Emotions on Cruise

It has finally happened! I’ve gone from feeling like I’m on an extended vacation

to feeling like I’ve actually moved elsewhere.

Not that my brain didn’t already know that I had moved, but living in an RV tends to leave a person in a state of vacation or at least this person 🙂

Since receiving the job offer three months ago, our life has been a whirlwind of activity.

There really wasn’t time to focus on all that was happening. I had to get things done and they had to be done quickly.

When we arrived in Texas, the activity level remained high. We arrived 12 days before Christmas and there was much to do. The holidays came and went, but during that time we also decided to trade in Georgette on a 5th wheel, so we were busy shopping, making those decisions and preparing for yet another move. Back in Illinois we had people in and out working on our house getting it ready to put on the market and I was busy making sure everything was lined up and getting done. Our house went on the market and two days later we had an offer. I was prepared for months of waiting for our house to sell.

For the last three months it has been an avalanche of activity in our lives

and now that things are beginning to settle down, I’m feeling the emotions of this major life event, fluctuating between excitement, frustration, anxiousness and impatience.

Of course I am trying to give myself a little latitude. After all, we had several major life events happen all at once – hubby started a new job, we moved across country, our foster son’s moved to a new foster home, we listed our house and we’re living in an RV.

Having some big emotions over all the changes are normal, but emotions aren’t a bad thing. This means I’m finally starting to accept and adjust to all the changes that have occurred and these emotions have also reignited the excitement about our upcoming cruise.  A celebration of 30 years of marriage.  An opportunity to get away from everything for a week.  A chance to see some new parts of the world.  The opportunity to just relax and enjoy life before we get back to reality.

It will be a welcome respite and I can’t wait to walk on board the ship, order a drink and say bon voyage.

 

Getting Established

Getting established in a new location is a process.   Getting established when you’re living in an RV makes it even more interesting.

Yesterday, the girls and I headed out to build our establishment here in Texas and 3 hours later I had my vehicle registered and step one of my Texas driver’s license completed.  Unlike Illinois where I can go in to the local DMV to get my vehicle registered and walk out with a new driver’s license, I needed to make two stops.  Texas also mails you a driver’s license instead of issuing them on the stop.  Seems like a waste of time, energy and money to give me a print-out of a temporary license and then mail me my permanent license, but it’s how the system is set up here.

Of course there always seems to be a little drama in the process.

The girls and I had waited about 1 1/2 hours for our number to be called for my driver’s license.  I was absolutely sure I had everything I needed – my IL driver’s license, my passport, a piece of mail from our mortgage company with our new address listed, my social security card and my new vehicle registration with our new address.  Then the snafu!!!!  The mail from the mortgage company was not acceptable because it had our Illinois residence address on it as well.  We bank on-line, so I don’t get bank statements.  Most of our bills are paid on-line so I don’t get anything official with my name and address on it.  Fortunately, I had the nice guy at the counter helping me and he allowed me to log in to my bank account to print a copy of my latest bank statement with my new address on it.  Yet I still had to chuckle at the irony of it all.  I’m walking in with mail that has been sent to me at my new address.  The office that gave me my vehicle registration accepted all documents to register my vehicle at our new address.  I had everything else and yet they needed to see a document from an on-line bank statement that listed my new address.  It’s on-line folk!!!!  I was able to go out and change the address myself.  I didn’t have to prove anything to the bank at all.  LOL!!!!!  In the end though, I walked out with a print-out of my temporary license and the top it off, I’m going to receive a voter’s registration card in the mail as well so I can vote in the primaries.  Woo Hoo!!!!

Because we’re in to giving Texas our money these days, I also ordered our toll tags.  This is the first time we’ve lived this close to toll roads and hubby takes them daily back and forth to work.  Okay, maybe he’ll be finding an alternate route now that he has to pay to go back and forth to work, but we have our toll tag account established now as well.

In 30 years of marriage, we have moved no less than 8 times.

We have another move coming up next week when we move everything from Georgette to the Oakmont (who still doesn’t have a name) and eventually we will buy a house and move again.  It’s been a very different move physically and emotionally this time around, in both good and bad ways.  Mostly good though and I look forward to seeing what the future has in store in the World of Weeks.

New Texas Residents

On Friday we bid farewell to Illinois.  I had been so focused on getting everything ready for our move that I hadn’t spent a lot of time thinking about the move itself.  So as I put the last of our belongings in hubby’s car (minus my cast iron skillets – story to be shared later), I suddenly became teary as the enormity of the move flooded over me.  After all, we had spent 19 years, 9 months in our Illinois home.  We had not only built our house, but we had built our life there and that life was full of memories.  Those memories we carry with us and it was those memories that flooded over me in that moment.

I wish I would have taken pictures of the empty shell we left behind, but those pictures will be available on our realtor’s site soon enough 🙂

On Friday night we stopped in Missouri for the night.  Driving Georgette takes a little more time.  For safety reasons, I don’t push her too hard and with hubby following behind in a packed U-Haul truck, we weren’t on a mission to make good time.  Our mission was a safe arrival period and we arrived very safely to the Springfield KOA.

