So many women gather and bond over their birth stories. We love to tell them, they invoke a rainbow of emotions, and every story is different even for the same woman. I am in my first week of a move from St. Petersburg, FL to Raleigh, NC and already the story has become a birth story in its own right. So I thought I’d share it.
The story begins before the actual move with the closing of a door in St. Petersburg and the opening of another door in Raleigh. My family decided to toss fear aside and go for it. My husband left right away to begin his new opportunity and get things set up in Raleigh while leaving me to pack and take care of all of the details with my 12 year old daughter and 3 year old son (yes – 3 years old). One of our biggest challenges was finding a place to live in Raleigh. Apparently, all forms of housing were going like hotcakes, and we weren’t grabbing fast enough. My husband’s days were spent at work, which left me searching for homes in NC from FL (not an easy task). We finally found a town home we really liked nestled in beautiful trees and near a creek, and the price was right. Success!
So the time came for my husband to fly in and help us get to Raleigh. He flew out on a Friday evening, and had to be back to work early Monday morning (so, no pressure of a timeline – ha). His flight that was scheduled to arrive in Tampa at 10pm finally landed at 3am due to weather delays. He actually could have driven home in the amount of time he spent in the airport, which delayed our short timeline. No worries though, we got straight to work on Saturday morning loading the truck, the car, and anyplace we could stuff our belongings. This also took longer than we hoped despite having some of the most amazing friends helping out, so our hoped departure of Saturday afternoon turned into Saturday evening, but we were still motivated. We traveled as late and as far as we could go on Saturday night until we finally stopped at a hotel that night. I had figured we would need to stay one night in a hotel, so I left out some pajamas and toothbrushes for everyone, and we were ready to hit the road again first thing Sunday morning. As we committed to the bulk of the drive on Sunday morning with my husband driving the moving truck, and me driving the rental car (our van was already in NC) with the children and dog, I realized I was driving WITH the children and the dog. The trip began with stopping every hour for a certain old dog and his nervous bladder. Once he settled down, my 3 year old commenced with a 20 mile fit about his shoe. It was all ok, because we were knocking down the miles, and we were going to make it so my husband could get to work on time the next morning. Two hours left to go and we get a phone call from the property manager of the town home.
There’s been a flood.
After a long weekend of packing, lifting, loading, and driving we got to our town home that had spent its weekend under about 5ft of water. The sight of the home was traumatic. Looking around you could see the dirty water line covering all the walls almost like a chair rail where the creek water rose to in this unprecedented event. Heavy appliances such as the refrigerator and washing machine were knocked over from the force of the water. In the parking lot cars were tossed wherever the water felt like leaving them. Suddenly all of our delays became so clear, and we were so grateful for them. Not about our belongings being ruined (although we are grateful for that), but that we didn’t spend any time with our children trapped on the second floor while our first floor filled up like a pool, which I can only imagine was terrifying. Every time I even think about it, my heart goes out to the people that did have that experience, and all I can do is send them healing love, prayers and energy.
The American Red Cross helped the residents including us, which allowed us to get into a hotel after our very long weekend. We dropped off our rental car, which charged us an extra day for being late, and told me “floods happen” when I explained the circumstances – that’s Budget Rental Car in case you were interested. We rested for the night, and woke the next morning to the realization of – now what?
I began a new home search (at least I was actually in NC this time), but unfortunately many places still weren’t available until late August or September. Our property manager came through with an apartment in a sister community. While we were so relieved for this placement, we knew that the location and apartment were not going to work for us. I felt terrible even asking, but I did ask to see if there was another location we could go to. The property manager and the regional manager didn’t even blink, they came up with another plan to get us into a place we really like, but it would take up to 15 days.
So today we have a roof over our heads in the temporary apartment, while the other is being prepared. We have access to some of our belongings, but most of them are still locked in a truck. Though we may have been spared losing our belongings to a flood, we do fear losing some to the 100 degree heat as they cook in the truck for one week so far. Now that we are out of the hotel where we could not ever leave the dog unattended, and in an apartment, we have been able to get into Target and buy a change of clothes and some food and essentials to get by (remember I only left out 1 set of pajamas and toothbrushes for the trip). Also, we can now do laundry daily without having to put on a bathing suit as we did in the hotel.
You can see how this move has certainly taken on some of the adventure and emotion of our beloved birth stories. Although our birth stories always leave us with fulfillment and love as they end with that gorgeous little being placed in our arms. This one, while still a test of strength and flexibility, is not quite as certain yet. My gratitude, for the amazing nature of people both familiar and unfamiliar and in the universe always throwing out a safety net, comforts me. However, with my foundation shaken beneath me (my root chakra) leaves me with those questioning thoughts – like was this a bad idea? Needless to say, the story is not over yet and “I am positively expecting great results no matter what I see in front of me. The universe is rearranging itself for my best interest right now”.