What a hectic, busy, emotional, etc., etc., etc., few weeks this has been! I retired from my job of 23+ years, packed up my house and dogs, put my home on the market, said good-bye to a lot of wonderful friends, and moved from central NC to western NY! Whew! That’s a lot to take in and go through. But, I came through it all with only a few bruises – hahaha – and am ready to move on! Be sure to read those last few words correctly – I said “move on” not just “move”! It is a figurative statement for getting on with my new life and has NOTHING to do with physically moving — something I swear I will NEVER do again!!! If this whole experience has taught me anything, it is that I don’t EVER want to go through it again – EVER!
So, let me paint a picture of the past few week’s events:
I had my 55th birthday. Attended a wonderful going away party put on by some great friends! I worked my last week at a company I’ve been with for 23+ years. And I put my house on the market!
That may seem like a lot, in itself, but that was all the easy part! Now for the meat of it:
I’m a procrastinator! I typically prefer to do things at the last-minute and usually do them better when I’m on a tight deadline. I’m not crazy about the pressure that puts me under, but it works for me. Going on a trip? Do laundry and pack the night before. Have a report to write? Pull an all nighter or two and do it a day or two before it is due. Get the picture? Well, I have learned (the hard way) that packing for a move this big is NOT something you want to do under these circumstances. I’ve had to move quickly due to short notice in the past and made it work, but if you have the luxury of time, do it a little at a time over a longer period! Unfortunately, I didn’t learn this lesson until I was well into rushing to get an entire house packed and emptied out for a planned move date. I actually could have been flexible with my move date, but I had already set the date, scheduled the Uhaul, and made other plans that were tied to the chosen move date. Pushing it out once I realized I needed more time wouldn’t have been an easy option – and to be honest, probably wouldn’t have done any good because of my tendency to not take advantage of extra time. So, what started out with organized, well labeled boxes ended up with boxes full of a mixture of stuff and labeled with the room that most of the contents belonged in.
I had a lot of help from friends….(thank you!!!!)
We packed the furniture and big stuff on Saturday, but still had boxes to pack and things to do before we could leave Sanford, so the actual move date was Tuesday. That meant that I had three nights in the house with no furniture. So, I had them leave the mattress and my desk chair off the truck so I’d have a place to sleep and something to sit on. It worked out – especially since I had so much more packing to do, I didn’t really have the time to get too comfortable. The mattress on the floor was interesting – it was more comfortable than I thought it would be, but when I decided it was OK to do that, I wasn’t thinking about how difficult it would be to get up off of it from so low to the ground with nothing to grab onto! hahaha But, I made out just fine. And the girls loved “camping in the living room”!
We decided the best way to travel was for Ronald and Lisa to go in the Uhaul and tow the Pony and for me to follow in the mini van with the girls. The girls started out with new seat belt harnesses to keep them safe. If you think the next two photos look like that worked out perfectly, you’re sadly mistaken! 🙂
I got Katie settled in the front seat with her harness hooked up. Then, Megan got in her seat and was content. Then came the struggle – Amy usually likes to sit in the front seat with Katie and that wouldn’t work on this long of a trip, so I tried to coax her into the back seat. The more I tried to get her to get in the back seat, the more frightened she became. It soon turned into a traumatic experience for her and she was shaking and wouldn’t move. I had to pick her up and force her into the seat, get her hooked up, and then sat and held her for a while to calm her down – I held her close, stroked her, and sang to her. Finally, she was calm and content. But – by the time I finished putting other things in the back of the van and did a final walk through the house to be sure we didn’t forget anything and that everything was secure, I came out to find them ALL half out of their harnesses!!! All three had at least one front leg out of the harness and Megan actually had both front legs out and the harness was down around her stomach! Oh, boy – we didn’t even leave the driveway and it was obvious that was NOT going to work! So, I took all the harnesses off and hooked the leads directly to their collars. I know that is not recommended – if something should happen and they get thrown around, it could strangle them. But, I thought it was best for them in this situation and just had to hope nothing bad happened. Then, at the first stop, they all got out and it was major drama all over again with trying to get Amy into her seat! So, I realized that it was far less traumatic for them to sit where they wanted to and move around – they were on Benadryl, so they were mostly sleeping anyway and the design of the van made it so they couldn’t rush out when I opened my door to get out at a stop, so it was fine………and they were much happier after that! It worked out well and was so much less stressful for them AND me!!! Megan didn’t do her duty at all at any stop even though she drank a lot and ate a little at each stop – she finally did when we got to the house, but not on the trip. And Katie never really got the full effects of the Benadryl – Megan and Amy slept or laid still the whole time the van was moving, but Katie still stood at attention right up until well after dark – then she slept a little bit. But, all in all, it was an easy trip for them – that is, after I realized the planned arrangements were too stressful for them.
