Wednesday, April 30, 2014


      It's funny how when you have a date for something unsavory, like a root canal, or colonscopy, it seems like a dot in the distance.  Plenty of time until you have to face the music. Then before you know it, it's the day before the dreaded date. And then you wake up the morning OF the dreaded date and your first thought is, "F#%K, it's here!"  That's how I felt on Dec. 20, 2013 when I opened my eyes to laser bright sunshine streaming in my window.  I had until 4 p.m. to get the last details taken care of before the van was to arrive at my driveway. Quite honestly, I don't even remember what I did in the hours that preceded my departure from NY state, but I had everything ready to go when I heard the air brakes from the van blowing at precisely 4 p.m.  There was no turning back.

  Aside from the two drivers, one of my customers and her husband, plus an extra helper in the form of a strong young man all began to drag, carry, or wheel the paraphernalia that I'd gathered in the barn aisle to take to SC. The driveway had turned to dirty, mucky slush which made this process ten times harder, but soon the equipment was packed into the peak of the van and the three horses were loaded. We made a couple of changes for where the (OH MY GOD) cats and dogs were going to travel. I was under control up until this point, but I could feel utter panic pushing to be released from my chest with each thudding heartbeat.  It was time to take all of my poor, unsuspecting animals and stuff them in crates and force them to ride 14 hours in a cold, dark peak of a horse van. I really thought I might throw up.  When I got into the house, I  couldn't help but notice (read: torture myself) how cozy all the kitties looked as they were sleeping in various spots. Choking back tears, I gathered them and one by one put them in their traveling compartments. It was time to do the unthinkable, and I had to just man up and do it.

   The wide eyed animals were nestled in the van, crate by crate, like Noah's ark, as I forced myself to close the door.  I was running on hyper fast nervous energy as I thanked and said goodbye to my customer and her husband. I could feel more tears pressing to shoot out of my eyes when we hugged, tears that if allowed to flow would be difficult to stop.  I didn't want to freak out the van drivers since they were stuck with me in the cab, so I brusquely cut the hugs short and climbed up into the passenger seat.  It was sad to be leaving our life in NY, but after all of the hell I'd been through over the previous weeks I was relieved to finally be shambling down the road toward our new adventures in SC.

   As for the cats and dogs? They traveled like pro's. I doled out treats to them at each stop, poking my fingers in the cages to give each a quick scratch. They were actually in better shape than me. The van drivers were amused at my initial angst over the pets, but that worry soon gave way to full on exhaustion.  I even managed to sleep for a few hours in the bouncy, noisy sleeper cab by jamming a pillow over my ears. At 8 a.m. the following day we pulled into the driveway of the barn where I'd arranged to keep the horses until our own stable was built.  Jonathan was already there and boy, was he was a sight for my bloodshot eyes. The first official leg of getting down here was behind me. Welcome to South Carolina!

Saturday, April 19, 2014


     I feel like Rip Van Winkle of the blogging world. It's been a little over four months since I checked in at my blog.  Ordinarily, I'd be sorely ashamed for not writing for such a long stint. However, I have legitimate reasons this time. I've been busy with a capital B.

  Jonathan and I moved to SC in December in possibly the most chaotic, disorganized, maniacal fashion that two people can move their household, two dogs, four cats and three horses.  At least, that's how it seemed to me.  Three weeks before our moving date, Jonathan's Dad became seriously ill out of the blue. Totally unexpected, worrisome, scary time for all of us in the Edel family. Jonathan and his brother had to leave suddenly to go help their mother cope with what was looking to be a very grave moment (honestly, no pun intended).  Now I don't want to sound mercenary, because I was truly over the top worried about John Edel, but with no warning I was left to deal with "THE MOVE" all by myself.  While I should've been packing, like a mature adult, I spent a lot of time on FB, which is the equivalent to covering ones ears while yelling "la la la la la la". When you really need to get shit done, going on FB is the ultimate flip of the bird toward productivity. My other "avoid packing" activity was to call my friends. My poor, poor friends, who had to listen to me whining, sniffling, occasionally sobbing, hysterical ranting, you name it. I'm surprised they even answered my calls. I wouldn't have answered my calls, I'll tell you that.  I got out of hand on a daily basis.  Meanwhile, Jonathan's Dad was on a roller coaster of going uphill, going downhill, leading to a feeling of dread every time Jonathan called me to check in.  On top of my own psychosis (you can't make this shit up), the weather was just fucking ridiculous. It was freezing cold and it seemed to snow a significant amount at least every other day.  Each night during this time alone, I would curl up in the fetal position on the couch, surrounded by empty cardboard boxes that were mocking me with their lack of contents. The one night that I decided I really needed to pack at least a little bit I ended up breaking a bronze horse statue by trying to force it into a box. I loved this statue and as I held it in two pieces, while screaming at the top of my lungs, my remaining shards of sanity knifed through my chest to make their escape. I wasn't coping well and I knew it, but I felt powerless. It was me vs. THE MOVE.  And THE MOVE was totally winning.

   There were so many facets to THE MOVE that weren't coming together.  Logistically, nothing was actually planned except the date that the horses were being shipped. I had no idea how our car was going to make it. We hadn't actually picked a moving company, nor did we know if we were going to use a pod, or rent a truck. My anxiety level over shipping the cats in the horse van was escalating to mach one mode. It sounded so horrible to me that I couldn't think about it, yet I couldn't not think about it. Yeah, I know. That's a special kind of crazy cat lady.  Jonathan was patient for a very long time, but after a week of phone calls with me being a psycho he called me out on it. It was fair. He was coping with his freaking out Mom and very sick Dad. I didn't have a leg to stand on in the sympathy department.  Nor did I ask for it. I knew I was shrinking from being in charge of THE MOVE. It was time for the helpless jig to be over. So...I took deep breaths and made lists.  It was a step in the right direction. Not a leap, or a bound, but a teensy step.

   The day before the horses were leaving was spent flying around town trying to organize all of the things I needed for me, cats, dogs and horses to make the drive as comfortable as possible. I had lists of lists. I was wild eyed, disheveled, as fragile as fine china still, but I was getting shit done.  Out of nowhere, our neighbor called me. He was an old running friend of Jonathan's dad, who by sheer coincidence lived just down the road, and he'd heard that John was seriously ill.

"What can I do to help you, Michele?" he asked me in a gentle voice, after I explained what was going on with John's health.

"Nothing at all. Really, I just have to get down there with these animals. And then figure out how my car is going to make it."

"There. That's what I can do. I'll drive your car," he replied.

"No, you don't have to do that!" I said. "It's too much, it's so far!"

"I like driving. It's settled. I'm driving your car."

   And with those nine words, one of my worries evaporated with a virtual poof right before my eyes. Those nine words from John's friend gave me hope that maybe THE MOVE was possible. Maybe things would come together? It couldn't have come at a better time, because the most intense part of the move for me was coming on the very next day.

To be continued...