Up until yesterday, when Chris would spend weekends with us, he would sleep the last night at our house, get up at 3:30 a.m. (in military-speak, oh-too-early), and leave between 4:00 and 4:30 so he could be on the job by 7:00. Yesterday, he left at 3:30 in the afternoon, with the last of his belongings in tow. Since these did not fill up the bed of his truck, I was a little nervous about his driving along at 60 mph/100 kmph, but he assured me that he planned to take another, slower route -- turns out Route 4 stretches all the way from Dover, NH right up to Lebanon.
He called at 7:30 yesterday evening to let us know he'd made it in one piece -- took about three hours, as opposed to two -- but that included a detour to the Concord Dept. of Motor Vehicles, to see if he could get a NH license. (They were closed already. He must have gotten there five minutes too late.) He also said the road was full of "frost heaves" -- now, I've never seen frost heaves anywhere else in the country, so I'd better explain this. When the ground freezes at the start of winter, all the moisture in the earth under the road freezes, too. (Duh.) When the January Thaw comes, and all that moisture unfreezes, the roadbed temporarily swells, and the asphalt covering the road develops cracks. Now, when this happens in the spring, eventually the roadbed settles back down, the asphalt goes back down, and the cracks are repaired. But when it happens during the winter, and the roadbed re-freezes, the swellings stay in place, and you get humps in the road that are frozen into place. That is a "frost heave." And Route 4 is full of them. Must have been interesting, with his computer chair and a couple of bookcases rattling around in the back.
His computer, fortunately, was on the seat next to him, resting securely on top of the seat and on top of a duffle bag full of his clothes -- he had so many clothes that the bag came up level with the seat! And he had wrapped it in an afghan I gave him, that I had made back before I was married, so it was secure not only from falling, but from prying eyes. I was a little nervous about his driving along with a computer in the front seat; if he'd been stopped for, say, having a taillight out, a cop could have gotten mighty curious about someone from PA driving along with a computer in the front seat! (He still has his PA license and plates, a situation I hope is remedied in the coming week.) But he made it to Enfield in one piece, and had spent the hour prior to calling us moving all his stuff up the stairs to his new place.
Now all he needs is a bed to sleep on, and an easy chair or two, probably also a couple more bookcases. Being his parents' son, he has a lot of books. On the other hand, with the library two doors down, maybe he won't have to buy so many books now. In any case, his life is finally starting -- life on his own, with no encumbrances from the past, in a job he loves, in an apartment he chose, not the first one he had to grab so he could get out of a bad situation.
Many, many years, Chris!