Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Is Moving Across Country Ever Easy?

Which is more painful: a writer separated from pen and paper or one separated from toothbrush and toothpaste?

I guess it depends on how close the writer is to other people.

During our recent move from California to Colorado, I spent two days in the cab of a U-Haul with my husband Mike and our Queensland heeler, Blue. I think Mike would choose the toothbrush. Thank the Lord for convenience stores.

With no paper – and as one of the few diehards who does not own a laptop – I spent the first several hundred miles trying to remember where I put my journal. Either I or dear family members and neighbors who came to my relocation rescue packed it in a feverish rush the afternoon prior to our departure. It must have gone into the same box as my toothbrush.

However, several names and sites along the way were unforgettable:

We crossed Holy Moses Wash in Kingman, Arizona, and in New Mexico passed road signs for Eagle’s Nest, Red River, and Angle Fire. On Colorado’s I-25 a flashing sign warned, “Watch for Wildlife on Roadway.” Not your typical notifications found in the San Joaquin Valley.

The first night I marveled that I could see the stars all the way down to the horizon. And the next morning leading Blue out for relief behind the motel, I watched a Native American couple walk with great dignity from a nearby vacant building, side by side, heads high, their sleeping pad rolled up over his shoulder, her hand in his.

How little I knew of the moving of others.

During the weeks and months of packing, I had thought, “This is hard.” It was hard, but not as hard as it is for some, and I often felt like one of my whinier sixth-graders who always complained of assignments, “This is too hard.”

Unloading and sorting and moving in to our new home were also hard, but I had recently read David’s declaration that God was his helper. “For by You I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall” (Psalm 18:29).

Exhausted each night from heavy lifting, and unfamiliar shifting and shoving, I indeed felt like I had run against a troop and leapt over a wall – but all with God’s unfailing help and the friends He sent our way.

And so I settle into a routine again, gazing out my window across the Arkansas River Valley to the mighty Pike’s Peak and Cheyenne Mountain that brood over Colorado Springs.

Thank you, everyone who helped us and wished us well. We may have moved away, but you remain in our thoughts and in our hearts.