Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Fourth, Family and the Big Move

The big move happened over 4th of July weekend. I know, I am a bit behind.

There was a mix up with the trucks. Apparently the one they sent to us (a full-sized semi trailer) was supposed to go to a place a couple hours away and the one we were supposed to get (a much more reasonably sized one) was there. When they said this I had two thoughts: wow, those people must have a ton of stuff, and, what are they going to do when a little truck comes to get all that stuff?

The packers had come the day before (Thursday) and boxed up our stuff. We were impressed with the job they did. Friday a different group of guys came to load it all into the truck. We were not so impressed with the job they did. They were supposed to wrap and put padding around furniture, mattresses, lamps, etc. Basically anything that couldn't be put in a box they were supposed to wrap before they loaded it. Keith saw them taking stuff out the door without wrapping it. When asked about this they said they were doing it outside.

They lied.

As a result we had a rather long list of things that were damaged/broken during the move, not the least of was the elliptical which apparently had something very heavy put on it which crashed it.. We filed the claim but it takes a while to process. In the mean time I am doing a lot of yoga via DVD. (I know that is making you smile Mom. We should do yoga together when you get here.)

Checkout and inspection was Saturday morning. That afternoon we began the drive to Paul and Jenae's place in Dayton, OH. They now live only 6 hours away! That may seem like quite the drive to some, but compared to Germany (where they have been for the past 4 years), and considering that is by far the closest we have lived to family for 5 years, it is awesome!

 Jenae has mad sewing skills and made Jane and Charlie dolls that look like them.
 I have no idea what the going on when this picture was taken but I get a kick out of the face Keith is making.


Monday Paul, who is a flight nurse in the Air Force and teaches nurses how to take care of patients at 40,000 feet. Let's just say, this made me appreciate the sacrifice wounded soldiers have made even more.

 I forget exactly how many wounded soldiers they can cram onto this plane but it is a lot. Each of those hook things can hold a stretcher. To make it worse, the lights are generally out during the flight so the nurses are doing everything by flashlight. I feel really bad for any claustrophobic soldiers that have to be in this situation. Maybe they could be given the top bunk.

 This is Paul showing Charlie the buttons that simulate various scenarios that are possible.
The fire one has fake smoke. :)

I would much rather be a patient on this plane. MUCH roomier. (Not that I would get a choice.) That being said, I can only imagine that a soldier in this situation would be happy to be in either one if it meant that they were going to go home.

 I am just thankful that there are people out there brave enough to make the sacrifices that keep our country free. It was a good way to spend our country's 240th birthday.

The next day, Tuesday, we went to this huge, really great and FREE flight museum. It was one of those museums where Keith and I could spend hours in it reading the information signs and immersing ourselves in history. However, we weren't alone, we had a pack of kids with us. The best part of going through a museum with kids is seeing how excited they get by seeing and experiencing various things. For example, Charlie has been interested in rockets and space shuttles. To his complete delight the museum not only had actual life-sized rockets but also a full-size replica of the space shuttle that you could walk through. Possibly the highlight of the museum.

Waiting in line to get on the space shuttle was also when we lost Charlie. Keith and Paul ran off looking for him, Jenae quickly headed to the nearest help desk, and I stood frantically keeping the rest of the kids as close to me as possible while yelling Charlie's name. A few people asked what he was wearing. As soon as I told them that he was wearing a red t-shirt I realized that it was 4th of July weekend. EVERYONE was wearing red, white and blue. I should have put him neon green. After what seemed like an eternity he calmly walked by completely oblivious to the panic he had caused. He just had decided to take a walk around the shuttle to get a better look.

Heading into Air Force One. It makes first class look like coach and coach look like those medical Air Force planes. (I don't think I mentioned that the commodes in those hospital planes are out in the open with only a curtain separating the user from the rest of the passengers.)

Charlie is always up for a ride on anything that remotely resembles a tractor.

Jane loved being served food while her cousins did the cooking. She kept them busy with her requests and complaints about the temperature of her food.

Brianna kept on preventing Charlie from getting each animal lined up and grouped by species. Future taxonomist or OCD or both?

Jane and Brianna hamming it up.

We asked the boys to smile and this is what we got...

All the Merrill grand kids!

Charlie and Jane both broke down when we left. The poor kids had a great time and were ready for stability again.

They sure were troopers though.

We finally got into the house Wednesday evening and it was a relief. No more bouncing around from hotel to family to hotel. We could begin the process of making our new house into a home. As Charlie would say for several weeks after we arrived: it takes a while before a new place feels like home.

Slowly it is beginning to.

No comments: