16 September 2015

transportation issues

In a couple of weeks, my brother Jon will be traveling from DC to SLC for an open house celebrating his recent marriage (which we happily attended in Texas!). He graciously offered to transport our stuff for us to North Carolina from Salt Lake. Now the question is: how?

A couple years back, we acquired a 2005 Dodge Caravan from Tim's sister as a second car. Once Tim accepted his new teaching position in NC, we formulated a plan in our limited time frame: Tim would drive out our Civic with a few items that would fit inside the car. I would change my return flight from Texas to North Carolina, packing as much luggage on the plane as possible. The rest of our stuff would go in a storage locker in Salt Lake, get sold, or get donated or thrown away. Then, Jon would retrieve the van, load a trailer from the storage unit, and drive . . . and drive . . . and drive (sung to the tune of "Pioneer Children Sang As They Walked").

The van has a hitch installed on it from when Tim's sister and brother-in-law used it to haul a loaded 4x8 trailer from Seattle to Boise area. We want to use the same size trailer, but haul it 2000 miles instead of 500. I have spent a lot of time worrying that this plan wouldn't work. It's been mostly unproductive worry and stress. A lot of people who've heard of our plan are super skeptical. And we have taken the naysaying seriously. We've explored renting a truck, selling our van, towing our van with a rental truck, shipping our books separately, keeping the storage locker, etc.. It's terribly tempting to rent a trailer for approximately 300 dollars as opposed to a moving truck for over 1000, especially when it includes regaining access to a second car.

Our only car out here is our Civic, which Tim drove out over three weeks before I came, and it's sadly having issues at the moment,  which may or may not be related to its recent cross-country trip. On our way home from the airport, the front bumper was falling off, so we had to drive 35 mph the entire way (it took a long time) to avoid losing our undercarriage. Separate from that, it was making a funky noise. So we took it into the shop and they said it needed a new A/C kit, A/C compressor, and some other A/C system components/ repairs. We don't really know the area or have a way of getting to another mechanic for a second opinion, so I hope the 1400 dollar repair required is necessary. We need a car out here, so we went ahead and ordered the work. It's crappy-expensive though. As if moving wasn't expensive enough! I need a job!

14 September 2015

the new digs

I'm sitting on a hard floor (it's supposed to look like wood, but it's some kind of rubbery material). I'm leaning against a mattress on the floor, and slouching as I do because really the mattress is not high enough to comfortably support my back. Actually, there are two mattresses bunched together with a ratchet tie-down that form a faux-king-size-bed. Upon these mattresses, we have placed a mattress pad. There is no bedding. There's also a fan for the white noise and to drown out Shep's snores. That kid is a loud sleeper.

In the suitcases, I brought most of our clothing and also cloth diapers. I haven't been using them lately. I wish I could say it's because our 3.5-year-old child is potty trained, because I feel like I'm failing as a parent the longer that he's not. But although I feel a certain urgency about him wearing undies successfully, I think there are more pressing issues relative to a certain recent cross-country move.

I also brought the cloth diaper sprayer toilet attachment, which we also use for a bidet. It's not currently installed. It is normally not a big deal to attach to the toilet, but the other night, we had a bad time attempting to install it. This is because the valve that turns off the toilet water supply is completely busted. Tim removed the piping that connects the toilet  to the wall without knowing that the water had not, in fact, been turned off (there was no way of telling), and then it was like a fire hydrant and water was shooting everywhere. I mean everywhere. And we couldn't stop it, so the apartment flooded. (The denouement of the story finally happened when we called the emergency maintenance number provided by the apartment's property management company and a plumber came and shut off the main water supply.)

So I guess it's a good thing there's no carpet in here; otherwise it might be damaged. Literally, no carpet. That's a first for me. We need our rug, but it's still in Utah. I always thought I didn't really like carpet because I assumed that carpet never gets fully clean, but now I'm not so sure because I have an 8-month-old, and I'm pretty sure her crawling skills are actually regressing.

I don't know much about the area around me. It was humid and hot when we arrived, but today is cooler. I have this theory that my body actually responds to humid heat better than dry heat, because I don't normally sweat adequately in dry heat. I suppose I still have some experimentation to do to prove my hypothesis, but not today. When we were in Texas, I think I sweat more than I probably ever have in my life. It's quite green here and there are lots of trees. It seems pretty--more so to me than the desert landscape I'm used to. I'm constantly confused about my spatial orientation, though, as I don't have the mountains to direct me. Also, I had this sense when we visited Washington as well of feeling a little isolated because you can mostly only see trees in every direction. There may be things on the other side of the trees, but you have to be in on the secret.

I wish for a more complete kitchen, but there's a certain way in which the sparseness of our surroundings. including the fridge, is pleasing. We have a cast iron skillet, a pan, a wooden spoon, a knife, and some plastic cutlery and disposable dishes that we are reusing. It will take time to restock.

It will be necessary to restock furniture as well. I got some chairs from a Goodwill in Greensboro. It was fun fitting them all in the car with two car seats, but I got some help from a friendly bystander and made it home safely. Then we got a table to go with the chairs from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. So our dining table is outfitted. We also bought a washer off Craigslist, and now I can resume cloth diapering even though I'm somewhat reluctant to do so because disposables are easier. I guess my reluctance to spend any money will win out though. In general, I will do a lot to avoid spending money.

by the numbers

  • 32 days since Tim got a call in response to an application he submitted, interviewed, and received a job offer
  • 32 days since Tim tentatively accepted the job
  • 31 days since we gave 30-day notice at our SLC apartment
  • 28 days since Tim loaded up our Honda Civic and started his 30-hour drive
  • 26 days since my 28th birthday
  • 24 days since Tim found a new apartment
  • 20 days since the first day of school
  • 16 days since Tim's 31st birthday
  • 12 days since I cleared out of the apartment
  • 11 days since I got on a plane from SLC to Austin, Texas
  • 9 days since we reunited with Tim in Austin (after 19 days apart)
  • 5 days since we arrived together in North Carolina

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