Saturday evening, I watched my countdown clock tick down to the final seconds of Tara’s arrival. Sure enough, just a few minutes later she showed up outside, thirteen hours after setting out from Ely. Our estimate proved to be pretty spot on, as she got here at 7:15 PM.
Her dad was right behind, pulling a trailer filled with all her worldly possessions. When I saw the trailer, I breathed a sigh of relief. It was smaller than I’d expected – only about 10′ long, shorter than a U-Haul. My relief was short-lived, however; when he opened the lift gate, I saw what a fantastic job he had done of packing the thing. It was crammed, floor to ceiling, with boxes and boxes (and more boxes). And furniture. And other items.
“Holy crap, honey,” I exclaimed to Tara as I surveyed the very-full trailer. “You sure have a lot of shit.” And with those sweet words, our auspicious beginning commenced.
Really, though, I wasn’t complaining. How could I? The woman I love was here, at long last, moving in with me. A lot of shit or not, the important thing was, we were beginning a great and exciting chapter in our lives! The aching muscles, sore back and fatigue I developed from moving all that shit into the garage, and then subsequently moving most of that shit into the house, are a small price to pay for starting a life together. After unloading the trailer and pickup truck, we kicked back in the dining room with booze and pizza. I’d met Randy, her dad, on my Christmas trip to Ely, but had never really gotten a chance to bond with him one-on-one as we were always surrounded by a crowd of people. At least this afforded us the opportunity to get to know one another much better, even if he did leave at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning for the return trip home. He’s a nice guy. I feel fortunate that Tara’s family – and friends – have all accepted me so readily.
After a lot of work unpacking and sorting through things on Sunday, we kicked back with guacamole, margaritas and tacos, and put a movie on. It was Horrible Bosses, and fortunately we had both seen it before, because we basically passed out on the couch due to sheer exhaustion. We ended up heading upstairs for bed pretty early – I don’t think it was even 9:00 yet – and slept soundly the entire night.
Exhausted or not, we have still found plenty of time to…umm…well….
I failed to point out earlier that this last stretch apart – 33 days – was the second-longest break we had to endure during our entire long-distance relationship. And that, I am convinced, is the key to our success. LDRs are challenging, but if you make the effort to actually see each other without too much time passing, they can work. Tara and I are proof of that. We never went so long that it didn’t feel like we were “together” or a couple, and yet enough time passed that we missed each other desperately whenever we were apart. As a result, we treasured every second we spent with each other when we were together, and never took our relationship for granted.
Oh, and Skype helped.
Boy oh boy, did Skype help. I haven’t written about that especially fun three-hour Skype session we had a few weeks ago, but let’s just say thank god for technology and leave it at that.
And living together? I know it’s been less than 48 hours so far, but it just feels so completely natural and right to me. It has added a new depth to our relationship that wasn’t there before. We were at Lowe’s yesterday buying a drill bit set and the cashier asked how We were doing and how Our day was going, and though she didn’t actually emphasize those words the way I did, it felt like it in my mind. We’ve been a couple for quite a while now – the day Tara moved in was actually our seven-month anniversary (and how appropriate is that?) – but it’s always felt like we weren’t really and truly together since our longest visit only lasted 8 days (and was exactly that, a visit). That’s an inevitable side effect of being in an LDR, I suppose. We were boyfriend/girlfriend, sure, but it always felt like it was more of a temporary thing, since most of the time we weren’t actually together in a physical sense. I don’t know, it’s kind of hard to explain, but Tara gets it. Yesterday was the first time it truly felt like we were a We and our day was actually Our day. Being together full-time has been a surprisingly easy adjustment, considering I was on my own for five years, six months and two weeks. I guess when you love somebody, it should be this simple and natural!
So, kudos to Us. We’re having the time of our lives, even if said time has included a back-breaking monotony of unpacking and moving and lifting and organizing. At least at the end of the day we can cuddle up together in bed and fall asleep content in the knowledge that our time together isn’t limited by a travel itinerary.
Tomorrow we’ve both got job interviews. How uncanny is that? We’ll see if the pieces continue to fall into place so perfectly. Then on Wednesday, we’re headed to Seattle for another visit with Tara’s mom. We’re excited to meet her new nephew Anthony, who is all of two weeks old now.
I’m sure when we come back on Friday, there will still be boxes waiting for us to unpack.
But so what. We’re loving this, regardless! The boxes aren’t going anywhere. And, neither is she!