In preparation for our move to England I had two weeks left. The many phases of my journey continued.
Phase 3: Getting House Ready and Animals Packed for GrandmasLucky for me I have my friend Sonne as my house sitter. He will be taking care of the cat and managing the landscapers and armies of contractors that are needed to replace all that I do around the joint. I made a master list of every contractor and utility company as well as emergency phone numbers and put it next to a bottle of Tequila with a note.
"Dear Sonne, good luck. Cheers!"
The hardest part for all of us in our move to UK was leaving our dog Jake. I can’t really even type about it because I will start to cry again. If I brought him he would be quarantined for 6 months, so I didn’t have an option. I would pack his jammies and have my friend Ruthie bring him to my friend Jen’s house. Are you confused yet? I didn’t tell the kids he was going, but my oldest figured it out. She held on to him as the tears came down her face. I couldn’t stand it and had to walk away.
Phase 4: Release PapersThe last thing to do was to wait for our Visas to arrive. Once we had our passports renewed, which was harder than a date with the Pope, we went to the British consulate to apply for Visas. Apparently, the UK wants to know who is trying to weasel out of paying taxes. As we approached the desk, a woman dressed as a prison guard began shouting.
“YOU CANNOT COME IN HERE WITH WATER BOTTLES OF ANY KIND.”
For a minute I thought we had arrived at the Russian consulate in error. The kids exchanged a concerned look and turned to me as if to say
“What in God’s name are you getting us into?”
I shrugged my shoulders and moved on.
In ten days our papers would arrive and we would be free to leave. I quickly realized that we would be starting school late and wondered what the consequences would be for the kids.
Phase 5: My FuneralAs the day approached for our departure, the suitcases sat in our garage. The air shipment and ocean shipment had left two weeks earlier to give it plenty of time for arrival. Night after night, we had different parties to say goodbye to our friends. It killed me when someone would break down in tears.
“Look it isn’t my funeral. I am coming back…or is that why you are crying?“
With the risk of appearing to be a cold-hearted bitch, I had decided that it was a parking space I wasn’t going into. After losing a parent when I was 18, I knew the sorrow of good-byes and wasn’t going to do it. I had to just remember that it was 6 months or 12 months at the most.
Three days before we left my husband called in the morning.
“Great news. The Visas are here and you can leave with the kids early so they can get to school on time. “
My heart stopped. How would I tell the kids?
“NO WAY” my oldest shouted. I have a going away party on Friday and how will I say good-bye to Mike? Her boyfriend was away instructing at a hockey camp.
I began throwing the last remaining remnants into the bag, making calls, and running around the house like the military police screaming that we had no option. The phone rang again.
“Sorry false alarm. We need one more document.”
“You’re kidding right?”
One day left. My dear friends Tricia and John threw us a little going away party with our closest friends. I just needed to get out of there. It was getting way too emotional and exhausting.
For more stories about our adventures to England, visit my website at LifeWithWendy.com.