Last night sleeping at home…

I’m lying here in my jammies, and I am looking around my room at all of my cool posters, action figures and nerd regalia and feeling a bit sad that I will be leaving it all behind while I embark on this journey across the pond to go and chase after my dream. I’ll have to find a way to “nerd up” my room in the residence hall, for sure… to make it feel a bit like home, I guess. It won’t be the same, but sometimes one has to make sacrifices for the greater good.

Those things, however special they are to me, are nothing compared to the giant emptiness I will feel whenever I have to hug my Dad goodbye bright and early tomorrow morning. This will be the longest span of time that I have ever been away from him. I won’t be able to come home for holidays because I simply cannot afford it. I’m not due to come home again for a visit until next summer (end of June.) I’ll miss his birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Easter, and my birthday as well. Even though he and I have discussed this all SO much, and we both know that I have to do it… this opportunity is a once in a lifetime thing… it still isn’t easy – for either of us. But, I am ever so thankful for technology… because we will be using the heck out of Skype and Email! Dad doesn’t really email, but he has an iPad and can read the ones I send to him, so I can do that whenever we can’t Skype for some reason. His phone doesn’t do international calling, so I got him a phone card… but I think you need to be a rocket scientist to figure out how to use them. There are SO many numbers to “plug in” just to make your call. (sigh) I told him we would reserve that for special occasions or emergencies maybe. Heck, maybe Skype will be enough. I hope so.

My awesome cousin Troy and his youngest son Drake came over today and helped us out by putting up a new mailbox for Dad that’s closer to the house. We FINALLY got permission from the postmaster… took us until yesterday to get the approval, but we finally did. We got the new box up today and it looks great and will be SO much safer and easier for Dad to get his mail now. Whew! One less thing I have to worry about.

As I am kicked back here in the bed, I am not the least bit sleepy (of course) though I feel like I need to get SOME rest because I have to get up at 5:00 am. I leave the house around 6:15 and then the shuttle leaves Chattanooga at 7:00 bound for the Atlanta airport. I will have almost 24 hours of travel time! I fly to Boston first, then have a few hours layover before I fly out tomorrow night for London (overnight flight.) I will get to London about 2:00 am our time (7:00 am their time.) Wow! That’s a loooooong day. LOL! First thing I want to do after I get to the hotel and get all settled? Change clothes and go for a nice walk up Primrose Hill!!! I can’t wait!!! I have been away for too long. I love Primrose Hill and can’t wait to get back to it! <3

So… I guess I will just have to make my peace with feeling conflicted for tonight. I am SO excited about things to come, but I am also SO sad about what I am leaving behind. Lots of prayers, good thoughts, etc… from all who read this would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, everyone!

4 days? 4 days? HELP ME!!

Okay, so 4 days and a few hours… but still. I feel like I still have so much to do this week. I’m working away at my checklists, but I just KNOW I will forget some things. I guess that’s when I just have to shrug, take a deep breath, and let the chips fall where they may – which, for a perfectionist like me, is excruciating.

Today, I have to go to my Dad’s doctor to see if he will sign a form asking the USPS to deliver Dad’s mail closer to the house. Our mailbox is located about 1/5 mile from the house, on a very busy road, on a hill/blind spot, where cars FLY over (well over the speed limit, mind you…) thus making it dangerous to check the mail. I’ve gone back and forth with our post office for years now with complaints. It’s not just the dangerous location of the box, but also the fact that our box has been hit by the local redneck vandals five times in the seven years we have lived here. It’s over $100 to replace a box and post every time they do it. That adds up. But back to the danger bit… there is a ditch directly behind our box, so one cannot stand behind the box to check the mail because one cannot reach… and when it rains, that ditch is full of water. My dad will be 88 in a few days, has chronic lymphoma and balance issues… do we REALLY need him trying to do a balance act and try to become a gymnast of sorts just to check his mail? Seriously? The lame postmaster sent me an email suggesting that we just move it to the other side of the road. Um… what will THAT accomplish? Now he basically wants my Dad to play “Frogger” with his life by crossing the road with cars whizzing by… just so he can check his mail. It’s not like Dad can move as quickly as he would need to in order to make that happen safely! Are these people INSANE? It took me over a month before I was able to get anyone out to look at our situation, and when they finally did, I was given NO warning and was not at home to show them our concerns and talk to them. So now they say that if we get a letter from his doctor saying he cannot go and get the mail where it is now, they MIGHT consider letting us move it. AMERICANS: THIS IS HOW YOUR GOVERNMENT RUN MAIL SERVICE TREATS A WORLD WAR II VETERAN!!! Just so you know!!! I want everyone to know how uncaring and lackadaisical these morons are. Our tax dollars at work? HARDLY! And yet they keep going up on postage? We need an alternative to the US mail, and in a BIG BIG way!!! They have a monopoly, so we have absolutely NO recourse when things like this happen. This is a man who is disabled, and they’re treating him like something they found on the bottom of their SHOE!!! It makes me want to vomit.

Here’s a video of the cars whizzing past… and this was before I even got out in the road to check the mail (because that’s the only way it can be checked – by standing on the road in front of the box itself.)

SO, I still have all of this to contend with in the few days I have left. I have GOT to get some sort of resolution from these people. My stress levels are through the roof already, so this just makes it even worse. 🙁

In addition to that, I have to finish packing. I have to create a packing list for the suitcase I’m shipping over (it’s a customs thing, I think…) and I have to take down the tent and air mattress where I currently sleep, so that I can move all of the “garage sale stuff” (for the garage sale I never had time to hold) out of our guest bedroom to my room. My older sister and some of her family are coming to visit with Dad shortly after I leave, and everyone will need places to sleep! LOL! Right now, it looks like the upstairs of my house has exploded. It’s a crazy mess!

I also have to go over to our local phone company and set up a monitoring system for my Dad. We’re getting him one of those little “panic buttons” that he can use just in case he has an emergency. Hopefully I can get it set up for this week! (I know, I’m cutting it close!)

I have a laundry list of other items to do as well. On top of it all, I think I may have given myself a stomach ulcer from all of the stress of the summer. Every time I eat, my stomach hurts and I feel like I want to puke. Not ideal. So… I am trying to eat bland foods, and I am taking some of that tummy medicine that’s supposed to help treat ulcers (if that’s what it is…) it’s like Prilosec, where you only take it for 14 days. We’ll see. Hopefully this is temporary.

Yesterday was a nice day, with the exception of the mailbox-hell. I spent the day with my bestie, since it was probably the last time we will see each other before I leave. We got our nails done and had sushi for dinner. It was lovely, and it took everything in me not to totally break down and cry like a baby when we had to say goodbye. She keeps saying she’s going to come over to visit though, so I hope she does!

Okay, well… it’s time to log off and get some more work done (and deliver that letter to Dad’s doctor for the USPS.) If anyone has any magical hookups who are high-up in the post office and might be able to help us with this situation, PLEASE feel free to pass along the link to this article and have them contact me! It still just blows my mind that a government entity would treat a man like this… a man who proudly served his country and worked hard his entire life… paid his taxes, etc… Yet they want him to risk life and limb in order to check his mailbox daily? Sickening.