WednesdayAdam's dad, Mike, came in town on Wednesday to help us finish packing up. He was so helpful--I swear the man didn't sit down until we left Dallas! He figured out ways to pack all the odd-shaped items that I hadn't quite figured out what to do with yet, like our printer, the sewing machine and an stackable drawer orga nizer. I found him rubbing down the walls with soap and water to get scuff marks out, and filling (many, many) nail holes I'd put in the walls. (If I'd have known he was going to do that, I would have thought twice before hanging things! I've never filled holes in walls of apartments before. Oops.)
The moving company came to load up the Penske truck we rented on Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. There were three of them, and they loaded all of our stuff in just under three hours. We were all amazed, and very glad that we were not the ones figuring out the Tetris game of furniture and boxes.
My dad came by to pick up Rye for us, since our pup wasn't quite sure what to do with all of our furniture moving, and he also took all the sheets and towels that I'd planned to wash that night so they would be fresh when we arrived in Jacksonville. Dad took them home and washed and folded every last one of those things, and that laundry basket made me smile for days to come.
Thursday night, I went to the Ladies' Ministry dinner at Valley Ranch with Mom, Jonita and four of my sweet, sweet friends. It was neat to be there on my last night in Dallas--the church that has had such an impact on my life, with people who mean so much to me. I got to see so many familiar faces, and I loved every minute of it. The speaker, Susie Davis, was a trip, and I would highly recommend using her if you're looking for someone to speak in that type of setting.
While Mom and I were doing that, Dad grilled for Adam and Mike, and we spent the night at their house since our mattresses were tucked away in the big yellow truck.
Friday morning, we were up bright and early ready to go. There weren't any tears (that I'm aware of!), just smiles, knowing that I'd see my parents in a few days when they were coming to visit for the Players Tournament in our new city. (Yes, I planned our move on purpose--they already had their plans!)
We got to Kilgore, Texas, which isn't all that far, when the engine lights in the Penske truck started screaming at us. We pulled in, with Mike behind us in the pickup, and called Roadside Assistance. Three hours later, they were towing our truck (with a big ole tow truck) to Longview, about 15 miles down the road. We were still in Texas at 3 p.m., and the incredibly kind truck repair place told us they'd have it fixed by 5.
We killed some time in the town of Longview, eating lunch at Cheddar's at 2 p.m. (our eating schedule got increasingly off as the weekend wore on), and headed back to the trucking company. At 5, they thought they had it fixed, but Adam pulled it around front, only to have it start screaming again.
We ended up getting the last room at the La Quinta in Longview that night, which is no small miracle. They are one of the few places that allows pets and doesn't even charge for them. The truck repair company told us they thought they'd have it fixed by 10:30 the next morning.
The next morning, we checked on our truck. The emissions system was all messed up, and we heard over and over from various people "They just don't make trucks like they used to." Apparently there was an emissions law passed in 2008 that required trucks to be made differently. And we got one of those post-2008 trucks, which was actually only a year old, and "one of the good, newer ones," said the Penske people as they handed Adam the keys.
The truck repair people could not have been kinder. They kept us informed, and on our second day there, they replaced a broken part on our moving truck with a new one they pulled off of one sitting in their lot. It was valued at $3500. I'm telling you, they were angels.
We finally got on our way with the intention of hitting Pensacola, Florida that night. We got about five hours down the road, through Louisiana and barely in to Mississippi before the same thing happened again with our moving truck.
This time, we were able to drive it, ever so carefully, back to Vicksburg, Mississippi (about 15 miles), where we parked it at another La Quinta.
Penske agreed that we would need a new truck at this point, but they did have the nerve to ask if we could wait until morning to have a moving company come and swap out the truck load. Adam told them, ever so kindly, that we were already way behind schedule and that we needed that swap done as soon as possible. (That's my man!)
A new truck was brought to us, but they intended to tow the one we had in the parking lot right then. Ha. When we explained that it was still full of our stuff, the tow truck driver just told us to hide the key inside the fender of the front tire. (Small town!)
Adam, Mike and I ate at Cracker Barrel, where we had the best fresh-sqeezed lemonade to date. Dinner was good too. (We ate at 9 p.m.--I'm telling you, it was a wonky eating schedule!)
Adam and Mike planned to take shifts as the movers were coming to swap out the truck contents at 11:30 p.m. They estimated it would take about six hours to unload everything to the ground and then in to the new truck. Instead, they just moved it from one truck to the other one at the same time, moving our refrigerator and washer and dryer over the wheels, since they were the heaviest. Miraculously, it all fit. Again. And they finished by 2:30 p.m., so Adam just let Mike sleep.
Sunday! A new truck! A new day! We hoped to cross the remaining state lines--Alabama and Florida in our new truck, and eventually, we made it. Sunday was a very long day of about 13 hours of travel.
We were all weary but in good spirits. I told Adam that we must've had tons of people praying for us, because we never once got short with one another, as can happen in stressful situations (as you well know, I'm sure!). It was so nice to have Mike there with us, to have another head in the game, and to shoulder some of the stress with us. Mom, Dad, Norene, Aunt Laura and a bunch of our friends were staying informed as well via text message, Facebook and Instagram, all cringing that there wasn't more they could do. But they were so great to check in on our progress and encourage us along the way. It was quite a trip!
We pulled in to our neighborhood and up to our house about 10:30 that night. Our house, which we'd never seen before, was wonderful--just as the pictures and Austin & Rebecca had described.
With our late arrival and the truck swap, it was growing increasingly clear that finding our mattresses, along with those freshly cleaned sheets and towels would be difficult, so we stayed yet another night in a La Quinta, just five minutes from our house. Let me tell you: that hot shower and bed felt so good. And we ordered Domino's pizza, delivered right to our hotel room door, at 11 p.m.
Unloaders came the next morning, and we returned the truck to Penske that afternoon. We ended up with 25% taken off of our bill, and two of the three hotel rooms paid for (the third one was our choice). So although it wasn't what we had planned, it all worked out in the end. Penske did everything in their power to help us out, never leaving us high and dry, just inconvenienced.
And that's how our adventure to Jacksonville started. Whew.