The boys and I headed over to Walmart, bought M2 a new toy (yaaaaaay new toy new toy yaaaaaay), some packing tape and post-its, and 5 dozen cookies for everyone's lunch. got back to the house right on time for lunch (our dear pastor's wife provided lunch. What a gift!!). The Muscles had finished at the church and were now getting ready for beds, dressers, and other big things, but we're in the meantime eating.
During the workmen's lull, I allowed J4 to get his toy grocery cart and drive it up and down and up and down the truck ramp, which was set up as a bridge from the front stoop to the truck. Oh, he enjoyed it! Finally the Muscles were back to muscling, and J4 was getting pesty, so I made him quit. Pretty soon after that, Doug, the fellow doing most of the up-high truck-loading, needed something about the same size and shape as the cart. So--off it went. Once J4 realized he wouldn't see his cart again till Colorado, he lost it.
I took him out of the main room and just let him get the tension out. He cried, calmed down, and let himself be led to the dining table to eat his lunch.
The Muscles were working so efficiently that they were ready for table and chairs before we were done eating, and I got the giggles at the thought of them just taking the table and leaving us three sitting there, holding our plates. Hah! Hah!
But we finished (the boys ate mostly chips for lunch. But at least they drank milk, not lemonade or coke or sweet tea, so there's that at least), cleared off our plates, finally got ourselves into the car, and headed over to church for nap time. Now that the Muscles were gone, it was quiet and peaceful and the library couches are fantastic for napping and (after a few disciplinary encounters) they finally fell asleep.
We woke, and the next hour or so was a melange of texting Ian, pottying and shoeing the boys, and finally getting all of us back at the house. We borrowed the church's toy baby buggy for J4 to drive on the truck's ramp while we tied up the very last loose threads at the house.
While Ian sorted and situated the higgledy-piggledy mess of car luggage, Alice and I sorted the freezer and fridge food: throwing away some, saving some, and getting some ready to take to church for the folks to take as they want.
This was a rough patch of the day. They boys were getting hungry, Ian was hungry and extremely tired and worn out, and we had to figure out so many variables: getting all the vehicles where they needed to be, getting Alice's car full of garbage to the other end of town to a dumpster (including/especially the two bags of melting freezer food), getting the cooler of food to church, and trying to get downtown for a last dinner at a local restaurant. In the end, I took the car to church to drop off the cooler food, Ian and Alice finished off at the house and drove the cars to church. From there we took the garbage to the dumpster and had dinner at....Wendy's.
Hah. It was getting late, we were all worn out (especially Ian), and needed someplace familiar and easy. So Wendy's it was--we have been there so many times and it was a comfort, though not a local place. A compromise? A come-down? A disappointment? Nope. It's just the way it happened, and considering all the needs of all the players, it was the best.choice.
We bade adieu to dear Alice. We have lived near her, here in Chattanooga, our entire married life we will miss her greatly. It was a sad goodbye, made all the more so by our weariness.