It's hard to believe that a month has passed since the packers/car-haulers/movers came and brought all our possessions east of the Mississippi for the first time in twelve years. Moving 3000 miles as a family of five (well, six if you count Grandpa, who graciously agreed to help me during packing/loading week and accompany four Dillow females on a 5.5 hour airplane ride, which he may or may not be recovered from until next year at this time) was not easy. Matt and Ella logged between 600 and 800 miles a day driving furiously cross-country, making it to metro D.C. in four and a half days. I'm happy to report that the airplane ride was not quite as bad as I worked myself up to believe it would be, based on our last airplane adventure. I should have been more worked up about the shuttle ride from the rental car lot to the terminal in Oakland, which, to put it lightly, GRACIE DID NOT CARE FOR. All I know is that by the time we finished the 7 minute ride I was sweating like a piggy, Grandpa was bleeding, and everyone around us looked downright shellshocked. It will always be a great unsolved mystery as to what set her off. All I know is that trying to lift a 26 lb. screaming—no, SCREAMING—and flailing toddler while wearing an 11 lb. baby in a Baby Bjorn is an experience I don't care to repeat.
Unrelated funny story: one of our drivers, who looked as if he had seen a fight or two or seventeen, perhaps with a knife to the face involved, confessed that he and and the other driver were a little frightened by their truck accommodations the night before the loading began. They ran to get their dinner and ran back to the moving truck and locked the doors, not to leave again until morning. Where did they stay? STOCKTON. Hee hee hee. Vindication is mine, saith the librarian's daughter.
Right. Photos. Here they are:
Maddie was the official moving-week photographer since I reluctantly sent my camera with Husband and Cat (good thing, too, since I was sacrificing possessions right and left, just like the pioneers threw stuff off their wagons when they wanted to lighten up their loads). She got some fine, fine shots on her new camera. I especially liked this one of Aunt Katherine and Bridget sharing some quiet California sunshine.
Grandpa's duties consisted of holding Bridget, driving back and forth approximately 957 times from Tracy, California to Mountain House, California (losing a little bit of his sanity each time), and Magic Erasering a year's worth of Dillow off our rented walls. We are wildly grateful for his help. Aunt Katherine's, too.
Maddie was really impressed by the car-hauler; these are two of the 27 photos she took of it. To get the full effect of the experience, you have to imagine Gracie wailing "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! THAT'S MY CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!" at the top of her lungs, over and over, while being prevented from running into the street to throw herself in front of the truck. Bad aunt and mama points for Aunt Katherine and me, because we got the giggles over the whole scene.
We made it just in time for the 4th of July. It was nice to escape the House of Boxes (Marty and Joe, the drivers, did a fast door-to-door delivery. Gracie was so excited to see them on the other side and greeted them by name: "MARTY AND JOE!!! MARTY AND JOE!!!") and catch a tiny neighborhood 4th of July parade. I know, I said "tiny," which is probably a little bit snotty of me, but I grew up in the Land of the Giant Two-and-a-Half Hour Fourth of July Parade and I can't help it. We still had a good time, though. Good company will do that to you.
Once again, proof that I contribute nothing genetically to my children.
This picture is called BIG NERD.
Somehow Bridget managed to turn two months old this month. She is full of smiles and apparently did battle with He-Who-Cannot-Be-Named at some point. : )
Gracie being Gracie. This is one of my favorites of her lately.
The sprinklers have been running in the afternoons quite a bit here in the Great Swamp of Humidity and Enormous Mosquitos. I haven't had a mosquito bite since college until we moved here. Matt, Maddie, and I are covered. Gracie refuses to let us put on bug spray, and we fought her on it for about two days until we realized she hasn't had a single bite. Not one. Neither has Bridget. What's going on here?
We had a whirlwind visit with Nana and Papa and Great-Grandpa and Great-Grandma a few weeks ago on their way to the beach (oh, how we wanted to go with them and leave our boxes behind). I very much like this picture of the oldest member and the youngest member of Matt's family.
We also had a visit from the K Family! Maddie was so excited to see her lifelong friends, who are also moving to the general vicinity this summer. There was much fun and joyful laughter coming from our backyard all afternoon. It was good to hear.
After 26 days without phone service, V—Erizon finally figured out their troubles (or maybe they just happened onto some dumb luck and pushed the right combination of buttons. Hmph).
This 1938 House couldn't be more different than The 2005 House we just moved from. It cannot be argued, however, that this house has charm. I need to remember this photo when we are trying to figure out the radiators this winter.
And that, Chrissy, is a post with photos.