Monday, June 1, 2009

End of the Beginning

Today is the official day of our move from Philadelphia. Paired with Dan's brother's wedding in Utah last week, his graduation and his other brother's first baby arriving the week before, our one-year anniversary, and me finishing up work, the last couple of weeks have kind of left me gasping for air. But this morning, as I drove my last drive to work along my beautiful routes, I was just calm, and felt a sweet peace. With slightly wet eyes, I drove past City Hall, the Masonic Temple, St. Peter's cathedral, the Free Library, the Franklin Institute, Logan Circle, the Rodin Museum, the PMA, up Kelly Drive beside Boathouse Row, and so many other lovely, lovely places all shining in the beautiful Philadelphia morning. We ADORE this city, and I love that just about each day, I stumble across something new, something beautifully new, a wonderful gem. I can't wait to come back and go to all the places that I still haven't been able to visit in almost seven years, just because there are too many.

Moving is just absolutely loathsome. Really, truly dreadful. But I have been grateful over the past few days for the many perfect angels and the sweet experiences we've had because of it. Three friends decided to just come over on Friday and help us pack up our (surprisingly enormous amount of) stuff. It was truly incredible to me how much we had in our not-that-big apartment, especially our kitchen. We'll just call it a testament to my organizational skills. In any case, we were so blessed by these people who helped pack, load, unload, keep sane, etc., without whom it would never have gotten done. I am also so very grateful for our wonderful South Philadelphia branch. We (unfortunately) haven't talked about it much on this blog, but words don't totally express how much we love our branch. The people there are such treasures, so sincere, so kind, so loving, so familial.

Yesterday felt like a perfect sendoff largely because of how wonderful church was, and that we got to have a special experience by speaking and sharing our love for them. It was topped off by spending the afternoon with one of our favorite branch families, followed by dinner with Dan's incredible mission president and his wife who are blessedly in our stake, and then a second dessert with our wonderful, wonderful landlords. I am so glad Philly is getting a temple because she and her people deserve it.

We've had so many miracles in the last few days, mostly delivered by other people, but just to recount one of the many, many stories of help we've received, I called our landlady before putting out desk on craigslist to ask if she maybe just wanted it. She told me not to worry about having to do anything with it and that I could just leave it. She asked if we wanted it again after our long trip this summer*, and that they could hang onto it until then if we wanted. I told her not to worry about it. BUT if and only if she had space that they were not using at all and if it was no hassle, we had a TV that could use a storage spot for the summer, because it might not fit in our last car load. She said no worries at all, and that we could just leave it there and they'd store it in their basement. I told her that we could bring it out there (especially since we were planning on dropping by that night, anyway), but she said really to not worry about it and that we had enough to do. She said that they were going to do a bit of renovation on the apartment, anyway, and that we could just leave anything we wanted to keep but for which we didn't have room, leave a note with our names, and that they'd have someone bring it up to their basement for the summer. WHAT?? This is our LANDLADY, people. As in, the person with whom most people have monthly spats and who usually refuses to fix apartmental problems and who, if you're my friend's landlady, complains when her final month's check is just a couple of days late because she was in finals and graduating and just totally forgot, and was immediately sent when she realized it and still charged a late fee even though for the previous months, she paid a lump sum four months in advance (at which point the landlady said that made it more difficult for her...ridiculous). This is that person that usually gets mad at you for forgetting something in your emptied apartment. She actually told us we could just LEAVE our extra stuff and not have to move it anywhere, that they would take care of and store it for us, and that we could retrieve it anytime we wanted. At this point I basically started jumping up and down in ecstasy and called my mom and almost fainted from relief.

In any case, the point of this is that a) we love Philadelphia and its people, b) we're so very, very grateful for their kindness to us, and c) we're gonna miss this place. Dearly. We love you, Philly.

*Oh, uh, yeah. We're going to Europe, India, and South America this summer as a sort of last hurrah-this-may-be-the-last-pre-children-large-chunk-of-time-in-which-neither-of-us-is-working-or-in-school. And the recession is making plane tickets uber-cheap.