose, since we hadn't moved some of that stuff since we moved in, one would expect that. Pool party, more visiting, sleepovers, a going away party thrown for us by some of our closest friends, more sleepovers.....
Unfortunately, during this time, Adam's grandmother passed away. Her health had been failing and we had thought she was not going to last as long as she did. So, on Monday June 29th, Adam flew to Dallas to be at her memorial service. I am glad that he was able to go to the service and support his Dad.
Tuesday Adam got home, Wednesday more running around. Thursday Adam had his final out! and everything went very smoothly for that. Then we ran into our last bit of hair raising beauracratic crap at it's finest. We took the van to Baltimore to get it shipped to England. After an hour of dealing with paperwork and other extraneous poo, we finally managed to leave and pick up our kids (two.hours.later. than we had hoped to be).
Mom and Dad got in on Thursday, more marathon errand running, house cleaning and picking and putting. And then the goodbyes got really rough.
While living in VA there have been two families that we have become really, really close with. One family we did many, many Shabbats and various holiday celebrations with, as well as lots of hanging out. The other family we also did tons of hanging out with and deeply connected with, in ways we've not connected with another family before. Both of these families have extremely special places in, not only Dadam's and my hearts, but all of our childrens'. And we had to say goodbye.
I don't know that I want to/need to go into detail so deeply. We enjoyed one another and shared life and laughter and love. They are people who really helped us when we needed it, in all sorts of ways. They gave so incredibly generously. It was really, really hard to leave them. There were tears and laughter and we are sad to leave these two families who we really love.
But we know that this is part of life. And we'll stay connected and see each other again. We'll make it so. It's so hard because the sadness I feel about saying goodbye, seems to overwhelm the excitement I have about the next adventure awaiting our family. But I know that's not right either. And I don't think our friends would want us to move away and not enjoy what we were experiencing. Oh Bother.
The kids have been troopers. We rode the metro to DC, rode the bus to New York City and then walked to our hotel. They've been amazing and really, mostly, lots of fun. Tomorrow we get on the boat, for our floating vacation adventure. And when we reach land again, we'll be in England. We'll be ready for whatever comes next.