My back aches.  My arms are sore.  My hands have blisters.  I can’t believe we finally made it through what was basically  “Extreme Makeover Move Out Edition”.  We even did it without wanting to clobber each other more than once or twice.  But it’s done.  House:  empty.  House contents:  on their way to PA.  Us:  back in LBI, slightly battered but glad to be done with it.  The kids:  best welcome home partiers ever.  (Man I missed them!)

It was tough enough saying goodbye the first time I left.  We’re so grateful to have gotten someone to rent our house, but it meant we had to go back and rip the band-aid off the nearly healed wound.  We were too busy to shed too many tears this time though.  Three days of packing kept us in a near constant state of goal-focused narrow mindedness.  Too busy to be emotional.  Gotta figure out where I put the roll of tape!

Then I woke up this morning to this:


Which certainly didn’t jive with this:


or this:


Or the nice chili dinner over at the Hager’s, or catching up with my neighbor Ann and baby Grace who is now 1 and walking.  Or hanging out with Michelle and the wondertwins and laughing over the latest neighborhood gossip.  Saying goodbye to all these people was something I was used to doing regularly–we hung out all the time but eventually of course, we had meals to make, errands to run or kids to fetch, which necessitated a “see ya later”! 

Only I used to walk back into my house to do whatever it was, knowing I’d see them all tomorrow.  Today, however, I walked back to my house to lock it up one last time before someone else would be calling it “home.”  Today, while my back might be sore and my arms might be tired, it is my heart that aches the most.