Saturday, April 26, 2014

April 26th

Hi, it’s Christina –

Good Morning. So we made it back to New Jersey. I was a wee bit concerned if the van was going to make it, but it’s a trouper. We had it so loaded down, it was actually difficult to break on those hills by Lys’ school, and climbing those hills, the van was doing some serious protesting, but we got out of there and on to the highway, then we were good.

Leaving all her friends was difficult for Lys, but I had expected it. We got to her dorm around nine yesterday, and she had hardly anything packed. Her eyes were red rimmed and puffy, and she looked so sad and exhausted. I felt so bad for her. So, I started packing up her stuff, and Tim started hauling it out to the car. Lys’ packing was continually interrupted by people coming in for hugs. Everyone was complaining about the school year ending, how they didn’t want to say goodbye, and how it wasn’t fair that they all wouldn’t be sharing the same dorm next year.

Lys did well, and I think all the hugs helped her along, but then it was time for Rhea, her roommate, to leave. I had to leave the room so I wouldn’t start crying. I went out into the hall, outside her door, and stood amongst a gaggle of guys, which wasn’t much better. They looked like they were about to burst into tears at any second too. When Rhea came out into the hall to say goodbye to them, I didn’t stick around to find out if they did.

After Rhea left, Lys looked like a lost puppy. I told her to see if she could get some friends to walk with her to the bookstore so she could return the things she had said she needed to return. While Sammi, her best (female) friend, and Tyler, her boyfriend, went with her to the bookstore, Tim and I finished loading the car, so all Lys had to do when she returned was to say her final goodbyes to her dorm mates.

The “gaggle of guys”, plus several others were waiting for Lys in the common room when she got back. A round of hugs, and a few tears, then she got to John, her best (male) friend. Long goodbye, short, John will be visiting at some point this summer. It turns out he has family near us, so I can just about guarantee it was not an empty promise. What I thought was really sweet was Tyler was standing right next to me, in the doorway to the common room, watching Lys say goodbye to all her friends, and he was getting choked up.

So we manage to get Lys out of her dorm and into the car, and we bring Tyler back up to his dorm (this is why I had to get up and down the hills in town, instead of just hopping on Route 7 and heading out). You see, it wasn’t enough I had to get all of Lys’ stuff into our car, Tyler had a mountain bike which wouldn’t fit in his car. It took a couple of tries, and a little rearranging, and it only cost one skinned knuckle and one space bag fatality (it got caught on the chain, and split open), so I think we did well; and even though the content of the space bag was now four times the size it was when we had loaded it into the car, we still manage to get everything to fit.

Surprisingly, Lys did really well saying goodbye to Tyler. He lives less than two hours away, so I’m sure they will be seeing each other quite often over the summer break. So now it’s 11:45, and we are finally headed home. Unfortunately, because of the repacking, we missed the ferry by a few minutes again. Now, we’re another hour behind on our commute home, but with all the extra weight in the van, I wasn’t going to drive the extra miles, so we waited for the ferry.

Around three, we were all starving, so I suggested finding a Subway, so we could grab sandwiches real quick, and eat in the car. The kids had other plans. They saw a sign for Johnny Rockets, and wanted to go there. Since Lys had eaten virtually nothing for the past few days, between stress over exams, and stress over leaving school, I relented. So I detoured to the Johnny Rockets at the Great Escape Lodge, and we had lunch.

An hour later, stuffed to the gills, we were back on the road. That’s when the phone calls started. Thursday, Dani participated in Take Our Kids to Work Day. She went to work with her friend Adam and his mom, Barb. Barb works at a facility where they do testing on animals. Dani is a huge animal lover, and this practically broke her heart to see they were running tests on Beagle puppies.

While they were there, she became particularly attached to one of the puppies, and the guy told her, she could adopt the puppy. As a matter of fact, all nine of the puppies (they’re around a year old) were up for adoption. These poor things have spent their entire life indoors, they have never played outside, their paws have never touched the grass. Plus, they have been getting injected with various drugs their whole life.

Over the phone, the girls cooked up a PowerPoint presentation to convince their father of the need to save puppy 78459 – they tattoo the dogs for identification, like they do prisoners – who Dani has now named Riley. Oh, but it doesn’t stop there. Dani is pretty convinced she can sway her soft hearted dad, but that’s only one puppy she would be able to save. She wants to figure out a way to save them all. Multiple phone calls later, we may have placed four of the nine puppies. When we got home, we called Barb and on Monday she will begin the adoption paperwork process.

Okay, it’s eight o’clock and I have to run. Today is my niece’s confirmation and we need to be at church by 10:30, so I need to wake up Lys so she can get into the shower. Since today’s blog has been really long, I’ll hold off on the challenges until tomorrow.

Until then, I hope y’all have a glorious day, and happy writing!