Monday, August 15, 2011

Trip A 1957.5 miles






Go ahead and ask me how my move went and here is the short answer... "It went and we are here". For the long answer read on...

My husband and I made a master plan to get our family from CA to KS. But like all our master plans... Nothing was mastered.

Step one.. Four days before packers come, trade in your Perfectly Good Car for a New, Perfectly Good Car.
This step sounds easy, as many of them do, but in this process it was discovered that my driver's license had expired last February. This was only discovered after I had test driven and brought a car home!... Trip number one to the DMV. I raced in the door leaving 2 kids watching a dvd and one sleeping baby in New Perfectly Good Car. Grabbed an application and a number. Filled out app on hood of car, shuffled 2 annoyed kids and one, not so happy to be woken up baby, back into DMV. My number got called, shuffled kids to counter, paid fee, got handed test, shuffled kids to test taking area, still holding not so happy baby. Took the test... missed 3.... passed! Put down baby long enough to take picture for license. She, of course, throws a fit at my feet while I smile at the little birdy. Left DMV praying my new license would arrive before I put the mail on "hold".

Step two.. Depend on loving friends to help organize everything you own before packers come.
A small workforce of amazing people came and bagged and tagged in anticipation of the impending chaos. This step was necessary for the master plan in my head that said that the more organized you are on that end, the easier it will be on this end... This is where you LOL.

Step three.. Sit back and try to relax while guys you nick named, Toothless Tony and Convict Kenny, rifle through your dedicates. Why is there always one packer who sweats so bad that you have to get over the fact he is working really hard and can not focus on the fact that every thing he touches you want to make a mental note to wash as soon as you see it again? We will just refer to him as, Sweat Faucet. Oh and throughout the entire move, his hair never went out of place.. Kind of like Trump's. After 2 days they left us in a cardboard jungle that completely scrambles your sense of home, but always makes for a wicked game of hide-n-seek!

Step four.. Watch your household goods get loaded onto giant truck for a safe trip to your new home. This step, someone from Mayflower Trucking forgot to read! On Saturday morn the truck did pull up but that is where the plan went south.. I was standing at the back of the truck when the driver opened the back door. I took one look inside and turned to him and said "We are gonna have a problem here, aren't we?". The truck was over 2/3 full of someone else's stuff. He said he thought that maybe I did not have as much as the paperwork said and that it would fit. But after looking around my house... it was time to make some calls. None of the emergency moving numbers reached anyone and after being on hold for an hour and a half all I got was a message saying that they were open M-F. By afternoon, I was a wreck. The driver convinced me to let him load what his crew could so that at least that portion would make it to KS by the time I got there. They picked through my carefully organized mess and played Tetris with my treasures. Late in the day, the driver had gotten ahold of the packing company and they were sending down from OR another truck and a guy to load it! Relief was short lived as soon as I saw Sweat Faucet pile out of a small trailer. They filled that trailer full and still had to come back the next day and fill it again. I even got tired of looking at my own stuff. None of it was packed to go into storage and the majority was loose and not in boxes. The packers and the driver and Sweat Faucet kept blaming each other for what a mess the move was and a few of the guys almost went to blows in my family room! Needless to say as I stood in my featherless nest I knew I needed to take my kids and blow off some steam! So we piled into the New Perfectly Good Car and went to float the stress away in the river. My dear sister and brother brought their Honeys and a picnic! It was so nice 'til we went to leave and I found my keys locked inside of New Perfectly Good Car....

Step five.. Finish a laundry list of things to do before you head out. Monday, I hit the ground running! I loaded my cargo car topper, not on the top but inside the car and took it to the locksmith. Because, of course, the keys I had kept out from the move were the wrong set. I took the dog to the vet because she had been shaking her head all day Sunday. I thought she was just as displeased with the move as I was, but it turned out she had fox-tails in both her ears and needed surgery the next morning. Tuesday was trip two to the DMV. It did not go smoothly as planned because I found out to register my New Perfectly Good Car, I needed to have it smogged. After a quick smogging, went out to lunch, got my toes done, grabbed munchies for the road, picked up a tired dog and a prescription! We finished off the day with a small farewell dinner at my girls' favorite place to eat, Bob's Ranch House!

