Thursday: Wake up with crippling stomach flu. Assign power of attorney to Jenna so she can go to the closing without me. Jenna's dad shows up with a rental truck. Family and three hired movers start loading it up. Jenna leaves to buy our house, rain starts coming down hard, we discover the moving truck has holes in the roof.
Somehow the closing is completed, almost everything is loaded into the truck, and we form a caravan down to Carver. I drive my Saturn which is also packed full of stuff, except the trunk which is full of empty boxes(!?). I begin to feel a lot better. Domino's pizza dude is waiting at the door when I arrive.
I'm well enough to carry some small boxes and direct traffic during the unloading after our helpers arrive with the truck. Jenna's parents drive the truck back to our old house (which at that moment is technically our "second house") for a second load and come back with the rest of our stuff. By the end of the day, everything is unloaded, everybody goes home, and we're left alone in our new home. I take Natalie to bed and we both fall asleep instantly while Jenna and her dad return the truck.
Friday: Birds are singing when I wake up. It's a beautiful, dry, sunny day. I look around the room--our new bedroom!--and smile. "Everything will be good from now on," I think.
Everything is good. The flu leaves me weak and hungry and tired, but it has definitely left. After a stop at the scratch & dent appliance store, we race to St. Paul for a final walkthrough (we almost left behind two full rolls of toilet paper!), and lunch at Subway. We close on the old place and we're down to a single mortgage again.
We do about a hundred minor house repairs. My father-in-law brings his riding mower and moves the entire lawn. I dig up vines. My arm is covered in bloody welts from biting gnats but that's okay because I'm outside and working and it feels great. I also find a frog, some toads, and a baby snake.
Saturday: I start eating some real food again and keep it all down. Success! We continue unpacking and reassembling and the house begins to take some semblance of order. I clear out the garage enough that we can actually park one of our cars inside.
My mother-in-law comes to help with some yard work and brings our dog back. Lola had been staying with them during the move and is very excited to see us again. The rest of the day is checking more items off the to-do list and adding new projects at about the same rate.
Holly makes us a vegetable egg casserole and we bake it for our first real meal in the new house (and in several days). I install a shower head so that we can shower again. I haven't bathed or shaved since Wednesday. I walk outside to look at stars after my family goes to sleep.
Sunday: Finally get that shower, although I decide to keep the beard. Lola startles a rabbit during our morning constitutional. I hear church bells ringing (so that's one thing I don't need to miss about living in St. Paul).
Our great friends Matt & Jenny bring their little ones for a too-short visit. We give them the grand tour and play outside with the kids. Matt tells the story of how he witnessed a cougar attack at our local zoo.
Natalie gets fussy so after dinner I talk her on a long walk around the neighborhood. We find a park and a trail where we'll be taking many hikes in the future. I feel like we're on a vacation, and tomorrow morning I need to go back to the "real world" and leave all of this behind. My life is full of magic. I am truly living the dream.