The day before leaving for Stockholm was a whirlwind. After driving home from the Sloss Fest in Birmingham and getting in around 3:30 a.m., the 7:45 alarm came way too early, and neither one of us got much sleep. We spent the first few hours of the morning finishing our packing and taking care of a few last minute chores.
For lunch, JoEllen and I met for pizza and ice cream with my mom, Natalie, Harper and Collins. Saying goodbye was more difficult than I had anticipated. After taking a last photo on a bench, Collins started pulling on my fingers and cracking up. I could also tell that Harper, who is a little older and understands what is going on, was starting to get sad. After a last hug to Natalie, we headed back home and JoEllen saw me cry for the first time in our relationship.
The next few hours were by far the worst, after being tired and emotionally drained, we still had to clear the house for the renters. We had more to do than we thought and we were quite overwhelmed. Sorry to about seven neighbors who may find some of our trash in their trashcans… ours filled up pretty fast! When we finally finished, we barely had a second to say goodbye to our first home together before rushing our final belongings to my parents’ house.
Before I go further, I want to say how thankful I am to both my and JoEllen’s parents for letting us store our things with them. The majority of our stuff was picked up by JoEllen’s dad about a month before we moved and stored at Diggs Farm for safe keeping. It was a huge favor! The rest of our things were stored at my parents’ house. After my mom and dad helped us store the last few things from our house, JoEllen and I headed to Flying Saucer one last time.
After a draining day, our farewell party at the Saucer was just what we needed. Well over 50 of our friends came to send us off and give us one last big hug. Though a few of these goodbyes led to more tears, JoEllen and I both left feeling energized, supported, loved, and ready to embark on our journey.
A few shout outs:
- Thanks for the last car bomb, TGBeazy!
- Nick and Jennifer, thanks for slapping wrestling stickers on everyone.
- Tony and Liz, thanks for the card and drinks.
- Jessica, Amanda, and Ingrid, thanks for the Lipscomb love.
- Patrick, thanks for the one last deep conversation.
- Hayden, thanks for spicing things up.
- Matt , Amy and Stephen, thanks for the Bonnaroo photo album.
- BRITTANY, BRITTANY, BRITTANY!… Thanks for making my revenge oh so anticlimactic..
- Amy and Aaron, thanks for being there till the end and walking us out.
The drive from saucer was the exact opposite as the ride in. I was genuinely re-energized by our friends; I felt much calmer and ready to leave for Sweden. I just felt like everything was going to be OK. When we got home, mom was waiting up so JoEllen and I sat on the porch and had a nice talk with her before finally crashing after a long day.
The next morning, we loaded up Dad’s big white truck and gave him one last hug. His last words were, “Always remember, wherever you go… there you are.” Mom drove us, along with our four suitcases and four backpacks, to the airport and hugged us goodbye. The flight from Nashville to Newark was uneventful other than a phone call to Daddy Clock Clock (my granddad) and JoEllen spotting the guy from The Civil Wars, who I couldn’t help but to chat it up with. Goodbye Nashville! We also had nothing but excitement flying into Stockholm, not a single freak out moment or a “What are we doing?!” moment. Once we got our luggage back we took public transit (one train, one metro, and one taxi) to our AirBNB, we were a bit tired upon arriving at our temporary home.