Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Holes in A Rental Truck ...

 It was mid morning on July 18th when we first noticed.  My sweety was at the nose of the Uhaul grabbing boxes and bringing them to the ramp for me to carry into the storage unit.  When we work together, it is like a well oiled machine.  Every step and move is in time with each other.  The best team work I have ever taken part in.   It was when my sweety said "don't come up in here, and don't get any more boxes"  that I was thankful for the break.  I had no idea what he was talking about, but my arms were already screaming for some R & R, and I thought my legs were going to buckle.  Paul walked out of the cargo area, down the ramp and into the cab of the uhaul.  When he walked pasted me and back into the cargo area, I noticed the camera in his hand. 

"Babe, what are you doing?"  I asked tiredly 

 "The boxes in   Moms Attic are soaked.  We are going to photograph them while they are still up there, and see what, if anything,  has been damaged." He replied calmly

The gasping sound, or what ever sound escaped my mouth, must have been loud.  I am almost sure my jaw hit the pavement, and my hand flew to my face in the attempts to trap the scream that was swelling in side of me.  "The pictures of the grand babies are up there.  The ones of James military Graduation.  My uncle Carlos pictures.  What if they are soaked?  I could never replace those." 

 "I know baby"  my sweety said gently "lets not get all upset and worked up until we know if the water damaged anything.  Alright?"

Paul is always so calm, cool,  and collected during times like these.  I was ready to dial the CEO and President of the rental company, while my sweety carefully moved each box and took pictures of the damage.

As the camera 'snapped' away,  I watched and prayed that the photos were not damaged.

The more boxes he  moved, all hope inside of me seemed to escape.  Washed away by the storms on our trip from Texas to Florida.  Lost forever in the back of a rented Uhaul truck.  Gone...

The race against time...

There is nothing worse then being rushed, right?  It never fails, seems something is always forgotten, misplaced, or lost when time is of the essences.  I personally can not function correctly when I am rushed, we're talking about major shut down; and it doesn't have to be some one walking behind me and whispering words of  wasted time, or reminding me of groups of people waiting.  Nope, for me it could be the pure sound of the second hand on the living room wall clock that reminds me to hurry. 

It was the race against time that made me forget.  Knowing in the back of my mind, the hours were flying by at warp speed...  Strange how time always does that.  Wait until it knows you can not afford to hurry; then it speeds up.. at the most inopportune moments. 

My sweety and I intended to have everything ready for our 1300 mile trip as we travel from Texas to Florida, our first trip/move together.  In the previous post, you heard about our packing abilities, saying good bye to my children and grand children, the collision of my shin and trailer hitch.  What I hadn't told you, was the wonderful job I did remembering to pack the items for our hotel stay.  Just a fabulous job. 

The amount of rain we drove through, was, well lets just say it was so much that I can not even put it into words.  I felt like rain was the only weather we had the whole trip.  Needless to say, we did not make it out of Texas the first night.  After being up all night long making sure everything was loaded, and when we did sleep it was only for 4 hours.  Our first hotel/motel night was at La Quinta Inn, equipped with a king size bed, microwave, very large double door restroom, full cable channels, internet connection, lots of young energized girls who were in a competition of some kind, and was right next door to Cracker Barrel {yummy}; oh yeah.. this was the perfect location to stop for the night.  After we pay for our room,  we decide to eat dinner before calling it a night,  as we walk over to Cracker Barrel it hits me.  In all the rush to get everything packed, I didn't leave out a single change of clothes for myself.  Not one outfit.  Packing the hair brush was no problem,  except that I didn't pack it in my bag.  The blow dryer, flat iron, shampoo and every other important item a women needs after a shower, was neatly backed away...

in a box. 

Marked Bathroom. 

In "moms attic", on the back of the Uhaul.    

Well, wouldn't that just be my luck.  It wasn't bad enough that we were driving in torrential down pours.  Where the wipers, couldn't wipe fast enough for me to see the road. And my sweety drove at the speed of sound.  And I couldn't see the road.  And the wipers weren't fast enough.  And I had to close my eyes.  And take deep breaths.  Where all I could say and think was "just pull over and let me drive", cause I was starting to feel a little out of control and was unable to relax at this point.  OK, so maybe the speed of sound is stretching it a little; but it sure felt that fast and faster.   As fate would have it.. I did not pack one single thing in an over night bag, that benefited me in a single way.

