Well, I’ve been absent for a bit!
As I mentioned back in March, my husband and I accepted new teaching jobs for the upcoming school year. The positions are in the state of Wisconsin, so the last several months have been spent preparing for a move.
This involved cleaning out our home of twelve years, then packing up our family of 5 (12 if you count all of the pets) loading our remaining earthly goods into a truck and a van and driving about 2,000 miles.
Friends have asked if it went smoothly. I just respond with, “We made it!” and try to keep the crazy out of my eyes.
I’m afraid I can’t quite muster up any fascinating history facts for you today, BUT I do have a few “lessons learned” from the experience of the last few months.
We have too much stuff We have so many material blessings.
Even after donating/recycling/trashing piles of things, the amount of stuff we shipped over and packed along was almost embarrassing. Moving was a good reminder of just how well we’ve been provided for.
Lesson Two: Preparing a house to sell is ridiculous.
We’re still in the process of selling/finding something to buy, and I’ll tell you honestly: I’m hoping to find a nice home in Wisconsin, because I may never leave it.
Lesson Three: The road gets longer when you’re moving.
Last summer we drove to Wisconsin. It was a fantastic road trip and lots of fun. While we traversed much of the same landscape (with one change—a swing through North Dakota for a quick look at Theodore Roosevelt National Park) doing the trip packed to the gills with all of the odds and ends that were left in the house was not actually fun. Part of that had to do with finding lodging…
Lesson Four: It’s hard to find lodging with cats.
“Pet friendly” does not necessarily mean “cat friendly.” The places we found were interesting, and my husband ended up sleeping in the van one night.
Lesson Five: Low gears and substitute drivers are some of the best things in life.
I love looking at mountains. I’m not a big fan of driving through them. And every time our 12′ truck went around a bend with one of those “truck tipping over” signs on it, I was white-knuckling. Mercifully, my big brother flew out to drive with us, allowing me to ride out the mountains and the crazy-windy plains of North Dakota in the passenger seat. (I’m going to need to find something NICE for his birthday this year. Suggestions?)
Lesson Six: My military wife friends are much tougher than I.
Well, that’s not really a lesson learned—I already knew this. But as I’ve been talking with my friend who’s preparing for her THIRD cross-country move, I just felt the need to acknowledge that yes, I know that in comparison, I’m a wimp.
Lesson Seven: Even kids get tired of fast food.
By North Dakota my eldest asked, “Can we just get some cheese and crackers from the gas station?” The others agreed, “No more burgers!” It was good to get settled this week and get fruit and veggies back into our diets.
Lesson Eight: I’ve been blessed with some amazing people in my life.
I could write pages about all of the kindnesses we’ve been given during this process.
Our extended families have been amazing. We not only had help with the drive, but also with packing, cleaning, finances, and pre-selling home repairs. Other family members have helped provided places for us to sleep, meals, and loving support.
Friends (who’ve been like family) from our congregation and school in Washington helped us load up furniture and boxes to ship. They helped us with home repairs, helped with our children, and prayed for and encouraged us. They threw us a lovely farewell, packing goodie bags for the kids to help with the trip and slipping in financial gifts for us which paid for all of those on-the-road burgers and elusive lodgings.
New friends from the new congregation whose school we’ll be serving have been encouraging and praying for us all along. They also unpacked and stored all of the things we shipped ahead, cleaned the temporary lodgings they found for us, and even stocked our kitchen with necessities and left us local gift cards so that we wouldn’t have to worry about shopping immediately upon staggering into town.
I don’t know what to say to all of it, except that I am so very humbled and thankful for all of them.
I’m also thankful that, though I’ve been absent, you’ve stopped by today to check in. Thank you.
While it’s going to take some time to settle in (and to prepare for a new school year in a new grade- yikes!) I’m looking forward to finding pockets of time in this new stage of life to write again!
What about you? Have any of you had moving adventures, or tips to share to make the process less insane?