I wrote recently about our impending move to a new home (see, The Beauty of Transition on this blog site). Well, last week was not only Spring Break for our county school system, it was our week to move. Sometime soon I will blog about all the God-orchestrated events that brought us to this place. But my emotions are raw and my body is tired so for right now, let me share with you a few thoughts about packing, unpacking, and moving lives.

Our very first day brought an unexpected and wonderful surprise. A friend of mine had called and told me she would help. I wasn’t really sure what I would ask her to do that first day because we had only so much packed and we were going to take it slow. You know, pace our selves. Well, she showed up with a carload of high school boys who spent the next several hours moving everything they could get their hands on. She said, “Dawn, you know I refuse to break a sweat but I sure don’t mind making these boys work!” She helped orchestrate moving some major pieces of furniture and we ended the day excited, deeply grateful, and way ahead of the game.

The funny thing was that when the guys were moving a couple of particularly special pieces I had told them in the event of an impending fall to get out of the way. The furniture might be antique, but their lives could not be replaced. Come to find out, Richard had just told them a few minutes earlier that if they started to drop something they should sacrifice their bodies, not the furniture!  Thankfully, no one had to sacrifice anything. Everything and everybody survived the afternoon.

We had ideal weather throughout the week. Cool mornings and not-too-hot afternoons allowed us to have windows and doors wide open all week. Our children were incredibly helpful, picking up boxes, moving furniture, and climbing endless flights of stairs. We did everything ourselves except for a 3-hour shift late in the week with three professional movers who looked like they had just walked out of a wrestling arena. Man, those guys were big! And fast, too! Rachel and I were trying to move a mattress while struggling to hold its shape intact as we navigated through the hall and around a corner to the stairs. One of the movers walked up and said, ‘let me get that for you.’ In one quick motion, he threw that mattress across his back and had it in the back of their truck faster than Rachel and I could silently call each other wimps =)

Box after box after box after box made its way to the car, the trunk, the back of the truck, and the trailer. After surveying that every available space was filled, we would convoy over to the new place and unload box after box after box after box. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. We put our kids’ friends to work and bribed them with pizza. Little by little, one room at a time, one house was emptying as the other was filling. We still had a very long way to go, but we were making great progress.

On Wednesday afternoon Stephen, our youngest, asked if we were going to be able to have Easter Sunday dinner on “Grammie’s china”. It is a long-standing tradition that I bring out my paternal grandmother’s beautiful, antique china for Easter Sunday. My dad cooks a beautiful ham (a two-day process that makes my mouth water just thinking about it) and we sit down to a lovely meal around the dining room table. There was no way I could say ‘no, not this year, honey’ but I wondered if it was even remotely possible that we could pull it off in just a few days. On Thursday, my Mom emailed me to say that she and my Dad were preparing the entire meal and if I could just have the table set, Easter Sunday dinner was a go.

And so, amid still unpacked boxes and a mattress leaning against the wall just inside the front door, we sat down to the first of many family celebrations around the dining room table. Grammie’s china was in place, all our favorite side dishes had been prepared (we even had two of the same thing that Mom and I accidentally duplicated!), and Easter Sunday dinner found a new home for the Hoods. Exhausted? Yes. Unpacked? Not by a long shot. But looking around the table at my family, taking the plunge to make a home out of this new place, I felt incredibly blessed, thankful, and satisfied.

And I hadn’t even taken the first bite of that beautiful, scrumptious ham.