Austyn had flown to Colorado prior to Christmas to spend time with Brian and his family. They flew into Chicago on Christmas day. Raun had spent a few days in Wisconsin visiting Pam, a friend from high school that he had reconnected with but was home Christmas Eve.
Most of our family is still in Wisconsin. Looking ahead we realized that our trips back to Wisconsin would be few and far between. We took a few days to drive up and make the rounds. It may be the last time we would all be there for a while. We would spend the first night with Jeff’s parents and the next day with my mom. My father had passed away in June of that year so this was Mom’s first holiday alone.
Jeff’s sister and her family joined us the first night. My father-in-law has set up a small meeting area in his garage. Table, chairs, refrigerator, wood burning stove are all surrounded by his fishing equipment. This small room has been named The Safety Building. Evenings in the Safety Building are full of conversation, laughter, joking, a fire and really bad Wisconsin food and beverage. All elements were in line this night. Raun had informed us that his friend Pam was going to join us later. Hmmmmm, we couldn’t help but wonder if this was more than reconnecting with an old friend.
The next morning I forced Austyn to sit with me at the dining room table and fill in our 2008 Calendar. January was filled with preparation; designing the wedding invitation, food for the reception, plans for the receptions in Colorado and Chicago. What about family and friends in Wisconsin? That list is potentially larger than the Chicago group. Why not, let’s have three.
February included some final decision making. Not only details about the wedding but the condo needed to go on the market by March 1. This would require completing any house projects to be completed in February.
In March the house would be listed, two months of For Sale by Owner before we contracted a realtor. There is a 5th member of the family. She is a 4 year old, 70 pound Lab Golden Retriever mix. Any time the house would be shown we would have to be there to remove the dog. In addition we still had Austyn living there and she was acquiring wedding gifts, items for her new apartment along with all of her photography equipment. No realtor would walk into our place and not say we would have to get rid of stuff, which was not an option until she moved in May.
Mid April Austyn was officially done with classes.
May 3 Brian graduates and May 4 Austyn graduates. Up until that moment I had not considered Raun’s graduation in June. We didn’t have one college graduation in ’08 we had three; son, daughter and soon to be son in law. Austyn would plan to move just after graduation and if the condo had not sold we would list with a realtor.
June was Raun’s graduation and THE WEDDING. July would include the receptions, yet to be determined. Somewhere in there could and would include a move cross country which also includes finding a new home and purchasing all the essentials life required when one moves out of the city. We are true city people. At that point in our life we didn’t own a car. The bus, train and taxi’s are our form of transportation. We were faced with a move to an area that requires automobiles. We will need to purchase them.
Three college graduations, a wedding, a daughter moving to Colorado, a son looking for a school to obtain his masters and a move cross country. All events that should be experience one at a time and we find ourselves facing them in 6 short months.
There will be great challenges with this year. You see, I love to be organized but I can’t plan this one. I can’t even estimate it. Everything depends on something else. I can only make each day count. Sometimes the effort to not get overwhelmed is harder than allowing you to get overwhelmed. The calendar is full, what else could possibly fit. I want to write in SLEEP from July to December. Can we fit anything else into the mix? Time will tell, but Raun seems to be falling fast and this new relationship is moving at light speed.
Austyn had finished filling in all the dates we were aware of. We made a general ‘to do list’ for each month and closed the calendar. I couldn’t help but feel that what we had just written down was simply a guideline. Only God knows what this year will look like. Only He can see where we are going and I am unable to control it. I will have to muster up all the faith I have to walk through each day and not run to the finish end.
This year could make a great book!