Oh my gosh – I am so relieved that we actually made it out of Reno. There were a few times over the last week that I didn’t actually think it would happen. But, in the end, preparations always take exactly as long as you have, so this was no exception. Literally, I was packing away the last boxes when the cleaners showed up and the house was only unoccupied for one night. After two weeks of packing and moving for the better part of every day, we decided that we have entirely too much stuff…and we have only lived in that house for two years! While it was stressful to have to deal with all of our “stuff”, it is also quite liberating to leave it all behind. At this point we have pared our life’s possessions down to one carry-on sized bag and one small daypack each. If we don’t have it, we will either have to live without it or buy it along the way.
The day we left was also Lucia’s birthday and we didn’t want the chaos of departure to overwhelm her big day. Colburn purchased glow in the dark balloons, a fun birthday banner and a beautiful birthday cake so we would be able to make it at least a little special for her. We were camping the first night so Mac distracted Lucia with a little hike while we decorated the trailer with lights, balloons, and the banner. It was a lovely if subdued event. Celebrating birthdays may prove to be difficult on the road, but we are hoping it will be easier since we won’t be moving out of our home, trying to get all of our “stuff” where it needs to be, and knee-deep in final preparations when the next birthday comes around.
Our first stop was with Deb’s brother (Rick) and sister-in-law (Laura) who just purchased a new hobby farm in California. It has been their life dream to have a piece of property like this so we are incredibly excited for them to embark on their journey to rural life and wanted to see it before we left. Serendipitously we dropped in on the first “Lowellpalooza” – a crazy weekend of kids, wine, swimming, and friends from their old neighborhood camping on their farm. There were probably 10 or 12 families dealing with the record breaking heat currently engulfing the West Coast. Although a bit overwhelming for us coming off of our craziness getting out of Reno, it was great to be able to share the event with them and to see them in a place that seems perfect.
We also dropped off some of our most prized possessions (Moxie, the trailer and the truck) with the Lowell’s. We were all very sad to say goodbye to Moxie. We knew it would be difficult, but driving away from him was definitely the most difficult goodbye so far. With friends and family you can make arrangements to see them on the road or keep in touch through Skype and telephone calls. But, with a dog that greets you with a tail wag and request for a collar scratch every morning for the last nine years it is hard to reconcile not seeing him for a year or maybe even more. He has a gentle, knowing presence that grounds each of us when we are stressed. Stroking his soft curly fur is incredibly calming. We know that he will be loved and well-cared for, so it will be fine for him after the first few days. We are mourning our loss, not his.
Today Colburn’s sister dropped us off at the airport and we are on the first of many flights as I write this. Although we were so “proud” to have fit all of our stuff in to a carry-on sized packs, just walking though the airport today made us realize that they are too heavy to be sustainable. We have too much stuff. Yes, it all fits, but the kids are falling backwards with the weight. Colburn and I looked like pack mules with the kids bags, our bags, and our daypacks walking down the aisle on the plane. When we get to Grandpa’s house, we are going to have to do some serious paring down of both weight and volume.