On Saturday we headed out and a short time later stopped at a truck stop to find some fuses we needed for Georgette.  She had blown a fuse that caused the break lights to go out and that didn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy at all.  Hubby got the fuses, found the culprit and replaced it.  Voila’ – break lights.  That was until we hit the interstate and he called to let me know my break lights were out again.  Obviously, this was a problem and we were going to need to have Georgette looked at.  When and where was the question.

Hubby followed behind and we cautiously continued on our way making it to the KOA in Durant, OK.  It was dark by the time we arrived, but from the little bit we could see, it appeared to be a very nice campground.  They offered shuttle service to the Choctaw Casino next door, but I suppressed my urge to go drop some change in the slot machines and we hunkered down for the night.  Good thing too since the rains came in during the night and they came in hard.  Torrential downpours which tested Georgette, but she held strong and had no leaks.

Early the next morning we headed out and before long we were in Texas and not too long after we pulled into the RV park – Shady Creek.  The goal was to arrive early enough that we had plenty of time to set up and unload the U-Haul before dark.  All went well and we were in Georgette before it got dark and I was faced with my biggest challenge of the move – finding a place to put everything.  I either needed to find a way to add more space or we were going to need something bigger.

Amongst all the clutter, one thing was abundantly clear, Georgette needed some Christmas spirit, so we got our Christmas on.  We dodged containers and all the mess and this was the end result.

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Yesterday we added a star.

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And we hung stockings.

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I still have a lot of mess to clean up and put away, but at least we’re ready for our first Texas Christmas and that is the most important thing.

First, Last, TWO WEEKS

We’ve celebrated 19 Thanksgivings since living in this house.  I’ve hosted about 15 of the 19 Thanksgivings, baking the turkey, ham, making stuffing, mashed potatoes, a variety of vegetables, and desserts.  This year, however, I had our Thanksgiving meal catered.  This was a first for me, but with only two weeks til moving day,

TWO WEEKS!!!!!!!!

my time needed to be spent packing and cleaning.

I ordered the food from my favorite grocer, yet it was still a little unnerving for me.  Overall, the food was pretty tasty though and it made Thanksgiving much more relaxing.  Just a few dishes to do and we headed out for another first.

A movie!

We’ve never gone to see a movie on a holiday, but with all the changes happening in our lives these days, it seemed like another fun first to try.

Of course this Thanksgiving was also the last that we will spend in this house.  For a matter-of-fact, it was the last holiday that we will spend in this house.

We’ve made some terrific holiday memories in this house over the years and those memories we will carry with us always.

Typically, with Thanksgiving behind us, I turn my focus to Christmas.  I’m typically dusting off the decorations and decking the halls about now,

but instead I spent the day bagging up more donations, helping hubby dispose of our mattress and box (we really need a new one), tear down the girl’s bedrooms and get them set up in the master bedroom.  I also packed.  I do that daily now.

We made some good progress as we tackled all the things that need to be done before we pull out in two weeks.

TWO WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!

Now time for bed, because tomorrow it’s only 1 week and 6 days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to a Family of Four

On Saturday morning, hubby took FS1 and FS2 to their new foster home.  To say it was an emotional day would be a gross understatement.  FS1 was in tears as the enormity of what was happening and the fact that mom was crying, began to sink in.   From the day we learned we would be moving, I began having conversation with him about what was going on and why they would be leaving our care.  He fluctuated between tears and joy that he was moving to a new foster home.  After all, he has learned that the grass may be green on the other side of the fence.  He left a violent family life for our home and the grass was greener for him here, so why not there.  However, even after several conversations on why he was moving, he still didn’t seem to comprehend the reason he was leaving and thought it was due to his behavior.  It broke my heart even more because I never want him to believe he can do something that would cause anyone to send him away.  So we had another conversation about why he and his brother were leaving and I immediately sent a note to his therapist and asked that she continue to help him understand that we do love him and if it wasn’t for hubby’s new job, they would still be with us.

FS2 just thought he was going bye-bye and very happily waved bye-bye and gave me kisses.  I’m sure he thought he was just going on a little adventure with dad and would see me later.  There is just no way a newly turned two-year old can understand that he isn’t coming back and if we see him again in the future, he probably won’t remember us.  My heart is still breaking and will continue to hurt for quite some time.  I’m guessing his heart will be hurting as well and I wish I could take that hurt away for both of the boys.  The fact is, foster care really SUCKS and these little guys have experienced more hurt than any child should have to endure.  Adding to their hurt is the last thing I ever wanted to do, yet our first responsibility must always be doing what is within the best interest of our family and that is something that anyone going into foster care must always remember.

We were a family of six for 15 1/2 months and now we are back to a family of four getting ready to embark on a journey, that in and of itself is highly emotional.  A journey that begins in 18 days and after the tears have dried, we’ll smile and remember.

Saturday Will Be Tough

Our move to Texas, while really good for our family, means loss for us and the two little guys we had allowed into our home and our hearts for the last 15 1/2 months.

This Saturday, FS1 and FS2 will be moving to their new foster home.  They’ve visited their new foster family a few times and had two overnights at their home, so they won’t be going to complete strangers.  Regardless, Saturday is going to be a tough day for all of us.