Apr 13 2009

Up Periscope

by andrew

The e-silence is broken! I have finally rescued the laptop from the truck. I think this is the longest I have gone without  being connected in quite some time… In fact, it has been rather quite nice. I was <gasp> reticent, in fact, to jack back in. But I figured a quick recap was in order… for the record. And all the lovely Facebook comments / responses really inspired me to get an update out there – thank you ALL for the friendship and kind thoughts.

We didn’t actually end up pulling out until 9pm, Saturday, April 11th. It truly was the endless day. It took an hour or so to hitch up because the weight bottomed out on the truck further than it had when I blocked it up last time. Basically I couldn’t pull the tongue jack in far enough to get all the weight on the truck as it was still resting on the blocks as well. So, I had to use jack stands, pull the tongue jack all the way in, remove s few blocks, jack back up off the stands, remove stands, jack back down onto truck, there. I know you find that all incredibly interesting.

The trailer was HEAVY and we weaved and bobbed a mile or so to the gas station for a precarious fill-up and the obligatory bathroom stops even though EVERYONE had gone before we left. And then we prayed and gave our trip to YHWH. There were many uncertainties yet: would the truck handle all the weight we had dumped into the trailer? Would it pull us all over teh road? Would I ge ttoo tired to continue? And so on… It was immensely helpful to take all those questions and throw them into Trust.

9:40pm actually finally on the road. Puttered along at 50 mph average to keep all the gauges happy. Sometimes faster, sometimes slower depending on the terrain.

11:00pm-ish it was obvious I was physically incapable of staying awake. For those who have braved the noble road with me, you will recognize immediately that this is quite uncharacteristic. I have driven solo from Colorado to Virginia straight through. I have driven solo from the coast of Louisiana to Canada straight through. But there was no way I was going to safely make the 4 hour cruise after the delightful schedule we had been keeping. With no rest areas or Walmarts anywhere in GPS sight, I thought at least a beverage was in order. Sheetz gas station turned out to be very hospitable and gracious hosts and I caught a couple winks between various kids waking up grumpy.

1:30am-ish back on the road. I hit equilibrium at 2am on the dot. There is this Place on the Road that I am quite fond of. It is a Place of perfect awareness that fatigue cannot touch. It is a Place of Perpetual Motion. It is a Place of Grace and Life where every physical and spiritual sense is completely alive. It certainly helped that I stumbled upon an amazing radio show to provide the soundtrack: http://www.starsend.org/broadcast.html – that Place on the Road always demands a soundtrack, and I tuned in right before 2am when Arc was up on the Playlist. Now, I’m the kind of person who believes that everything happens for a reason – for a Purpose – and, though I also realize that one can read too much into things as well, I find immensely curious if not downright cool that the inaugural song of the trip was by a group called Arc. The layers of puns and meanings there are numerous, but the more obvious ones revolve around feeling a bit like  we’re here now in our own little ark riding along atop a sea of circumstance over which we have incomplete control.

4am we finally pulled into the driveway on the Farm… after 2 puke incidents (there has been something going around), and 2 stops at the very end to reattach each weight distribution bar (something screwy going on there on certain angle turns or something).

The last couple days have been full of fellowship, realization (as the surreal slowly gives way to the uberreal), rest (although not quite as much as I’d like yet, because…), and unpacking / sorting / organizing. It might sound funny, be we really do have a lot of unpacking to do. We’re now in the move in phase: i.e. how can we possibly organize everything so that it looks like things are not cluttered. It is so much fun.

We’re parked by a pond. We have power, water, and sewer connections. The kids have a Farm to explore. Renee and I already have a long to-do list to streamline this new life. Photos and GPS data will get posted when I get around to it. And I should have gone to bed 3 hours ago 🙂 Some things change hard. We are feeling so blessed!

Apr 11 2009

The Endless Day

by andrew

I thought today would never end… and still it goes on… but we are finally on the precipice of a flagrant plunge and it almost feels good. Really good. The trailer is packed so tight one can literally no longer set foot in it. And yet you’d not believe how much we sold away,  bartered away, gave away, threw away. And still there’s more. We have begun an infinite purging. The stuff just never ends. How many times did we feel like we were so close today, only to have an eerily similar feeling hours later. But finally… I just have to prep the trailer, hitch up the suburban and we are gone. Just like that. A vapor.

Many thanks to dad, mom, Jonathan, and Jeff and Elizabeth for their heroic feats to help us pull this off. And of course, all thanks and honor to YHWH… this departure, this timing is a miracle.

Apr 11 2009

The Moment of Truth

by andrew

3:30am … it’s looking a lot like an all nighter. so much to pack yet. Joy is crying again. Renee hasn’t slept much (if at all) despite trying. these are the anvils upon which truly living is forged. i might end up wearing Joy in the backpack carrier while i knock out some of the packing. we’ve said it before but i am dumbfounded at the amount of STUFF suffocating us. and it isn’t just shear volume – it’s the kind of weight that is so hard to shed even though we don’t want any of it… there is so much sorting yet to do but no time to sort. our lives will unfold as a continuous sorting. yet even in the midst of this maelstrom i am confident that every Red Sea in our path will part just as it did in the Exodus of Old… but of course, it’s every bit as looming and menacing until it does. i expect tomorrow will dawn with departure.

Apr 3 2009

My Last Day at the NSC

by andrew

Unbelievable. Today is my last day of working at the NSC after 8 adventure-filled years tackling and getting tackled by some of the most amazing projects in my field… most of which, of course, I cannot talk about freely. I have had the privilege to meet and work with a wonderful range of professionals, and of course, the memories are endless.

I thought I’d sort of start a place to capture some of those memories as a way of saying goodbye to this season of my life. It has been a long season (in a very good sense) and I’m sure it will take a while to transition mentally and emotionally. I will continue to update this list as I think of additional moments, friendships, etc. (most of which will probably be completely obscure to the average reader). Please feel free to add your own memories in the comments too (as long as you keep it family-friendly). In no particular order, but generally working from the present to the past, and without expending too much effort to keep from being cheesy:

  • The B & J show… thanks for all the laughs.
  • My parting portal gift… sorry guys… blame MS.
  • Transition madness… that could of course be broken down into nearly infinite memories all by itself (who wants to write the book with me?) 🙂
  • The messed up badges.
  • Much more to come… [I have to wrap things up here with out-processing]