CHAPTER 29 Chores Help

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Copyright 2015 Chris Smith  All rights reserved.

The next day we started on the Garage on Parcel A, which contained a lot of valuables that had been boxed up since we'd moved out of the Glass House many years ago. In fact, I was the one who helped pack up all these boxes in the first place. Now I was moving them again. Will wonders never cease about the glory of my life!

Dad didn't have a lot of time to work with us on the Garage because he had his weekly veteran therapy group. Though he said he could skip therapy and work straight through with us. But Mom and I both agreed that he needed to go to his therapy, since he missed it the week before. He needed all the help he could get!

Dad went to therapy and Mom and I took a break for lunch. We all planned on meeting back at the garage at about 3:30 p.m.

I had lunch and did some chores. It felt nice doing chores. Chores were a glimpse of my normal routine. It was something I could do that helped me feel okay about life.

After lunch Mom had started back working, down on the garage. I showed up half an hour later and not long after Dad arrived.

"So, did therapy help?" I asked.

Dad said, "Big time."

"Did you tell them what's going on?"

"Yeah. And Greg [his therapist] said moving and divorce are two of the most traumatic things in life. Well and probably combat too," said Dad.

"Wow," I said.

We spent a few more hours moving the boxes. Some of them were quite heavy because of the books or Mom's chinaware packed in them. And today we were getting our workout loading them onto the trailer.

Most of the boxes had been in there a long time. They were all covered with dust. Some of them had been broken into by vermin with that "gnawed on" look. Or damaged from water leaks through the roof of the Garage. But overall they looked pretty good.

We'd been smart in putting a garbage bag into each and every box. Then packing the contents into the garbage bag and sealing up the box. The garbage bags had helped protect all their possessions really well. At the time we'd packed them up, we had no idea they would be sitting in the boxes as long as they had. Now, we'd be moving them again. Mom longed for the day when she could finally unpack all of them and be surrounded by her possessions again.

I had my protective gear on. My gear consisted of leather gloves to cover my hands, a dust mask to protect my nose and mouth, and goggles to protect my eyes. When we were done moving each day, I stripped off my clothes, put them straight into the wash, and jumped into the shower. I also cleaned out my sinuses with some salt water to help remove all the dust and dirt from my nose. I didn't want to know what other particles I was ingesting or inhaling with all the dust!

My Parents had gotten the last of the outside stuff from the A-Frame, most of which was Mom's plants. Then they unloaded them at the Glass House and went back for the last major load from the Garage.

We were planning on taking a trip to town to the local coffee shop for the free Wi-Fi. But Dad ended up having a meeting he had forgotten about and had to race down the hill. I was glad. I was too tired. I made myself go for a short walk just to get my body moving. It was nice to move without having to "move".

My body was bruised and battered. I had huge horrible bruises scattered all over my legs. I looked like I had been in a fight. The poor things were extremely sore. I wanted to soak in a bath for a week and then have daily massages. But that was a life that wasn't mine.

That night I felt the most normal I'd felt in weeks. I was optimistic about our future. It was a nice change since most of my days were filled with fear. Any moment I had that was devoid of fear was a gift.

When I woke up in the morning, most of my breaths, my thoughts, were submerged in fear and shame. It was everywhere. It was who I had become, a trembling girl trying to survive in the onslaught. It took everything I had to give, not to let it destroy me. But it was there inside me, gnawing on the gristle of my soul at every opportunity.


"I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders."

Jewish Proverb


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