WOW. What a roller coaster of emotion and ridiculous the past week or so has been. God is good, all the time. He provided for me for every single need that arose, and I am blessed beyond belief. That being said, here's the play-by-play.
The adventure began around 7am Sunday morning. Mom and I had obtained a trunkful of boxes from Walmart Saturday night, and got almost everything (we needed toothbrushes, toothpaste, and deoderant for Sunday morning) loaded into the car before bed. We were on the road by 7:30, and hit Shipley's for kolaches and coffee. We were at my uncle's place by about 7:50 because he had asked to hitch a ride with us to my aunt's place in Duncanville. Now, that's about 30-45 minutes southwest of my apartment, but family is family, and you do what you gotta do. 8am, we were for real on the road.
Because Duncanville is closer to I-35 and my apartment is off of I-45/hwy75, we decided to take the westerly route to Dallas via College Station and Waco (as opposed to going straight up I-45 from Houston). I've never gone that route before, so I let my uncle be in charge of the navigation. That was my first mistake of the trip. He changed his mind halfway through and since I didn't know any better, his "navigating" added about 40 miles to the trip. Ce la vie, right? We got to Duncanville at 12:30, had delicious lunch courtesy of my aunt, then headed over to my apartment about 1:15. I was still in good spirits at this point.
Thankfully, Christina met me at my apartment for hugs and a bit of encouragement otherwise, I think I might've cracked as soon as I got there. The condition of the apartment was DEPLORABLE. It smelled absolutely foul, like old food, poop, and smoke. There was trash and dirty dishes everywhere. I was instantly overwhelmed and understandably upset. Shan and Whitney arrived about half an hour after I did, but not until after my mom found condoms in the hallway. I don't know why they were moved, and I honestly don't think he's the one who had used them, since we had purchased those together and he didn't like them. Regardless of the reason, that's NOT something that should've happened. I texted him about it, kind of in anger, and he apologized, but it felt pretty half-assed. At least he says he's sorry. He could be a complete jerk.
When Shan arrived, he was PISSED. I mean, it's just rude and crappy to leave the apartment like that. And all of us who were in and out over the 3 days are bewildered at how people can live in squalor like that. I mean, it's gross. Anyway, we discovered where the smokey smell came from, when I noticed the box of cigars on the dining room table. He has really bad asthma, and he used to get grumpy and be a party pooper when we'd go to smokey bars. Nice. But more about why Shan was pissed. There was 6 months worth of garbage on the balcony. Why do I know that's how much? Because 2 months ago, the last time I was there, Liz and I cleaned the apartment and I'm the one who put it out there. Most of it was bottles and cans, because they kept meaning to recycle it, but they didn't find a place close enough. Cari is an eco-freak in a lot of ways, so she felt like she was "killing the earth" by not recycling. Well, Shan made about 15 trips to the dumpster and threw it all away, with a big middle finger blazing.
Whitney made a beer run because she was like, "Um, we need it." She unfortunately backed her Lexus into a poll and hit her face on her steering wheel in the process. Even a shiner can't make that girl less beautiful. NO FAIR! She's the sweetest girl and totally like, "No big deal!" and kept on keepin' on. Liz and Megan also joined in on the packing and made a great dent in it. I was not much help. I was so upset about all the crap Denver had left, emotionally overwhelmed by the process itself, and physically exhausted from the lack of sleep and long drive. Add an ativan to the mix and I was just in a fog and on the verge of tears at any given moment. I threw in the towel around 10:30 and called it a night.
Mom and I both got some desperately needed sleep, so I was in a MUCH better mood on Monday. Jen showed up by noon, and is AMAZING. She just knocked it out. Mom and I went to the grocery store to get more drinks and sandwich fixings, and Jen stayed at my apartment and packed. April arrived right as we got back from the store, at around 2. Shan arrived at 4:30, and Liz, Whitney, and Megan all arrived between 5:30 and 6:30, after they got off work. Angela came by around 8 to say hi and take a break from her work stuff, and got the job of taking me to get some more boxes. I am so so so grateful for friends like them, who just jumped in, took care of it, and worked their butts off to get my stuff packed up and ready to move. There's no way I could've gotten it done without them. No way.
We had just about everything done by about 10:30, so I sat down with a sandwich to relax and play a game with Mom before bed. That was the first time all day I got really emotional about things all day, and I was pleased. I hit the sack around midnight, with Tilly on my hip which made me feel very secure. I love my kitties.
