After the marathon, after goodbye bbqs and dinners, after tears and hugs and an achy heart, the day is finally here. Last Monday I ran the Boston Marathon in torrential rain and howling winds. My friends were at mile 19, then drove down to the finish line, met me at tbones after. These are really good friends. Only really good friends, nice relatives (Mark!), and husbands will do this sort of thing.
We are a bit of an odd group of friends. We range in age from early thirties to early seventies, and we met because we all have Diane, and because we have Diane, we all have Westies, and because we have Westies we have each other.
But these aren’t the only people I will miss in New Hampshire. There are the ladies that belong to the Windham Newcomers Club, that I met when we first moved here from Texas and I was looking for friends and things to do. The club gave me people to explore with. We went to the city, we went to the shore, we went to the mountains. We went hiking, we went skiing, we went into the city and saw shows. We explored restaurants, and sometimes we just got together to chat, drink coffee, eat lunch, talk.
I will miss the people at the Food for the Hungry Food Pantry at Pleasant Street United Methodist Church. The dedicated volunteers that spend almost every Wednesday morning at the church, serving the clients, some of whom have come there for years, and come early so they can visit with their friend’s before the pantry opens. The pastor and congregation that have opened their church, their wallets and their hearts to the clients, even building a dedicated building for the Food Pantry several years ago.
Then there’s the Democrats that meet every Friday at a coffee shop in Salem, to try to elect progressive candidates to local positions. And there’s the people that meet to do yoga at Inge’s house around the corner a couple days a week. And there’s the ladies that have helped keep me pretty and also became my friends - Emily, Joanna, Janice.
We’ve really been packing for months, even before we went to Florida. Lee packed up the dining room. I went on a tear in the boxes of artifacts in the basement, throwing out all kinds of things, and organizing the last set of family pictures to be electronically scanned. When we returned from Florida is when things got real. Before the marathon I packed almost all the books, one set of dishes, all the nice glasses. Lee made crates and frames and packed all the mirrors and artwork.
After the marathon we packed almost everything else. Only the food was left to pack right before the movers arrived.
One more run with Paula and Stephanie at Massebasic, my first since the marathon, and afterwards breakfast at Tucker’s. I got an enormous waffle with strawberries and whipped cream and an egg and bacon. I’m still eating like I’m carb loading for a marathon!
One more get together at Diane’s. It was a beautiful sunny day, the first real spring day in New Hampshire. The dogs had a wonderful time playing and rolling around. I was fine until I hugged Diane goodbye and then I lost it. You changed my life I whispered in her ear. I feel terrible about taking my dogs away from her, but at least she will get to see them in Florida.
On Monday Lee looked at the forecast and decided to see if the movers could come on Tuesday instead of Wednesday because there was rain in the forecast for Wednesday. They could, and as it turned out it was a good thing, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
The movers had said they would come between 7:30 and 8:00 Tuesday morning. It takes two trucks to move us, one standard large moving van and a smaller truck that can make it up and down our driveway. The large van was late; his gps took him a way that was not passable for a truck that large. When he finally arrived it was just him and another girl. They started inventorying everything and before too long he realized that the salesman’s estimate was way off. When the smaller truck arrived and they started loading things they just did not have enough people. We had plans to meet friends for dinner. They were still loading things when we went to dinner, and they were still loading when we returned. They didn’t finish until almost 11 pm!
We spent Tuesday and Wednesday night in the RV in the driveway. The dogs love the RV but they found it pretty confusing to stay in the RV right next to the house. It wasn’t that bad on Tuesday, because we would still let them in the house, but on Wednesday when we start to clean they couldn’t come inside the house anymore, we would let them outside into the back yard and they would go to the back door to to be let in. Harper figured out quickly that the RV was the place to be. Heather was confused, but got the hang of it more or less. But poor Cosmo! He was completely befuddled and actually a little scared. I had to make him come to me and then pick him up and carry him to the RV. It’s not that he doesn’t like the RV, he was just overwhelmed by this change in his routine. I knew that as soon as we got on the road he would be fine.
