"Umm, where do you plan on putting that?" I asked my husband. We were in the process of simultaneously packing the car, emptying and cleaning out our rental house, and having the place inspected by our landlord. There is more stuff than space in our Toyota Camry, and we still have to strap the kids into their car seats.
"Oh it'll fit in the trunk!" He replies with a grin. Great. I know exactly what that means. Our trunk is going to literally explode upon opening. Our vehicle is packed to the brim with stuff. There is stuff at my feet, the kids feet, between the kids, and we have a car top carrier - also full.
My husband is cramming as much of our beloved crap as will fit into our overstuffed trunk. And it won't close. So he jumps on it. . . SCORE. It closes. Not to be reopened until we arrive at our destination, my husband's parent's house, and then PLOOIE! As the one used to explosions, he's dealing with it, not me.
So we hop into our sardine-can car and head out of Fayetteville on our 18 hour trip.
The relief I feel to finally begin our much anticipated journey to Japan is palpable. We've been waiting to get to this place for so long. I'm happier than I've been in months. A lot of my friends from back home ask me how I can stand to move around so much, and honestly now that I've adapted to the lifestyle, I get itchy to move after a few years.
As I've said before, this move is not like any of the others. One week from today and we will be on a plane over the Pacific, well on our way. It's incredibly hard to believe that it's really here.
We spent some time at my parent's house where I grew up, and I insisted that we do all of my favorite summer activities (excluding a few things) like going to the farmer's market, listening to live music by the lake, eating sweet corn and cheese curds, and basically soaking up all the things I will miss the most.
It's incredible how quickly the time I want to savor the most zooms by in the blink of an eye. As we finished our week in my home town and pulled away from my parents house, I realized how much I want to stay, but how much I need to go. In essence its like I lead a double life. The life I have back home, I have family, friends, familiarity. . . I have a life there. I am myself there. But then there is the other side of me. The woman who knows that despite the fact that my husband will be gone half the time we are in Japan, I will live there. I am excited to experience what is coming my way. I have my fears and doubts but they won't stop me from doing what I do. Building a home, and a life for my husband and my children alone, building a new family made up of other military wives and children so we can support each other in the face of having nothing and no one familiar nearby.
The two sides of me continue to be shocked and amazed by each other. One drawing strength, and the other making a home as much like the one I leave behind as it can be. Time is not on my side. The midwestern country girl is sad to say goodbye, the military wife couldn't be happier.