Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Catching up

Clearly I have been lax in my blogging duties. It's not because I've been lacking anything interesting to say; it's more of a motivational issue. I've been having a hard time committing to and completing anything. It's as if the limbo of not knowing if I'm leaving soon or not has permeated to all other aspects of my life. (Update: my background investigation is complete, and we assume that the investigator submitted the report to the adjudicators. Now it's all up to them to decide my case). Work, blogging, writing wedding thank yous. I am just kind of...waiting, in this very unfocused, hazy, and impatient state. It doesn't make for good self-reflection; trying to put my jumbled thoughts into some sort of logical order is difficult without patience. And since most of what I want to share in this blog is self-reflection...well, you get the idea. I end up pretty unsatisfied with every word I manage to eke out.

Anyway, after giving up on yet another unfinished blog entry, I suddenly recalled that I never finished sharing our experience with Nick's pack out. And my next thought was "Hey, storytelling doesn't require any self-reflection!" The get-out-of-jail-free card. So without further ado, I present The Great Pack Out 2009.

BEFORE
Here's what the apartment looked like the night before the movers came. I have no idea how we managed to get the pullout couch open for Chris. We could barely walk in the apartment with it just as a couch! We had to put the coffee table in the kitchen to open the bed. Missing are pictures of the piles in the hallway, the bedroom and under the breakfast bar.




DURING
May 20. The movers arrived at 9:15AM on the dot, with boxes, tape guns and piles of packing paper in hand. They were led by Robinson.


They came, they saw, they packed. Witness the efficiency of their operation. Apologies for the shaky camera work. I was sitting on the counter in the kitchen, since there was no where in the apartment to stand except for the bedroom. This makes me give serious thought to hiring movers for every future move, even if we're just moving around the corner. Forget U-haul.
Also, forget Chris and that damn slinky (you can hear it in the background). As if my nerves weren't completely fried already. That stupid slinky noise was so soothing. I escaped to the office pretty quickly.


video


AFTER

It was all done in a little over 1.5 hours. The boxes were packed, loaded into containers, and driven off to languish in a DC warehouse for a few weeks (I hope you all still remember our entries about the household goods drama. Our blog's not that long!) We were still left with a mess, but a much smaller, much more manageable mess. To be honest, I'm still digging out. Nick will be the first to admit that he didn't do his part to get the house ready to be completely packed out (assuming I get clearance one of these days). So I've been trying to sort through what he left behind, guessing at whether the random computer bits and tools he left scattered around are important or just more junk.

But even though Nick's pack out didn't magically transform the condo into an uncluttered Eden, at least we were able to walk around our living room:




Chris flew back to Nashville that afternoon, and Nick and I spent our last evening together at a midnight screening of the new Terminator movie. Guy and Avery were there too. Aren't I a nice wifey to have given up my last evening alone with my husband so that he could watch a crappy movie with his bromance buddies?

Nick left on May 21. I took the day off from work, and we spent our day running some last minute, not-so-minor errands. There's nothing like waiting until the last minute to go through the State Department's checklist of "Things to do before departure." We found we did not have: extra copies of Nick's passport, extra copies of his travel visa, extra copies of his travel authorization, extra copies of his medical clearance....you get the idea. We also filed important paperwork at home, like the condo documents, and made an attempt to sort out the random junk Nick was leaving behind. We rode our bikes to and from our errands, we held hands as we rode, and we lamented how much we would miss doing inconsequential stuff like riding our bikes around DC while holding hands.

Then it was one last look at the condo, one last photo together, one hot walk to the metro, one quick metro ride, a chocolate snack courtesy of Guy, and then Nick was gone.

I'll pick the story up from there in my next blog entry, which will include a little self-reflection, and some honest insight into the life of a foreign service spouse during an unaccompanied post. Here's a preview of what will be discussed: how my attempts to close the the Nick-sized void in my life by throwing money at it are good for the economy.

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