GAME DAY. I got a little bit of a later start than I had intended, but when the choices are packing the last odds and ends or rubbing Lucie's tummy in bed, well, there's really only one choice. I got out of bed around 9 instead of 8, but that's fine. I packed for about an hour, then Mom and I went to pick up the truck at 10. My brother was in a poopy mood because he got a speeding ticket. His mood would not improve much over the course of the day. Once we had the truck back at the apartment, I got a call from my brother and learned that he took I-35W instead of I-35E. For those of you not familiar with the Metroplex, I-35 splits into 2 branches so that it runs through Dallas and Ft. Worth. It joins back up into a single interstate in Denton. 35W is the branch that runs through Ft. Worth. I kept packing, and Chris arrived around 11:30. He had a sandwich then started dismantling my bed and curtains. Chewy arrived around noon and so they started loading the truck together.
Don't you hate how it looks like you're almost completely packed until you start putting all those odds and ends into boxes and then discover that there's a whole lot more that you had missed? Yea, me too. I think it's a lot easier when you know everything is going. Unfortunately, when you have to go through everything and figure out what stays with him and what goes with you, it adds a whole new level of difficulty to the process. My dad and my brother finally arrived around 1, and everybody got down to business. April and Dave overslept so they missed the move. Luckily, it was only about 98 degrees outside, so Chris, Chewy, and Bernie didn't die loading the truck just the 3 of them. Badasses, all of 'em.
Between 4 and 4:30, we were done. Time for food! We all motor over to Texadelphia for dinner, but on the way, my car starts to act up, like its losing fire. What, you thought this move was going too smoothly? Of course it was! After we eat, (Chewy declined the free meal - idiot - and left) we get my car back to the apartment, where it promptly dies completely. Dad determines its the alternator, so we begin a frantic search for a tow dolly - at 5:30. While Chris was calling UHaul stores, we got a visit from the leasing agent with a nasty note for Denver. Let's just say I got my stuff out just in time. She knew I hadn't been living there, and she had addressed it soley to him.
At 6:30, we finally got a tow dolly. Chris has a tow hitch on his Escape, so he brought it back to the apartment. We got it hooked to the truck (which was a Budget truck - that's my dad's favorite part. UHaul dolly on a Budget truck!) which involved a little engineering because they had designed the light adaptor to only work with Budget tow dollys. We got my car up on it, loaded the cats into the carrier (which I had purchased that day because my dad left theirs in Katy) and we were on our way by 7:30.
Mom rode with Bernie, and we decided they didn't need to follow us, since he was grumpy, exhausted, and had to work the next day. Dad and I had the girls in the truck with us, and they were ANGELS. Seriously! They laid down and were content the entire drive. Tilly snuggled up at my dad's arm and helped him drive. She's a great co-pilot.
We got home around 12:15, and faced yet another challenge. I mean, obviously there would be a challenge since we had managed to miss all of the rain that Dolly was already sharing with Houston. We couldn't get my car off the tow dolly and the whole rig was entirely too long to park as is on the street. Well, God provides and our neighbor happened to come outside and offer to help. We got the car in the driveway, the kitties set up in my room, and everyone passed out by 1.
Hello, Dolly! It was sunny in the morning, so I got a few things out of the truck that were going in my room, like my dresser and a table. At 3, I was at my Bible study and the storms started. I got VERY nervous, because I had asked Kevin and Zackybooboo to come over when they got off work to help me unload the truck. I really thought it was going to pour the whole time, and I was not thrilled with the prospect of unloading everything in the rain. I mean, cardboad + rain = all your stuff is ruined.
It was overcast and threatening the entire time, but Kevin and I set to work at 6 unloading. I didn't feel bad about not loading the truck because I made up for it with the unloading. If you've ever helped me move, you know how I don't really carry furniture. Well, I do now. Zack finally got there around 8:40 (he'd had to work late and then lost power and had to wait for someone to manually open the gate and let him out). We got everything unloaded and organized in the garage so that my dad can still get to his tools and there are functional trails all around. And it didn't rain once! Yet again, God provides.
Dad went to refill the truck and discovered we only used 29 gallons. This was a 24' diesel truck, so that is AMAZING. We had totally figured it would be like $200 for gas. Nope! Only about $130. Excellent surprise. We got the truck returned a day early, and the move is complete.
Lucie and Tilly are adjusting pretty well to Mom and Dad's house. They're still wary around Missy and Tyrone, but they're getting better. Besides, Missy and Tyrone are just as wary about them! Denver and I have texted back and forth a bit, mostly about the girls. He misses them so much already, and I can't say I blame him. I remember what that feels like. But they're our babies, and he's the one who's essentially breaking up our family.
I wish this hadn't needed to happen, and I wish Denver wasn't making the decisions he is, but wishing doesn't get you very far in life. We were talking about it in Bible study yesterday, about how we love our husbands because of the men God intended them to be, because of the men that we get glimpses of, and not because of the awful choices they make and because of the way they hurt us. No one is perfect, remember?
Thank you so much for all of the prayers for this process. Keep praying for Denver, that the truth will come to him.
Scripture says we are blessed through suffering, and I was totally blessed throughout this painful experience.