Home Sweet Home

With the rising sun at my back, these last hours seem like forever as I motor west across interstate 94 Thursday morning.  Deer are starting to line the hillsides.  Intermittent flocks of turkey.  Intermittent piles of snow.  Yes, that white stuff is still evident in the Great Midwest. 

Oh, my, I have to pull over.  I just have to.  I stop and sleep for 90 minutes.  Back to the highway, I call Lynn to help keep me alert.  She is driving to Minnesota, and will be to my house very soon with her dogs.  We talk about how she feels about her Grandma finally passing.  We talk about Mikel and how I feel about it all.  I lose her to poor reception.  Oh my, I have to pull over, I feel sick.  I nap at another rest stop for 45 minutes. 

Back on the road, I have to stop at the next gas station and get more coffee.  There’s a couple deer at the edge of the snow and tree line.  My mind keeps wandering.  I call Tim. We talk for a while.  Oh, geeze, I’ve got to stop.  I pull into another rest stop, cry and and sleep for about an hour, take the dogs for a morning pee, then pull back onto the highway.  Focus.  Focus, girl!  I cannot get my mind right!  It hasn’t even been an hour!  I pull into the next gas station and fill up, get more coffee, then pull over to the edge of the entrance as best I can and just sit there for a while.

If I ever get home at this rate……

Okay, I’m pulling back onto the highway now, with a better frame of mind….I think about the many inspiring people I’ve met the last 4 months, I think about the many people that have said I was an inspiration to them.  I think about the dozens of wonderful opportunities that have been presented to me in the last 4 months, and the many exciting things I want to accomplish with this renewed faith and vision.

I press on.  The good news is, I am choosing to live my life to the fullest.  The good news is, I have made some amazing decisions and choices.  The good news is, I am here, now, and am on the tail end of what has been an amazing adventure.  Plans change every day.  I just need to modify the plan.

And the really good news is, right up ahead is downtown St. Paul! I am sucked into the city, wind around to the north and to my last stretch of highway.  My brain has switched gears to planning the unpacking procedure.  The driveway should be clear so I should be able to park out in the street with flashers on, and run things up to the house. Bring the dogs in first, let them settle back in. I wonder how long I can keep the trailer in front of the house before the cops make a big deal?  Gifts.  I have to make sure to get all the gifts out of the trailer.  The wine!  Just in case it gets below freezing….Oh I hope it gets below freezing once everything is done, to kill those fleas! 

Exit right.  Turn left.  Turn right.  Quarter mile…half mile…my block….turn left then sharp right, right again, down the hill, right, and one last slow right and stop directly in front of my house at noon sharp!

The adventure ends here! 

Or does it?

I turn on the flashers, jump out of the truck with the girls and run up to the front door.  We enter the living room to hear the familiar sound of floor creaking all the way to the kitchen.  Yeah, I missed that sound.  I quickly scoot to the kitchen and look out the window.

O—M—G.  The canopy over the deck and hot tub was not taken care of like I’d asked, and it has completely collapsed (again) across everything.  Deep breath.  It’ll be fine.  It must be 40 someSnowCanopy degrees as I quickly unleash the girls, go get Buddy, rapid unload the trailer for the next two hours, then drive it around the block one more time to park it safely on the side street.  Sure I have a mess to clean up in the backyard, but at least I managed to miss winter!  Yeah!

After the rapid unload of almost half a year of stuff, the inside of the house looks like a hurricane hit it, but I am home, we are home, and I am grateful that I have a home to come home to.  I can’t wait to see my neighbor!  I do some sorting and nesting and go to the kitchen for some quick nutrition and give the kids some fresh water in their bowls.  I take Buddy’s bowl over to the sink and turn on the cold water.

Instantly water shoots up to the ceiling and sprays the room from all around the entire faucet fixture, the knobs, and everywhere except where it should be coming out!    I turn off the water and dry off me and the drenched kitchen.  Great.  Just great.  I quickly check the status of the bathrooms and laundry room—all ok.  Relieved, I sit down and eat the remainder of my salad left overs.  I sit down on the living room couch, and finally collapse from exhaustion and fall into a deep deep sleep.

Ahhh, happy Friday back in my own home!   I wake up, and start getting ready for Lynn to arrive.  I’m in a scramble to clear and the guest room for her, and make at least a little room for us to move around as I sort things out and get them in their place. I have tossed so much in the master bedroom it’ll be awhile before I’ll be able to stay in there, but that’s ok, I’ll sleep on the futon a few nights while I get things organized.

I get a phone call from a friend.  “I have the answers to all your problems.  I got a guy that can fix everything you need fixed, he will do everything you need done to your house, he just needs a place to stay and he needs to know right now if it’s going to be your place.  If you don’t want him, someone else will.”  My house has become an HGTV project waiting to be rescued over the last few years….Hmmm…

You know how if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is?  I agree to meet her and her amazing handy man.  I talk to Lynn about it. Where would I even put him?  But there is the sink issue….

So in a split second decision under duress and “car-lag”, I agree to give it a try and have him stay.  Now I am scrambling through my chaos to carve a space in my office for a strange guy to come and stay in, so I can have my sink fixed along with a long list of other needs that he says he can take care of.  The best I can do for now is a cot.

Lynn arrives with her dogs.  The guy arrives.  My house is full of people, dogs and stuff everywhere and I am soooo wishing I was still on the road. All I can do is laugh.  After I get everyone situated for the night, I sit down, and finally collapse from exhaustion and fall into a deep deep sleep.

Ahhhh, happy Saturday back in my own home!  It’s great to be home.  I stumble up the stairSnowDriveways from a night in the basemen on the futon, and make my way through the house half asleep to the front window. 

I look outside.  It has been snowing. It has been snowing a lot. It is still snowing.  A lot.  The cars are going to be buried. 

I run to look out the kitchen window. So much for managing to miss winter.

Okay, I’m ready for the adventure to end now.

Ah Minnesota.  Home Sweet Home!

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