Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hello hello hello.

It's been just about a week since our family left New York.  A lot has happened since, from packing up to saying goodbyes to driving to arriving.  More than I'm probably capable of actually relaying or summing up.  I tried writing something last night, but kept getting stuck trying to say everything and, as a result, not really saying anything at all.

With the help of many wonderful friends, we were able to get the vast majority of our stuff packed away and stuffed in our bedroom for the movers to take.  We ended up having about twice as much stuff as we expected to have, and really underlined the realization we kept coming to that we had a ridiculous amount of things just piled up in our lives.  This is after we sold off a good amount in our silent auction and throwing away tons of detritus.

Anyway, we gave away stuff on Craigslist, donated more to a Catholic thrift store a block away and sold a bunch of books at the Strand.  That left us with a small mound of things that we needed to get packed into the minivan.  Unfortunately, we didn't really take any pictures of our handiwork... this one of Cadence checking her email is about the best I could find.  And really, a cute picture of Cadence is better than a picture of an empty apartment.

To make a long part of a longer story shorter, we packed up the plants, the three cats, ourselves and more bags than I realized into the van. Luckily, Kate's dad brought the burger pod (I'm not actually sure what they're officially called... it's that thing that sits on top of cars and looks like a giant container for a burger) and we were able to fit everything in, and still have room to lay out in the middle of the van.

We had a bit of a send off as we packed up the van, with a group of probably underaged, drunk girls making a scene, with one getting chased off by the liquor store owner on the ground floor of our building.  She stalked away and tried closing the back of the van on Kate as she went.  That pissed Kate off and she warned the rest of the group that there would be serious consequences if the other girl came back.  The group ended up taking the warning and Cadence diffused the situation with some hardcore cute.

In the end, I walked around our empty apartment of two and a half years, and checked to see we hadn't forgotten anything.  It felt empty, like all the life had been squeezed out and as I turned off the lights for the last time I felt the end of a chapter.

We finished packing things up and headed out after dropping off our step-stool, which wouldn't fit comfortably with Erik and off we went.

The cats were... perturbed.  Carmen and Puy didn't say much of anything while Lily started meowing non-stop as if asking, "what the hell is going on.... really what's going on... where are you taking me... what's happening... HEY!!!".  Scott ended up picking up her crate and comforting her as we drove downtown and out of the city.

The drive was long.  Very long.  In the hopes of minimizing the anger we expected from the lady, we drove through the night taking shifts.  To our pleasure, Cadence ended up taking the entire trip in stride, as much as she could.  She slept most of the way and hardly fussed, despite being strapped in to the car for hours on end.

So, the drive was long but relatively uneventful.  We missed an exit in Pennsylvania, and didn't realize it for a couple hours, so we had to change our route.  At one point we left the cooler at a rest stop and had to turn around to pick it up.  But other than those couple of minor setbacks, we had a smooth drive down.  We let the cats out of the crate and put them on leashes so they couldn't run under the pedals or make a break for it when we stopped.  Lily made the most of it and crawled around the car.  Carmen seemed content to cower in the back of her crate most of the time, and Puy was motion sick and lay catatonic for most of the ride.

We were rather pleased to find that the long drive helped to foster a kinship between the three kitties that had been lacking.  Lily, who was taking the drive the best, would go from one cat to the other cheering them up and comforting them.  Even now that we've been at our destination for a few days, the cats seem to have maintained that sense of goodwill.  It's just like in the movies.

So, that was our trip, sort of.  Maybe I'm putting too much pressure on myself, but I may have just sucked all the life out of our drive down.  There was a lot of long stretches of road, and obscene gas prices, but we did it and it wasn't so bad.  Thanks for the music, Ian.

I've gotten about as far as I can in a single sitting, so I'll leave you with a preview of our arrival in our new home, which I'll try and get to soon.