Wednesday night we met Paula and Rich for dinner at the Common Man. It was relaxing and pleasant, with a few more tears shed when we said goodbye. This ending has been hard, and a little confusing. I’m so excited to be moving closer to family, to be building a house again, to be exploring a new place. But I’m so sad to leave New Hampshire too. If only I could somehow combine the two..
Thursday morning I went on a short run even though it was raining. I have a dread now of the rain, but of course it wasn’t that bad. Nothing will ever compare to Boston, at least in running in the rain territory!
Then it was time for the walkthrough, prior to the closing at 10:30 AM. I was a little nervous about this. We hadn’t met the buyers before this, and they had been so picky during the inspection.....but it was fine. At the end of the walk-through the man got his wife on the phone and we walked through the yard together, me showing them all the flowers and plants, telling them when they would bloom and some basic care information. I love my yard but I’m not sorry to let it go. It was getting to be an awful lot of work. I’m going to replicate some of it, but on a much much smaller scale.
As we walked around the yard suddenly I saw something that filled me with dismay. “Lee, the movers didn’t take my teak bench!” Well there was nothing to be done. The new owners now own a teak bench with a lot of history behind it. This bench first made its appearance at our first home on Laurel Drive in Columbia. From there it moved to place with a wonderful view overlooking the land we bought on High Point Lane, even before we built our house there. Then it went to Texas, and stayed there when we lived in Hong Kong. And for the last 8 1/2 years it’s resided in New Hampshire. “I’ll buy you a new one,” promised Lee, but I still feel bad.
The closing went without incident. Afterwards we went for lunch at Maddie’s. Then back to the house and on the road.
That first afternoon we only drove as far as CT. We weren’t driving more than 400 miles in a day since we had to drive both vehicles, Lee pulling the RV with the truck, me pulling the dinghy with the car. As it turned out driving the car by myself was fine. It was more stressful for Lee pulling the RV by himself.
The next day we stayed somewhere back into the wilds of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is a surprisingly rural state. Once again we were in a remote area with little cellphone service and except for the rain a pretty place. It has been a little difficult to find campgrounds open this early in the season in the north.
I go for a morning run, 3 times on a zig-zag route through the campground, for four miles total. When we take the dogs for a walk we try not to get them muddy. This day we drive 360 miles to a KOA in Elkhart Indiana, somewhere in Amish country. We can hear horses and buggys clip clopping as they go by on the road. I take the dogs on a long walk around the campground down to a fishing pond, on a little nature trail. Its cold this night so we have to turn off the water and bring the hose inside in the morning to thaw.
On Sunday we drive through Indiana into Illinois and right through the middle of Chicago on I 90. There is Godawful traffic on a Sunday, I can’t imagine what this is like on a weekday! For the most part the roads are very good, wide and not too bumpy. Bumps throw things inside the RV into disarray, in spite of our best efforts to keep things stored safely. And for whatever reason some things are getting stress cracks and starting to leak, our Brita water jug and a bottle of gin (!).
Then we’re in Wisconsin, past Madison and up into the Dells. Indian casinos, indoor water parks, outlet malls, go kart tracks. But the KOA is very nice. Things are very quiet, with only a few other campers.
The next day is a short day but it feels long. We cross Wisconsin and enter Minnesota and soon we are skirting the Twin Cities and making our way to the southwest corner of the metro area, Jordan, MN where our KOA is located. While we’re getting settled the mover calls. They are showing up tomorrow morning! Wow, we didn’t really think they would get here so quickly.
We have business to attend to. First stop a store where we can buy dry ice, so the meat from the freezer with continue to stay frozen. Next to the lot; Lee wants to do some measuring of the location of the existing well. Next, the rental house. Lee has never seen it, and I’ve only seen it once. The house doesn’t seem as nice as before but it’s still pretty good. The back deck does I have steps to the backyard, but the back yard is pretty squishy from the melting snow, and because it’s downhill from a bunch of other backyards. The kitchen is adequate but cheap looking. There’s no good place to rinse off the dogs, and the carpet will make me nervous until I’m confident the dogs know it is INSIDE! Oh well. A year from now we’ll have a beautiful house that we built and life will start to become the new normal.
Another adventure for you two. So glad you are near Leo and of course his parents! May the transition be easy peasy and your life full of new good mpeople. XoxoReplyDelete