18 December 2011

Unprecedented

Yesterday was unprecedented.  We began the beginning stages of Jack's exciting internship with SpaceX and while it was chaotic and mildly (okay, extremely) stressful, I am happy to say, we survived!

Of course both sets of parents and most siblings have come to visit for various reasons: to help with home repairs and improvements, to meet new grandbabies, to bring Stoney to his new home.  It was a rare treat, however, to have both sides of the family there at once.  Even some dedicated friends stopped by to help and wish us well, vocally disapproving of our leaving them.
They helped us pack, clean and load up our vehicles so we could spend the Christmas holiday together.  I know I sometimes grumble about forever feeling like a student's wife but one of the perks is the vacation time.  There's no boss or company counting Jack's vacation hours when he takes off for a holiday.  We get to spend almost two weeks of bliss with our families before we abandon them for five months.  I'm sure that's how they feel anyway.

I snapped at my mom frequently yesterday but she always had a wisecrack comeback.  She did raise me after all.  I know she'll forgive me with an apology, a hug, cleaning out her cat's litter boxes a few dozen times and expertly wrapping all of her Christmas gifts.  It's a just sentence.
With all of our things loaded, we hurried to beat the sunset to Lincoln even though we knew we were destined fail.  The horses were the last to step on the trailer.  Stoney leaped on--he enjoys a good, fast ride down the interstate but Dancer was stubbornly hesitant.  After wrapping a rope around her hindquarters, calling her a mule and pushing her with a strong shove, she got on.  Thank goodness she finds comfort in Stoney's presence, otherwise her ride would have been completely unenjoyably.

If you've ever seen or watched Black Beauty, you know the horses are visibly upset when someone they have been pastured with leaves.  It's not an anthropomorphism in the least.  The mares left behind galloped to the end of the field and whinnied their hearts out while Stoney and Dancer cried from the trailer.  Of all sad events of the day, that broke my heart the most.

We caravaned back to Nebraska, occasionally breaking for diaper changes, fuel or dinner.  Despite hauling over a ton of horse and two truckloads of our earthly possessions, we made good time.  The horses were turned out on my in-law's pasture and immediately forgot their worries when they realized how much green grass is there for them.  The girls got a bath and tuckered out without much resistance because they were sapped of energy while my headache dissipated thanks to a warm shower and dinner.

I haven't cried yet but I'm guessing it will happen sooner or later.  Either way, the whole thing was destined to produce tears, had Jack left to intern while we stayed to tend the farm or the girls and I joining him and therefore leaving behind our home and pets.  It was a tough, prayerful decision but a family being together is just good, common sense.  For me, my family is the cornerstone of home.

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