It was a tough process for everyone—physically and emotionally—but I'm really amazed at what we got done in such a short amount of time.
It was very hard for Tricia, of course. Erica and Christopher and I have all moved around between dorms and apartments and cities and have a mental model of what a move entails and the kind of sorting and choices that have to be made. Tricia had only ever moved 3 or 4 times in her life, all in the same town and always to somewhere bigger than the place before. So she had no framework, at the beginning of the week, for the kinds of decisions that would have to be made to move from a 4-bedroom, 3-story house into a 1-bedroom apartment. But I was really proud of her that by the end of the week she was going through boxes she had previously packed as "absolutely must keep" and tossing item after item into a pile to be donated to River City Rescue Mission.
But we worked real hard ourselves, especially Erica and Christopher. I mean, all I had to do was carry things around and clean—they had to make decisions about childhood memories left and right. But with some help from family and friends (hey Susan! hey Ian!) we got Tricia completely moved into her new place and then emptied out and cleaned that 3-story house to get it ready to sell. (If you know anyone who'd like a comfy house in Vicksburg with a giant master bedroom and a great deck, have I got the place for them.) And we found homes for all the remaining cats. Whew. (Thanks Dana.)
And for me, at least, it wasn't all terrible. For example, crawfish and beer. And I got to hang out with Christopher, who is a great brother-in-law (I was about to say "the best", because he's Erica's only sibling, and then I remembered that I have two married sisters. Marc and Jeff are great, too!) And I got to skip out a bit early on the week, because Erica insisted that I get back to Chicago to do my second big trip—the Mission Adventure Race.