January 20, 2009 is the day we left our home and moved into the ’68 Winnebago we had been given through an ad I had placed on Craigslist and promptly forgot about. When my husband and I had gone to check it out, at the urging of the kind soul that was willing to give it to us, my first thought had been “This can’t be happening.” The floors were dirty plywood, there were no cushions, no holding tanks, you couldn’t hook water up to it, no toilet, the paneling was peeling, bowed, and full of black mold, but it ran, with a little finagling. “Winnie,” as we eventually called her, was going to be my new ‘home’ despite my disbelief.
As we loaded up the last few things into the van and squeezed in my German Shepard mix, Truman, and my cat,
Bellenus, I felt all of the hope I had been desperately holding on to slip away. Every part of me felt destroyed to the core. I was all cried out from my good-byes with my son and daughter, and the month of packing and finding homes for the rest of our animals. I took one last look at the house before climbing in the van.
Head swirling with grief, I started down the hill toward the freeway with Bellenus on my lap. Halfway down the hill, Bellenus summed it all up by pooping on my lap. I wanted to throw myself from the van just to make it all stop.
About an hour and a half later, we pulled up in front of Winnie. As my husband began moving stuff into the motor home, I walked Truman over to the wooded, grassy area to go potty. As he was sniffing around, a loud crash came from inside the motor home and I instantly knew what it was. The step inside the motor home door had just broken out. I felt part of me just drain away as I said to Truman, “Better hold on Tru-dog. Its going to be a bumpy road. Good luck.” Then we walked back over to the motor home to make sure my husband was ok, and, thankfully, he was.
I, on the other hand, was not. Too much all at once. I sunk into such a depression for the next…while…that I became frozen without direction from my husband. Even the ever-present little Miss “We will make this work. We’ve got this” bailed.
This is where my crash course in left foot, right foot, repeat began.