Procrastinating seemed like such a good idea at the time. Scrambling and packing all at once saves you from weeks of unnecessary torture, right? Well, I’m slightly embarrassed to say that we’ve kind of always been ok with a day or two of hell in order to not have to be super responsible for weeks on end. Things always work out fine. This time, however, was a little different and things didn’t quite fall into place as they had previously. It was only a couple days of hell, but they were like the really, really bad days in hell.
On the first night we were planning to spend in the travel trailer we realized just how unprepared we really were. I’d read a few weeks prior that you should make a list of all of the things you need to take onto the trailer. I figured it would be pretty obvious what we needed, but as the items started to pile up I started to worry where in the world we’d fit it all. The plan is to live in the travel trailer for a few months, and all of these what-if scenarios that kept occurring to me made our “stuff we have to have” list seem to continuously multiply (not that we actually made any lists).
However, If I had made a “stuff I should have done before the day we’re supposed to be out of the house” list, it would have looked something like this: 1. Keep up with the laundry, 2. Keep up with the dishes, 3. Pack the dishes, 4. Figure out what clothes everyone is taking and what we’ll be packing, 5. … Pack those things, 6. Figure out what we will be taking on the R-pod, 7. …Pack up all of the things we won’t be taking to the R-pod. I’m not sure what we really expected to happen when it came time to actually get to work, but it ended up being a lot more difficult of a task for one day than we anticipated.
From the moment we got up Friday, we were packing and cleaning and culling what we’d need with us on the trailer. The entire day felt as though we were getting no where and every room was in disarray. We did the best we could but sometime around sunset we realized that we would now be setting the camper up for the first time in the dark, and we decided to call it a day. Through a series of goofy choices and quirky circumstances (like my daughter falling asleep when we ordered her food and her baby brother eating her dinner, and then her waking up an hour later wondering where her food went), we had to make about 5 stops before we could even head up the hill to my in-law’s ranch (a.k.a. our temporary home). We finally arrived and it took until about 11pm for us to be able to actually settle in for the night. I felt overcrowded, overwhelmed, and generally pessimistic about what we’d gotten ourselves into. I know myself and my patterns well enough to know that I’d feel like this, so I did my best to go with the flow for the night.
Then I woke up to this:
Saturday we were scheduled to pick up our U-Haul at 8am. I dropped Jason off and he headed to Tehachapi to finish packing and loading it up. My mom wanted to take the kids and I to the mall for a few hours, and then around 2pm I left them with her and headed up to help Jason. We realized that our storage unit was very likely going to be too small and when we called, the storage place didn’t have a larger unit but were able to set us up with an additional smaller unit, should we need it. Then, around 7pm I left to go pick up the kids since I still had an hour drive ahead of me, and Jason stayed behind and continued working. The plan was that I would take the kids home to the travel trailer and let them get some sleep, once he was done packing he would take the truck in and unload it, and then he would call me and we would come back into town to pick him up. Around 10pm I called to check in on him and he was still at the house. He had spent the better part of an hour fighting with the refrigerator; he couldn’t get it out of the kitchen. We suddenly realized why the previous owners had so generously gifted it to us during our sale, the mammoth wasn’t leaving. We ultimately decided to cut our losses and leave it so that he could get to the storage unit as soon as possible and finally begin to unload the truck. I checked in on him every hour or two, and around 5am I decided to just take the kids in and see if we could, at the very least, bring him some food. We pulled up and he had about five semi-large, odd-shaped items (like my elliptical and office chair) that were not fitting no matter how expertly he tetris’d our storage units. It was Sunday now, and we decided to just call my parents, who live in town, and beg them to stick those last things into their garage so that we could return the U-Haul truck before it was late. I had caught a few hours of sleep throughout the night, but Jason hadn’t slept at all, and we still had to get back to Tehachapi to button things up before the buyer had his final walk through at 4pm.
I hit a wall at about 1pm and had to seriously dig deep to get anything done, I can only imagine how awful Jason must have felt, but we did it. We miraculously got the rest of the stuff packed into our pickup truck (where it currently remains), cleaned everything, and were out of there by 3pm.
I expected to feel overcome with emotion as I pulled away from our house for the last time, but I didn’t really feel anything in particular. Maybe I was just too tired to function emotionally, or maybe it really is just the right time to move on, but I truly feel at peace with not calling Tehachapi home anymore.
We don’t yet know what or where home will be. We don’t know if my in-laws will buy a house we will be able see ourselves in, or if we’ll still end up in an apartment after all of this. We don’t know how our time living in an R-pod will be; whether we’ll acclimate and love it, or if the excitement will wear off and we find ourselves quickly dreaming of more space. I don’t even know what any of this is supposed to look or feel like. All I know is that for now, we’re just going to roll with it.