Plan B (I think…)

I had to attend a FEMA training session at a hotel near LAX on Monday, thus our trip to LA late Friday night.  We made a trip back up to Ventura the next morning, took care of our boxes on the side of the garage while we watched movers unloading a huge moving truck with someone else’s furniture.  We headed back down to LA that evening and had dinner at Boston Market but something about the spinach side order didn’t agree at all with Leslie that night and Sunday. But at least we’d gotten out of our house!

monkeyNow what?  Our plans from 6 months ago (Plan A) had us spending two weeks over Christmas with Leslie’s brother and wife at their lovely home in the Sierra Nevada foothill area of Grass Valley/Nevada City, then heading off to Shanghai for an intensive 4 week teacher training class in January.  Then we’d have the opportunity to enjoy the Chinese lunar New Year, get to our university and get settled in before spring semester started.  It was all so convenient!

Hmmm…things seldom go according to plan.

During this period, our daughter became engaged and set a wedding date of March 1. So Leslie’s brother and wife graciously allowed us to stay in their home until the wedding and we would use the time to  hit the books for our CELTA class (teacher training).

When the China door closed, Plan B kicked in.  We decided to get our teaching and cross-cultural experience next door in Mexico.  But as of now we have no teaching positions lined up but sense this is the path we’re supposed to be on. Adventure awaits!

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Last day in our house – and barely out…

pod-leaving-smallFriday morning came early – very early. We packed furiously through the day. Early in the afternoon the PODS driver called to confirm pick-up time.  We asked to be his last pick-up. He came at sunset and waited as we furiously threw the last of our stuff in the pod and slammed the door down.

As the evening sky deeply darkened behind our home, the truck left with our worldly possessions – or more precisely, what we’d kept.

But our home was still strewn with stuff – stuff we really hadn’t decided to keep, take with us or put into storage.  We were exhausted, but around 8 pm we called our good friends and neighbors next door, Todd and Stacy, and they came to help. We still had a number of boxes of stuff in the house plus all the stuff we were going to take to northern California, then on to Mexico (Plan B).  They offered to ship all the boxes north for us.  But we decided just to get everything out of the house for the new tenants in the morning and we put all the boxes outside the side of the garage.

living-room-smallWe finally packed all our clothes and final stuff into our suitcases, loaded the car and walked through our beautiful, empty house one last time. We then sat on the empty carpet of our living room, paused to reflect on what we were beginning, prayed and thanked God for the path thus far and His future leading.  We locked the house one last time about 11 PM and headed for Los Angeles for the night.

 

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Packing up a PODS

PODS-smallWith a lot of our “stuff” gone, it was time for our 16′ PODS container! It seemed a lot bigger in the warehouse than sitting on our driveway!

The container has 4 four foot sections which we used as a general guide.  Also, we put masking tape down on the garage floor and started “building” our container there to see how we could pack and stack furniture.

We’d seen a 60 Minutes TV episode on how Amazon stores stuff in their warehouses (by size – not by product or alphabet) so we tried to emulate their strategy by filling every nook and cranny.  You can actually get a lot of stuff in a pod if you pack carefully.

loading-pod-smallWe were now under the gun.  We’d advertised the home for lease and had to be out by the middle of December. We had about 2 weeks to finalize all our remaining stuff and get it loaded up.  We made a lot of trips to the Salvation Army!

The stress level was increasing exponentially each day…

We had E.J. Harrison come and pick up our $2k mattress and haul it off; we were now sleeping on futons and air mattresses (which actually were very comfortable), “camping” out in the kitchen (dishes, pots and pans were packed) and trying to stay focused and organized.

A BIG saving grace – our daughter and her fiance had given us a generous gift card to Wood Ranch. We called in our order after working 12 hours and picked it up at their pick up location in the parking lot – the generous portions were great for lunch the next day.  This was a great life saving idea if you’re moving or know someone who’s moving!

Finally, Friday December 13th came – all to soon – we needed “one more” day.  We needed to turn over our home to our new friends that night because their movers were coming first thing the next morning.

It was almost a disaster…

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