T-minus 2 days – Initiate Launch Sequence…

…and get ready for main engine throttle-up.

There’s no turning back now.  Its done.  Our fate is sealed.  And it feels great.

Yesterday was the last day of work for both of us, and while that day was a very difficult one, it feels like a huge weight has been lifted.  Both of us have had difficulty sleeping for the last month.  We wake up at midnight or 2 am and often don’t get back to sleep.  Not last night.  We both slept like babies.  I awoke at about 4:30 (not unusual) and Karen at 5:30 and we are both fully rested.  I spent the hour in bed testing out the offline editing mode in the WordPress app and it took a little bit of getting the hang of it, but I think I have the hang of it now.

Back to work…  Karen’s crew gave her a sendoff last week and gave her a nice basket full of hiking foods, and my coworkers did the same yesterday.  We spent a good deal of time last night integrating all the goodies with our boxes and everything is all laid out now and ready to go.  Yesterday, I was surprised to find that I was not locked out of my computer all day and had everything buttoned up and ready to go by 4PM.  All the emails on COBRA and other post-employment emails forwarded to the personal account – check.  Desk cleaned out – check.  Grab the photo of Karen from my desk, shake a few hands, and I’m gone.  Goodbye 21 years of memories – time to make room for new ones.

As mentioned above, the boxes are all laid out and ready to go.  Spare shoes laid out and ready to go.  Packs – well, packs arranged in piles and almost ready to go.  We still have half a day to get things sorted out.  And packing for an airplane is not like packing for hiking.  We are going to pack all the evil things like lighters, stoves, knifes, pointy sticks (hiking poles) in my pack and check that as luggage, while we carry-on her pack onto the plane.  We cannot carry cooking alcohol on the plane, so the fuel bottle will be empty and we will have to find denatured alcohol or Heet in Harper’s Ferry before Sunday.  Heet burns a little sootier than straight alcohol but you can buy it at convenience stores vs denatured alcohol from hardware stores or outfitters (for big $$$ sometimes).

All the cars are bedded down for the summer except the FJ Cruiser.  A little Stabil in the tank, at least 3/4 tank in each one, and a bucket of damp rid on the drivers floorboard to keep mold from growing while we are gone.  Most of them have the battery disconnected, but the Tunrda and the FJ Cruiser will be on battery tender trickle chargers.  The damp rid has a floral scent, so I hope we don’t return to cars that smell like a brothel.  But flower stench is better than green fur all over everything.

One of the hardest parts so far has still been leaving Loretta.  We are so used to having our best friend come and greet us when we get home from work, but today the yard is silent.

No little puppy kisses for us.  It has only been four days and the raccoons have already taken over the yard.  We planted blueberries last year and they are about two weeks away from maturing.  The little masked bandits will clean them out for sure.  The lawn is moved, the weeds sprayed, the house looks immaculate.  I hope we still recognize it when we return.

We have also been cleaning out the refrigerator over the last week, buying just enough at the grocery to stay alive, but not to accumulate unneeded food products.  Does a person need three bottles of pepper vinegar?  I think not – we have one now.  How we managed to end up with four bottles of brown mustard is another mystery.  One will suffice.  A jar of pickled okra with one okra in it?  Munch and toss.  Home grown pickled habanero peppers that are about 15 years old?  Gone (I did not eat those).

The butterflies are gone and it is now time to tidy up the last bits of packing and head out this afternoon.  We have slept the last night in our bed, will take the last shower soon, and cook our last scrambled eggs with cauliflower and broccoli (don’t judge – we are cleaning out the fridge).  Once we finally lock the house for the last time it might start to get a little weird again.


  1. Good luck, safe travels, happy trails!

  2. I’m proud of you. Would never have been this brave. Safe travels. You are in my thoughts, on my heart, and always in my prayers. Love to you both.
    See you in September.

  3. I think Amy and I should plan a trip just to get rid of condiments…..

Leave a Reply