On Thursday, September 29th, the 26-ft U-haul arrived in our driveway.
Gabriel was *enthralled*. He wanted his picture taken with it...
...and then he had a heyday taking pictures of the truck himself:
|These are just three of the approximately 50 he took.|
Jas, Robert, my dad and myself went back and forth talking all day Friday about whether all our stuff would fit in this van. It was the biggest they offer...we hoped for the best.
Saturday morning, mom (Lao Lao) came and picked up the youngest three. Papa stayed at the house to help us.
And then at 9 a.m sharp, about 15 men friends showed up to help. Our pastor (who also came to help) took it upon himself to be in charge of arranging this crew. Friends new and old. Community group members. This was such a huge blessing.
|Here is some of the moving crew|
We didn't really need that many helpers. But it sure was nice. Two or three guys (always Jas) were up inside the van, with others keeping a steady stream of boxes and furniture out to them. The ones in the van were fitting things together like Tetris. It was amazing how much they were able to fit in there! It took less than two hours to get this part done.
And yet...it still didn't all fit. So while all the guys headed home (they had done all they could do), Jas and Robert headed to rent a smaller U-haul trailer to haul behind the big moving van.
And then it was night before we actually headed out on the road. 8:46 p.m., to be precise.
Jas drove the moving van hauling the trailer:
Robert drove Jason's truck:
|This truck is 15 years old now....we bought it in CO and moved it to GA with us 14 years ago!|
And I carried the most precious cargo with me in the Silver Bullet:
It didn't take long at all for the kiddos to conk out.
We drove for several hours and then parked in a Kroger's parking lot and slept for about 5 hours. Or not slept, as the case may be.
But at 7 a.m. we were raring to go again:
We stopped about every 2-3 hours for a gas/potty break. (That 26-ft van guzzled gas, of course.)
We made sure to have fun along the way.
One thing we did NOT do on the gas/potty breaks? Buy food. We did buy drinks (water/100% fruit juice)...but never even needed to buy any food! We just kept snacking on the food that we brought along. It worked out BEAUTIFULLY. Even better than I imagined!
We ate healthy. We ate much more economically. And I cannot even imagine the time we saved by not stopping to go in and eat somewhere at every mealtime.
And then at about 9 p.m. or so on Sunday evening, we pulled into a Hampton Inn in St. Louis (Hamptons are our fave place to stay) to spend the night. Got adjoining rooms...and all fell into bed so tired. This was the best night's sleep I'd had in *weeks*!
When I climbed out of the shower in the morning, I discovered Jas was gone from our hotel room. He'd received a call that our moving van was about to be towed...so he raced outside to move it. He joked that this was quite a "wake-up call" and he didn't need any coffee to get him going this morning!
Moving van safe again...we had a great time at the free breakfast buffet: eggs, bacon, fruit (I'm pretty sure we ate our weight in bacon). And the kind employee in charge of the buffet packed us a couple bags of apples "to go" when she discovered our cross country adventure.
And we headed back out on the road at 8:30 a.m....all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed:
Approximately 10 minutes later, in the middle of St. Louis I-70 morning rush-hour traffic, the trailer came off the hitch of the moving van. The only thing securing it to the van was the emergency chains (there for just that purpose)..the trailer was dancing ALL OVER THE PLACE!! Watching all this a few vehicles behind Jas was about the scariest thing I've ever witnessed!
Praise the Lord, Jas was able to get over four lanes (everyone was trying to give him plenty of space...lol!) and get safely off on the right shoulder. Robert and I did too and parked behind him. When Robert reached Jas, the first thing he did was give his big brother a big 'ol hug. It still brings tears to my eyes.
How no one was hurt/killed during all this I have no idea. No...I do. It was the Lord. Period.
The guys then spent the next hour fixing the connection so that we could get back on the road. Jas is way smart and Robert works with cars, otherwise we would have had to rent a replacement trailer and unpack and repack the whole shebang.
And...we are so glad Jas got the insurance on our rentals, because there was damage!
|Yes, that is rush-hour traffic, going about 70mph, whizzing by, a few feet away.|
The rest of the day was very anticlimactic after our way-too-interesting Monday morning...and for that we are very thankful!
So at about 11 p.m. (mountain-time) Monday night, we finally pulled into Nai Nai's driveway. 52 hours after we pulled out of our GA driveway.
We hugged Nai Nai...and then fell into beds and slept good.
And when I got up the next morning, I walked outside to make sure we were really here, and it wasn't just a dream.
We are home!