To start off, the TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read) version of this is that a few friends helped us pack up, we got to Albuquerque safely, a few more helped us unload, and we are almost completely unpacked and settled. With that said, thank you for your prayers and messages over the past week or so.
The start of the journey was on Friday, April 5th. Ethan and Audrey Greer came over to help us pack and load the truck and clean the apartment from 8:30 AM until around 7:30 PM.. They were awesome. Although a few came for an hour or two to help us, we primarily only had the Greers assisting us. Without them, we probably would not have been ready to leave in time. The day began with Casey and Audrey taking Dante to the doctor for his 18 month appointment (yes, already that old!) We had thought he was going to have to get shots, but they said not this time. This was good, as we were worried it would make him really unhappy considering the drive. While they were there, Ethan and I went to pick up the Penske truck. Thankfully I know how to drive box trucks due to a former job. However, it had been almost a year since driving one, so I was slightly nervous. Ethan and I slowly loaded things (and he was able to enlist the help of another guy from Ozark for a few hours.) Once Casey and Audrey got back from the doctor, they went crazy on finishing up the packing. On an app I use, called Fitocracy, I logged approximately 70 flights of stairs and 6.5 hours of moving boxes. (I plan on explaining more about this in a later post.) Around 6:00 PM, almost everything was loaded into the trucks, and after we ate a quick dinner we got to cleaning the house. A few others came to help with that task. We think we cleaned it enough to at least not get charged more than our deposit, but we haven't been informed yet if we will get the deposit back.
After finally getting to sleep around 11:00 PM Friday, we then woke again after a rather restless night at 4:30 AM. After quickly changing and loading last items, we set off! Once we got on the highway, we soon discovered that the truck was governed at 74 mph. Not only that, but to prevent it from burning through the gas, we had to cruise at 65 mph. Normally, the trip from Joplin to Albuquerque is 11 hours, when averaging 75 mph. Dropping those 10 mph and also the fact we had to stop for every two hours for gas (and Dante), the trip ended up being approximately 14.5 hours, pulling into the driveway of our new townhouse around 6:30 PM (Mountain time). The one nice part about the trip was getting to stop for about half an hour in Amarillo to see my brother and sister in law and nephew. Other than that, the trip just seemed to drag on and on, especially considering we had two very unhappy felines and one restless toddler with us.
Once we got to Albuquerque, my parents and younger brother were waiting for us, and a few of our friends (Estevan and Emily, Brian and Debra) joined us. Although it took approximately eight hours to load the truck, we got it unloaded in less than two. However, we are still in the process of unpacking. One box that we've yet to decide when to open is the picture frame box, because we have no idea where we want all our assorted hangings to go. Not only has unloading been tiresome, but we've had a few hitches as well. First, the last tenants had not reported many things wrong with the house to the landlords, including things such as the stove and oven not working, the doorbell being broken, and the gutter being cracked (just to name a few.) Thankfully, the maintenance guy was very prompt and got most of those and a few other items fixed within the first two days, so at least everything necessary is working. Second, transferring residence and everything related to that is slightly a pain. We finally got our mailbox key today, and there was a collection of mail in there with things dated all the way back to January (as well as our first electric bill for here, yay!)
Finally, I plan to expound on a few things in later posts, such as the Bikesmith, New City Christian Church, and how refreshed and happy my soul is from seeing the mountains and the mesas. Before I end this, though, I do want to let you know that this Sunday will be exactly a year since we found ourselves thrown into parenthood. Feel free to reflect on our first post about it here, Baby! It has been such a wild and unrecommended ride this past year. However, in the end, I can assure you that I know this was one of the best decisions we will ever make. We love Dante so much, and we are so grateful to all of you who have supported us through the process. There is no way we could have made it through this past year (and certainly not through those first few months) without you. So again, thank you. Now, on Monday, I will begun my training at Verizon. For eight weeks I will be in a classroom setting, then another eight weeks will be on the call floor training, and then, assuming all is well, I will be set loose! I tested out the bike ride to work today. If I follow the bike trail, it's 4.65 miles and I can do it in about 22 minutes (30 minutes if I don't want to be completely sweaty.) If I ride on the shoulder of the road, I can do it in about 15 minutes, because it's a straight three miles. I'll let you know how all that goes in a later post.
For now, I bid you good night. Please make sure you also go over to Casey's blog!
Grace and Peace.