Packing Boxes, Checklists, and Deadlines, Oh My!

There’s a lot to get done this week. The Week. The one before we leave for England. In my mind this week was going to be much easier. We had mapped out everything very carefully: Housing – check; Rental Car – check; Passports/Visas/International Drivers Licenses – check; Banking – check; Airline tickets – check. But now it’s here. The Week. The  Last One. And all of a sudden it all feels a little overwhelming.

We still have lots to do and taking time to blog isn’t helping get any of it done. But I just needed to clear my head and write a bit. Usually I take a few moments at the beginning of each new year to think about all the possibilities that lie ahead. This year even more so.

We will be living in the United Kingdom and hopefully we will be traveling all over Europe. Certainly we will be making a trip to Paris in April (already booked) and hope to see Rome in the summer or early autumn and perhaps a trip to Munich or Madrid (or both). Of course we will spend lots of time in London and the English countryside as well.

But packing for nearly a year and working out details here before we leave is exhausting. Plus the whole point of moving to England has to do with my job and those responsibilities have increased exponentially because now I am V.P. of Operations for North America and Europe. So this isn’t actually an extended vacation – no matter what some of my staff may think. I will be working and ‘watching them’ from across the pond.

A Pawpaw and his girls

Then there’s the emotional aspect – perhaps being busy with the packing and planning is a good thing. It gives me less time to think about how much I’m going to miss my children and grandchildren. This holiday season has been especially wonderful with Charlise and Anna and Noah around for extended periods of time. Last night while some adults were out partying, Nana Deb and I had a pajama party at our house. Noah scrubbed up and sweet-smelling happily went to his crib. After their baths, the girls and Deb and I watched “Madeline” (a family favorite). Deb made pancakes this morning before Mass and this afternoon we went to the indoor pool/water park. Later the whole family had dinner together which included Deb’s trademark black-eyed peas (there’s some superstitious hokum about needing to eat them for prosperity or good luck in the new year). All in all, it was a great New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day.

Rocking Noah to sleep in my arms last night I had ‘a moment’. And I got choked up today at the pool watching the girls splishing and splashing. But I’m determined to stay positive and not get too sad or overly emotional before we leave for England even though my heart is heavy.

I don’t why but this evening the girls doled extra bedtime kisses. It felt like a gift from heaven. Maybe my granddaughters knew that their Pawpaw needed a little something more tonight (or maybe it was just those damned black-eyed peas).

Peace,

Denis

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