Douglas and I have spent the last six days in an extended-stay hotel. All of our worldly goods are packed in the biggest Penske truck, as we transition to new lives. Yesterday was his last day at work here, and he starts his new position at the same employer on Tuesday in our new home state.
After cake and ice cream with our church family, we will make the nearly four-hour journey from Tennessee to Georgia one last time. Because of the weight of the truck, with one of the cars attached like a suckling calf, the trip up the mountains of Tennessee will take about five or more hours.
We closed the sale of our house last Friday, and we had to be out of our house by midnight on Monday. Douglas was so tired from having to drive three hours to pick up his son from just outside Chattanooga, after the Greyhound bus broke down. His son was coming to help us pack and then drive Douglas’s car to Atlanta for us. It became quite an adventure for him.
The three young men hired to help pack the truck declared it finished on Sunday evening, and neither our bed nor televisions, as well as half a garage of bits and pieces, were yet on the truck. The stress of having procrastinated and not sorted out what we didn’t need to take and seeing the truck packed to the gills finally was too much for this old lady, and the tears started.
Douglas never falls apart, and he assured me that after a good night’s sleep, we would redo the packing and everything would be fine. It is times like this when I recite Scriptures as a stressbuster. Philippians 4:6-7 states, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
As peace descended on my heart, I remembered that we had made this kind of move four other times in fifteen years of marriage, and every time we met the deadline, and we would do the same this time. The two of us working together got it done by 6:00 pm on Monday.
As usual, we had help from lovely neighbors, who took control of all the detritus left behind, such as paint, wood, and lots of garbage. I cleaned all the bathrooms, vacuumed all carpets, left toilet paper in the bathrooms, and swept the steps, leaving the house as clean as possible for the new inhabitants. I pray God will grant them love, laughter, and peace in this home, as He did for us.
So, we have come full circle. Nearly sixteen years ago, we met on the Internet in a Christian dating site, while both living in Georgia. We have been married for fifteen years, and have moved to Illinois, California, Tennessee, and now back to Georgia. It has been an adventure for two wandering souls. It would have felt blasphemous for me not to affirm my faith by stepping out of my comfort zone and embracing so much change.
We have packed and unpacked so many times, but this one is different. It is our last move to a new home, for in our late sixties, we are TIRED. Yet, I am excited to feel the power of the truck beneath me, to travel the miles one last time, with the greatest driver in the world.
I look forward to moving into our new home on next Friday, when we are scheduled to close. We will spend five days in another hotel in Georgia, and then settle down. But there won’t be any rocking chairs for us just yet.
We still have places to go and adventures to experience, together. We will spend more time with children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, as we will live precisely one hour away, in different directions, from both of our children. This little city has a very active senior citizen program, and I am going back to teaching as an adjunct, I hope.
Life is a series of transitions, and it is meant to be. I have made choices that caused people to question my sanity, but I have had a ball! Taking a chance on late-life love has been so rewarding. I have fulfilled dreams of going to college to become a professor, traveling around the world, and living someone other than the South. With Douglas, dreams deferred became dreams that came to fruition.
So, on to Georgia, a new house, and new beginnings. Transitions can seem awful, as we leave friends, neighbors, and church family. But, oh, the friends we will make, the neighbors we will get to know, and a new place to serve the Lord will bring such joy into our hearts. And most enjoyable of all, we will make this move together, until death do we part.