Wow the last couple of days have been a total mix of emotions.. Emi our sometimes (mainly) bitchy 15 year old, had several “good-bye” dinners.. all thrown by her friends. I have to say, of the three kids.. yes three, I know, I know.. ‘how can you have three kids?’ they always say…

Anyway, Emi.. that’s where we were.. of the three kids, she has been the most ambitious when it comes to friends. Her bossy, charming, bitchiness appeals to boys and girls. It’s pretty funny actually.. anyway, she had a lot friends throw her the farewell dinners/breakfasts and general get-togethers for the “last time”. It finally hit her though.. she really broke down a couple of times. I feel bad for her, because as she puts it, “I’m in high school.. that’s harder”. I know she’s feeling the emotion of loss, but I have to stop and analyze this.. Is it really harder if you’re in high school? I’m going to go on record and say… umm, no. It isn’t harder.. loss is loss, regardless of age, or education level.. it’s real and it IS a process.. and THAT’s science.. they have proven it. Big studies somewhere I sure.. tax dollars.. blah, blah, blah…

The weekend came and went way too fast… Sunday night, one of our cool neighbors, Mark and Angie Ward came over, these guys are both graduates of USU, so of course we became fast friends, and even Emi (the sneaky-charmer-15-year-old) of course likes them too. They stopped by to see if they could help us with the final arrangements for the next day.. really going to miss these guys.

Monday got here early. The day the moving truck was going to take our stuff North. The driver and his little helpers showed up at 11:30. The packers were a couple of dudes, not very smart guys I must add… the driver was a guy that moved fast and seemed to have a plan.. wow.. this is so surreal, that big orange truck is REALLY in front of the house.. deep breath..

So as the driver walked around the house, he was checking his list from the head office… I started to hear things like.. “hmm” and “oh that would have been nice to know..” and “well, I guess we can make this work”

It seems as though the salesman that set this up weeks ago, left a couple of things off the packing list.. figures. This meant that the driver and his “little, dumb helpers” didn’t bring enough boxes.. WTF?!?! So I made a trip to Home Depot and bought a big stack of boxes to complete the moving/packing process…

Holy crap, I know this is a sometimes long process.. but COME ON! These dumb asses took 6+ hours to pack our remaining things… during the packing.. the older packer asked if I could run to the store and buy him a couple bottles of water and a diet Coke.. I thought, ‘ sure if it will help you move your dumb-ass faster’.. I didn’t say it, but I THOUGHT IT! So I got it for him… then realized that the kitchen still needed to be packed and boxed.. so we grabbed the paper and boxes and did it our selves.. damn, we had that room done in minutes.. the ‘little helpers’ had taken what seemed to be hours to do the same work.. lesson learned!

Now it’s night time again and the truck is finally loaded……. so empty… so sad.. so, so.. wow. This is really happening.. All of us have been chocking back the tears. One of our neighbors dropped off freshly cooked brownies for the road too. One of my only regrets is that I didn’t take advantage of these amazing people… another lesson learned..

I was so consumed by the job and it’s seeming endless trail of bullshit and politics, that I did get to know some of the gems that were our neighbors.. Lelani and the kids did though. I felt like such self-centered ass… but again.. lesson learned. My very life philosophy of smelling the flowers along the way was just challenged by my own stupid focus on the ‘thick of thin things’.. I trapped myself.

One of Texas’ great assets are it’s people! My mom reminded me the other day in a comment on this blog.. “there are perks and jerks where ever you go..” One of our neighbors down the street, would always bring home grown grapefruit from his backyard.. “Preacher Joe” we called him. Nice guy.. and amazing grapefruit..

So as we finished walking around our empty house, the tears started to flow.. uncontrollably for me. It was all coming out.. I looked at Lelani, and saw that it had been the same over whelming wave of emotion for her too.. We turn the temp down, turned off the lights and stood in the now empty kitchen… we stood there and stared at the walls and empty cupboards, remembering the memories and all the changes we had experienced while there.

We knew we needed to hit the road.. so we had a family prayer. Thanking Heavenly Father for our experiences and friendship that we would be leaving behind, and of course asking for safety on the long trip. Wow… this is really happening…

So here we go… our first night on the road is 6+ hours away. We head down the road, too late for rush hour now, so the traffic is manageable and really not that bad. As we progress down the road, I decide to listen to the old Point (the station I poured my heart and soul into for 4+ years).. I figured that this may be my last time to hear the ‘new station’ that didn’t need me anymore.. 2 songs and I was done.

Thank God for the Dave Mathews Band… it’s now playing on the CD player… nice.

As we pass Huntsville.. we all know Buc-ee’s is getting close. Love that place.. can you tell?? Madisonville comes into view and YES!!!! The huge Beaver sign.. like a beacon, or moth to a flame… we follow the trail of other Texans stopping for a clean bathroom and a sandwich or snacks for the road. Mmmmmm…

Back on the road, we head for our fist stop.. according to the GPS, we should be there in about 3 hours…. we later see a mileage sign.. it tells us that our destination is still 90 miles away.. WHAT?? the GPS says we’ll be there in less than an hour… WAIT!!

It’s still set to mountain time… shit!

We laugh.. wow… what a funny mistake…

We made it to our destination and slept. Now the free breakfast and back on the road.

Today we will stop in Albuquerque for the night…

As I write this.. I notice that Emi is back to her non-responsive, “give me attention” mentality again… should be a fun day. If she acts up.. there is no time-out threat… go to think about this one… should be a entertaining day. I’m going to just laugh.. she won’t get me to that point.. at least not right away.

This next stretch is the most amazing change in terrain on the trip.. camera are charged and ready to go!

Now the free.. almost eatable breakfast at the hotel…….

BTW, the water here smells and tastes like dirt.. (no Edel or any other one of my past staff… not the DIRT model)

D – direction

I- intensity



**more on this later…