As I packed up things in the last couple weeks before the move, I kept telling myself, "I just have to survive this and then I'll be okay." I don't know how many times I've said the same thing in my lifetime.
I had so many papers to go through and dispose of -- some of them mine, some my Mom's, Dad's or son's. Many of them were thick with memories. I kept throwing things into the bonfire, barely looking at what they were. Just trying to burn the pain away.
Six days before the closing on the house, there was a storm. Up to 80 mph straight line winds and rains so heavy that there were no visible droplets. Instead it looked like buckets of water were being emptied from the heavens.
I put my hands against the windows that were being hit by the wind (I know, a big no no), and I couldn't believe how the glass was moving. The trees were getting pretty beat up, and there was a fast moving creek rushing past the basement walkout door.
Tree roots struggled to hold to the water soaked ground, but many trees simply toppled over.
There were many broken tree branches.
The road was blocked from fallen trees in both directions. Chain saws and wood chippers created a constant drone for days after the storm.
The damage to our trees necessitating spending lots of time on cleanup at a point when I was already uncertain how I was ever going to pack and make the move out deadline.
But there was also beauty after the storm.
And I did get moved. Thank God for my dear cousin and her family, and the other friends that helped. The sellers came through and allowed me to move my entire moving van of stuff into their garage the night before closing. My realtor was very impressed when my 6 car caravan arrived to unload.
Friday I received more help to get the heaviest items inside the house and to unload my horse trailer.
The weekend was spent cleaning and unpacking. I still have a long way to go but it's coming along.
So far I feel like a duck out of water. It's like living in a strange hotel.
There is a cat pooping in my backyard, a neighbor with blinding security lights (forget star and moon gazing), and I injured my back when Java jerked me off the deck as she took off full bore after a squirrel while on a leash. Would some fencing company PLEASSSEEE return my phone calls!
Oh, and the laminated floor covering my living room, dining room, and stairway is bugging me more than I thought it would. I feel guilty about how much the flooring is bothering me. I'm lucky to have as much as I do. But I love wood floors and walking on hard plastic feels even worse than walking on the softer linoleum in the kitchen and bathroom.
Okay, done with my shallow complaining ...
I keep reminding myself to give it time and stop thinking of my new home as imprisonment. At least the drive to work is a lot better. And I have nice neighbors -- an air conditioning/furnace guy on one side and a guy that helped back up my horse trailer when he saw me struggling. My driveway is short and slightly downhill, and the city streets are narrow. My neighbor ended up having to back the trailer all the way down the street and around the corner because there wasn't enough room to maneuver and get the truck facing the direction I needed to go otherwise.
(Note to self - never bring horse trailer home again.)
I ended up taking the barn cat Shy with me, just temporarily, until the new owners are completely settled. I'm not much of a cat person but she's growing on me, and Java and Shy are so cute together. I don't think Shy was on the Purchase Agreement's list of items I HAD to leave behind ...
Now for tragedy. One of the horses Luke was turned out with had to be put down over the weekend due to a broken leg. That in itself is horrible enough. But the owner blames Luke because the horses had some initial scuffles. But there were no external marks on the injured horse to indicate that Luke or the other horse in the paddock had done anything. A storm was another factor that could have come into play, but we will never know what happened.
So there was a great heaviness as I worked on unpacking. It was impossible to enjoy any of it or make any move towards decorating. Everytime I laughed over something, I felt guilty. Did the little black cloud that follows me around end up hurting someone else?
I've been looking forward to releasing some of the responsibility of horse ownership. I've been looking forward to being able to do things and go places without having to worry about horse care. I've been looking forward to the social aspects of boarding.
I did expect boarding to be a tough adjustment. I expected Luke to end up with some battle scars as a pecking order was established. But I never expected anything like what has happened.
There is another gelding coming in that will be placed with Luke and that should be fine. Still, I'm afraid that something might happen again.
This isn't helping with my effort of not living my life in fear of the "next bad thing".
Luke (along with Java) has been my life vest though the past year. Riding has been a source of peace for me. Now, I don't know whether it will ever be the same. I felt guilty yesterday as I rode because I still have a horse to ride.
It makes me wonder, if your path keeps leading to loss and tragedy, should you turn in another direction? And if you do, where do you go? Where do you dare to go?
I'm hoping that like a thunderstorm, there may be damage, but there may also be something awesome to behold when the storm blows over.
I am convinced that the world is not a mere bog in which men and
women trample themselves and die. Something magnificent is taking
place here amidst the cruelties and tragedies, and the supreme
challenge to intelligence is that of making the noblest and best in
our curious heritage prevail. -- C.A. Beard