Yesterday was our departure day, we were all packed up (sorta) and just waiting on the gas man to come sometime between 8 and Noon. Despite waking up at 6:30, I sleepily sat in my pajamas scrolling through Facebook at 8:15 only slightly wrapping my head around what was happening. I had a lot to do still but I was secure in knowing the gas man set my pace and I was sure that I would be ready by Noon… “what’s that, Tom, the gas man is here now?!”
A whirlwind of activity ensued and emotions were all over the scale. Being in the house with everything gone or in a pile for future pick up was odd. Knowing that we were never coming back again was … weird. I cried. I cried for my sister who I will miss terribly, I cried for Tom who put so much into that house, bringing it from the brink of disrepair to the splendor that it is today, I cried for reasons I am not sure of. The day before that someone had asked me if I was scared, “not really, I’m more curious”. But looking back to my sadness as I left the house for the last time, I wasn’t crying because I was curious. I can only assume that I do have some sort of fear within, maybe there is part of my brain that knows this is crazy and perhaps the unknowing was overwhelming. I wasn’t sure what I was feeling exactly, but it was falling from my eyes much like sadness.
Somehow we found ourselves sitting in the truck slightly before 11. I was frayed, Tom frazzled. He was anxious about getting to Connecticut to see his cousin before he had to leave at 2. We drove without stopping. Past rivers and streams with rocks, I swear I saw the water waving us over. We drove past bridges with beautiful weeping willows sweeping the ground. It was a warm and sunny day and as we drove South, our early spring buds turned to full blossoms of flowers and trees. I remember back to when I first thought about traveling and decided alone was the way for me. I remember saying to myself, “I want to be free. I want to stop and take pictures wherever I want. I don’t want to be rushed or on anyone else’s schedule. I want to float along on my own desires.”, well, this felt very far from that. Not only were we rushing to meet his cousin, which turned into 2 cousins, 2 separate visits, but we were already running late for our PA visit with Tom’s old friends. Tom went back and forth with himself on whether we should stop to see his cousins or rush straight to PA. It felt like a normal road trip, one where you drive as quickly as you can to get to your destination. Neither of us really realized the finality of it all until about an hour or two into our drive. As the odometer clicked upwards our anxiousness dissipated. Finally we arrived in PA.
We have no routine, no idea of how we’re going to approach each landing. When we arrived at 8:30pm we didn’t even know if we’d be sleeping in our tent or not. We decided we’d go in for a bit and then come back out to the truck for our things. Well, 3:30am later, we were drunkenly pawing through our belongings for … I’m not really sure what we were looking for. But we passed out on a comfy air mattress already inflated and made up by our hosts; I couldn’t help but acknowledge, even in my drunken stupor, how lucky we’d gotten on our first night. There will be plenty more streams to frolic in tomorrow!
Our luck got even better in the morning when I awoke feeling pretty horrible and was served eggs and toast and I got to lay down and snooze/recover for 3 hours. Then, as Tom was getting out of the shower and our gracious hosts were on their way out for their anniversary celebrations, they extended the invitation for us to spend the night again while they stayed at a B&B! So Tom went off to meet other friends while I stayed behind to shower and rest. Later we have a party thrown by yet another friend of Tom’s but we will definitely be back here to enjoy our 2nd night on the road, in a nice, cozy home all to ourselves!
Thanks to Becky and Steve for being so awesome! Tom always told me how great they were, but I’m happy I got the chance to find out for myself! Also, the Shatz’s are due a Thanks and some praise for their awesomeness as well!
So far, so good!