Months. Many long months. Since we made the decision to take our Adventure, we have spent long grueling months, 24/7, preparing to make the move. I concentrated on each step needed in succession (ie: remodeling the house) to arrive at the ultimate goal of crossing the border. The "one step at a time" approach. Linda concentrated on the ultimate goal of crossing the border; getting nothing but (literally) "green lights" at the border crossing. The "come on/lets go" approach. There is no right or wrong; I am simply giving background.
So, as I was doggedly completing project after project to complete the house for sale, Linda was incessantly organizing for our border crossing. My god this woman I love worked hard! Organizing things to go. Packing everything into boxes. numbering each box. Listing the contents of each box in order to pass through customs. Redoing 30 some boxes because they were'nt properly inventoried the first time, so we feared (she was up til midnight doing that one day, all out of the ultimate fear of being turned away at the border). Segregating those boxes we would need and take down to our new casa on the first trip from those that would be stored at the border for subsequent trips. Thirty years of culled possessions from the house sale, carefully packed, wraped, boxed and numbered. Such long hard work! But absulutetely necessary to be allowed to cross the border: one mistake, one mislabled or forgotten item and it would be "NO CROSSING FOR YOU!"
The ultimate goal for Linda in this process of preparing to get us across the border were the.... LISTS. If the inventory lists for each box weren't perfect she became convinced we would not be allowed to cross the border. No green lights for us. Nada. The lists soon became the most important aspect of our move. More important than whether we had transportation to get there (never mind whether the cats or I (in that order) were accompanying her).
When we were packing the truck and trailer we had to double..triple check the LISTS. At one point I was sure I would be not allowed to continue with her and the cats as I had removed her shoes from a plastic bag (ie: inventoried on the LISTS!) to pack them separately so as to fit in the truck. This was a poignant moment: She stood her ground that we would not be allowed to cross the border if they were removed from the bag, while I stood equally firm stating they would not GET to the border unless packed separately. I saved my own life by promising to repack them in the bag before we crossed the border. She didn't see my crossed toes.
As I said: this is all background...months and long months of background (and long summary as well, I know!). But, you already know why it has been necessary to give such a long background narrative........
We left Tuscon, less than an hour from the border at Nogales, at late morning. You just imagine her increasing anxiety about whether her LISTS were complete and accurate enough to allow us to cross the border the closer we got. We decided to stop for a quick bite to eat before crossing. Due to the anxiety of the moment, Linda elected to have a salad to go. Just as she opened it, an emergent call from our daughter (eg: "What should I do about....?") By the time the call ended, I advised Lida the border was only 10 mins away. Oh my god! I have eat! I dont have time! But this salad cant be taken across the border; its contraband!!...gobble/snarf/swallow without chewing/choking now/quickly hiding the remaing salad in the plastic bag and under the seat as the crossing looms near. "I feel like throwing up I am so nervous!" she said. "Do you have the passports, visas, cat papers and the LISTS handy?' I quietly inquire. Without regard to the other documents, her reply was: "THE LISTS! #!@%$ where are the LISTS?!?"
Just then, there it was. Th border crossing. To the left was the red/green semaphore. I slowed WAYYY down (were we moving so slowly as to attract attention?). What's wrong? I wonder as the light is niether red nor green..is it broken? Oh, oh! the guard!! The guard is sitting on a fokd out chair in the shade to our left..we are now within 40 feet! I am expecting the ubiquitous hand held out in the "HALT!" position....everything is now in slow motion yet transpiring in nano-seconds...a glance at Linda (still searching frantically for the LISTS) tells me we may need medical attention for her soon.....Where is the HALT signal I wonder, as I simultaneously notice the guard's attention is not on us; she seems preoccupied with something down to her left..a strange insect activity on the ground perhaps?, I fleetingly wonder, as just then she languidly raised her right forearm (while keeping her elbows on her knees) and with a very limp wrist motion, without even looking up at us, gave one and one-half waves of her hand for us to proceed into Mexico.
It took a few hundred yards for time/space reality to return to consciousness, at which time I started to howl with laughter at the irony of our (read Linda's) long (so very long and anxious) work on the LISTS, believed to be so very necessary for our entry across the border, received with only an unconcerned wave of the hand. Normally, my laughter would have been my execution warrant, but Linda was so enormously RELIEVED to have crossed the boreder in any event, my life has been spared.