Step six.. Drive across country with 3 kids, one dog, and a pregnant lady.This might be the hardest step to imagine so I will do my best to paint the picture... Wednesday, I woke really early, packed the final things in the new car including kids and picked up a Decausemaker on the way out of town. For those of you that may not have a Decausemaker, let me just describe for a moment, what I am talking about. Think of the best "partner in crime" and times that by 1000, now, put a smile on her face, a chop-saw in one hand and a gallon of milk in the other. THAT, is a Decausemaker. Some call her Michelle. For the past year I have called her Battle Buddy! I half jokingly asked her if she wanted to make this ridiculous cross country trip with me. A day later, while sitting on her back porch, she told me she was game! Her husband John, on the other hand, when I asked him to go, asked me if he had the word stupid tattooed on his forehead... I wonder what he meant by that... We got 15 miles out of town before our first stop and another 15 before our first potty stop. This was a foreshadowing of the next 5 days. First night was Reno, NV. It was a whirlwind of buffet food and acrobats. We pulled out the next morning with an extra $45.00, 6 stuffed creatures and 4 free pens. By the late afternoon we were in Elko,NV. Michelle who is always full of surprises was commenting on how pretty the museum was as we drove past and in the same breath said "I think I have been here". Turns out, she has! And not only that, but that her cousin lives right near there, so we called her for an impromptu family reunion! Day three, we planned completely around the Ikea store in UT! We got the dog settled at the hotel and the big girls Larry and Curly settled in the play area! We left there with tired feet, bellys full of Swedish meat balls and goodies for the new house! We did not get out the door fast enough to make a smooth escape though. On the elevator to the exit, Moe pushed the emergency red button. The alarm sounded and lights flashed and a very nice person from behind the panel assured us that help was on the way and to remain calm. I turned to the poor stranger who had made the mistake of getting on to the elevator with my 3 stooges and asked if she had any emergency. She stared at me wide eyed and shook her head no. So I held the door open for her and shuffled my crew toward the exit of the store. Almost free and clear, Curly was not looking forward as she walked and did a flying leap as she tripped onto a display stage...By the time we belted the stooges into the car, Michelle and I were holding each other up from laughing so hard...Day four.. Ogallala, NB will be scared in our memories and other places, forever. It was our longest driving day yet and we collapsed into our Best Western beds.... well some of us did.. others like Moe instead decided to run around the room like a crazy person. No sooner had I said "stop running" than she tripped over her own feet and went smashing head first into the corner of the night stand... We met some very nice locals at the emergency room that night. The Doc who sewed 4 stitches into her perfect forehead, the nice nurse who wrapped her in a warm towel and held her down to the table like a clawing cat, or the gentleman who came in from his weekend off to perform the CAT scan to look for any bleeders. Just real, nice, middle America folks. Moe got to pick out 4 stickers and was prescribed meds for the sinus infection they found from the scans. After a crappy, very late dinner we spilled ourselves into bed to prepare for what ended up being another 9 hr day on the road. Day five, was the day that would not end. We were so close but so far away. After the drive-through pharmacy for Moe's meds, it was a blur of corn and soybeans fields. The signs that read Kansas were a sight for sore eyes! We got settled for the night with pizza delivery and a dip in the pool to wash off the road.

Monday Aug 1st, I signed on the dotted line for a house on Fort Leavenworth and then had to re-sign, not my name, but that of Mr. LbF, reminding me right away that I was back in the "Army world". The housing lady even rubbed it in by saying it was not about me anymore.... witch...
Tuesday the 2nd we got the first shipment of household goods. Michelle was an packing machine and I tried to keep her fed and stayed out of the way. It was the hottest day on record since 1928(!) making it impossible to be comfortable. I made the mistake of taking off my bra when the movers left and my breasts suction cupped to my baby belly. Using powder made a paste, so I gave up. In true Army wife fashion, we had welcome meals delivered and invites to parties by the end of the day. When the dust settled, we had no broom. Curtains, but no rods. Beds, but no sheets. Six lamp shades, but not one lamp. All of Mr. LbF's clothes, but not my dresser. Which, of course, does him a lot of good from Iraq. So, here I am, 2 weeks later. Michelle made parole and was safely returned to her very smart husband. Larry and Curly started school. I am slowly getting my bearings and feel better after locating the Starbucks and Target. The 2nd half of our stuff has still not left OR and there is not a thing I can do about it.

Step.....whatever..... Settle into new house and make it a home... wait for the not so far off day, when he wraps his arms around me and that sweet first kiss melts me into a puddle named Worth the Wait..