Once we were up in the room, my sweety showered first, and then went down to the Uhaul and retrieved everything I needed for my shower.  He is such a wonderful gentleman.  Isn't he?  Not only did he bring back my personal shower items, but he also brought back the bedroom fan.  Oh, the sound that rocks a tired mind to sleep.  The next morning we started very early.  I was in the drivers seat this time, and cruising down the road, but not before we had a wonderful breakfast feast at Cracker Barrel.  I could eat there every day. 

We were crossing over onto the Hammond Swamp when I drove into another down pour.  My sweety grabbed the camera and snapped a few pictures.   During this time, while I was driving, there was perfect control.  That's the thing about OCD; there has to be control, when you factor in a 46 year old single mother {who controlled a household} and tack OCD onto it, you have big problems.  The whole time the wheel was in my hand, it was smooth sailing.  Paul lied back the passager seat, got comfortable, and before I knew it he was out like a light.  With the radio playing, the truck at a comfortable speed, and the rain coming down.. my world was perfect. 

Once we crossed into Florida, the sky and roads were beautiful.  The grass always looks so green and the sky a crisp blue.  The rain brought on the prettiest rainbow, dark clouds, and the trees looks like there were painted onto the back drop.  I had been so worried about the humidity, I forgot just how beautiful Florida really is.

Even through rain covered windows, I found myself gasping at the glorious view.  And the rainbow was a site for sore eyes, as it so happened, my sweety woke up to soak in the view with me.  Good thing he took control of the camera, or I just might be blogging about an Uhaul Accident, or something to that effect. 

Lets face it, he sure is good at capturing the beauty in these shots, don't you think?  Good job Sweety, hats off to you.

Now that we were in Florida, both of us thought it was smooth sailing.  Until we realized just how far away from our destination we were.  I though Texas was a big state to get out of, seems Florida is a big state to get into.  As the sun was setting behind us, and I was complaining about not being able to sit and watch it with him, my sweety captured a vision all of his own...

The sun set in the rear view mirror as we were traveling down Highway 75.  Pretty neat photo if you ask me. 
Needless to say, we arrived at our destination at about 4/5 in the morning.  I was well past tired, in fact I begged my sweety to just stop the truck and sleep for a couple of hours.   I though there was a break down coming on, or possibly a melt down.  When I counted it up, I had been awake for almost 23 hours... straight.  Yeah, a melt down was making it's way to the surface alright. 

Even without packing any of my personal items, or clothing in my travel duffel bag; my sweety made sure I had everything I needed, as he personally unpacked what I was lacking and brought it to me.  Isn't that the sweetest thing ever. takes my breath away every time I think about it.  In spite of the down pours.  The cooler that squeaked throughout the entire trip {we had to contain each other at times, to keep from tossing it out the window}.  My lack of sleep.  My sweeties lead foot.  The ungodly hour we arrived at our destination.  I would have to say it was an awesome adventure, that I would do again. 

Except, maybe a shorter distance next time...  

Sunday, July 24, 2011

OCD, Goodbyes, and The Goose Egg...

 Through out our lives there are; bridges, crossroads, hills, twist, turns, and everything else we "don't" think we can handle.  I had come to the end of my rope during the week of 7/9 ~ the "Move" week.  You know, when you are still working a 40 hour job and coming home at 9pm, only to realize there are still "last minute" items to pack up.

Funny how those items just seem to multiply all by themselves.  Right?

Who can think of cooking in an apartment full of packed boxes and disorganization?  Not me, and that is an understatement.  Lets just say.. ODC and Moving do not mix.  No matter where I turned, a box was looking back at me.  If I closed my eyes and reopened them, more items to pack appeared.  I could not get away from the madness and felt like I was going to loose my mind.

 Moving mode

Now, if you have followed my blog in the past; you will fully understand what I am talking about.  I like things neat, clean, orderly; A mess and me under the same roof, not a good idea.  It just isn't in me to leave things out of place.   

 Before move

 The faster we just loaded things in the uhaul, the better things would be.  So I thought.  What a silly thing to do, assume. 

 The girls and the grand babies were waiting for me when I arrived home from work.  One last family gathering, everyone together, and then the moving will begin.  Paul and Cody had already loaded the sofa, love seat, and television.  The rest would be a breeze, again I was assuming.  It was the best feeling ever to have the family around me on the last day in Texas.  I knew it was going to be hard moving, and I knew I would miss my daughters and grand children very much, but with all the other planning,  I forgot to prepare for the pain when I laid eyes on them all; and when we all said good-bye. 

Good Byes

I stood on the front breezeway with my sweety as everyone left and pulled away.  I wanted to die.  Stop breathing.  Scream for them to wait, and then beg them all to come with me.

