Saturday, July 31st / Sunday, August 1st – Moving preliminaries. Steph is camping at Heavenfest for one last hurrah with her friends. Meanwhile, Kathy, Kent and I load Kent’s pickup truck with furniture for Valerie from Kathy’s house - dressers, armoire, antique sofa, vanity… The truck is packed with the overflow in Kathy’s SUV. We are ready to drive down to the moving van on Monday morning.
Sunday morning is my last church service with Stephanie for a while. We sit together and hold hands. I realize I’ll probably cry all the way through the next Sunday I’m at church mourning the absence of our Sunday’s together. It has become a kind of tradition that we sit together at church on Sundays and then that is our day to spend together doing things we need or want to do.
After church John and Elaine host a going away picnic for Steph. A dozen of us enjoy a beautiful afternoon, delicious lunch and fellowship.
Monday, August 2nd - Loading day has finally arrived. I get up early and head to Kathy’s house, where I leave the car and drive the pickup to Steph’s apartment with Kathy following. We drop the pickup and Stephanie gives us a ride to the Penske location. I’ve been a nervous wreck about this portion and spent a lot of time praying for calm. I finish the necessary arrangements for the rental of truck and trailer and then, with Kathy along for moral support, I drive the rig to Steph’s apartment, park and detach the trailer for the day, and park the moving van for loading. All went well. Then Kathy drives me to the airport so that I can pick up our rental car for the trip. We arrive and the place is packed. I waited in line for 45 minutes. When I got to the counter, they told me that I couldn’t pick it up because the credit card was in Kent’s name only. Only he could pickup. He who was at work for a fourth 12 hour day. I was distressed to add this to his list of things to do that evening. Kathy drove me back to Steph’s where loading was going well. Our pastor, John, had arrived and was heading up the team of movers and supervising all the placing and securing in the truck. With things in his capable hands, I hopped in the pickup and we headed back up the mountain to return it to our house. As we neared the foothills, we could see a fire ahead. The fire was burning brush and small trees on a hillside next to E470. We drove right past the excitement and at that point traffic hadn’t been shut down. After returning the truck to my house, we fetched my car from Kathy’s and parked it at the foot of our road. Then back down the hill to pick up Kent at work. He was able to leave our Jeep in his work parking lot, where it will be very handy for us to retrieve on our way to the car rental office when we return to Denver. The three of us went back to the airport car rental location where Kent and I picked up the car and Kathy headed on to Stephanie’s apartment. We followed and when we arrived most of the packing was done. There was the usual final odds and ends and wiping of surfaces. Friends had helped fill the truck and clean most of the apartment before they had left. We are so grateful to John Busch, Sam and Jessie Mazurek, Josh Leiberman, Anne Miller and Joan Moxon.
Stephanie headed to our house with tears in her eyes. Kent hooked up to the car trailer and I followed him to Lookout Mountain Community Church’s enormous parking lot where we left the van and trailer for safekeeping overnight. Then we stopped at the foot of our road so that Kent could drive our car home while I drove the rental. And what did we get for a rental car to drive cross-country? Why, a white Subara Outback like we drive every day. I guess they wanted us to feel comfortable. Though the rental is about 12 years newer than our car. I must say, the 2010 version is quite comfortable and pretty plush. It’s a pleasure to drive.