Family Magazine

Down the Tunnel

By Sherwoods

I was sitting in church today when I realized that we only have one more Sunday left in Baku.  How strange.  After over two years of living here and going to church every Sunday there's just one left.  Our tour that stretched out so very long at the beginning - I remember marveling to Brandon that Joseph, our tiny little baby, would be walking, talking and diaper free when we left - is now just memories, pictures, taller children, and a couple of rugs.  
The movers are supposed to come on Thursday.  We had some trouble getting Brandon's orders finished because of the holidays and so didn't get everything scheduled until last week, or maybe it was this week.  Brandon asked me yesterday if anyone had contacted me about a walk-through.  They haven't.  So the idea is that three or four men with a lot of boxes, tape, and paper will show up at our house on Thursday and put everything we own (with the exception of three suitcases and two duffles) into boxes.  I'll let you know if that idea plays out into reality.
Since Saturday was the last day before the theoretical movers show up that I'll have Brandon to move heavy objects for me, after breakfast we armed ourselves with allen wrenches and attacked our bedroom furniture.  
The children thought that this was great fun.  Hey look!  Mom and dad are turning their bed frame into a pile of wood and screws.  Joseph, being the age of sticking things into holes, got into the act and stuck every object he could find into every hole that appeared into our cheap, pine-board Ikea bed that has yet to get the coat of paint I meant to put on it almost seven years ago.  Brandon would snatch one crook-handled allen wrench away from his pudgy hands and he would toddle over to the toolbox and grab another of the twenty or so saved from years of Ikea purchases.  I didn’t bother him, figuring that the tools would keep him distracted from the Ziploc bag filled with even more fun, and less redundant, bed hardware. 
Every time we take apart our furniture I debate the best location for that essential bag of metal that turns pine boards into something that holds my mattress off the floor for years at a time.  Should I duct-tape it to one of the boards?  Place it carefully next to the pile sitting neatly next to our window?  But perhaps the movers will accidentally scrape that bag off in between our house and the lift van at their mysterious warehouse and that will leave us with a pile of useless boards and a very low mattress for two years.  Perhaps the toolbox is a safer place.  But what if the toolbox gets lost?  Then all the bags of essential hardware will no longer be able to turn a lot of boards into our bed, two toddler beds, a bunk bed, and a crib.  That’s a lot of wood and a lot of short mattresses. 
In the end I just have to make a choice and take my chance, which is a very common dilemma in life.  I suppose in the end, it’s just beds.
Until Saturday, the idea of leaving has been more academic than real.  We havecleaned out the closets and booked plane tickets and made lists and counted down the weeks, but this past week life was pretty normal with school, laundry, grocery shopping, and ladies’ nights out.  But taking apart the furniture means something.  It is the beginning of the end.  We have started down a tunnel that only ends when we get off the plane in Missouri or maybe when we unpack our UAB in a generic three-bedroom apartment in Virginia.
This Sunday was the last little spot of normality before our lives are sucked into a whirlwind of leaving.  All is quiet now, but tomorrow the suitcases come out.  Quiet evenings of peach pie and board games won’t come back until March.  It’s a sprint to the finish.  I’m interested to see how it all turns out.

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