How do you start a life ~ after your children are grown?  I have no idea how to be me ~ without them all.  I fought hard to keep the lump down.  Hold the tears back.   Push forward in this chapter of my life.  The one where my children and grand children aren't within arms reach of me.  The one where I drive away, and leave them to their own family... building their own lives.  Without me; and me without them.

If there is one thing I have learned; pour yourself into work when the going gets tough.  That is just what we did.  Boxes were first, and my sweety and I carried them down one by one; step by step; right into the back of the truck.  It seemed in a blink of the eye; the sun escaped, the sky turned dark, and the moon shone the way back to the apartment front door. 

The Moment

I was lost in myself and the pain of good byes.  The feeling of not seeing my children daily had sunk my heart.  The worry and excitement of my new beginnings swelled around inside of me.  I could only think to keep my feet moving, it was the only way I knew not to fall to pieces.  Instinctively I reached for Paul, and quitely we walked together toward the apartment, guided by the moon light, hand in hand. 

On about the hundredth trip carrying boxes, we had worked out a system in the silence, Paul stayed in the truck stacking the boxes and making sure everything was a stacked in a good tight fit, and I carried the boxes down the steps and placed them on the back of the uhaul.  As my sweety arranged everything, I would head back upstairs for another box.  It was during one of these trips, where I ran into the back of the trailer hitch.  I was working on a good stride, getting ready to head back up the two flights, so I turned and took two full steps when...

WHACK.!!  Shin made contact with trailer hitch.

LIMP..  %&@*!
LIMP..  @*}!#
LIMP..  UGH !!!

Being the trooper I am, we pushed forward while I took deep breaths through my gritting teeth.  The more I walked, the less it seemed to hurt.  Once we stopped for a rest it was back to..

LIMP... {*&@#!

Right about the time the goose egg appeared, we stopped for the night.  I sat in one of the balcony chairs with ice on my leg {thanks to my sweety, for the ice and putting up with my "it hurts to keep the ice on it" crying}while Paul made us dinner.  He is such a wonderful caring person.  I am truly lucky to have him. 

!! OUCH !!

With just two balcony chairs in the living room and a television sitting on an end table, Paul and I ate our last dinner in my apartment.  What a creative cook he is.

Potatoes and eggs {over easy} topped with cheddar cheese. Yummy !

There we sat.  My sweety with a grin on his face, a wink tossed in my direction, and a dinner plate on his lap; while I battled with OCD and a dysfunctional apartment, a hatching goose egg on my shin, and a dinner plate in my lap.  What a site we must have been to each other.  I think the best words ever heard that night; was "lets call it a night baby, and finish the rest tomorrow".  Music to my ears.  It was like Paul said we won the Lotto. 

Oh yeah.. before you go I have one more thing to show you...

 My Sweety

This is what happens; when the love of my life turn his back while I was holding the camera.  As my sweety was standing beneath the yellow light taking down the Temp Gauge, I could not help myself.  There's  something about a man with tools hanging from his belt.  

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Looking at you; Looking at me...

    As I got up this morning {dreading a day of repacking} I fixed my coffee, grabbed my camera and headed right for the balcony.  I need something good today.  Anything good would do.  The coffee is just what I needed, a warm welcomed jump start to my already, well anticipated, long day.  As I sipped on my Maxwell House  Breakfast Blend coffee {not a plug} and listened to the birds {that I could not find} chatter away ... 

... My mind began to wander to the sunrise of a few days ago...

 This was my view {7/6} Wednesday morning, this made me think of log fires, roasting marshmallows, ghost stories and having a good time.  I couldn't soak up enough of it.  The clouds were like a blanket, if only it could keep the heat out.  

 Yep.  Think maybe I will rustle up some cattle.  Ride a horse bareback.   Get a pig or two.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Incentive vs Temptation ..

Incentive for a child, can be the advantage for the adult.  Temptation is its down fall. 

On Wednesday Paul and I, along with Ashley, took the girls to McDonald's for lunch and some down time.  While we were ordering lunch at the counter, the two girls were already itching to enter the play area.  Of course, it was stated that play time can begin after lunch is finished.  

Just how long do you think that lasted?

As soon as we sat down at the round table, opened the happy meals and set everything out for the girls, they began to dig in.  Having the in door play area within reach, but unable to enjoy it helped tremendously.   Jayla was quicker then Arianna with her digging in, but she also made it clear that she wouldn't go and play without Arianna.  Sweet isn't it?

