The In-Between Times

View from my hotel room in Banos, Ecuador

I’m sitting in a house that is half empty and half mine and, mentally, I’m only half here –  if that much. In-between times just suck.

Basically, I am taking care of all the details that are necessary to complete a successful time trip from here to the closing date for the house. That date is the 29th of this Month, just eleven more days. I know that the trip, the journey, is supposed to be the most fun. So far I’ve been dealing with everything pretty good but this one is beginning to wear just a little.

No matter how detached I try to be, watching my stuff leave by the pickup truck loads makes me a little bit queasy. It is kind of like going into shock very slowly. It is not getting rid of the “stuff” so much as it is turning loose of a sure, settled way of life.


This was what was left of my garage.

On February 5, 2008 my house, and everything in it, was completely destroyed by a tornado. And I was in the house. I was buried underneath it in the rumble but I wasn’t really hurt. Three of my neighbors were killed so I was extremely lucky.

Still, it was traumatic. One minute I have a home, clothes, things I had accumulated over a lifetime; the next minute all I have is the clothes I have on – and they’re soaking wet, and it is freezing cold, and it’s pitch dark, and it’s raining down so hard it’s almost like being underwater.

Now, that was truly a case of shock. By the time I came out of it, I had bought a backpack and a plane ticket and I was in Ecuador. Oddly enough, I don’t remember much about the time “in-between”. It pretty much is all just a blur. I remember being in Panama. I remember seeing the Panama Canal. But I don’t remember getting to Panama or leaving Panama. It is sort of like watching a movie in my head that has a lot of missing pieces.

This time though the movie is running in slow motion. Everyday is an endless stream of details (did I mention I don’t do well with details?) In a crazy way, being hit by a tornado was easier. At least then I didn’t have to hassle with buyers, real estate agents, plumbers, carpenters and other repair people. And, it gave me this nice little cushion of “shell shock” that kept me insulated from the irritating in-between time.


6 thoughts on “The In-Between Times

  1. Hey Gar,
    Thanks for sharing the feelings – what you are doing is very difficult. Have to be in the right state of mind to handle it well.
    Good read, as always.
    Few more days, you’ll be free of the “stuff” and on the road. From personal experience, the road is pretty good.
    Deal with it and know that it will now last forever.
    John D. Wilson

  2. Thanks for the kind words John. I will do it. Somebody once said the best way through anything is right through the middle and I believe it. In any case, I really wouldn’t have it any other way. No matter how irritating something is, I try to remember to get what I can out of it because the experience may never come around again. I have to admit though that sometimes that is hard to remember… 🙂

  3. What a great experience to share. Totally from the heart, and so true, how people deal with stressful situations.
    I cannot believe how many things I have forgotten while under stress, and then I reread my journals and can’t believe I even wrote it, absolutely no recollection.

    Thanks fort he share!

    • Hi Eva,
      Thank you. When I look back on it now I wonder that I survived at all. People who have gone through disasters are not in their right mind. I think the civilized thing to do would be for the Red Cross or somebody to assign advocates to act as intermediaries for people in situations like that. I made legal decisions about property, insurance settlements, and so on that I don’t even remember.

  4. Just want you to know that I am behind you every step of the way in my thoughts and wishes. Want you to be happy and safe and if you are it is enough for me.——Sis

  5. Thanks. I’m sure I’ll be as safe where ever I’m at as I would be if I were walking across a street in any downtown area of the good ole USA.

    Or eating here for that matter. I just saw a recall of peanut butter because of Salmonella, checked my jar – and yeap – it was one of them. Just give me some good old street food!

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