Moving day. I woke up with a pit in my stomach. Took my time getting ready. Actually fixed my hair today and put on makeup. I'd hate having Scott and Ashley remember me like I've looked every day for the past several days: no makeup, hair up in a bun, hot and sweaty and dusty. So today we classed it up a little bit.
There were 5 guys loading things out to the truck when I got to the apartment, and Scott's dad was in the truck fitting everything in like a giant puzzle. At first the truck looked enormous, but (as usual) when you fill it up with your entire life, it gets a little bit crowded. Box after box went out, swallowed up by the cavernous truck. Larger pieces of furniture started heading out the door, and up the loading ramp.
Ashley and I left to get everyone some sandwiches and drinks. When we got back there were only a few things left to load. The puzzle inside the truck looked like it only had a few open spaces left, and that's where it got tricky trying to fit the remaining items in. As I walked back towards their apartment, I noticed there was a storage cabinet in the carport in front of their Nissan Murano. I asked the kids if they'd emptied it and was greeted with blank stares. Of course they had forgotten all about that cabinet and out came a few more bins and boxes to load. One of the boxes in there was a pizza maker that had never been used, and it found a new home with one of the guys who had been helping with the move. Sometimes the rewards of service are immediately felt.
This is how the house looked yesterday as we were still packing up boxes and boxes and more boxes:
We all felt like we were being swallowed up in the piles of boxes, bins, and bags full of things like hangers and other miscellaneous items.
It always surprises me how many things we accumulate in our lives - even if your life together has only been 2 short years! It was overwhelming to pack up the practical and the sentimental, and still remember to leave out the things they'd need for their 3 weeks in India BEFORE they move into their new apartment!
But gradually, over the course of several days, everything was boxed, bagged, or bubble wrapped. The precious things were carefully wrapped, and the random things came out of dark closet corners to find their proper place on the truck.
At last, the truck reached maximum capacity, and luckily, there was no more to load. Magic. A few more tweaks, a final check for stability, and it was time to shut the door and padlock it.
The time had come. The moment I'd dreaded all day. I hate goodbyes. I cried a little bit to Ashley. I'm going to miss that girl and her funny sense of humor. I'll miss her amazing sense of style and her plethora of accessories. She has the perfect hat, belt, scarf, or bracelet for any outfit. I surprised myself and didn't cry in front of Scott. My Scott... I can't even begin to explain how much I'll miss him, and the way he can make me laugh like no other. He is the most stubborn person I've ever known, and also the sweetest. Austin, Texas is lucky to have him, that's all I can say.
Earlier that morning - when I'd first arrived - I tucked a little surprise into his suitcase with Ashley's help. It was the Halloween blackbird that we've always sent back and forth between us. The last time he gave it to me, it was in a dark parking lot in Utah, and he put this soft thing in my hand. My first thought was "dead mouse." It was that freaking bird. So tonight, when he opens up his toiletries bag to get his toothbrush or toothpaste, the little worn out bird that's missing an eye will greet him. I hope he screams like a girl. *satisfied smile* (It will probably be under my pillow when I visit though - fair is fair. That's why I need to stay in a hotel.)
They will arrive in Austin on Friday and unload their things to a storage unit. On Monday they'll go to Houston and fly to Chicago where they'll meet the rest of Ashley's family. From there, they go to India for three crazy weeks. It's a schedule you could only keep if you are young.
The Indian side of the family has planned a huge wedding celebration for them, since they missed the real one 2 years ago. There will be all kinds of activities. But the picture in my head that is keeping a smile on my face is the one where Scott realizes his dream to ride an elephant, his arms stretched wide over his head in welcome as he yells "Hello India - my people!" And he high fives the monkeys hanging from the trees. Maybe you have to know Scott to picture that. But it's hilarious if you can.
PS: I received this wonderful text message from Scott at 1:15 am: "Your present made me smile big" along with this little photo:
The joke lives on. You can see how this little dead-looking bird could make your heart stop - for just a second - when you discover it in a surprise place. We've been sending it back and forth to each other for...oh... about 7 years now, and it's looking even more worn and scary than it did originally. I have no doubt that I'll be reunited with it on my first visit to Austin. So all is well with my little band of gypsies - the text and Instagram made ME smile, and I went right back to sleep.