We got up early this morning and began our drive to the old house downstate at 7 a.m.
We stopped at the Cops & Donuts bakery in Clare to replenish our coffee and, of course, we had to buy donuts. We bought a dozen Bismarks and a Long John for our second breakfast. We ate two each and saved the rest of them to bring home.
At the old house, we loaded up the last of our possessions in the uhaul trailer we had rented. The buyers didn’t want the wood stove so we loaded up that and a few remaining things from the basement and garage.
JJ had planned to go with us on this trip as a last look and goodbye at our old home, but he didn’t feel well so he stayed behind–I kind of wonder if he gets stressed at the thought of going down to the old house. He was never very happy there. We reassured him that it was fine if he didn’t go because he was able to take care of the animals. I had been particularly concerned about Danny not being able to “go” outside all day.
Since JJ didn’t go with us, I took pictures and videos of the old empty house for him to see if he ever wants to. He has never seen the house empty because he hasn’t been back since we moved to our new house last year. Our first week in our new house we had “camped” with just a few necessities. The next weekend, JJ stayed at the new house while his Dad and I went downstate to supervised the Big Move.
When we had gotten the uhaul trailer loaded today, we prayed that the new owner would be happy in the house, and then we changed into the clean clothes that we had brought with us. We get really dirty hauling stuff out of the basement and we didn’t want to show up to the closing covered in dirt. Plus, it was almost 90 degrees today and we were soaked by the time we were finished so it was good to get out of our work clothes and into clean ones. We headed to the realtor’s office in the next town for the closing. It took us only a half hour to sign the papers. I was so relieved to hand over the keys to the new owners. With the transfer of ownership, our last ties to the area were broken.
Then we got into the sub and began our journey home. All along the way, we said goodbyes: “Goodbye old house…Goodbye village…Goodbye nearby towns….Goodbye town where I grew up…Goodbye schools I attended…Goodbye churches we attended, Goodbye stores we shopped at…Goodbye parks we went to…Goodbye abusive family…Goodbye terrible company EJ worked at…Goodbye place where JJ battled cancer…Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye!”
There’s a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall
And the bells in the steeple too.
And up in the nursery, an absurd little bird
Is popping up to say, “Cuckoo cuckoo!”
Regretfully they tell us but firmly they compel us
To say goodbye to you.
So long, farewell auf wiedersehen, adieu
Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu…
…So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye
I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye
I’m glad to go, I cannot tell a lie
I flit, I float, I fleetly flee, I fly
The sun has gone to bed and so must I
So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye…
(from The Sound of Music)
As we said our goodbyes, we reminisced about our lives downstate. There were so many difficult things we had lived through that we are sometimes surprised we survived. We are, however, thankful for the valuable things we learned along the way. We did have some happy times mixed in and there will be a few people that we miss but we aren’t sorry to be leaving it all behind. We really don’t plan to ever go back. .
Once we reached the northern part of the state, we began to say hellos: “Hello beautiful forests! Hello beautiful lakes! Hello cute towns we live near! Hello beautiful valley that we live in! Hello beautiful home! Hello, Hello, Hello!”
As we drove north, the temperature dropped from near 90 downstate to 61 degrees at home. “Ahhhh!” we sighed in relief as we put on sweatshirts. We love it here.
When we got home, JJ helped us unload the trailer so that I can return it tomorrow morning. We are home!