I thought I would be ready when the moving truck arrived on July 29, but I was a fool. I ended up sleeping a scant one hour the night before and when I rose from my bed that morning, I still wasn’t quite entirely packed.
I kept asking myself why I had so much stuff. I kept throwing stuff I needed to pack in my vehicle in the downstairs bedroom so the movers wouldn’t take it. I threw stuff that needed to go to a thrift store in there, too. Pretty soon that room was a disaster but it was a disaster I could close the door on.
I could see Neighbor Bob outside, puttering in his yard and so I asked him if he’d help me pack the televisions. The moving coordinator told me the crew could do it but it would cost a lot of money ($140 each!). I said no thanks and Bob and I tucked them into boxes ourselves.
The movers came, but instead of the giant Mayflower semi-truck I expected, it was a large white box truck. I was confused but apparently there was no driver available to drive my load to Minnesota so it would be packed into the box truck, driven to San Diego, unloaded and then reloaded into the semi-truck when a driver was assigned. Doesn’t that sound crazy?
I spent my whole day still packing, keeping one step ahead of the moving crew. According to my Fitbit, the day before the move, I logged 15,308 steps. The day of the move, I logged 22,430 steps. That’s a lot of walking.
In the late afternoon, they drove off. A cleaning crew I hired came over to start cleaning. My daughter and I picked up sushi and ate it on my bedroom floor (no furniture left, remember?). She left (she moved in with a friend) and I STILL had stuff to do. A friend came over and took what was left in the pantry and garage. I was so grateful for him and his son who also dragged six old mattresses to the curb for bulk waste pickup the next morning.
Then I did what I could and slept (on an air mattress), figuring I’d hit the road by 8 or 9 the next morning. I packed my Honda CR-V until it was dark but alas, still had SO MUCH STUFF to pack in it. I was transporting a son’s valuable guitar, another son’s valuable computer parts (he was constructing a computer when we got to Minnesota) and more. So much more.
The next morning I woke and systematically started moving everything downstairs that still had to go. So much random stuff that I wish I’d had time and boxes to pack, but that’s just how it goes sometimes. When I finally was ready, it was closer to 11 AM and my vehicle was packed full to the tops of all the seats. I had to leave behind a lot of stuff I meant to bring, not valuable stuff, but still.
And I surely did not want to leave that late, but what was I to do? I had to sort through the disaster in that downstairs bedroom: trash, recycling, thrift store, items to be packed in my vehicle. My good neighbor Bob told me he’d take care of all the thrift store stuff and everything else, too. He hugged me tightly when I was ready to drive off and that was the one time I almost lost it and burst into tears.
Long story short, my drive was great but long. It was 120 degrees at some points along the way that first day. I drove all the way to Moab, Utah, the first day, arriving at 1:30 AM. I pulled up to my hotel and was told that the reservation was cancelled and I was in disbelief and horror, but then I went back to my car and managed to pull up the confirmation on my email. My new reservation was at the adjoining hotel.
I have never been so happy to crawl into bed as I was that night/morning. However, the reason I’d driven so far was so I could hike to the Delicate Arch at dawn, so I slept about four hours, woke at 6 AM and went hiking in the heat. The hike was much more strenuous than I anticipated and I actually thought at one point that I might pass out, but I did not! I made it to the top along with a bunch of other people.
Seriously, though, it was exhausting. But no regrets! The Arches National Park was amazing and I pulled over to take photos as I drove in and out of it.
I went back to my hotel and slept until check-out time (another couple hours of sleep) and then drove another 10 hour day, finishing up in Nebraska (at 11 PM). That day I drove along the Colorado River in Utah (a spectacular scenic highway) and then through the mountains skirting Denver. (Right through Aspen, as a matter of fact.)
Then I had only one more day of driving.
A note about a solo road trip: I originally asked two different friends if they could make the drive with me but neither was able to. So I drove alone and it was awesome. I listened to an audio book, music and podcasts. I stopped and took 20 minute power naps when I needed to. I really, really enjoyed the road trip, even more than I thought I would.
I pulled into my new garage at 8:30 PM and then we unloaded my car. The stuff I brought was so random (my KitchenAid mixer, my grandma’s treadle Singer sewing machine, my sons’ stuff, spray paint, a few succulents, etc.) and then I placed a ten pound weight on what I thought was a ledge but wasn’t and it fell on my toe. I thought I might have broken that poor toe but it just hurt a lot for a few weeks. My foot turned purple.
The moving truck took TWENTY-SIX DAYS to arrive here in Minnesota. Fortunately, in the spring we’d had new living room furniture (couch, ottoman, chair) delivered here so I slept on the couch for 26 days. My husband had a full-sized bed (loaned by someone) but it was not comfortable and too small, so I chose the couch. The boys had new twin beds/frames that I’d had delivered here, so they had beds, too.
Then I had 26 days of a sort of leisure. My daughter flew out for a few days so we hit the thrift stores and spent time together. We spontaneously picked up two barn kittens from some lady out in the country.
Finally, the moving truck arrived. Glory be and hooray. The following week I unpacked, discovering that I didn’t have enough room for everything. I had ditched a lot of furniture and shelves so I have literally no bookshelves for the 25 boxes of books I own. This is a problem, but I have the unpacked boxes all stacked neatly by the wall in the living room and outside my office door.
I planned to get IKEA bookcases but COVID has ruined everything, including the stock at IKEA. Most items I need are not available at the moment.
A few days before the moving truck came, my husband and I were walking from a restaurant to the local Home Depot, passing by a well known hobby store which had a NOW HIRING sign on its door. He said, “You should work there,” but I said, no way, retail doesn’t pay enough, but then I discovered it started at $15.70 an hour (minimum wage in this state is $9.86 an hour) and so I picked up an application on a Thursday, the moving truck came Monday, I had an interview two days later on Wednesday and then I started working the following Monday.
Needless to say, my house isn’t quite put together yet. I still have no bookcases. I have some storage issues. Things are a little disorganized. My clothes closet shelf collapsed after I finished putting things away (come on!) and things are not perfect.
But I am happy to be working retail though it’s a drastic change. I would have been happy to continue working in Police Records but that didn’t work out here. I couldn’t even get an interview (there were 140 applicants!), so this is a good change of pace. I like how active my days are and how fast the time passes. My co-workers range in age from 16 to mid-sixties (I’d guess). The pace is frantic and we haven’t yet begun our busy season. After the COVID shut-down, people have been flocking to buy seasonal items, home decor and craft stuff more than than ever before. As the managers have said, “Every day is Saturday.”
I have logged between 8,000 and 15,000 steps every day that I’ve worked. I’ve unloaded the truck, cut fabric, stocked shelves, helped customers, and been a cashier, some days all at once.
So that’s how things are. I live in Minnesota now. Summer abruptly ended though I hear it’s going to warm up next week, the leaves are about to change (you can just tell) and people keep asking me if I’m worried about winter.
I’m not. Why worry about things you cannot change?