Moving, Part I


In case you missed it, we moved on Wednesday.  We are no longer Nantucketers and no longer live 30 miles out to sea.  Instead, we are on our way more than halfway across the country in a car stuffed inside and out,  to make a new home in the prairie grasses of the cowboy state.No more joking about living apart from the U.S.; we are now going to be solidly part of America, starting with a trek from one end of the country to the other.

I am honestly amazed at how well moving day went.  Despite needing “just one more” box for days leading up to the moving truck’s arrival, we had everything wrapped, boxed, taped, and labeled in time; we only needed one emergency box that day.  After initially discussing Chris accepting this new job and moving so soon after becoming a family of four, I had nightmare flashbacks of the challenges I experienced moving (alone) with a nine month old.  I envisioned the challenges of that day and the weeks moving up to it multiplied by two, and I was not in the least bit excited about doing it all over again just weeks after giving birth.  But I completely underestimated my awesome box-packing husband and our Nantucket village.

Yes, between newborn haze, entertaining a preschooler, coping with illness, and doing lots and lots of breastfeeding,

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I was relatively useless at preparing our family to move, but we got it done anyway, and a huge thanks is owed to the friends who took Nora on multi-hour play dates, who came over to help with Zara,

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and, yes, who even showed up on moving day to help us clean our refrigerator and sweep the floors.  What an incredibly generous and loving group of friends we found on Nantucket.  As the ferry rounded Brant Point


and I watched our sandy home (and our bon voyage party)


disappear from sight, I wished we could somehow pack them all up and take them with us.  I couldn’t have asked for a better “family” these past few years.

Now I am sitting besides the remains of a fire in a friend’s house high on a hill overlooking Pittsburgh, and tears are a thing of the past.  I will always miss Nantucket and the wonderful people on it, but now is all about finding a way to survive the drive across country with a six week old and with a 3.5 year old who has only seen traffic lights in books and is used to riding in a car only two days per week.  On the trip, we’re enjoying rare visits with friends and family.  Then, we’ll be getting settled, exploring a new town, and looking forward to beginning our next new adventure.  I feel a little bit like Ma Ingalls, leaving the big woods and then Indian territory after that: sad to say goodbye to friends; sad to watch a year of work and effort disappear in the past, but also realizing there is no point in doing anything other than rolling forward with the wagon wheels.

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So far, things are going pretty well.  I’m camped in the backseat between the girls.  It’s a tight fit, but clearly the best place for a happy family and a smooth trip.  We’ve amused ourselves with banana phones and eating lots of snacks.


We used the opportunity to swim in the hotel pool as a rather effective bribe,


and, just when we thought all was lost, the novelty of a tunnel made for a great distraction.


We are taking this drive nice and slow, so hopefully things will continue to be better than not and I’ll be able to report making it more than 2,000 miles without a desperate plea to the GPS to reroute to the nearest Best Buy stocked full of portable DVD players and princess movies.  Tomorrow is a break from driving, then we have two more road days, so I’ll let you know how that goes…

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