For those who don’t know our story, my husband Mitch and I, owned three houses on the same block corner in Medical Lake, WA. His son Elijah lived in one, his sister Angela lived in another with her granddaughter and his other sister Annette lives with us. Not only that but we have 3 cats, 2 dogs and a hedgehog.. plus Angela’s dog Chloe and her sons dog Axel.
So if you add it up that’s 6 people, 8 pets and dream of warmer weather.
So many things have happened since I last posted, I am writing to you on Thursday April 21st at 9 am in 68 degree weather from the unique city of Kingman, AZ.
In the last month we have uprooted our family from our beloved town of Medical Lake, WA, sold our three houses and planned on buying a Vineyard. But as the saying goes, the best laid plans often go awry.
We have wonderful friends that live here in Kingman, who introduced us to this town. The friendship, health issues related to the weather, the opportunity to own land and the reselling business inspired us to make the move.
The houses, scheduled to close as follows; the yellow house on April 4th, the big house on April 8th and the little house on April 20th and we were to be moving into the vineyard in Arizona on the 18th of April.
We had a yard sale and let go of a third of our belongings, would you believe we still had to rent two 26’ Penske moving trucks just for our stuff! A quarter of it was from the reselling business but the rest was all us. I don’t know if there’s anything that makes a person want to purge their belongings more than moving!
With the sale of the houses, we had to meet requirements of the appraiser resulting in a whirlwind of event’s colliding. Packing up and moving out of our house, tearing down a shed and painting peeling paint on the little house, all in the same weekend. To top it off, Mister (one of our cats) got stuck in a pine tree across the street at the library, and just like the wonderful town it is, the fire dept came and saved the day. Mitch was already in the tree trying to get him down, but the ladder didn’t reach high enough, as small crowd gathered to witness the rescue.
The family that bought our big house lost their home in a fire, they have 6 kids and they were ready to move in exactly at the time we were supposed to be out. On April 8th at 5 pm we were still scrambling to get the rest of our stuff out and they pulled up with a uhaul to move in. An hour and a half later, while they waited, watched and tried to help out, we got the last of our belongings and said goodbye to the big house.
Without taking a breath, we turn our attention to the little house and addressed the issues that were holding up the sale. An old leaning shed and peeling paint. We’d already accepted the fact that the buyer, although they offered over asking price was completely financed and we would end up having to take 50 thousand dollars less than what was agreed upon. But we had an end goal..get the vineyard in the allotted time. No time to re-list and wait it out. We were going to do everything in our power to make it happen.
Having friends and family helping us through the entire process made it possible. We were treading water, just trying not to drown with the overwhelming amount of work that was required for it all to happen.
The peeling paint was a whole other issue, I was overly concerned that the appraiser would look the place over with a fine tooth comb, so every inch of every building was addressed. It took 7 people 10 hours to scrape, paint and vacuum the paint chips off the ground. Come to find out, his concerns were the casita and the shed, and that’s really all he checked on. Oh well, better safe than sorry.
Monday, the 11th of April after a weekend of so much work, we got the all clear from the appraiser. Finally we we could redirect our attention to getting Angela packed up and load the last of three 26’ Penske trucks.
After days of sleeping on the floor, in harvy, together, in beanbags and unable to find this and that, we woke on Thursday morning the 14th of April to a couple inches of snow on the ground. Mother Nature was giving us a snowy send off. Friends had given us a care package for the road that we broke into days before.
The convey was as follows, Mitch driving a Penske truck towing Angela’s CRV, Elijah driving a Penske truck, Cassey (a friend of Tyler’s) driving the third and last Penske, I drove Harvy the RV, Nettie drove itlldo with Taylor as her sidekick, and Angela drove her car. We did one last lap around the block, waved goodbye to our saving grace good friend Lori, honked “so long” to our post office people and headed out of town.
Five minutes into our drive Mitch calls and says “the pharmacy was able to fill my prescription, we gotta go back and get it” and so we came to stop and waited while Angela ran back to our sweet people at owl pharmacy and picked it up.. this was going to set a precedence for half of the drive. Whether it was driving through a blizzard, someone needing gas, having to go pee or a blown tire on the interstate. Things were not smooth sailing…but as I’ve learned in life, “to appreciate smooth sailing, one must endure the storm.”
We’d drove a couple hundred miles, made 3 or 4 stops already, and kept in touch with walkie talkies we’d purchased the day before to communicate with the whole convoy and everyone had their own handle. Mitch-Big Daddy, me- flower fly, Angela- nana-banana, Annette- nettie noodle, Taylor- miss priss, Eli- Ol’ Yeller and Cassey- Billbo Baggins. We all talked with random accents and had fun with the radios. Near La Grande, around 250 miles into our journey and Mitch calls me and asks,” who’s that smoking.” I told him, “I’d smelt a burning tire smell, but I thought it was one of the trucks we’d passed.” Mitch in that moment said, “oh shit, that’s me! the trailer tire blew.” The whole convoy pulled to the side of the road.
After calling Penske it would take two hours for them to get to us, so Mitch and Eli stayed behind and the rest of us headed to Ontario, OR two hours away. Of course when the tire guy arrived they stated that they couldn’t fix it and we’d need a different trailer and the closest one is in Portland, OR.
While the guys waited on the side of the freeway their tummy’s began to rumble and if you find a hotspot with your phone dominos will deliver. They got dominos delivery to the side of the freeway!
The guys ended up staying in a hotel in LaGrande, I stayed in Harvy with Bentley, Zoey and our hedgehog Kiwi at Loves truck stop in Ontario and Nettie, Angela, Taylor and Cassey went and stayed in a couple hotel rooms. Mister escaped a couple times, during the process, the heater wasn’t working in Harvy so it was very cold over the night. We were all worse for wear at this point.
More of our journey to come…