Tuesday, August 31, 2004

A chapter has closed

Well, it's over. What a wild ride. Three long weekends in Toledo, and it seems like forever since I've been home. But it's done.

Sister Sue and her husband Jeff are officially residents of Waterville, Ohio! After 3 days of (at least for me) 18-20 hours a day, we shut the door to the house on Woodhurst Drive on Sunday at 8:30 pm, and drove away. The new condo is way overstocked - they have at least 50% more stuff than they have room for. So their 2 car-garage is exactly 1/2 full of boxes and bags waiting to be unpacked, re-sorted and re-evaluated. Their neighbors, Dean and Diane, were neighbors back at the old address, too, and joked that it's almost universal that people bring 50% too much when they downsize. So Sue & Jeff are right at "meets expectations" on that score.

I started off the weekend really worried - my back wasn't doing too well, and I was afraid I was gonna either be incapable of helping much, or (more likely) hurting myself so bad that I'd be out of commission for good by the end of the weekend. (Why is it I never remember - if you're gonna pray, why worry? And if you're gonna worry, why pray?) Thankfully, I got in to see a chiropractor Friday morning, and that helped a bunch - and Sue and Jeff both dogged me to slow down, take it easy....and for the most part, I did. I got a friend from my AA home group in Toledo to help me move boxes out of the basement before loading them into a U-Haul to take them to the new place (which saved them about $300 on the "Two Men & A Truck" moving bill). That sure helped a lot - because some of the heavier boxes were the theology books that I was storing back there. So it felt good to get them out of the way.

It felt very good to shut the door on the Woodhurst house for the last time. I've long since fallen out of love with the old house - virtually everything was wearing down, or already broken. It had become increasingly troublesome for Sue & Jeff to maintain, so there wasn't any emotional attachment at all to the place. We were all ready to be gone...there was some real freedom in walking away from that place. It was a chapter that's needed to be closed for a while.

And yes, it did rain all weekend. We didn't get the six inches of rain that my friends in Kansas City got, but we had a steady deluge from about 3 AM Friday until 2 PM Sunday, with one break - from about the time that we started loading the rental truck until about an hour after we got it unloaded at the condo. But through it all, we were just thanking God that it rained this weekend - when it didn't hurt the move much - and not last weekend, when it would have killed our garage sale (and about 40% of the stuff that we sold or gave away, and didn't have to move or throw out!).

We had a couple screwups - but even those weren't very severe, thank God. Someone took a trash bag with all their shoes in it, and started emptying the refrigerator debris into it. But somehow, despite throwing out two dozen eggs in the same bag with their work and dress shoes, not a single egg broke by the time we got back and picked it up the next morning. The last few trips - carrying stuff that didn't fit in boxes (or just never made it into boxes) took longer than it should have - but in the end, we turned out the lights and walked away in time to get to KFC and have a celebratory dinner, and I got to give a blessing for their new home and their new life, which was very cool.

Sue and Jeff will be unpacking, and weeding out what they REALLY want to keep, for a month or two - but that's why the St. Vincent de Paul Society has a truck that comes out to that neighborhood the 3rd Saturday of every month - because they *know* there will be things worth picking up out there. So all in all, it was an amazingly, blessedly successful weekend.

Coming home was the only real mess-up - I'd asked my boss if I could leave Monday morning, and be in by noon, but ran into two different runs of construction on the Indiana turnpike that delayed me nearly two hours. Fortunately, all the staff was out on a variety of vacations and breaks, so no one was impacted but me. I stayed until 8:30, and then came home and collapsed.

I thank God, too, for being sober and healthy enough to be able to be of service to my sister. Back in my drinking days, I never would have been able to show up - and would have been a hinderance instead of a help. I just am so thankful to be sober... it just makes life a whole lot better!

My back isn't in nearly as bad shape as I'd have expected, and I sure slept like a rock last night. So I have Tuesday and Wednesday in Chicago, then Thursday morning I fly to Kansas for an AA sponsee's sobriety celebration and wedding this Friday and Saturday.

I haven't forgotten the topics I promised to write on...just running short on time, rather than inspiration. I'm glad to be home, if only for a little bit!

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