I have been trying to figure out the best way to share the overwhelming experience we had this summer with moving. I considered trying to piece everything together in a series of chronological events but I just couldn't bring myself to do that.
I realized that I had learned many lessons from this experience. They overlap, sure, but I felt that the lessons would be lost in the story. Still, I need to give a little bit of a framework for everything to make sense.
Here is the beginning...
2012 started off rocky. My husband was nearing the end of a six-month deployment. (Six months instead of twelve because he had a bone graft surgery on his heel and needed to recover first.)
During this deployment, he had asked repeatedly about his future with the unit. Many soldiers were getting orders and the unit was over strength. He was told that he would be staying put. So we prepped our garden, started our oldest son on much-needed allergy shots and made other long-term plans for our family.
He returned home in late February. Within two weeks he was hearing rumors of a PCS (permanent change of station). He started asking around and was told not to worry about it. Orders came for a move to Ft. Eustis, VA. He was still being told not to worry about it, everything was under control.
We started making plans for a move anyway.
By early April it was clear that we were really moving...and SOON! Our report date was July 9 so we had just a few months to either sell or rent our house, pack our stuff, drive hundreds of miles, and find a new home.
We went to the temple, seeking guidance and comfort. We were both feeling overwhelmed and a bit stunned by this sudden change. At that time, I was the choir director at church and we had been working on "The Lord Is My Shepard". In the temple, this hymn kept repeating through my mind. I felt peaceful and reassured that this move was the Lord's will. Armed with that assurance, we set to work.
After consulting with some trusted friends in the business, it became clear that our best option was to rent. We set to working getting the house ready. We have some artistic children who have an uncanny ability to only use permanent materials in their work. (We can't say enough good things about the "paint and primer in one" paint we bought at Lowe's! It covered black permanent marker in ONE COAT!!!!) Our walls were tan. "Tumbleweed" to be specific, with white doors and trim.
We taped and painted and re-taped and painted again. The white didn't quite match so we repainted entire doors to make sure everything looked clean and fresh. We wore ourselves out!!
Don't forget that we were also getting rid of all kinds of junk that we didn't need and sorting things out so it could be packed and unpacked easily. We had been through this kind of thing before and we wanted to be prepared.
My husband and a good friend also pulled up the living room carpet, repaired the loose sub-flooring, and put down wood laminate flooring in the living room and hall.
We did whatever repairs we could prior to the movers coming, including the floor. They packed us up May 29 and 30. The very next day we were painting like crazy! By the way, the kids were out of school by this time. :)
Honestly, it is a blur. But somehow we got everything done.
Our house officially went on the rental market June 7th. We got a call that day from the property manager that someone wanted to look at the house the next day. One look and they wanted it. We loaded up the sleeping bags and suitcases and headed East.
We were planning to spend a week or two with my parents in North Carolina. We felt that we needed to get started on house hunting ASAP so we left the kids in NC and drove through the night to Virginia. It was Sunday and we wanted to go to church and see what we could learn about the area. We took 2 of the little kids with us since we thought they would be the most troublesome.
Things seemed to go well. We met a realtor at church and he showed us some houses we had looked at online. We even found one that met our criteria.
We returned to North Carolina after a few days, optimistic about resolving the housing issue in just a few days.
A few dozen houses and 4 months later we finally closed on a house and were able to move in.
Lessons From The Move; Part 2, coming soon!