The most difficult military move this far (at least for us).
Lets set the scene.
Have husband graduate from recruiter school during Christmas break.
He announces he wants to do a DITY (a DIY move).
Still has to work with old command (12 hour days) because we thought we would be moving and didn’t take leave.
Still no orders until Christmas Eve.
Get orders, but everyone in admin is still on leave.
Essentially pack by yourself because spouse is getting all his affairs in order.
And you have only a few days to get all the paperwork for school, hospital, water, gas, electric together.
Now we are extremely lucky to have my husband’s family to be able to help. First my mother-in-law came in December and helped organize, clean and pack things for the pre-move inspection which went well. (we lived in base housing) Then My husbands father and brother came down, helped pack what I didn’t get to, and loaded up the truck in about 24-48 hours.
The funny thing is I kept hearing my husband and other people tell me a DITY wouldn’t be so hard because we don’t have “that much stuff.” I don’t think they were seeing what I was seeing. Closets filled to the brim with storage items, clothes, and other than our walls being lined in every room with furniture, we also had a garage sized shed filled with furniture and out-door toys, bikes, work out equipment, strong-man equipment. We have way too much crap, and although we purged which included several trips to Goodwill, the dump and selling things on our local buy/sell/trade page we still had more than a truck full.
We got the largest truck because it was the same price as the truck size down. I believe the men thought no way we would need all that space!
We arrived back at the house after all the errand running, and bringing the guys lunch, the truck was getting pretty full. That was at noon. There was still plenty of house and shed to be loaded.
So, i’m going to stop documenting and get me and the littlest mini out-of-the-way. I am sure I could have been of some help, but I figured I would be of more help if I got the four-year old unpacker and the escape artist cat out of the picture.
So the three of us are off to stay with my MIL in Charlottesville. I was worried about driving 8-11 hours with the cat. Every time he had been in the car prior he meowed nonstop. We bought him a new bigger kennel, and throw away litter box for the floor board in the back seat of our Versa Note. This system worked out well. While the vet did give us Dramamine for him, he didn’t take it. He did sleep most of the time but I think this was due to the stress. The vet told me that he would most likely prefer to stay in the cage because the walls would be comforting, but when he started to meow I thought maybe he needed to go and I let him out. He explored the car, sniffed everything out and found a better spot under my seat, and his secondary location became between his kennel and my daughters car seat so she could pet him. Surprisingly, the whole eight hours he didn’t use the in car litter-box (thankfully) and he didn’t try to escape when we stopped for gas or food.
When we arrived to Charlottesville my MIL had set up a room in the basement for him, with a window perch, scratching post, couch, bed, and space where he could be comfortable but not overwhelmed. Our cat is such a mild mannered cat, I was quiet worried all this new stress would turn him into one of those angry (a$$hole) cats you hear about so often, but he explored things at his own rate and was around familiar people.
Now the next morning I had plan to drive up to Maryland, enroll my son in his new school, get the keys and map out where the big pieces of furniture would go. Didn’t happen. My Father-in-law and my son headed to Charlottesville with the truck, and husbands car in tow while my husband and brother-in-law hung back to finish his check out paperwork.
I waited in Charlottesville, and did as much as I could from the phone and internet there as the truck made its way. It’s now Thursday, January 8th, and if you can recall… this day was freezing all along the east coast, even in those southern beach towns. Something happens in North Carolina and the rental truck breaks down! I am in Charlottesville, VA, my husband is still in Beaufort, SC and my father-in-law is stranded on an exit off 95N with our son, who apparently didn’t have his coat. To say I felt worried and helpless was an understatement.
After some phone tag with the company, and my father-in-law explaining he has a seven year old with him, they sent someone out in about 45 minutes. While they were waiting a nice state trooper in the local town kept them company, and made sure that someone came. You may wonder, what type of tow truck would be able to pick up a 26 foot moving truck who is towing a Honda accord. Insert semi-truck tow-truck here. So my seven-year old has an iPad so he is completely unphased by all this chaos going on. The truck got towed to the local Penske place and they were able to repair it, so that they wouldn’t have to move the entire contents of our house to a new truck. They made it to Charlottesville safely….
To Be Continued.