About a month ago, we were in the final push to move out of our house and turn it over to our tenants. We were sleeping on mattresses on the floor, purging unneeded and unwanted clothing and furniture. Jane was still working every day. The boys were still in daycare. And I was calling in every favor for help from friends and family to finish the move. It was hot, hectic, and humbling.
By sheer force of will, we managed to finish the move. Most of our belongings that once filled our 3,500 square foot home were compressed into a 10′ x 20′ box. What didn’t get stored there was either crammed into my truck and sent to South Carolina with my dad, or tucked away in closets and crevices at Jane’s parents’ house. We were down to a car and a few too many items to bring along for the big trip. But we didn’t have time to catch our breaths, because Jane’s last day in the office was also the same day we left for a road trip to visit my family in the Carolinas. So with a quick good-bye, we bid farewell to our beloved home, piled into the car, and headed east.
We met my parents, sisters, and their families in Maggie Valley, NC, where we shared a beautiful mountain home for several days.
There, we climbed mountains, played in streams, and chased waterfalls. At night, we sat in darkness, perched on our porch atop the mountain, and stared gazingly into the magnificent night’s sky. Without the ambient glow of big cities to which we are so accustomed, the celestial wonders of the universe were able to shine through. We could clearly see the Milky Way, as well as Mars and Jupiter. Our stay also overlapped the beginning of the Perseid Meteor Shower and, as a result, I saw more “shooting stars” in three nights than I have in my entire life.
Alas, all good things must come to an end. So, once again we loaded up the car, and traveled to my parents’ house in South Carolina for a few days. Then it was back up to North Carolina to visit some more with my sisters and to let the cousins play together, which was the best part of the entire trip!
Before too long, we were heading back to Texas. It’s about a 14 hour drive, so we split it up into two days each time. On the drive out, we drove over Arkansas and Tennessee with our overnight stop in Jackson, TN. For the drive back, we took the southern root through Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. For propriety’s sake–and also because we love the Johnny Cash & June Carter Song–we stopped over in Jackson, MS. For anybody that is keeping count, that’s nine states in just ten days!
Once we were back in Texas, we rushed to tie up loose ends before we left the country–doctor appointments, wills & POAs, insurance, farewells, Remy’s first birthday party, and our final cut for packing! Whether we were ready or not, August 19, 2018 finally arrived, which meant it was time for us to leave!
And so began our journey, stepping firmly Off the Yellow Brick Road…