Countdown: 10 hours
THIS IS IT! After 7 months of time and preparation, we are finally hopping onto the plane to LA and then Beijing! The past 2 1/2 weeks have been filled with errands, cleaning, panicing, and tears. Seriously, if I never have to look at another bucket or brush I will die happy. So much was accomplished in our final weeks and now I feel like I can do anything!
Our final chores included getting rid of all our furniture, having our last yard sale, and selling off our biggest assets: our cars. Let me tell you, Facebook Marketplace is a godsend. I just took pictures of all of our furniture and people in my area would see it and message me. It was also helpful that their profile information is attached and you can see how long they have been a member, photo, etc. It was really cool to see our stuff going to other people that would really appreciate it. Selling Calvin’s old bike was so cool, that kid was so excited! My only tip is to give yourself a week or so for the items to actually sell. Furniture didn’t always get picked up within the hour that it was posted, so nonessential items were the ones we sold first. Anyways, the yard sale turned out good but it was so HOT!! Arizona in July is no joke, people. It was pretty slow until this sweet elderly lady walked down the road and nearly bought everything! She was so kind and supportive that Korey loaded all of the items into his car and drove her home so she wouldn’t have to be in that heat. Got to love him! Fortunately, the cars were sold to friends and family ahead of time, so it was just a matter of getting the cars to them. It was surreal and exciting at the same time to see it all go and purge myself of all my major possessions in one day.
After China, I plan on starting a cleaning business with my mother-in-law. No, not really. But we should! We cleaned that apartment top to bottom and ended up getting 100% of our deposit back! I couldn’t believe it. We could have never done it without her and we are so grateful she took the forethought to take the week off to help us with the cleaning! Although, I was a little disappointed with the landlady’s final inspection. We did ALL of this work and she didn’t even open the stove!! I was literally trying to show off all the work we did and she looked at the place for all of two minutes. She just accepted that we were good people, I guess. All in all, couldn’t have done it without you Gwen!
Alright, down to the nitty gritty…the panic. One of the biggest tasks to undertake was the side yard that hadn’t been mowed in…ever. It was a place for our dog to do his business and that was it. It didn’t help that we decided so start this monumental task 5 days before move out. I charged Korey to take on the weeds that were taller than him so that I can spend time cleaning the inside. He spent hours out there in 116 degree weather and was only able to get a small portion completed. There was so much foliage that he had overfilled the nearby dumpster with it all (sorry neighbors). After that, we called upon our lord and savior (Gwen) to borrow a weed trimmer to speed up the process. Korey purchased new line and went to town! It took an additional four hours to finish the process over the next few days, but it was so much easier. Later on, Korey’s phone broke 18 hours before our flight and we had to run to the nearest shop to fix it. They were totally understanding and got it done within two hours, thank goodness.
Finally, the tears. Going into this week, I had no idea how hard it was going to be emotionally. Saying final goodbyes to my grandma (who is letting us stay with her tonight), my coworker Becky (sold her son my car), my beloved baby Hades, and other family was tough. It was WAY worse than I expected. I found myself crying even when I really didn’t intend to! So many emotions, all happy and sad. I am not the type for public displays but everyone else was doing it first! It was especially difficult at Calvin’s 11th birthday party. This kid had 30 of his closest friends and family to celebrate with him 3 days before we left and it was awesome! Everyone was giving him Chinese yuan to spend in China AND had their addresses already written on envelopes to be used right away! He is very blessed to he have such a supportive family and group of friends!
At 7:20 am tomorrow we will finally embark on this adventure I have been talking about for so long. We have dwindled our belongings to six suitcases, five carry-ons, and three water bottles. I honestly have no idea what to expect but I know that I can not wait another second! Typing this from the guest room in my grandma’s house and listening to the Arizona monsoon outside, I know that this is going to be the adventure of a lifetime. Next time you hear from me, I will be on Chinese soil!