A couple of weeks ago we moved to North Carolina.
To a house on a lake!!!! Which believe me, it’s SUPER fun to live on a lake.
But I need to tell you about my move which was a total shit show from beginning to end.
It all started back in March. Or maybe before then, but this is when weird things started happening.
The boy was assigned to take a certain job here in North Carolina. In order to do that he had to come out and take some tests so they could make sure he wasn’t an idiot, or retarded, or both. So he’s at the airport getting ready to fly out – I am due to follow in a couple of days so we can look at a few houses and try to decide on an area where we want to live. Most people say Fort Bragg is THE WORST place to move, so we wanted to be really careful especially since I don’t have a ton of really close friends that can give good advice on this place.
At the airport the boy’s boss’ boss came up to him to tell him “surprise!” he was going to take a different job in North Carolina. Not a job that he needed to interview for. Which was weird to find out in such a happenstance airport ‘oh hey there!’ kind of way because he was literally on his way out of town. The boss’ boss told him to still go to North Carolina anyways though, so he did.
Now believe me, I understand the jerking around bit that goes on with jobs in the Army, but this continued for a few more months until it was finally decided which job he was going to take. All this jerking around meant the one thing that wasn’t getting done were orders to move. For those not associated with the military you cannot do ANYTHING as far as move prep without orders. Because without orders you aren’t actually going anywhere. Finally the orders started getting worked on but of course the boy needed a special paper signed because we had been in Tennessee for less than a year. I swear, it was more bureaucracy than getting married in Italy! But we hired a lady to deal with all that, which we couldn’t do here.
Finally the boy got his orders and he immediately called transportation to arrange for the movers to come pack our things into boxes, load it onto a truck, drive it to North Carolina, and then unload it into our new lake house. Buttttt lucky for us they wouldn’t even TRY to call a moving company to move us because it was the “busy season.” And they are government employees and don’t have to do anything they don’t feel like doing.
Suddenly we were in full-on DITY move mode, which the Army has now cleverly started calling a PPM, personally procured move because everyone knows DITY moves are the worst. And a distaster.
So I made the first of 10 trips to the U-Haul store to buy boxes, tape, paper, bubble wrap, and spent the next two weeks packing up the house one room at a time and staging it all down in the garage. By the time moving day came the only thing in the house was our furniture, which definitely helped speed things along. So did the two guys from the boy’s work that came over to help. They were good mediators for how to solve the Tetris problem that is packing a moving truck from the floor to the ceiling since obviously the boy and I each have different ideas on how to do it and neither of us is ever wrong.
On the day we loaded the truck the ’99 Saturn was away in the shop for some rattling noise. The shop said it was just a loose piece of material near the exhaust, so not a big deal. They did however recommend replacing some hoses and crap, so we paid them to do that. Thank goodness we got it taken care of before we drove away, right? Ha.
Saturday morning we shove our last remaining bits into the cars, along with both cats in mine. Dante is a good car rider after the first 20 minutes when he is afraid you are taking him to the vet. When he realizes he’s not going, he totally chills out. Baby Ooosh is the worst car rider ever. I have driven him on every single move and he’s such a disaster. I tried to put him in a carrier this time, but before we even GOT to the interstate he was practically pulling his own nails out clawing at the carrier to get out and sit on my lap. So, I pulled over to do that.
Dante is not amused with Baby Ooosh freaking out. Dante is also the only cat I’ve ever had that has not peed or pooped directly on me.
A few blocks later the boy signals that he needs to pull over now. Weird. His car says there is low radiator fluid. This happens to be the one random bottle of car fluid we keep in the Saturn, so he fills it up and we get on I-24.
Oooshey is fully worked up and totally freaking out. He marches back and forth on my lap, looking out the window, panting, and HOWLING. Like you are skinning him alive, howling. This is all normal Ooosh behavior, except about 20 minutes later on the interstate he starts dropping little kitten turds on my lap. I don’t even think he knew he was doing it. He’s a bit of a stress pooper, I’ve seen him do it at the vet, too. So out come eight little steaming kitten nuggets on my lap. I frantically call the boy to tell him I need to PULL OVER NOW. So we pull over on the Interstate so I can throw cat turds out the window. At least they were good and hard, so thanks for that Baby Ooosh.
We start driving again and are approaching the Nashville airport when the boy calls me and says the low fluid indicator is on again. He starts to pull off on an exit but then doesn’t because the light goes off. So we continue on to the far side of Nashville when his light comes on again and we pull off and go to a gas station. At this point I need a break from Baby Ooosh who is acting like the world is coming to an end and shrieking at the top of his lungs. I Google a car repair place and then lead the boy to it so he can get the car looked at.
So there I am with a car full of crazy cats. The shop can look at it in maybe an hour, so we decide it’s best if I continue on my own. Neither of us want to do that since dealing with the cats is very difficult in many ways. Getting gas and not having them run out of the car is just one example where it helps to have another person’s hands available.
I get on the road and we drive and cry and pace up to the mountains in Asheville. By this point Baby Ooosh has started getting weak. He will maybe only howl 6x/minute instead of 18x/minute. So it feels like a huge relief and I don’t want to stop but I have to get gas. I stop and get gas and look at all my tires while I am out doing so, because that’s what I do. Everything looks fine except I have a headache that is making me mad I didn’t drink 1/5th of vodka the night before and have a really fun time, because I am totally paying for that kind of feeling on this day. The only solution I can think of is to get the biggest size of gas station soda fountain Mountain Dew.