Aside from the seating arrangement drama, the travel plans worked really well and it was a pleasant, uneventful trip. We left about 7:00 am, drove straight through with only a few stops, and made it to my new home a little after midnight! It took a little longer to drive than usual, but that was to be expected. Ronald and Lisa left from their house and I left from mine about a half hour behind them, so when we caught up to each other at the first stop, it was the first time I saw the pony on the trailer……….it sure was strange driving behind it! hahaha
It was a lovely day for the drive – sunny, beautiful blue sky, warm, gorgeous autumn leaves! Couldn’t have asked for better weather! I just had to snap a few pictures along the way – like the first one below of Pilot Mountain! When my son, Robby, was little and we’d make this drive back and forth between NC and NY, we’d always look forward to seeing Pilot Mountain – we called it the “big boobie in the sky”! hahaha
So, I’m here and settling in. What have I been up to since I got here? Well, we unloaded everything and got it all in the right rooms (for the most part – remember, some boxes have a mixture of stuff that may belong in multiple rooms), I’ve had dinner with my Mom three times, I ran some errands, and I unpacked a little. I keep trying to get myself motivated to unpack and it just isn’t happening. I’ve decided that I am more sick and tired of packing and cleaning than I am of the clutter, right now, so the clutter is not working as a strong motivator to get busy – yet! I also don’t have any deadlines for unpacking and, as I said earlier, I’m a procrastinator and do much better if I’m up against a deadline! The only deadline I have is if I decide to fix Thanksgiving here, so maybe I’d better set that plan to get myself in action! Also, I caught a little cold the first day I was here – I’ve been under so much stress from the move, my resistance must have been low. It isn’t enough to really get me “down”, but enough to keep my energy level a little low. But, I’m doing what needs to get done as it needs to get done and the rest will come!
The only casualty of the move that I’ve found, so far, is my computer! I securely packed all the electronics (computer, TVs, etc.) in the van so it would be safer – guess that didn’t work! My brother picked it up and put it on my computer desk and said “what is rattling around in there?”. He opened it up and the heat sink had broken off and was rolling around inside the case! My nephew is a computer technician, so he got a new part and fixed it, but there is more than just that wrong. When I start it up, it sits on the blue HP screen for 10-15 mins before it fully boots. Bryan (nephew) said that if the jarring broke off the heat sink, then no telling what else got damaged! So, he is going to build me a new one! For now, as long as I leave it on, it is OK and I have my laptop if it totally crashes. I’ve backed everything up onto an external drive, so whatever happens, I’m all set! Then, I had some connectivity problems with the internet and Time Warner had to change out the modems. But, now all is fine – I’m up and running and connected to the world and able to finally blog about my adventures in moving! 🙂
As for the girls: They have adjusted very well. When we arrived late Tuesday night (Weds morning), they ran all through the house exploring every inch and went out and explored their new fenced in back yard. They love the yard!!! Megan had a little drama that first night — she was the first to go upstairs, but was terrified to come back down them! Katie and Amy were up and down and up and down and playing all the way up and all the way down! But, Megan just stood around the corner with her head peeking out at the stairs and you could see the terror on her face!!! Poor thing! I went up and tried to get her to come down with me – I had my hand on her back the whole way, but she was terrified! Once she got down, she ran right back up and then was too afraid to come back down, again! That time, she wouldn’t have any part of my helping her. But, I got her to stand at the top of the stairs watching the other two and she finally ventured down along with them and has had no more trouble since! Her sisters taught her how and now she’s running up and down them like an old pro! Megan loves the window seat and is in it looking out most of the day and when I leave she gets in there to watch me go and is still there waiting to watch me return! I also captured her checking out the fireplace the first morning we were here! She’s been very curious about everything! They already know that we go upstairs to go to bed and down to the basement when we do laundry – as soon as I mention either, they head that way! They were upset the first couple of times I left and didn’t take them with me, but are fine, now when I have to go out somewhere. So, they are doing fine and settling right in to their new routines and surroundings!
So, all is good here…….we still have some unpacking and organizing to do and a lot of new sounds and things to get used to, but we’re content and ready to move on!!! But, you know when it REALLY all sunk in as being “real”? On Friday morning about 4:30 when Ronald and Lisa got in the van to drive back to NC – I watched them pull out of the driveway and head down the street……without me……I realized that I’m where I’m going to be and I’m not going back! For a split second, I got really sad – then the girls got my attention and I turned around and saw them curled up on the couch all comfy and we went back up to bed and I felt good – at home! Life is good!!!