January 22, 2010

All our earthly goods are packed on a semi, heading downstate for another pickup, and then across the country, where they will meet us next Friday morning in California. Who knows, we may even pass them on the road. We’ll keep an eye out–breaker one-nine and all that.

We were pleased with the very professional movers who showed up this morning and spent the next SEVEN hours with us. A great crew — the best I’ve ever had move me.

M’s Volvo was loaded on a car mover just a couple hours ago, and will also arrive in California on Friday. Maybe Saturday.

My BMW is packed to the gills and I do mean the gills.

I’ve sent six boxes of necessities via UPS on the chance that our goods are delayed. Also arriving Friday.

The garage is full of things to be sold tomorrow morning at a garage sale. This was probably a bad idea, too much, but I hated to just let things go. Early birds have already started picking over the goods and we’ve just about made back the cost of the ad before the sale is even official.

The garage door, however, is not working. So a repair call is expected in the morning. Ought to be interesting to have the garage door repaired mid-garage sale.

My girlfriend’s son, who is like a nephew to me, was by our side all day, assisting, as he has for the past 14 years. He’s been my right hand and sometimes my left, too. I don’t know what I will do without him. The thought of not seeing him all the time kept me on the verge of tears all day.

My beautiful little house is empty except for the echoes of all the wonderful times I’ve had there. Parties. Coffees. Dinners. And just lounging around with friends and lovers. I so remember the day I first walked in the door with my realtor and how much I loved it. I love it still.

But it’s a house for a different life. New adventures await me, and I know the right buyer will fall in love as I did.

Riley spent today at day care and is now exploring our room at a pet friendly motel. Right now he’s barking at his own reflection in the mirror. He’s like Dennis the Menace, truly. And I’ve never met a dog who loved the sound of his own voice as much as he does.

Tomorrow he’ll go back to his kennel for a pre-trip bath and grooming. And I’ll have to say goodbye to the wonderful staff.

Yesterday, the owner of his kennel sent a beautiful message that totally destroyed me for hours. I just couldn’t stop crying. I think maybe I kid myself about not rooting in a place, because it’s become very hard to leave all these wonderful people. And daunting to think of replacing them. I know I can’t.

Today, our in-house pet sitters sent me several recommendations for sitters in our new area. They did this purely to help us, not for a fee. Again, so hard to leave these wonderful folks who’ve made us feel so secure when we leave our pets.

Tampa’s a funny place. I’ve met the worst of people here. Paranoid, mean-spirited people. Users. But I’ve also met the best of people. Kind, generous and loving.

I guess it’s like any other place. And really, I’d not want to leave if I hadn’t lived another way. In a more diverse place. A place more in keeping with who I am.

But, oh, I hate to leave the girls who’ve been my constant support system.

I know that come Sunday, I’ll turn my face to the open road and the adventure that awaits us. M. is very excited. And I am, too.

But until then, I acknowledge and grieve the life that I’m leaving behind.

A happy life that, now that I am finally leaving, I see was far fuller than I ever realized.

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