My vision of how the move would go:
8/12, 9:00am – I’d arrive at the truck rental place. The man behind the counter would smile and welcome me, hand me the key to the truck, walk me through the features thereof, and I’d be on my way by 9:20.
10:00am – finished with breakfast and other preparations, we would spend the rest of the day organizing the last few things, taking apart a few remaining pieces of furniture, and begin cleaning windows and sweeping floors.
4:00pm – the help would arrive to assist with some of the heavy boxes and furniture, and some last pieces of detail work. We’d finish it up by 5:30pm, thank them and send them on their way with pizza. We’d spend the last few hours before bed reminiscing about the good times, and enjoying the company of family, laughing until we fell asleep soundly at about 9:00pm.
8/13, 6:00am – I’d awake without an alarm, stretch for a moment, get ready for the long drive with a hearty breakfast, and load up the last few items.
Driving away at 7:00am.
Entertained by the engaging discussions on the radio and the invigorating music on my iPod, and put at ease by the comfortable seat and cruise control of the truck, with strong tailwind assisting us southward, the morning passes with ease – almost unnoticed. We arrive at our lunch destination early, find diesel gas at a startling $2 a gallon, sit down to a relaxing brunch, and continue to our destination.
Admittedly, by about 3:00pm our nomadic spirits are waning. We feel the excitement of a new place to live with a new chapter in our lives.
By 4:30pm, we arrive at our new home, find half a dozen strapping young men welcoming and eager to share the burden of unloading the truck.
Unloaded by 5:30pm, beds put together and paths cleared of boxes by 6:30. Eat a delicious home-cooked meal and to bed by 7:30pm with dreams of degrees and empanadas in my head.
8/14, 8:00 – Avey wakes us, and we share a warm breakfast, relax a bit, and slowly begin to unpack before taking my brother to the airport with thanks for helping us with the whole trip.
Unpacked by 8/17, all loose ends tied, eager to begin classes on 8/22!
8/12, 9:00am – I arrived at the truck rental place to find that they did not have my truck ready. Someone had apparently removed the tow hitch with which I needed to tow our second car. They got me another truck. The guy gave me a hand hooking up my car, only to find that someone had removed the bolts that held a chain onto the tow dolly. Those are kind of important, so he spent the next 20 minutes finding replacement bolts. I drove the truck home without incident by about 10:00am.
We ran into several hurdles with the last stuff to pack, and apparently left too much for the day of.
Our family help arrived about midday, and were miracle workers in getting us up and going – the men worked on loading the truck so that the womenfolk could work on the cleaning. By about 5:30 the truck was loaded, and the house almost clean. We were so exhausted and scatterbrained, however, that we had a hard time tying up loose ends until very late.
I realized that I should shut off the gas to our hot water, but we all wanted to shower, so I went into the crawlspace after it was dark outside, thinking I would just go the few feet in until I could reach the light. I opened the door and shone the small flashlight we hadn’t packed to find a big spider web blocking my way in (if you know much about me, I’m pretty arachnophobic). I clenched my teeth and went in anyway. I groped around for the light, found it, and pulled on the string, only for it to fall into my hands, broken. I opted not to freak out yet, and plunged on into the abyss to find the water heater, and shut it off. I then found my way back out, covered in dirt and sweat, with a little bit of my dignity left.
10:00pm – We finished our showers and tried to sleep.
8/13, 6:00am – after about 2 hours total of sleep, due mostly to my bed being packed, my sore body, and the anxiety of the upcoming trip, I rose as a zombie from his grave. I had a quick breakfast of donuts and milk, brushed my teeth, and started throwing last minute things in the car. Long story short, we were ready to leave at about 7:30am.
7:30am – we discovered several problems with the truck. For one, I couldn’t get it to start. It seemed like it might be the battery, so my brother and I started searching for it. we spent about 10 minutes looking and simply could not find it, so I called the truck’s roadside assistance to be placed on hold for about 15 minutes and then told that we would have to wait for a tow truck for up to 2 hours. By then we had found the battery, and eventually got it started while waiting for the tow truck. We were on the road around 8:30am.
Oh, here’s another problem we found with the truck. This is the chain from the tow dolly to the truck:
11:30am – in my attempt to quickly get things arranged so that I could eat and drive, I accidentally plant my iPod earbud in my frogs’ tank (it works fine now, but had to dry out for a few hours).
We made our first stop about 3 hours into the trip. I warmed leftover pizza in a gas station microwave and got back on the road, trying to make up lost time.
2:30pm – far too close for comfort, I finally find a gas station just before Santa Fe. I fill it up amid a horrible hail/rain storm. During this, I discover that the truck will not start again. While attempting to figure out the problem, I get completely drenched from head to toe. I call Kira and my brother who are about 20 minutes ahead of me, tell them of the situation, and try what we did the first time to get the truck started. It does not work.
2:45pm – I call the roadside assistance again, and speak to an operator who gives me his diagnosis of the problem (I knew he was wrong, but arguing wouldn’t have gotten it fixed any faster).
2:47pm – the gas station worker tells me I need to move the truck (hey, great idea!). I discover that their bathrooms are out of order.
2:55pm – Get a call from the tow company. The gentleman tells me that his mechanic will be right out. Kira drives me to find a bathroom. We cancel the help from the ward we had arranged for unloading the truck.
3:30pm – Gas station worker tells me I need to move the truck (Do you think I’d still be here if I could move the truck?).
3:50pm – I finally changed my clothes into something dry, and called the tow company again.
4:00pm – the mechanic shows up (“Sorry about that – I lost my keys”).
4:03pm – the mechanic smacks the starter with a hammer and the truck starts right up. He explains how to do it if we have the problem again, we thank him and head out.
4:20pm – grab a quick dinner in Santa Fe and eat on the road.
11:30pm – arrive in El Paso, defeated and drained. By the grace of God, my aunt and uncle had picked up our key for us, left us an amazing meal in the fridge, and set up an air mattress in our room. They also supplied us with toilet paper, disposable dinnerware, and many other essentials. We will forever be in their debt.
8/14, 6:45am – after a few hours of sleep, my brother and I begin the slow, torturous process of unloading all of our worldly possessions from the truck into our new home.
11:00am – with about 15 boxes left, the ward calls and asks if we’ll still need help after church is over at noon. We also realize that we didn’t let my grandparents (who live in town also) know that we had arrived. They came anyway and brought another uncle of mine to assist with some of the last things, and then they took my brother to the airport to fly home.
The rest of the afternoon – I got our beds ready, and tried to unpack some things. Kira tried to occupy Avey, who was anxious to explore this new state and the neighborhood.
4:00pm – dinner at Grandma’s. An exquisite break from the hectic ambiance of our new home.
The next week was spent slowly transforming our place into a home. During the course of the unpacking, we pieced together that we must have left several of our dishes in the dishwasher at our old place. We’re attempting to recover them now. As of this post, we’re moved in, but still have several boxes and a few pieces of furniture that need a place. Avey loves the pool:
I guess things don’t always go according to plan. We’re glad to finally be here, and looking forward to feeling like we’re home. It has been so nice to have family here; I think we may survive. Now let us never speak of the last two weeks again.