Our garage was full to the brim when we first moved back into the house in Austin. Everywhere were items for the attic, items to get rid of, items to give to family. There was no room for cars; there was no room for anything! Slowly we made progress. Stuff was sorted. Some of it went in the attic, some of it was sold on Craigslist, some of it was given to charity. We could get our cars in the garage, but barely. There was still hardly room to move. The remaining items were family heirlooms or things that Sarah could use in her new house, or things that Joanne or my mother could use. All we had to do was get everything up to Missouri and Minnesota. Hey, no problem!
We decided to rent a 16 foot Budget truck. We really only needed a 10 foot, but apparently the 10 foot trucks are very popular and there weren’t any available. The truck was very basic, no frills at all. It had a radio and air conditioning, but not much else. When we put everything in the truck it was only 1/3 full. As we left Austin the truck contained a walnut dresser, a weed-wacker, a coffee table for Daniel to use one day, tables and a coffee table for Sarah’s living room, an oak wash stand for Joanne, and an old bookcase for Joanne to use in her garage.
The first day we drove to Durant, Oklahome on the border between OK and TX. We stopped at the IKEA in Round Rock to pick up a kitchen table for my mom. We thought that because we knew exactly what we wanted we could take the shortcuts through IKEA and save a lot of time. This MIGHT have been a great idea, but we got so lost trying to do this that it probably took us twice as long. IKEA has rules that are not to be broken.
Finally we continued on our journey. Its not a lot of fun driving a huge truck. I’m very careful, especially when turning corners or changing lanes. We have to trade off driving every hour or so because its very tiring. How do those truckers do it?
The second day we drive the rest of the way to Columbia, just in time for the 4th of July in Missouri. I’m not sure which one I enjoyed more – the fireworks at Mark and Mary’s or the fireflies dancing across their lawn. Or, maybe the fact that it was so cool we actually needed sweaters. Heavenly.
We spent enough time in Columbia this time that I had a chance to see a few old friends – had lunch with Lee and coffee with Lisa. It had been quite a while in both cases but we had a good time catching up on each other’s lives.
Then it was on to St. Louis, and after a few days, Minneapolis. St. Louis to Minneapolis was a long (8-9 hour) day of driving. We had decided that even though it was late and Sarah had to work we would go ahead and use the truck to move her into her new house. We arrived at Sarah’s apartment around 6 pm and started to carry down what we could. Not long after us Erik and Eddie arrived and between the four of us we managed to stuff our truck with almost every single possession she owned. Finally we were actually glad we had a 16 foot truck! Sarah showed up and we drove to her new house.
We knew that her street was on the edge of the ‘hood. Two blocks before we arrived on her street things changed dramatically. Her street has well-kept houses and her neighbors are great. Her house is small, stucco, with a pitched roof and a red door.
As the light started to fade we quickly unloaded the truck and toured her house. Finally we said goodbye and staggered off to our hotel.
The next day (Friday) we returned the truck. We were happy to be rid of that monstrous vehicle. We met Sarah and got a tour of her new workplace (Olson). Nicole met us at Joe’s Garage for lunch. Sadly, my aging brain has no idea what we did that afternoon…
But I DO remember the next day! Our first stop was Home Depot where Sarah’s major purchase was a lawn mower. Lee thought she should consider a push mower, but I called my mother to make sure Sarah didn’t take that option! She was the only person I knew that really had experience using a push mower. Sarah ended up with an electric mower. Lee mowed the yard the first time. I wonder who will mow it next?
Our next stop was IKEA. This time we took no chances and slogged determinedly through the entire store. Sarah had a long list to fulfill here - bookcases,yard furniture, rugs…lunchtime came and went. We were getting very hungry, but IKEA would not be denied! Finally it was time to head to Matt’s Bar and our first taste of a Juicy Lucy hamburgers.
Maybe it was due to the fact that we were starving to death, but those hamburgers tasted heavenly. They’re basically a burger stuffed with cheddar cheese, with some excellent french fries on the side. Satisified, we were ready to tackle the next project.
On Sunday we went to Target for some final purchases, and the grocery store to get supplies for the barbeque we had planned. This was a both a way to thank people that had helped Sarah with her house and let family and friends see it for the first time.
The next morning we flew back to Austin and took a deep breath. It had been a tiring but really fun trip. I’m very proud of my daughter, and happy for her too. We only had a week to catch our breath and then it was off to Houston!