The adventure begins. And none too soon. I knew the newlyweds were getting bored when they started playing with the magnetic alphabet on the refrigerator.
We got a pretty early start on Friday for our long day's drive. Jeff driving the U-Haul, Heather driving her car, and me driving Jeff's pickup. Fewer stops were made than I expected. Northeastern Oklahoma has been very arid this summer, and the further southwest we drove the arider it got. Maybe we were dehydrated. Although we did have to make one "emergency" stop somewhere in the Permian Basin. Not an official rest stop, mind you, but out in the middle of nowhere....leaving two obvious wet spots on the side of the road. The least they could've done was target a poor little mesquite tree or sage brush that hadn't seen moisture in decades. Sheesh!
Driving 10 hours in the heat can be awfully draining. So imagine our relief when we were met at the new apartment by SIX young, strong, energetic baseball players, ready to lug furniture and boxes up to the third floor. If not for them, we would've still been moving way into the night. Even with all the help, my calves are still aching from a gazillion trips up two flights of stairs.
I'll be the first to admit I am directionally challenged. And I rely way too much on the compass in my Honda, which was safely parked at my house in Oklahoma. But I had a gps, for heaven's sake. Still couldn't find my hotel. Finally, after almost an hour, just before I hit my breaking point (I felt tears forming around my dry eyeballs), there it was! An oasis in the desert. Literally. Well, sort of literally. A long, relaxing shower, then a king size bed all to myself. Nothing personal, Neal. Or Jacob. Or Lauren.
My son and new daughter-in-law have SO MUCH in common. That can be really good in a marriage. However, procrastination is not necessarily a good trait to share. They had a month--A MONTH, I TELL YOU--to pack up their belongings.
After renting the moving truck Thursday afternoon, the packing began. I will concede that they apparently had done a little sorting and organizing previous to this big day. And I stress the word "little."
With the help of big brother and two friends, they managed to get everything loaded before midnight. (I only assume this, since I had retired long before then.)
After a couple of hours trying to help gather up belongings and pack boxes, I came to the conclusion that it was not my fault they had waited until the 11th hour to get ready for their move. Lauren had been patiently, and sometimes not so patiently, waiting to swim. She was hot and sweaty and red faced when I finally said, "okay, let's get in the pool." To which she replied in dramatic fashion, "THANK. YOU. LORD. JESUS!"
By 10:30 (an hour past my bedtime) I squeezed my tired, achy body between my two grandchildren to get whatever precious little sleep I could before my alarm sounded at 5:15. Jacob was nestled up to my left shoulder, Lauren's head laying on my right shoulder. Dark and quiet. Sounds of breathing slowing to a gentle rhythm. Jacob: "I love you, Nana." Lauren: "I love you, Nana." Oh. My. Goodness. I can sleep when I'm dead.
My son and his new bride have been staying with me this past month. After hurried nuptial arrangements, they found out that their apartment in Texas wouldn't be ready until August 5. That seemed soooo far away, but now it's here.
It has been delightful. And handy. My daughter-in-law does laundry, cleans the kitchen and cuts my bangs. She also understands my obsession with reality tv and doesn't laugh when I cry. She's taken an interest in cooking...which I don't hate. Coming home to the smell of pot roast is pretty great.
Watching newlyweds could become addictive. They are so full of life and hope and excitement. And then there's the calm, peaceful moments. I heard them around 1:30 this morning--making nachos. (That's not the calm/peaceful moments I'm talking about.) They had just spent the previous hour and a half in the bed of Jeff's truck, looking at the Milky Way and counting shooting stars. Do I hear a collective "awwwww"?
Since the storm a couple of weeks ago took out my yard light, it is REALLY, REALLY dark out here in the boonies, and the stars are especially bright.
We're packing them up and leaving Friday. The forecast calls for a high of 105. Whew. That's a relief. I was afraid it would still be 114.