1996 was a year for BIG changes.
Mark accepted the Program Director job at the radio station on Cape Cod. He left Florida in January to begin work, and to find a place for us to live. In the meantime, I had decided to make a career change from office work to pet grooming. I began training with a pet groomer who had a shop close to our house. I still worked at Sun Paging Monday-Friday, then trained for grooming every Saturday. I began my training in September 1995, and finished in February 1996. Mark was coming to get me, our pets and our furniture in March for the big move.
It's been said that moving is as stressful as experiencing a death in your family, and I wholeheartedly agree. It took us 3 days to get from Fort Myers to Hyannis. I was so stressed out it was unbelievable. The first day on the road, we drove 13 hours straight, and made it to Hampstead, NC to spend the night with Mark's father. That day was stressful enough to make me beg and plead with Mark to see if we could stay with his Dad a few days. The next day, we drove again almost 13 hours to spend the night at Mark's sister's home in New Jersey. During that days drive, Mark and I got separated at a toll booth at the beginning of the New Jersey Turnpike. Mark was driving the Ryder truck. I was following in my car. We chose separate lanes to go through, and then I lost sight of him. I got over on the side of the road and tried to reach him on the walkie talkie's that we had. No luck. I got off the next exit, and all that there was was a convenience store with black iron bars over the doors and windows. I had to actually be buzzed in. I was crying and hysterical. The guy working there was nice, gave me a map of how to get back on the turnpike and told me I'd find my husband, not to worry. I get back in my car, my 3 cats are crying, I'm crying. I finally make it to the right exit, then go the wrong way AGAIN and end up in Perth Amboy NJ which was a scary looking place at night. I called his sister, and she came and got me. We were leaving our dog, Snoopy, with her until we could move into our house up there.
The next day, we drove to New York, to stay with my dad for a night. I would be leaving my cats with him to care for. I remember we left my Dad's and got on I95. We stopped right over the CT border to get some gas. I got out of my car and told Mark that I was going any further. "Just leave me here," I begged. "At this gas station?" he asked. I cried, moaned, shook. I couldnt' go another mile. Except, I did. Off we went, making the 4 hour trek to The Cape. For those of you who are not familiar with I95, it is an audobon. People MOVE. And if you don't get out of their way, they will flash their lights at you, honk their horn. Finally, at 11:00pm we were in Hyannis. The radio station was putting us up at a motel until we closed on our house. We had stayed at this motel the previous summer, and I had liked it. I fell into bed exhausted.
The next morning the first thing I did was open the curtains in the room. When I did, there was a brick wall staring me in the face. Nice. Also, the room did not have a kitchenette. It would be a MONTH before we closed on our house. How were we going to eat? We couldn't afford to eat every meal out. I felt myself sinking into a deeper and deeper depression.
As it turned out, a couple that my father knew lived in Brewster. They had a separate apartment in their basement, and kindly offered for us to stay there until our house was ready. In the meantime, I was offered a job at a veterinary clinic, in the kennel. I was promised that a grooming position would be coming open soon, but did I want to work at the kennel in the meantime....I accepted, and went to work for the most wonderful people; Pleasant Bay Animal Hospital in East Harwich. My kennel work lasted a month, then I moved into the grooming room. I loved it. I groomed so many different breeds of dogs. My employers were kind and thoughtful. I was happy.
Our house became available the second week of April. Mark's sister brought Snoopy up to his new home. We went to NY the next weekend and picked up the cats. Maybe....finally.....I was going to be able to have some peace in my life.
What about you? What were YOU doing in 1996?
Snoopy had NEVER seen snow before! Kate loved the fireplace!
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