March 17th – Today I’m in Florida while Spence is home in Michigan. I call to wish him Happy Anniversary, 24 years together! Celebrating will need to be postponed for a few days, he understands (love that man).
Today is the last day that Mom and I have to pack the house and the car. Tomorrow morning when we close the doors behind us, that’s it. If we don’t have it, we leave without it.
I disconnect the DVR, Mom drives it out to Cape Coral for the return. She fills the gas tank. I clean and pack what I can, but a lot of little things fall to Mom. Her neighbor Arky stops by with fresh baked toffee pecan scones and an assortment of candy for the road (yummo). Mom still wants to get across the street for a goodbye with neighbors Jeanne and John. She calls as they’ve tried to have us over for the last few days but when he answers, John says “our refrigerator just died”. We’ve all but emptied Mom’s fridge and she offers “you could use mine if you get everything out on Thursday” (new owners arrive to take possession on 3/20). They come over with a giant cooler taking her up on the offer and then are off to buy a new fridge. Once back, they invite us to come for a little farewell at 4:00. Joining us are another couple who are neighbors and good friends. We have a lovely and spirited conversation over several glasses of wine, cheese and crackers finally walking back around 7:00. Worth it but we still haven’t eaten and have a good 2-3 hours of work left (and are slightly buzzed…). Nevertheless, we power through. I’m in charge of anything electronic from her clock radio to disconnecting the phone, modem and router (crawling around on the floor and under her desk. Multiple trips to the trash and recycle bins.
Loading the car is a bit tricky as I’ve padded her flat screen TV and her computer monitor and must push them into the back of the trunk on top of blankets. I’m six feet tall and to do this am nearly inside the trunk pushing up with my two bum shoulders (will pay for this tomorrow…but whatcha’ gonna do right?)
At this point Mom is dragging like a balloon with just a bit of air left and starts referring to me as “General” “You’re the General, just tell me what to do – I can’t think” she mumbles and so I have to revert to military precision to get everything into the trunk and backseat and keep her moving forward. We finally reach a point where we can do no more as the coolers will wait for the morning. We crawl to our respective “racks” and I think I hear Taps playing in the distance.