February 24th or 25th, Somewhere over the Atlantic, waking up. The low passenger count on this flight allowed me the best sleep I’ve ever had in flight, although I have no idea how long. Of course, the two and a half hour night before we left helped me sleep now.
The last few days were as intense as I expected. Toward the end we were tossing the last of those things that we have surrounded our lives with into crates as quickly as we could. I hope the lovely young couple who will be living in our house with the pets will forgive the leftovers lest on the fridge and that the dogs don’t tear apart the extra bag of garbage we left.
For the past few years, I’ve pined for our younger days when our friends were so much more a part of our daily existence. When the complications of work and family did not get in the way of dinner parties, hiking, and trips to the coast. It’s not that I’ve lost touch with friends so much as experienced a lack of focus on them. The last three weeks before our departure brought the view through that lens back into clarity in the form of dinners, parties, and gatherings mostly involving drinks and food. These goodbyes were so welcome, we were happy to make the time for them out of our sleep schedule.
And so, Tuesday night saw all of us up into the early hours carrying boxes of our lives into the second garage and stacking them next to the Christmas ornaments and leftover empty boxes on a floor scattered with packing peanuts. With the taxi arriving at four, we managed to gather a couple of hours of sleep. The girls were fabulous, helping with the last of the dirty dishes left in the sink at midnight and dragging themselves out of bed at 3:30.
Whenever we begin packing for a trip, Ayla gets nervous, and lays on or next to the bags whenever she can, watching us with hope and sadness. For days, she’s been following us, an orange and white shadow. Sadie is younger and has not put together an understanding of baggage and leaving. Both are britanys, a breed who speaks of their emotions with every part of themselves. Joy at our arrival home brings bouncing barks and dog yells and wagging that ends at the neck. A jingle of car keys prompts intense stares and a pressure of will toward the door.
I sit in this darkened airplane and wonder how they are doing. It is evening at home, and new people and animals are in their place. The people who will share their home for the next many months also bring two new dogs and another cat. Will these new arrivals keep them distracted from the fact that we are not there?