Sunday, August 28, 2016

boone bound, baby!

Man, it's been forever since I have been here on the blog. Honestly the last five five weeks have been a blur. My summer Rhino course ended and I had less than a week to get things wrapped up at home so we could load our moving truck. We decided to go with Upack since we could have them drop a semi trailer and we could get everything loaded ourselves and we could hopefully save some money. I started off with the empty trailer that you see above and I started loading by myself. Within a day, it was clear that we were going to need help with the house, garage, basement, etc. I had done a fairly good job up to this point by building a second story in the truck using my garage cabinets at support and I was able to pack things all he way to the top of the trailer. The next two days, our neighbors saved us by helping pack boxes and lug things to the trailer so I could organize and pack things as tight as I could. The third day we got even more reinforcements with John and Yvette. They helped a ton with the garage stuff, loading, etc. and my neighbor Sal helped me load the rest of the trailer. The next day the house semi trailer was supposed to be picked up in the morning, so John helped me move the remainder of my tools, that were at home, to the studio so I could move them with the studio truck. I think John and I must have made six or seven trips with his truck. Seriously, I would never have been able to do this without his help. He was my hero and he was even kind enough to take a few things to store for me until I come back ( I promise John I haven't forgotten!). The buyer for our house was receiving keys to the place later that afternoon, so we had a lot to do to get things looking good even after everything was loaded. I loaded a small Uhual trailer that morning; we planned on pulling behind our Subaru (and I had installed a new hitch and wiring the day before). I had to leave my sidecar and FJ40 sitting out on the road in front of our neighbors house because the driver was late in getting into Milwaukee, but again my neighbors said they would help. Jill cleaned the house with the help of our neighbors and we were able to get everything cleaned, everything packed, and things ready to turn over to the buyer at the time as planned. We barely made it though! With all of the heavy lifting, heat, etc, I felt completely wiped out physically... and emotionally we were at the breaking point. Our neighbors and friends absolutely moved us to tears with their help and generosity. AND we were leaving these wonderfully kind people to start a new phase of our lives...

We had planned on driving out of town as soon as we turned over the keys, but I was a mess from loading and Jill felt like we needed to clean up before hitting the road (but we no longer had a home). We contemplated getting a hotel room in MLK, but our neighbor across the street insisted on us using her bathroom to have a shower and to get cleaned up. Jill and I took turns sitting with the kids in the car (outside our old house) while we each cleaned up and then we hit the road after returning some library books. It was so sad to drive out of Milwaukee thinking of the memories of the last eleven years behind. I still needed to move my studio though so we knew we would be back soon.  We stopped outside of Indianapolis that (Monday) night because we had gotten on the road so late. The kids were in good spirits and it felt like we were taking a vacation. We got on the road the next day (Tuesday) and drove into North Carolina late that night. As we drew nearer to the place we were going to rent, the roads got more steep, and twisty. There was a point coming through Banner Elk when we passed a sign telling trucks to turn around. I soon would realize why as we made 15 mph turns with the Uhaul in tow. It was pitch black out and we were beginning to wonder where we had moved to. Somehow (without the help of Google Maps as it gets confused in the twisties) we found our home in Vilas, NC and made our way up the extremely steep driveway. We went into our new home and the kids explored their new house a bit and we laid them down for the night. The house was absolutely perfect. It's like a brand new house and the landlords left the place spotless. Again we were moved to tears with how everything had worked out. What an adventure!

The next day (Wednesday), we decided to take the kids to register them at their school. It was back in the direction that we had driven in from and I quipped that it had to be better driving the road in the daylight. It really wasn't as now you could see how steep things were and the result of a wrong turn. On the way to the school, we encountered a bull in the road and Jill and I quickly decided that we were "home" (similar to our Cumberland County, IL upbringing). Also, I discovered my neighbor at the end of my driveway has a split window Westy; good karma! We took a tour of the school and the kids got to look around. They're school is tiny with two teachers for each grade, but again, it felt right. We had some downtime for a couple days because out moving truck had to make it to NC, but we needed to leave again in a few days to head back to Milwaukee for me to give a lecture at MOWA about my work, and I needed to meet the movers we were hiring to move my studio. If the hose truck didn't show up on time, then I would be making the trip by myself and Jill would have to unload the truck by herself since we only had three days to unload. We were praying that is would show up in time for me to unload it  but until then, all we could do was wait.

We explored around Boone a bit on Wednesday and Thursday the kids explored our backyard (hillside). We have a small creek that runs down this hillside and it's incredibly steep up to a small clearing at the top of the hill; it's gorgeous. Livvie liked the hammock that the landlords left for us. I spent time taking to the my neighbor Ben about Black Bears, Bees, and Busses. I love this guy already! We were amazed by all of the insects, wildlife, etc that we encounters each day. The views driving around were amazing as well.

The house truck showed up on a Thursday afternoon. Since our driveway is too steep and tight to get a semi trailer up, we had to rent a Uhaul panel truck, have the trucking company park the semi trailer at a golf course a mile and half down the road, and we got to handle all of the moving boxes a few too many times.  On top of all of this, it rained. We put Livvie in her car seat (turned on the radio) and Noah and Maya helped Jill and I unload the semi trailer into a panel van and our Subaru. We made multiple trips that day (Thursday) and the next day (Friday) and on Saturday morning Noah and I emptied the rest of the trailer. The FJ40 and sidecar arrived on Friday afternoon, and I helped the driver unload them at the bottom of our driveway while parked on the main road. I drove the sidecar up and then Jill and I attempted to pull the FJ40 up the driveway with the Uhaul panel van, but we failed miserably due to the steep driveway. The next day, we were able to get a tow truck driver to tow it up , after he had to go back and get a smaller tow truck so he could turn around at the top of our hill. We were so busy, I didn't even take any pictures of the loaded trailer of the unloading, or the tow truck, etc. (I'll have to see if Jill took any pics). Our semi trailer was a 26' trailer though and it was filled to the door. Somehow we got everything into our garage and house, and then we returned the Uhaul Saturday morning and then we turned around and headed for Milwaukee. What a crazy couple of days! I was wiped out, but we needed to get back to Milwaukee as we had the movers coming on Monday morning and I still had things to pack at my studio. We were hoping to get back early enough on Sunday that I would have time to box things up. Almost all of the heavy equipment was on skids, but I had a lot of work ahead of me. We stopped in Kentucky on Saturday night and my Mac laptop hard drive crashed (luckily I had my lecture backed up on Google Drive)! We made it to Milwaukee on Sunday around 6:00. I dropped Jill and the kids at the hotel and headed to Kenilworth. It was going to be a long night ahead of me... but at this point we were counting our blessing that everything had worked out thus far and I was thankful that they were able to come back to Milwaukee with me.

Part two coming soon...

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