A very fitting date, she explained, as it was exactly three years ago to the day that her now ex-husband communicated the decision that he no longer wanted to stay in their marriage or live at Swamp River Ridge. Then he left. Figuratively and literally.
Putting on her big girl panties after their parting, she set out to become Chicken Mama, Lady Homesteader. After all, Swamp River Ridge was her dream piece of property with a house she had designed completely by herself and watched being built from the ground up. It was where she sincerely believed she would spend the rest of her life.
For the next two years, she tried as hard as she could to keep Swamp River Ridge going by herself. It was an impossible task both financially and physically. Year three was spent going through the very painful bank foreclosure on the house and property and knowing she was losing the last piece of her dream life.
It's been an extremely rough last three years.
Yesterday, the last day to get everything off the property and out of the house was the coldest day we've had this winter so far. The temperature hovered around 15 degrees below zero for most of the day, dropping sharply as the day drew to a close.
The house has been winterized and without heat for the past couple of weeks. The thermometer inside read 22 degrees above zero. But even at that, it felt warm compared to the outside air! (Guess everything really is relative, isn't it?)
The county road to and from the last 4-1/2 miles to her land's driveway was ice-covered in spots making the twists and turns and hills a bit on the difficult (stomach-churning for yours truly) side, but the 4-1/2 miles that she's been responsible for keeping open in the winter had such a solid covering of ice that I know for certain I could have put on ice skates and traversed much of the distance that way. Possibly faster than we were able to go pulling the heavily loaded trailer behind the 4-wheel drive truck on our way out.
Papa Pea and I left her to pack up the very last items in our second Suburban and have some time by herself to say good-bye to Swamp River Ridge.
Arriving home, we were exhausted from the day and more than a little nervous until we knew she had successfully made the drive out with her faithful dog companion, Tucker, riding shotgun. I am so thankful the day ended the way it did given the low temperatures and extremely icy road conditions we had to deal with. There was nothing about the whole day that would have been improved by having to deal with vehicle problems!
We awoke this morning to 11 degrees above zero and heavily falling snow. Now at noon time we have about 6" on the ground with the snow continuing to fall, but not as thickly. Above is the Suburban our daughter drove last night and parked here, packed to the brim and with ladders strapped on top.
Chicken Mama may or may not blog about her emotions of the day yesterday. I can only speak for myself when I say it was an emotionally tumultuous day for me. I kinda surprised myself in that I didn't once give in to my emotions. (At least not outwardly that anyone else noticed.) What else could I do when our daughter continued to remain pleasant, amiable and kept her fantastically positive attitude through what must have been a heart-wrenching day for her?
Of the Last Day.
Of the Big Move.
Of the Big Move.