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After praying for three months about whether or not to return to SC, God finally gave us an answer in January. We then prepared for the move and began packing, and waited for moving day to actually arrive.
Wednesday afternoon the mail came, and with it came a check that one of our previous churches had sent us to help with moving expenses. It was a huge blessing – we had already set aside money for moving, but it was nice to be able to go without having to worry how things were going to work out.
When the movers called at 8:30 Thursday morning, I should have figured that things weren’t going to go according to my carefully crafted plans. They were going to be at our house several hours earlier than we had planned. It wasn’t a big deal – we were mostly packed – but I will admit that at that point I panicked.
We had run out of moving boxes, so while I was at Dollar General getting a couple of things for the drive, I went out back and went dumpster diving for more boxes. Thankfully the dumpster was open and there were quite a few very clean boxes on top just ready for me to bring home. I’d never gone dumpster diving before; it felt really strange. But the boxes were free (I asked inside first before I took them) and they were clean so I was happy.
Then I went to get back in the van and broke the door handle. I had picked up one of the teen girls from church to help me watch Little man for the day, so she helped me open the door and I finished my errands.
When I got back to the house I went to switch a load of laundry I had started earlier in the morning. Right on top of the load was a washed pull-up. All of the gel had oozed out of the diaper and was plastered on the side of the washer. I was not happy. I scraped it out as best as I could with my hands and started the washer one more time to try and rinse the gunk out of the load.
I came back an hour later to put the load in the dryer. At the bottom of the washer was another pull-up that had gotten washed. Let me tell you – sending two diapers through the washing machine is not a good idea. Thankfully God gave me the grace to handle it without getting upset.
The movers arrived as well as some people from church and we finally got the trailer loaded. The movers left, we cleaned the house, and then we headed over to church where our pastor’s wife had gotten pizza for us for dinner. We spent another hour or so there fellowshipping with the church family one last time before we said our good-byes.
We had planned on driving through the night so we could beat the movers to our house. We finally got on the road just before dark. About 15 minutes down the road, our van became filled with one of the most horrible smells I had smelled in a long time. We had the dog in the van with us, and I was absolutely convinced that he had had an accident in the back. Stephen, however, insisted that it was just gas. Thankfully, he was right. I guess giving the dog your cleaned-out refrigerator offerings right before an 11 1/2 hour car trip is a bad idea. Well, ok, I know it’s a bad idea now, but that didn’t occur to me when I gave him the food. . .
For the most part, the rest of the drive was uneventful. I had told Stephen that I didn’t care if I drove part of the way, as long as I didn’t have to drive in the Smoky Mountains. Last time I drove through the Smokies I was completely stressed out from the trucks driving so close and so fast and the concrete barriers. . .
We traded on and off, and the time came for me to drive again, so we switched. About 5 minutes after the switch, I passed a sign: “Smoky Mountain National Park – next exit” Great. I ended up behind a rather slow semi so speed wasn’t an issue, and the fact that we were driving through at 4 am really helped with the traffic. It ended up not being stressful at all. I was very thankful.
The sun was rising right about the time we got off the interstate, and it was light enough by the time we arrived at our house that I could see my daffodils were blooming. I had forgotten that they bloomed this early here, but it brought a huge smile to my face.
We unpacked the van, and then got back in it to go see Stephen’s mom before she left for work. It had been six months since we’d seen her so that was a real treat. Then we headed home to get some sleep before the movers arrived. All three of us laid down on sleeping bags, but Little man thought we wanted to wrestle so we didn’t end up getting any sleep after all.
When the movers arrived here, we started unloading, but we let Little man play outside because it was so warm outside. He found the hose and decided to water the dog. This is what I saw when I walked out the door:
He decided to water his belly instead. Since he was occupying himself and really staying out of trouble, I let him just stay there and play in the mud. He was absolutely soaked!
Then once Preacher got here, he showed him how to ride his bike down the ramp on the trailer. He had a ball doing that as well.
Several people came to help us unpack the trailer, and some of them stayed to help us get started unpacking. We got a lot done that night. We still have a ways to go now, but at least we can see progress.
So. . .that is the long story. We are here, we arrived safely, and God has been leading and providing the entire way. We don’t know what’s next, but God does, and we’re excited to see what He has planned.