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In my last post, I described how things finally started coming together after an emotional two-month ride that had me on the brink of a breakdown. The timing was actually turning out to be perfect. Moving day was set for July 17th. That meant we’d be moved in and at least somewhat settled before our grandchild was born, due on July 28th. Being a first baby, I figured we actually had more time than that to prepare.

But much like life itself, babies don’t much care what your plans are — they tend to arrive on their own timetable.

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Five days before moving day, I got a call from Son #1 that his wife was in labor. Son #2 was literally on his way out the door anyway, headed north for orientation at his new job. I briefly considered going with him, but (a) I had a load of work to get done, with clients counting on me and (b) being a first baby, I figured we had some time. So, I sent my son on his way and figured I would drive up later if I needed to.

Problem is, I forgot something kind of important:  I didn’t have a car. In anticipation of needing a driver for the moving truck and having two other cars that would need to be driven to our new home, my husband had taken my car up the weekend before.

No matter, I thought. I’ll just rent a car.

So, I set about finishing the work that needed to get done, and had barely hit “send” to deliver it to my client when I picked up the phone and called Enterprise. “We’ll pick you up!” And they were happy to do so. However, at that moment, they had no cars to rent out. Okay, I said, I’ll call the other location. Nope, they’re out of cars, too, came the answer. So, I called Budget. Nope, out of cars. At which point I exclaimed, “What the heck is going on?” The Budget guy said he didn’t know but it had been that way all week. Next call was to Hertz, who promptly put me on hold, and I’m confident I would still be on hold as I write this had I not given up.

Being 20 miles from the world’s largest Navy base in Norfolk, I could only assume a ship had come in and there were lots of visitors in town to greet their loved ones home from deployment.

My last resort was to check flights. My first grandchild was on the way, and my entire family was there. Except for me!

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Suffice to say I didn’t make it. Our granddaughter was born in the wee hours of July 13th. Her other grandparents were there. My husband was there. Son #2 was there. I was not there. And we were moving in three days.

I had no choice but to take a deep breath, enjoy the pictures, be happy she was born healthy, with all 10 fingers and toes, and pacify myself with the knowledge that I would see her in a few days.

When we arrived at our new house after a 5-hour drive, I helped unload the cats, then hopped right back in the car to go see my little girl. I think I probably held her and just gazed at her beautiful face for two hours.

On the way back home, in the dark, on a road I had traveled only once before, my phone died, and with it, my GPS. Somehow I made it back to the house.

We still had some storms to weather. Our new tenant was unhappy with the carpets in the house and complained that there were fleas. He also wanted us to paint, something he had said he would do himself. He wouldn’t move in until we took care of those things, so we scrambled to get an exterminator and have new carpet installed. I said no to painting, but offered him half off his rent for the inconvenience of not being able to move in when he was supposed to.

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In the meantime, with a new routine thrust upon me and pretty much feeling like a stranger in a strange land, I occasionally found myself wondering what the heck I was doing here. Most nights, sleep did not come easy. I didn’t miss my old home so much as I just didn’t feel comfortable in the new one.

Finally getting things settled with our tenant took a load off my mind, however, and at that point I finally felt like our new house had become a home. Pictures have been hung, I finally located all my clothes, and I’ve become accustomed to the new routine.

I doubt that I’ll ever feel like I belong in West Virginia — home will always be Virginia — but … tomorrow I plan to go get my West Virginia driver’s license. I suppose I’ll get used to it.

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