Our Moving Day Adventure

Greetings from Georgia! While Facebook friends were gallivanting kid-free around Barcelona, Rome, and Thailand, Clay and I (along with the kids and Lucy) loaded up both cars and caravanned 600 miles down to my parents outside of Atlanta, GA. We stayed around long enough to get Weston and Violet settled at Camp Grandma and Grandpa before the two of us hopped into the one of the packed-to-the-brim vehicles for an adventurous 850-mile road-trip to Kansas. While there, we accomplished fun tasks such as securing a place to live on post and sampling as much BBQ and beer as we possibly could during an exotic kid-free trip to Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. We flew back to Atlanta on Sunday and our we’re currently enjoying life on the lake before trekking out to Kansas again this upcoming weekend with the little ones and our anxious chocolate lab. IMG_5226 Our move out of the DC area was our most difficult PCS yet, proving the earlier reports true about 2015 peak PCS season. We realize that our stuff is just that – stuff – so we’re trying to keep a sense of humor about the experience. And we’re certainly laughing about it now. Our Moving Day Adventure As mentioned in my previous post – we spent the weekend with our household goods already boxed up so we were anxious for everything to be loaded on Monday so we could get on the road as soon as possible. Around 8:30am that Monday morning, a freight truck (i.e. not a moving truck) pulled in front of our house (and three other neighbors’ driveways) and a very confused man jumped out of the cab. He informed Clay that he wasn’t sure if he had the correct address because he never had a residential job before. Upon confirmation that he was, indeed, at the right location, he asked us where the loaders were and informed us that he intended to get back on the road by late morning. As an hour passed, it became obvious that our loaders were not going to arrive within the quoted window of time. As Clay went back and forth with dispatch, the driver of the truck just kept pacing around our neighborhood court grumbling about wanting to leave as soon as possible. IMG_5252 The two loaders finally arrived around 12:30pm, apologetic because dispatch sent them to the wrong address 50 miles away (and 50 miles in DC traffic is a big deal) and under the impression that the job would only take 4-5 hours because the moving estimator grossly underestimated the square footage of our house (despite us giving him the exact figure) and the weight of our household goods. Basically, the moving estimator who visited our house the week prior completely failed at the one job he had. you-had-one-job13__605

Sort of like Dick Smith.

Around this time, the loaders discovered that the freight truck had no loading ramp, no blankets, no straps, and no side door for easier loading. Apparently in order to save money, the government is awarding PCS contracts to freight companies that have no residential moving experience. The loaders did what they could while they waited for another truck to drop off the essential items needed for a residential move. The driver of the truck, being the helpful person that he was, gruffly told the loaders that two guys wouldn’t be enough to finish the job and then proceeded to sit in the cab of his truck for the rest of the afternoon. He certainly was a peach.
IMG_5258 We had a lunch spread waiting for the crew and because of the late start, we also offered to pick up dinner but the loaders declined, preferring not to stop until they finished. However, one of them asked if I could pick up a pack of cigarettes for him. I am extremely anti-smoking and normally would not help contribute to such a vile habit. But when you want your house loaded onto a moving truck ASAP, strong convictions tend to fly out the window. So that is how, at the ripe age of 32, I ended up buying my first pack of cigarettes at a 7-11. Soon after, we made the call to just spend another night in the house and leave first thing in the morning so we set up air mattresses in the basement and equip the kids with electronics to keep them occupied until bedtime. Again, all convictions just float away on moving day. The kids fell asleep with the sound of packing tape being applied to as a faint smell of cigarettes danced through the air. FullSizeRender The loaders continue to work hard and by 10:45pm, the last item is loaded on the truck. We signed paperwork and tipped the incredibly deserving loaders. And then the driver asks us where he exactly he was supposed to deliver everything, which was very reassuring. He knew he was going to Kansas but beyond that, his dispatch office failed to tell him where to put our household goods in storage. Seeing as how that is information we couldn’t provide, we told him that it was his job to inquire with his dispatch office on the exact address and not our job to do so. The driver was also sure to point out, yet again, that this was his first time conducting a residential move in 40+ years of driving trucks. Which was lovely to hear after an extremely long day. Again. IMG_5265

Finally, at 11:05pm, Clay and I sat on the front steps and watched the truck holding all of our worldly possessions drive away.

FullSizeRender-2 And at 11:06pm, Clay took off running toward the truck holding all of our worldly possessions to alert the blissfully unaware driver that the back door flew open. The driver’s response? “Oh, it’s been doing that a lot lately.

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FullSizeRender-4 At 11:25pm, the truck finally left our little neighborhood court. We prepared drinks and sat on the front steps trying to determine the over/under of whether our stuff makes it to Kansas or not.

Spoiler Alert

Our household goods made it to Missouri and are currently being stored outside of Kansas City. The driver pulled through. Barely.

Packing. Day Two.

Yesterday, the arrival of packers marked the commencement our PCS. As of this afternoon, we’re about 75% packed and by this evening, our house will no longer resemble the home we’ve made over the last few years. Due to poor planning on our part, the moving truck will not arrive until Monday so we will officially be living in Box City over the weekend – thank goodness for neighbors and their washer and dryer.

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Even though we are well under our weight allowance, it will have taken the packers two full days to put all of our worldly possession in boxes. It just seems so unnecessary to have as much stuff as we do. It feels glutenous. In the corner of our master bedroom is our DO NOT PACK pile, filled with items to sustain us for up to a month without our household goods. And you know what? The pile is enough. Sure – it would be a bummer if something were to happen to our stuff en route to Kansas, but it wouldn’t impact our happiness or our ability to live. So why do we allow ourselves to accumulate so much? But that’s another post for another day…

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Over the last week, we’ve been asked about moving stress and if we’re feeling it. Truthfully? We really don’t find PCSing all that stressful. We’re not that guy above. We’ve got this down. Perhaps that is because we’ve moved quite a bit (I think in our 10+ years of marriage, we’ve had 12 or 13 addresses) or maybe it’s because we’ve learned to be go with the flow when it comes to situations that are entirely beyond our control (ahem Army). Also, we haven’t done an overseas move yet and those tend to be quite more complicated than a CONUS (contiguous United States) move so that is probably yet another reason why we fall onto the cool as a cucumber category. I just don’t feel the need to stress about moving. We make sure to accomplish what we need to and then don’t fret about things beyond our control. Are there parts that are less fun than others? Of course – welcome to adulthood. Can it be frustrating to coordinate the packing, transportation, and delivery of your household goods?

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But it’s nothing a little wine can’t fix.

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I’ll concede that it was definitely a lot easier to move before these guys entered the picture…

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But then again, as Theodore Roosevelt said, “nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…

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I suppose the point of this post other than to inform the world that our possessions are trapped inside recyclable materials is to say – don’t stress about moving. Do what you need to do and then don’t worry about anything beyond your control. After all – life’s too short, man.