T minus 5 days to departure!
That’s right. In just 5 short days I will be packing up (almost) all our belongings and driving north. Not for a vacation, but to live!
THIS IS NOT A DRILL!!
We have been planning for this move for a few years and preparing for over a year. This means when I got the call saying I got the job in Asheville, the house was already more than half packed. I already had a (mental) list of all the furniture that would be coming with and the stuff that would be getting trashed/donated. Of course this list did require modification based on what kind of rental I could get up near Asheville.
When I was in NC for the interview, I looked at 1 rental house. It was the only one I could find that met our needs and the only one was able to schedule to see in person on a Sunday (the only day I was in town and available). I wasn’t thrilled with the house, but it was satisfactory. It is small, old, and in town. It has no A/C and no central heat, just an oil heat monitor (don’t really know anything about that but I’m sure I’ll learn fast). But, it is cost effective, less than 30 minutes from my new job, and it has a big garden plot we get to use (YAY!). All that was almost completely irrelevant. The biggest, most important factor was one that I knew would be a challenge during our housing search, but I had no idea how challenging….. This little house was THE ONLY place that would allow my pets; I have a dog, Bailey, a Catahoula mix who is around 50 lbs, and 2 cats, Kona and Mango. Every. Single. Place. within 45 minutes of my work either had 2 pet limits, or 15lb weight limits for dogs. Or, in one instance, was about $400/month more expensive than everything else. The most commonly suggested solution to my dilemma was that I have a secret cat. While I came to terms with the fact that I would do that before I got rid of any of my animals, I REALLY didn’t want to be dishonest. After scouring the internet and calling a whole bunch of apartment complexes to see if there was any exceptions to their official pet policies. We went ahead and applied for the little house I saw while I was up there for the interview and we got it (I just heard back this morning)! I’ll be honest, I was a little panicked about the possibility of moving up there without a place to live. Hotel living is expensive and uncomfortable and creates a number of other complications, like what do we do with all our stuff during the period of hotel living.
At this point, we have finished packing almost everything except for things we are still using. Most of the garage has been cleared out and we have begun staging the items to be moved in the garage. Until today, I thought we were going to use U-Pack ReloCubes but when I told U-Pack the address we would be moving to they said they can’t deliver ReloCubes to that location, so I would have to go with the trailer. Luckily, I found this out before it was too late or it could have been a disaster! Both the trailer and the cubes function the same way, they deliver the cubes or trailer to your house, you have 3 days to fill it, they pick it up, a week’ish later they deliver to your new location, and you have 3 days to unload. If I had gone up there without a place to live yet, they offered storage but that of course costs money and you don’t have access to your stuff for that whole time. We went this route, as opposed to just renting a truck and driving it up, for a bunch of reasons. First, we don’t have to drive a big truck for 12 hours and into the mountains. With the trailer being picked up and delivered in roughly a week, I can help load, go up and start my new job and then Michael can come up later to help me unload. Also, it is about $200 more (for our move) than renting a Penske truck. To me, all the benefits are worth the $200.
As prepared as we were for the move, it has still been a pretty chaotic week since I got the job offer. But, we are arriving at the point now that almost all the plans have been made and it is just a matter of going through the motions. I think now that I have a place to go, I will feel less mentally stressed. But, this means the physical stress is going to get kicked up a notch. My bed time has already been pushed back an hour or so and there is no more sleeping in on the weekends to get as much done as possible each day. I am already feeling the pain of the heaving lifting and sleep deprivation and that is going to continue for another couple weeks until everything is unloaded in NC. But, it will all be worth it when we get our land and get to start building our homestead.
The homestead life is certainly not one that is chosen for its easy living and excessive leisure. It is a life of sore muscles and lost sleep, at least that’s what I hear. I will be able to personally vouch for this statement in the next few years. But it is also a life of passion, love, freedom, ingenuity, delicious and healthy food, appreciation for the natural world around you, and a million other positives that more than make up for the difficulty. For now, I will remember that growth is often painful and I will chose to look at the hardships of the moment as training and growth for the future life we are building.