The insanity has begun! Our house looks like (insert any cliche about a house in total chaos, it will still be an understatement). There are piles of paper strewn across every flat surface, detailing tasks that must be done over the next 2 weeks. Our to-do lists have spin-off to-do lists. A veritable mountain of Rubbermaid containers filled with "stuff" partially blocks the front entrance to our home - undoubtedly a fire hazard. Empty cardboard boxes, waiting to be filled, stand resolutely in every room. Phone calls to insurance companies and utility offices and banks are underway - spawning forms and documents arriving daily with the mailman. Drop-off trips to St.Vincent de Paul have become the main family outing. "Ship? store? shed?" has become a mantra while gazing at individual objects in the general disorder. Plus, there is the hacking cough shared by all 3 females in the house.
Moving to New Zealand wrecks havoc with the automated phone trees of any given utility company or small business. Even when the live operator finally comes to your rescue, she has no field in her automated computer system for entering "New Zealand" as your destination.
To add to the chaos: Maria wants to "help" pack boxes, so she shoves anything laying around into any non-sealed box. Can't find the car keys? your sandwich? any toothbrush? yeah....probably jammed into the deepest recesses of any one of the ubiquitous boxes. Thankfully, Bernadette has not the slightest concept of what the heck we are doing nor does she groove to the "help" concept yet, but it does just so happen that she is in that developmental stage where babies love to empty items out of a container. Boxes are containers. I think you can follow the chain of logic here. I JUST PACKED THIS BOX TEN MINUTES AGO! WHY IS EVERYTHING BACK OUT OF IT????
And then there is Richard. He was told by the missionaries in NZ how much the teens will read about the faith. How few Christian books are available to them down under. How deeply they have been moved and inspired by the scant titles which they have been able to peruse. And so, he made up his mind that we will simply have to bring almost every single Christian book we own to New Zealand. (Mind you, we both studied theology and are avid readers.) Then he realized that this idea made no sense, after all, many of them would be inaccessible to youth. Instead, his new and improved plan: bring almost every Christian book we own PLUS buy $500 worth of new books written specifically for teens! Anyone who has even the foggiest concept of the shipping costs to New Zealand may grasp the enormity of this undertaking.
Yes, it is mad here. There is much to do. And the hardest, biggest task of all is simply trying to wrap our minds around the truth that 3 weeks from today we will be standing on New Zealand soil, all of this behind us, and we will be engaged in our very first efforts with the youth of St. Thomas More. THAT is truly overwhelming.