Back on the road I am enjoying my Mountain Dew when I hear an explosion and look in my rear view to see debris shooting out behind my car. I also see the car behind me swerve to NOT be behind me. Instantly I feel the telltale ka-THUMP, ka-THUMP, ka-THUMP that is a flat tire. So I brake as quickly as I can and pull over. Unfortunately this is just before an overpass with no shoulder. So when I get out to see how bad it is I am already over the white line and not feeling good at all. The tire has freaking WIRES sticking out of it, which is a first for me. I call USAA because I can’t deal with this disaster on my own. The guy on the phone asks me if I am in a safe place and I tell him I am most certainly NOT. He then says he can dispatch police. Well, I think that would be silly. There *was* an exit off the Interstate not too far back, so using literally every faculty I have I continue talking to him on the phone, keeping Baby Ooosh from jumping out a window and drive in reverse until I can take the exit.
Because why wouldn’t my tire explode today?!?!
Off the Interstate I felt much better. It makes a difference when every car zooming by isn’t shaking you like a B15 bomber. USAA sent a guy to change the tire for me, and my car has a full-size tire in the trunk. Unfortunately, also in the trunk is my vacuum, my booze, my dishes, my bedding, and 800 other things. Tire changed, shit back in the trunk and we are on our way, now just maybe 2 hours ahead of the boy who had extensive (and $$$) repairs done to make the Saturn work again.
Our new landlord was out of the country without a cell phone this week we were moving. Since we were moving into a gated community with checkpoints we had to find a way to get INTO the community, and then get the key. Thankfully, the lady that was renting the house before us was still in the neighborhood (she loves this lake so much she built a house on the lake!) so she was able to procure a key, get us into the gate, etc. etc. I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal compared to cars with exploding tires, but it was just one more kink in the process.
Alas, we all eventually arrive at the house. I go to help the boy unpack his car and pick up a box of dishes, the only dishes we have to eat off of and the bottom literally falls out and all the dishes crash down onto the driveway while the box is still in my arms. I could only laugh at the disaster this day, the 31st of May was turning out to be.
But, at least we all made it. I wasn’t so sure Baby Ooosh was going to. First I thought he wouldn’t make it because I would throw him out the window. Then, I thought he wouldn’t make it because he was going to get killed jumping out of the car with the exploding tire debacle. All this is aside from him dying of a self-induced heart attack of course. But, he made it. Now we just needed to get our stuff.
The trailer company we worked with expected we would get it no later than Tuesday. When we called on Monday they were already having a problem because of a “compatibility” issue with the credit card. This was in addition to our trailer taking a scenic tour of the southeast by going to Atlanta, Winston-Salem, and somewhere else before it even ended up in Fayetteville to get delivered here. Every day we would call to try and get delivery after a horrible night of sleep on our camping pads on the floor, and every day they would throw their hands up in the air.
Finally, we got a confirmation for a Friday delivery. I was so excited to get my bed back! I called around noon to see when they would actually drop the trailer off, 1-3 p.m. was our estimated time. Perfect. By 5 p.m. there was still no trailer. Just before 6 it showed up. But it did not come with a ramp. Nor did it come with the weight tickets we need to file the claim with the Army to get paid for the cost of the trailer. Then, when the driver told me he didn’t have a ramp for us to offload it, I literally burst into tears.
If you have never loaded a moving trailer, the bed is at least 4 feet high, which is why you need a ramp to get up into the trailer and down aside from crawling one step on the side.
The driver felt real bad that he made me cry, and I knew it wasn’t his fault, but I didn’t understand why you’d even bother bringing a truck on a Friday night with no ramp. So we could stare at our shit all weekend? He told us their office had been having problems since some lady got fired. She got fired because she messed everything up. This other guy the boy had been dealing with all week was trying to fix things, but when someone makes a mess it’s not always easy to clean up.
The other guy assures the boy he will have a ramp dropped off in the morning. On Saturday. I think he’s a liar. And a mean one for pretending he’d do that. I have no more patience for moving.
Yeah, we rule at this DIY moving thing.
We start to offload what we can, but the poor boy is trying to set things from the bed of the trailer down on the ground and killing his back (my relatively easier job was to grab things from the trailer bed to take into the house). We at least get the kitchen boxes off and I unpack all of it before we go to bed.
The next day some guy actually DOES show up with a ramp. Actually, he has about a half-dozen in the back of his truck. I guess we got ours delivered first because I cried about it.
Then we start to uncover how horrible we were at packing the furniture.
I think there isn’t a single piece of wood in our house that now does not have a scratch, scuff, ding, what have you – from US on this move. We immediately broke a bed frame and also took a book shelf out as well. We gouged a leather chair and have black scuff marks all over the kitchen chairs. We are the worst packers, obviously. I am thinking it’s an artform, or else we should have had more blankets to wrap everything in.
At the time, stacking the chairs on top of the coffee table seemed like a GENIUS idea.
With the help of a gracious neighbor, who heard us struggling with our one crux piece of furniture (the couch) we have the trailer offloaded by noon. By Sunday night we had pictures on the walls and no more boxes in the house, since I arranged for the trash guys to pick up EVERYTHING on Monday morning, which they did. By Monday night the trailer had disappeared too.
So that was pretty much the worst move ever. We figure it’s because we were moving to such an awesome lakefront location that we had to pay a steep price to get here. Who knows if we will make any $$ on the do-it-yourself aspect of the move once we take out the cost of the new engine in the Saturn and four new tires on the Jetta (I just went to get the one replaced and they showed me how another tire was all set up for an imminent Interstate explosion!!! So obviously I replaced them all.)
But we are here, living on a lake. I have a dock in the back yard and a sandy beach across the street where I put in my SUP every morning and can find Bald Eagles hunting at 7 a.m., sorry to be a dick on Instagram and post sunrise pictures every morning, but it is just magical to be out at first light with all the wildlife here. I LOVE IT.
Sunrise view from the SUP.
Cooling off after an afternoon SUP.
Just ‘ol SUP-ing.