I am so over this moving business. Having already moved once two months and two weeks ago I feel like I am an experienced mover. Let me just say that moving a second time may be even worse than the first.
Yes, I am excited. Yes, I am ready. Yes, I want it to be over.
No, I don't want to pack. No, I don't want to drive again. No, I don't want to unpack. No, I don't want to clean.
Did I mention I have never laid eyes on the house we are renting? By laid eyes I mean that I haven't been closer than a 1,000 miles and some photographs from this house? Am I crazy? Yes.
We looked at it online. Used Google Earth for orientation. Relied on our realtor to make decisions for us. But I am still anxious to see it. Feel it. Be in it. Not because it is something super special, but because I am dying for a place to unpack these bags. I am tired of living out of a suitcase. At this point it could be anything anywhere just as long as someone could promise me that I will never have to do this again.
So what have I learned?
Don't pack things you aren't going to use. Seems obvious, but I brought some stuff we didn't use and I am looking at it knowing full well it isn't going to get used this next year either. Ditch what you don't use.
Just because everything fit the first time around, doesn't mean it is going to fit the second time. What did I buy?
You are going to buy more snacks than you can possible eat during a two day drive. If it makes you feel better do it. Otherwise, just realize you can stop at a drive-thru and it won't be the end of you. On the other hand, should something awful happen I am certain we are prepared to survive for at least a week.
Teach your children to urinate outside before getting into the car. Trust me, there will never be a bathroom when you need one. Instead there will be long stretches of desolation with wind blowing gravel at you. Oh, and bring a roll of toilet paper.
If you have to ask "should I get gas here" just do it. You never know when the next gas station will appear, and someone will probably have to use the bathroom anyway. Speaking of gas.... we were driving along a forsaken highway and there was nothing for miles. I have never seen nothing like this kind of nothing ever. I realize I am just about out of gas and think I see a gas station ahead... could it be a mirage? No. But it was a gas station that had closed around the time that gas was $2.67/gal.
I am looking at the map and realize there is no way we can get to the next town. I can turn around and head back the other direction where I saw an exit that had a sign for a hospital. If the town has a hospital they surely have a gas station.
My luck there are two towns. One is 13 miles to my right named Iraan, and the other is 8 miles to my left named S...something I can't remember. I go with the shorter distance, although not the one with the hospital. As I am heading around the mountains I wonder how long it will take someone to find me and my family should we perish, of course after our stock of snacks and juice boxes run out.
I finally get to the town and feel relief. They have a pool, certainly they have a gas station. I drive right past it because it looks pretty shady, like it might not even be a real gas station. The pumps are old, it feels creepy. And then we are at the end of little town - no other gas station. So I pull up and send my mother in with $10 to prepay for gas and help my son to the potty while I change a diaper and try to figure out what to do about the gas.
There are unsavory looking men, five of them, standing around this little pump with just me and my three daughters. We look like easy prey. Finally my mom comes out and the guy asks if we need help. I am still changing that diaper.
He tells her that the pump is broken and that it does not register the correct amount. He asks how much we want, and she tells him that she just gave $10 to the attendant inside. He tells her that she needs to put in about $5.00 of gas. The glass covering the pump is broken out and he manually resets the numbers to zero and starts to pump, stopping at the $5.00 mark. Either we just got swindled, or he knows his math. We don't care. Even if we paid $10 for $5 worth of gas, we are getting out of there and I vow to never allow my gas gauge to register less than a half tank for the rest of the trip.
Next time, if there is a next time, my husband is going to drive with the kids and I am going to drive alone. Seems fair.
On to the next chapter!