17 days ago I received a formal offer of employment with the Department of State. Tonight, I lie awake, in a period of transition. In those 17 days, we have been busy, busy, busy! My dear wife has been working like crazy to organize our belongings, determining what can fit in our baggage, what goes in the 900 lb of stuff we get to bring to Washington with us, what goes to storage, to be accessed only when we leave for our first post, and what gets donated/sold/freecycled. She’s also managed to arrange meaningful events and goodbyes for each of our kiddos, and herded a gaggle of movers as they emptied our home of all our worldly belongings. I’ve been working long hours to wind down my business, make sure my clients are in good hands moving forward, and doing a similar culling of the belongings at my office. Here and there, where I could fit it in, I’ve made arrangements with the airline so that our cat and service dog will (hopefully) end up at the same airport we do. DyAnna, among all the other tasks she had, fit in a visit to the vet, to provide the crucial health certificates to allow their travel. The technology age truly is wonderful, as rather than renting a storage unit to keep old files, my assistant is scanning everything for me. The last few times I’ve moved my office it has involved an obscene number of bankers boxes and effort. The total of what I’m bringing with me this time? 2 bankers boxes and a handful of items which fit into a briefcase. We’ve been steadily taking keys off our keyrings. House keys given to the neighbor to give to our realtor, office keys turned in, post office box keys turned in. Tomorrow our car keys will disappear too, and we’ll fly across the country, in the first step of our new adventure, our first new parallel. When we do, my keyring will be empty. Tonight I heave a sigh of relief, at a task completed (ok, many tasks), and I look forward to taking this journey.