This move was not an easy one for us.
There were complications on various levels, the first being the logistics of the thing. We had two vehicles plus a camper to get back to Virginia. And then there was all that STUFF. No matter how much I think we've decluttered and purged and streamlined, there is always so much JUNK coming out of the woodwork.
We decided to go with ABF U-pack instead of U-Haul (which we did coming to Montana). We would pack the truck, but someone ELSE would drive it. While it was a little more costly than U-Haul, I feel this was definitely one expense that was worth it. Otherwise, Ethan was going to have to drive the little van back to Virginia, fly back to Montana, and then drive a U-Haul while I drove the larger van towing the camper and the six kids.
Then God took care of another problem for us: a family in our church agreed to take the little van. Hurrah! Having a second vehicle was not worth the hassle and stress of having to get that van back to Virginia.
The next obstacle was perhaps the most visually dramatic of all: our driveway. Our driveway in Montana was steep and narrow and curvy. We tried to explain this to the driver of the ABF truck, but I guess he thought we were exaggerating.
We were not.
And he got stuck.
But -- oh, glory! -- he did get unstuck.
And we packed and threw away and packed and threw away and packed and threw away.
And we said our goodbyes. This was hard for everyone. It was hard saying goodbye to the neighbor dogs, who would routinely come visiting around suppertime. It was hard saying goodbye to the neighbor children, whose builder father and interior decorator mother (with a British accent, even!) had built the coolest house ever and did awesome things like painting faces and playing guitar.
And it was hard saying goodbye to the church group. Benjamin (7) especially struggled. He tends to take after his mother when it comes to saying goodbye, and he tried really hard to hold back his emotions. When he said goodbye to Claire, his 12-year old friend from church, he mustered a quick, painful, "Bye-bye forever!" and hastily thrust a 10-dollar bill into her hand.
And if you can't feel the strength of those emotions - a 7-yr. old giving a $10 bill! - be assured that that pretty much ranks a 10 on the emotive scale.
(some of the children with Claire)
(the children with our nature-loving logging friends)
Saying goodbye to our logger family was no picnic, either. The children (and we!) were mesmerized by Haley's impressive butterfly collection. Jeff (the father) identified a skull Ben found on their property as a red fox skull (Ben kept a tooth). And no one wanted to leave Brenda (the mother), whom everyone thinks is the PERFECT surrogate mother (even more perfect than their real mother - imagine that!).
**sigh** These things were hard. They are still hard. But as I tried to tell Benjamin, ten months ago we did not think we would be back in Virginia with Virginia friends - and here we are. Who knows where we will end up, and where they will end up, and whether we will be brought back together before ... "forever"?
We may not meet in this building:
or in this state (although we'd all love that!):
But we WILL meet again.