You put your left foot in, you put your left foot out...
I feel like I'm living the hokey pokey these days. We leave Madrid in 6 weeks to fly back to the U.S. and we're at that point in the preparations in which it is impossible to be completely present here.
We're living in the familiar limbo of the "pre-move" that doesn't allow us to belong to any one place. We're in Spain, the kids are in school, Josh is at work, I am...on the couch.
And yet our thoughts and plans and calendar are divided between here, Michigan, and Alabama.
I'm signing permission slips for Alex's class trip here, filling out registration forms for the summer day camp the kids will attend in Michigan, and printing off sports physical forms so Derek can play fall soccer in Alabama.
I've had friends mention before how lucky we are that when we change locations, the military "moves us." And they are right, to a great extent. The movers will show up and put all our things in boxes, and then take those boxes away. The heavy lifting is cared for by someone else.
The prep is another story. We will have lists upon lists and carefully separated piles will appear throughout the house. But even that is simple enough.
Keep= Everything we need to live for the next couple of months + suitcases+ car booster seats
Send in early shipment= Enough pillows/linens/kitchen necessities to "camp out" in an empty house
Regular shipment=Everything else minus the European electrical items we're passing along to the next family.
And then comes the easier-to-forget things:
- pick up dental records
- re-register the expired license plates on the van sitting in Michigan
- plan our 'summer school'-- Derek doesn't know how to spell in English!
- get physicals for the kids now, because by the time we get to Alabama we wont have time to wait for an appointment before the sports season starts
- fill any prescriptions that will expire while we're in between locations-- like Derek's epi-pen
We're looking at our flights out and realizing that we might need to change things-- the connections are tight, Josh might now be the one driving the van down to Alabama, the kids and I need new dates on the last leg of the trip.
We're talking in circles with the housing office in Montgomery about a move-in date, the time change means phone-tag, Skype will drop a call at the least opportune moment.
We'll need new cell phones once we arrive in the States. If you've met my husband you know this will require more than a simple trip to the store. Josh's boss from Germany is flying in on Tuesday, we're meeting for dinner, we don't have a sitter. I'm teaching Sunday school this month. We have to make the engine, interior, trunk, and spare tire on our 13 year old vehicle look, and I quote, "like a brand new vehicle" in preparation for shipment. Alex has a birthday next week-- buy a cake mix.
Do the Hokey Pokey and turn yourself around...
If you need me, I'll be making lists.