Roots & Leaves

We’ve lived here about 9-1/2 years. Max was born here, Hannah was 11 months old when we moved in. There were some trees next door when we moved in, but they were cut down soon after (it was a windy spring and many trees had been falling over, our neighbor was afraid of the same thing happening, so she nipped the problem in the trunk. I couldn’t really blame her.)

Not long after that I ordered two trees online, and two little sticks arrived in the mail, twigs, barely as thick as my thumb. Our Elm and our Mimosa trees. We planted the Elm in the backyard, we planted the Mimosa in the front, and they have flourished.

Folks are astonished that the Mimosa is only about 5 years old – it’s tall, but spare, and in the summer has nice leaf coverage. No blossoms yet – we’ve been waiting – there were about 8 last year and I was hoping that this would be the blossom year. Mimosa’s are considered a ‘noxious weed’ in Minnesota, I guess we’ll have no Mimosa’s there…

The elm is a slower grower – but it’s doing well. It’s maybe 15′ tall now, full shaped and already with the lovely elm tree silhouette. It’s a special disease resistant breed – the only thing Dutch here is me.

I feel like we’ve put down some very deep roots in nine years, and it’s heartbreaking to be leaving. A good move, necessary, positive in almost every way – but still heartbreaking. When the inspector came into our home a few days ago (we won’t get our Certificate Of Occupancy until she returns and sees our bright, spanking new CO2 detector – the old one was a plug in and not to code) she casually remarked, “Beautiful home!” and I almost burst into tears.

Wednesday I had a minor meltdown. I’m tired – I’ve been traveling a lot, teaching a lot, and that cold that I thought I was getting – then thought I had ducked – is apparently really here. The unwelcome guest. My nose and eyes are competing in a marathon – both won’t stop running.

After packing and packing – and then packing some more – I still wasn’t finished. Gerry’s back is causing him tremendous agony, and even so he’s trying to help and pack and move, and he suffers for it. Thank heavens his physical therapy was yesterday. We hit a point with the movers Wednesday when their speed exceeded our preparedness, and I reacted by over-reacting. Then I went and had lunch with a friend.

It’s become apparent that we really DO need to rent SOMETHING to get the extra stuff to MN, and we’re thinking that we’ve found the solution (no truck, no towing, a mini-pod which we can park in front of the garage!) So we’re happy.

The kids read themselves to sleep upstairs on the new air mattress ($20 at Target) Gerry and I will sleep on ours tonight (with no sheets – oops, forgot to leave them out of the packing when they took the beds away …) Tomorrow the inspector returns.

The only thing that makes this move easier is that so many of my friends have spoken longingly of going with us to MN because it’s such a happening place for the type of friends we have – and it’s easier to express admiration for the North Star State when the wind chill here in NJ is below zero, too.

Gerry and the kids will struggle through this weekend on air mattresses with paper plates and plastic cups. I’ll be in a nice, soft bed in Rochester, NY.

Hannah wrinkled her nose at me when I told her that – life never promised to be fair!

One odd thing. With the furniture gone, the rooms look strangely smaller. It’s so weird, I would have thought they’d look larger, but they seriously look SMALLER! This gives me hope that in my mind I’m exaggerating how much smaller the rooms in our StP house are… A girl can dream, can’t she?

Today more boxes arrive, we’ll do the final packing over the weekend – or rather, I’ll do some final packing today, tomorrow I’ll get set up for Max’s party (which is a skating party after school) the more packing on Saturday and I’ll leave for Rochester in the afternoon. While I’m gone, Gerry will finish packing. Or not – his back has been SO painful, he missed work a few days this week to rest – the timing of this sucks, but there’s not a lot that can be done besides rest a bad back!

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