With every hand full of fries and bite of cheeseburger, Jayla reminded Arianna to eat up.. "Come on Arianna, eat so we can go play"..  But some how I had the feeling that Arianna was going to play, food finished or not.  She just had that look about her.  She ate her fires and took bites of her cheeseburger, but just the look on her face, told you she was playing along until her sister was finished.


With only weeks before my sweety and I head out to Florida, we spent my first day off at the zoo with my four grand children and my eldest daughter Tabitha.  Boy was it hot hot hot.  The temperature rose up to 102, and there was no relief in sight.   Despite the heat,  it was a great day.  I really couldn't have asked for anything better.

Paul and Garrett watch the fish and orange dragonflies ..

The white Catfish drew in quite an audience 

 They were favorable amongst many .. Jayla and Arianna watched the turtles as well

The high temperature had many animals seeking for cooler areas; even in the shade there was little comfort.  That was the same for us as well.  The indoor exhibits were in our sights, and so easier to linger in when we got there.  Nothing like AC blowing hard and strong.   The children were more relaxed and comfortable, and we all know what that means,  happy children mean happier adults.  I pushed Arianna in her stroller, Tabitha pushed Eli in his stroller,  Jayla hitched a ride on Paul's shoulders, and Garrett huffed it out walking like a real trooper. 

In between traveling from one animal area to the next; we tried our best to travel within the shaded areas of the trees.  It did help keep the hot sun from peering down on the children {and the adults}, poor babies were sweating; little drops streaming down their faces.  Only when we came upon an area when the animals were clearly seen, did we stop and visit.  The best place was ... well, let me show you..

I just love this picture ~ don't you ..
Just look at that face.. the cutest thing ever.

When we all found the aquarium, we did our best to see and point out every last fish to the children.  Making it the coolest place in town; not only cause of all the different color fish, but cause the AC felt best in the aquarium.

Yes, a dark cool area where the children enjoyed watching the fish, the adults plopped a squat, and we all soaked up the cooler moment.

Jayla and Arianna had a blast on this slide; it went right through the center of the Otter exhibit.  Paul took the photo, and it came out awesome.  I love how the girls reflection dance off the top of the slide and the water magnifies the effect.

This started out as a good idea.  Get all the grand children on the horse,  they would all smile, and *poof* another wonderful photo of all my grand babies.. sounds easy enough, right?  About the time Garrett and Jayla looked at the camera, Arianna looked away, and when Tabitha said hands down.. Eli put his hands up. Cute, huh?  Yep, we, are an American Family.

Before we left the Zoo, I suggested we all stop for ice cream.

 Nothing says it better then the smiles on these faces.  I would say the ice cream suggestion, was a great idea.  Perfect end to a wonderfully hot day at the Zoo.  I wouldn't  change one single thing on my day off, it turned out to be the best Zoology day ever.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Independence Day ...

 Although I spent my July  4th working, it was the best time in my life.  I couldn't have asked to spend a better day, then with two awesome people; Chay and Kevin.  The morning was light, the customers were understanding, and we were the only pharmacy open.  The fireworks.  The Independence.  The Freedom.  Yep... It was a good day.  Did you know that the earliest documentation of fireworks was in the 7th century, China used fireworks to scare off evil spirits and pray for happiness and prosperity.  Interesting little bit of fact for you.

My evening was spent with my sweety, he made dinner plans for the both of us.. yummy... and the fireworks show was perfect.  It was our first 4th of July together.  Another wonderful night with my sweety.  I ask you, could life get any better?  

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Vision of White...

This is nothing in the world I love more then spending time with family.  The funny things someone blurts out, the unrehearsed actions of a child, and the way I feel at the end of the day. Like it has been the best day of my life.  Yep, spending time with my daughters and grand children has to be the greatest thing ever on the face of the earth.  

My eldest daughter Tabitha is going to be in  her best friend Kim  September wedding, the Matron of Honor, so on one Saturday we went into Waco and purchased the dress.  Tabitha had Eli {Garrett was at Bible Camp and was expected home that afternoon} and I had both grand daughters, Jayla & Arianna.  Walking into Davids Bridal, was a flash from the past for me.  I loved the dresses on display.  Loved seeing Tabitha try on Matron dresses.  Loved listening to Jayla talk about the dresses.  Loved the look on Eli's face, he is such a little man already.  Loved watching Arianna copy everything her sister did.

I learned that morning from Tabitha, if ever in a hurry and unable to touch up your toe nails, just quickly use a colored Sharpe.  Works just as good from my point of view.