Moving. It is a word that fills my heart with excitement and anticipation and dread. Returning to Alabama to our previous home and our family is a joy. But the process is painful. I have discovered that packing with an almost three-year-old is much more difficult than packing with an almost two-year-old. One day while I was busy packing during Sebastian’s nap I looked up to be greeted by a happy face and curly hair covered with pink nail polish. So was the tile, the toilet, and the cabinet along with his toes and the tops of his feet which I discovered at bedtime. (The toes are still pink. After using half a bottle of nail polish remover to clean the bathroom, his face, and his hair I lacked the energy to clean his toes.) The next day I discovered him with a sharpie in hand marking the boxes for our move. The next day he poured the remaining laundry detergent all over the floor.
Unfortunately our moving dates coincided with Adam’s coworkers (who helped move us in) being out of town for a conference, but two came early and helped packed and another sent food (including sandwiches brilliantly wrapped in foil so they could be heated in the oven without requiring dishes). My parents gifted us with means to hire some help with loading and Mike arranged for some people to remove our dog hair covered carpet from our new house. Moving day was also the day of the women’s retreat at church, so I resigned myself to not going. After all, who goes to a retreat on moving day? But then someone offered to come help move all day on Friday if it would let me come to the retreat on Saturday. How could I refuse an offer like that? So Saturday morning I left behind boxes and children and my working husband and sat to reflect on God’s loving kindness among people who have a room in my heart. It was wonderful. Work remained when I returned home and our dear neighbors came over to help finish loading the truck and clean and even brought us dinner. We spent the night with friends in the cities before starting the long two days of driving.
The drive was eventful. The boys enjoyed riding in the big truck, taking turns whenever we stopped. They had their bags filled with snacks. It is not good practice to give an almost three year old a bag of snacks all at once. He created a trail mix all his own, including a banana, which soon became a slimy mess. A white cat ran across the road the first evening which proved to be the highlight of Sebastian’s trip. He talked about with great enthusiasm to anyone willing to listen. Stephen and Adam had lengthy discussions on the way things work and Stephen was greatly surprised to discover the wheel had to be invented. We spent Sunday night in the hospitality of some college friends that we haven’t seen in ten years.
There was a period of anxiety when after stopping Monday morning to get gas the truck wouldn’t start. While we were waiting for Uhaul’s roadside service to come and I was envisioning having to unload the whole truck, a friendly stranger came to our aid and got us underway again. Thankfully the truck operated smoothly until our arrival in Alabaster and Adam excellently maneuvered it through a few tight places. As we pulled onto our street Jack observed, “This looks like a good place to ride a bike.”
Mike and Kathy were there to greet us with dinner. There were a few tears from Gabriel when they left that evening, being to young when we moved away to realize the shortness of the distance between our houses. A promise from Gran to return the next day with M&Ms quickly ended that. Unloading help and a couple of dinners came the following days. The Uhaul gave out at the last and they towed it out of our driveway.
The boys have enjoyed the big yard. Isaac spent hours planning and discussing how he could turn the shed into a haunted house. Jack has been riding. And my grandmother’s picnic table, which the Roberts have kept in safe keeping during our almost three-year stretch in Minnesota, has returned to its place on the screened porch.