Monday, July 23, 2012

Over the River and Through the Woods

But we're not going to Grandmother's house (or Grandfather's...depending on which version of the song you're used to), we're going to Mum's house. Or rather, Mum's storage shed.

This week, Bear and I, Bear's best friend, Monkey, and our good friend Pitbull--who has key experience in driving moving trucks--are making a rather lengthy trip east to do an act of good. It's also beneficial to us, because we get some new furniture and all my collected belongings from my time in the Nest. This is possibly the most frustrating part of the move since it's the "big furniture" schlep happens  to require going 2.5 hours to the Nest storage, then back up to Big Town to get the rest of the big furniture out of the Warren, and finally over to Small Town to drop it off. We were exhausted by the end of it, and not many pictures were taken...I'm starting to realize how difficult it is to take pictures when you're not used to documenting every step. I will get better at it, I promise.

The good thing is, I got to see Mum, who I don't get to see so often. The price of gas, though dropping, has kept Bear and I from making a lot of long trips. She also has her own Adventures in Domestics. That is, in a department store. She used to be a therapist. Mum says that her new job is actually a very similar line of work. Where she was once making "sales pitches" about how to balance and work through emotions, relationships, and pasts, now she makes "sales pitches" about how to balance the home...and about selling things. She loves to make people happy so it's still a very good line of employment, no matter how hard working in retail is. It also means...BIG SALES. And where there are big sales, the Rabbit family has always been thriving. There was an employee sale this time, which meant Mum went off the wall. Unfortunately, her schedule is so crazy that she managed to pull along 3 bags and a very, very special box, but not the other bags. There were more. Oh, good god. We'll get them the next time she visits or when we go to Big City to see my Nana and Mum.

Basically, I have this single hint for you: Plan, plan some more, plan again, and leave earlier than you think you have to by at least an hour. We meant to leave at 7.30am and ended up leaving at around 8.15am. This was complicated by my dozing off and not giving the secret directions to take the faster route, and we ended up on the toll road. And goddamnit, they decided a July, Saturday morning was the best time to shut down 4 of the 5 toll lanes. Who the hell does that?! Our DOT, apparently. Thanks, guys. I know, you're saying you can't really plan for that sort of crap, but I'll tell you CAN. By not taking toll routes. Any way is faster, at least in this state than toll routes. I messed up and flubbing the directions, given my Mum's penchant and teachings for back roads, felt like a biggun'.

(EDIT 7/25/12: Rabbit knows better than to be glib when it comes to road traffic. She's witnessed quite a few awful accidents and even been in a couple. It turns out, the backup was caused by a horrible accident on the turnpike where 2 women were killed, and two others injured.  She'll be leaving it up as a reminder that her plans are not the center of the universe, to be more considerate, and sends her condolences to the family and friends of all those involved. )

U-Haul is definitely cheaper (though still a thief of any money in your wallet!) than hiring a moving truck and crew, especially if you have a great friend who won't take payment other than food and a small token of appreciation. Pitbull, like his name, is a tough-looking guy with a heart of gold. He's a sweetie through and through. He and I had long talks while he drove about life, love, and learning about living, even through the bitter parts. One great thing about where I live is that the scenery you drive through really pounds it home and makes talking about all that easier. Long stretches are nothing but beautiful farmland and mountains.

The view from our truck. Doesn't nearly capture all the beauty of the mountains beyond!

City're probably going to have a rougher time that I can't advise on, other than hold on to your pants and grit your teeth. Hopefully you're moving out of the city and will get a view that is similar, and a break! Otherwise, try not to get stuck under a bridge or flip the bird too many times. Caution with these trucks is the name of the game. A note about price in case you're interested: it was approximately $300 to rent a 10' truck and drive 152 miles. We ended up paying less than I thought for gas, due to dropping gas prices, but that was jacked up again by taking some longer detours and adding to our given mileage. And they will add sales tax, people. So expect $20 in addition to what they quote on your reservation, and some meager sales taxes added to additional mileage.

Also, take a break and go eat if you're moving a long distance. Unless the truck has a time limit (ours was 2 days for one-way travel), keeping up your energy and lowering your stress level is important to not killing people. We went to a nice, family restaurant with delicious hamburgers and real chocolate shakes. That part of the state is known for the chocolate they produce (now you know where I was going through!), so crap chocolate is not something I stand for.

Monkey (left) and Pitbull (right) Sing with me: If you're cranky and you're hungry, look real mad!

On the topic of what's inside the U-Haul: One thing that helps with moving large items is plastic wrap. There's a special kind you can get for binding important pieces of furniture. My mum's dresser, which we're going to end up selling because we don't have enough room, has this binding that made it easy to transport. The drawers don't fall out and it prevents little scratches. I didn't get a photo of the other dresser wrapped up because I ended up tearing it off to get to the stuff Mum had put in the drawers. That was a brilliant idea, to put things inside the drawers so that there's less boxes. Mum has a lot of those! Ideas, I mean.

After bumping our way back home, we unloaded first and then went back to the Warren to pick up some more heavy furniture before we came back. Actually, I stayed back in Small Town to go through the boxes of stuff from my time in the Nest. It was a head trip. My mum kept a good deal of my awards, my report cards, and other items from my life. She said it wasn't nearly half of it, because she ended up tossing a good deal more early this year. For the first time, I saw cards from my birth, newspaper clippings from my life in different organizations, letters from family and friends, and my sonograms. I also stumbled across a letter my mum wrote to me when I was 9 months old, which was tear-jerking. The really heart-breaking piece was a letter and a gift from my Nana. I will cover this in a little between chapter this week, so I don't make this post too long.

Bear says the best part of moving is being moved. I say the best part is the fantastical: empty rooms, the possibilities, and the brain moving a mile a minute. The U-Haul part was definitely tough, but I'm looking forward to doing a lot more in the Home as we move and pull things together. And I promise, I'll take more pics next time!



  1. Hugs, Andra! I must be ovetired or too-caffeinated: strangely, the pic looks like it's moving.....
    Glad you made it safely home. Love you!

  2. Oh, PS: It's Nana's birthday today.