Last night was my last night in my new house. It was packing day. The beginning of the end of our time in New England.
When the day arrived and the packing began, it felt like my wedding day; as if all the stress leading up to the event just dissipated and I coasted and let the day unfold naturally. I let the wedding planners/movers do their magic and I just did what they told me to do and went where they told me to go and, because they’re very good wedding planners/movers, the day went smoothly, efficiently and beautifully. Sunny and mid 60’s all day! Not a cloud in the sky! Every bride’s dream!
One of my jobs was to get my Jeep weighed. We will drive Mike’s car to Minnesota but do you know where my Jeep will go? On the moving truck! Isn’t that trippy? They load up our furniture and then they pack my car somewhere between the dining room table and the treadmill. So I have to go to a truck stop and get my car weighed. This is a trucker thing, I guess. So I drive my Jeep to the truck stop and weave my way between all the eighteen wheelers, not a normal sized car in sight, and my Jeep feels like a tiny matchbox car or a happy meal toy. I keep looking up through my windshield like I’m searching for sunlight, like I’m lost in the giant blades of grass and I’m being chased by a giant baby who wants to play cars. When I get on the giant scale (both a very big scale and a scale for a giant), I’m supposed to open my window and press the big yellow button which signals the fuel desk inside to activate the scale; but the button is not just out of reach – it’s at eighteen wheeler height, about 6 feet above the roof of my happy meal car. I roll my window all the way down and stretch my whole upper body out of the car and stretch my arm as high as it will go. R-e-a-c-h! S-t-r-e-t-c-h! Which is so dumb because you can’t make up 6 feet by stretching. I’m stretching and I’m reaching and now the yellow button is 5 feet out of reach. Do you ever get a snapshot in your mind while you’re doing something dumb that brings into focus how dumb you look while you’re doing the dumb thing? While my upper body hung out my car window and I s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d and r-e-a-c-h-e-d for a button that was 5 feet away, I saw that picture and said to myself “Stop stretching and get in the car. Big truckers are watching and laughing at the Lilliputian matchbox car driver who thinks she can make her arm stretch 5 feet.” Then I went inside and got a broom.
The rest of the day was like a farewell tour of familiar faces from the last 2 years of errands and activities in New Hampshire:
I said goodbye to Georgia and Lorraine, the cashiers at Marshall’s who always have something nice to say while they ring up my purchases. Like “Oh now that’s a good price, isn’t it? That’s what you wanna pay for kids stuff, am I right?” Or “Oh my, look at this. Are you goin’ to a luau or something?” The Marshall’s ladies may be the kindest people in all of New England.
I said goodbye to the lady at the post office who wouldn’t give me a piece of tape when my envelope popped open, jerking her chin at the wall of merchandise and saying, “You want tape, you gotta buy tape.” Not one of the kindest people in New England.
We said goodbye to the guys at the surf shop who are always so excited to see us and treat my kid like the surf king of New Hampshire and me like the super cool mom who birthed the surf king of New Hampshire. I feel so hipster cool because the guys at the surf shop know me. I start saying that everything is “sick.” Not sick like when I was a kid and sick was a bad thing, like “the turkey a la king is sick.” But surfer dude sick like “that wave was SICK, man!” Or, for me, it’s more like “Little Debbies are SICK, man! The Swiss Cake Rolls? Totally SICK!” Along with the Marshall’s ladies, these are the nicest people in all of New England.
I said goodbye to the sub sandwich maker lady who takes my sandwich order like this:
“Can I get a roast bee…….”
“ Whole wheat, plea…”
“um….whatever you think is best.”
“THAT’S ONE ROAST BEEF ON WHOLE WHEAT WITH HORSERADISH MEET ME AT THE FRONT TO PAY.”
And we said goodbye to Reggie, our regular server at both the barbecue place AND at Petey’s Summertime Seafood Bar & Grill, where Liam learned to like clam chowder. Reggie swells with pride when he learns that we have chosen Petey’s for our farewell dinner.
If only I could gather the singing painter, the sassy gay exterminator and my realtor, it would be like a real going away party.