Eight years ago today I climbed in my minivan with my daughter, my niece, and my three dogs and 2 cats and began the drive from Utah to Virginia. It was supposed to be the beginning of a new life. In a way, I guess it was. Just not the way I had originally thought.
The trip would take 3 days. We would stop the first night in Grand Island, Nebraska. It was a good 12 hours into our trip. Maybe more. We would make it to South Bend the second day so I could drop off my niece. Plus, I wouldn’t have to pay for a hotel room because I would stay at my mom’s house. The third day Rock Star, the dogs, and the cats, and I would finish up the trip- a mere 8 hours.
If you remember anything about foreshadowing from your days of high school English then you should know I should have realized this move was going to be a disaster. The engine in my car was overheating, or doing some other funny thing. I took it into a dealership the following morning before our trip began. They couldn’t get the part in that day but were willing to try to rig something up for me so I could make it “home”. Looking back I remember thinking I absolutely HAD to be there for when the movers came. In hindsight I should have waited for the damn part and just hung out in Indiana. But no! I was so worried about poor Jerry Lee, and how he would deal with the movers all by his little self. So I got in the car and preceded to listen to the damn door chime for the next 8-10 hours. I had asked them to pull the fuse at the dealership and they looked at me like I had grown a second head. Jerry Lee helpfully sent me a diagram but I’m no mechanic. The fuse remained and I got to listen to the door chime all the way to Virginia. But wait! There’s more!
The trip to Harrisonburg from South Bend is mainly toll roads so why I had my GPS on from the beginning I don’t know. I had bought a new charger for my car. I’m not sure what exactly happened. Maybe the charger wasn’t pushed in all the way, but about 2 hours before we hit our destination my phone died and my brand new charger wasn’t working. My GPS was my only source of directions. I had been to my new house twice and both of those times had occurred over a month prior to this visit. I wasn’t sure I could find Jerry Lee’s hotel. I was panicking. With some quick thinking we managed to contact a friend back in Utah who placed a call to Jerry Lee. I think we were able to get directions off of Rock Star’s iPad. She wrote them down so we would have them if her iPad died. She told me later she feared I was going to drive off the mountain.
I don’t recall being that upset but between leaving hours later than we planned, the dinging that went on for approximately 10 hours, the fact my engine light was once again coming on, and having no fucking clue where I was going, I might have been a little stressed.
That trip was my harbinger of doom. I ignored it. Just like I ignored all of Harley’s pictures on her Facebook and the fact she had taken her wedding picture down. Just like I ignored the supposed name snafu where Jerry Lee was going to register the deed to our new house in his name only because one of our names had a typo in it. I still remember telling him, “You better make sure this is what you want because once I make this move you’re stuck with me.” I was telling him he had one last chance to pull the plug on our marriage and go chase down the gold digging whore. Go get her if that’s what you want, but if that’s the case then don’t drag me and the kids away to Virginia away from all of our friends and the lives that we love. You know the story. Liars lie. Turns out he wasn’t stuck with me. He just up and quit his job and moved out of the state he drug us to.
A year after moving in I found out Jerry Lee and Harley were back at it. If they had ever stopped. Two years after moving in I sold off all the furniture I could, had a giant yard sale, and left everything else behind when the kids and I moved to Indiana and in with my mom. Both of the cats that made the trip with us died while we were in Virginia and I only have one of those dogs today. My kids have grown up, too.
Eight years. A lot has changed. Looking back at those pictures and those of the days leading up to the move, I had no idea what was in store for me or my kids.
Thanks for the reminder, Facebook.