Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday's Memories

Adventures in Moving!!

U-Haul doesn't use that motto for nothing!! Our move in January 1980 from Rio Dell to Santa Maria was definitely an adventure. Why so adventurous? Well for one thing we had a three week baby, a 20 month old and 3 year old. Yes, we moved over 500 miles with a 3 week old baby, crazy I know. But, when your company transfers you, and you will be closer to family, you move whenever you can. Funny, I don't remember packing. I think I tried to do much of it before Christmas and the birth of little John.

In some respects leaving Rio Dell was hard. We bought our first house in that tiny little city that is surrounded by redwood trees. Two of our children were born while we lived there. And this was where we joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The Fortuna Ward will always have a special place in my heart.
However, the weather was difficult for us. It was very, very foggy. The sun never shone at our house the whole month of July. That is NOT an exaggeration! The fog grows great redwood trees, but can be rather depressing at times. Also, the power plant that Mike was working at shut down it's nuclear power unit and that is were his expertise and training lies. So, the time felt right to make a move.

On to the adventure. It started the morning we planned to load the truck. Our home teacher had jokingly told us that they helped people move in, but NOT out of the ward. Well, I guess the joke was on us. He meant it. Only one elderly gentleman showed up. We had to call to get some strong men to lift the heavy stuff. That gave us a very late start for our 500+ mile trip.

We had two vehicles so we towed the smaller one behind the U-Haul. Mike drove the moving truck and I drove our van with the two youngest children. I had a difficult time at first because I was so sad to leave and was bawling like a baby. It's hard to cry and drive at the same time.

Now, this move was in the days before cell phones. So, we could NOT communicate with each other. That made it hard when the person following, which was usually me, needed to stop to tend children or get gas or whatever it may be. The plan was to try to drive the whole way there but with such a late start that idea flew out the window!! That first day we drove about four hours. Then wearyingly found a hotel to get some rest.

The next day started bright and early. We drove an hour or so, and all of a sudden Mike pulls over. I stopped behind him, low and behold he had run out of gas!! Funny thing the gas gauge was still registering quarter of a tank of gas. Thank you U-haul for accurate gas gauges. We were pretty much in the middle of nowhere. But, we had a gallon of gas somewhere in the back of the truck!! We were able to retrieve that, empty what gas was in the can into the truck and were on our way again! Low and behold, the U-haul ran out of gas again, this time on a hill with not much room to pull over. Mike climbed in our van and we forged ahead to the nearest city to find some gas. Well, it was still early in morning and the closest gas station wasn't even opened yet for the day. We decided to wait, the few minutes, filled our gas can and set off back to the truck. Headed back up the 101 highway we get close to our truck and see a caravan of cars parked behind it. Our hearts sank, did someone hit the back of our car that was being towed behind the truck. As luck had it, the caravan had nothing to do with our truck/car. Apparently, someone in the group had car troubles. Phew! Finally, we made it with the truck to the gas station and got filled up and continued down south.

Oh, I have one important thing I forgot to tell you about this move. We hadn't sold our house yet, and the home we tried to buy had fallen through, so we really had no place to go once we got to Santa Maria. So, we headed to Lompoc, where Richard (Mike's brother) and Laurel were willing to put up with us for a few days. By the time we got there, I was sick as a dog!! Yikes!! It is very hard to be sick and not be able to go sleep in your own bed. We were able to keep our belongings in the U-haul for a few more days and found a house to rent. Then came the next problem. We had to unload the truck on Monday night!! Monday night can be sacred to some people, it's Family Home Evening, where Latter-Day Saint family spend time together. The Elder Quorum refused to help us move. Luckily for us, the Bishop of the ward had a different vision of Family Home Evening. He brought his whole family over and they helped us to unload our truck. What a great Family Home Evening activity!! Thank you, Bishop Jones!! You are one of my all time favorite Bishops!! It is nice to know some people can look beyond the letter of the law and understand the spirit of the law.

Well, that was our big move. The next time we moved we it was six blocks away!! That was fun and very easy!! The next time it was 15 minutes away. And here we are, with a garage full of stuff because we need to move again to clean it all out!! I wonder what adventure the next move will bring!!


Catherine said...

That was an adventure !
Each moving, I imagine is a particular experience. Having 3 young children, and people desisting from helping didn't give you the best conditions. You and your husband excelled drawbacks.

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

You need to move or you need to move so you will clean out? I need to clean out too, big time.

Love your stories!

Liz said...

What an adventure. I don't remember your family staying with us, but I do remember the house you eventually moved into. Or maybe that was the second house in Santa Maria? Anyway, I can't believe the EQ was so stubborn about helping you move in! Good for your Bishop!

Katie said...

You are not allowed to move!!

Laurel said...

How I remember that time. I remember you showing up and being so desperate to get into a house. Then it was so hard to find someone to help. I remember begging that bishop's wife to help because it was one of their children's birthdays. I promised they wouldn't be sorry they helped. I stayed in Lompoc with all the children, your three and my three. That was fun. I remember trying to feed John with a bottle. David very seriously told me that was not how his mom fed the baby. Then there was my Joseph who was a few months older than John and had never had a bottle. He was curious. So I gave him a bottle with water in it. He gave it a try and started laughing...he knew there was something better. It was an adventure all the way around.

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