Saturday, July 26, 2014

Moving with Murphy's Law

Well, here we are in Wickenburg. To say the move has been an adventure is an understatement.
And I’m not talking about the kind of adventure that fluffy stupid G-rated annoying Disney Channel sit-coms have. This adventure has been a cross between National Lampoon’s “Moving During a Hellish Phoenix Summer” and “The Hangover”.

Where to begin? I’m not sure.

I do not know how to make this entry come off as if I’m not complaining. I really do have a more positive attitude than a negative one about this. However, I do need to vent and just tell it like it is. If that sounds like I’m complaining, well, too bad.

Months ago, I began the process of organizing and packing. But you wouldn’t know it. You’d think we woke up early one morning just a week ago and decided to move.

It didn’t matter that we bought a used trailer weeks ago and moved boxes to the rental home and to our storage shed on our land about four times before the main move.

It didn’t matter that I sold off countless items and made multiple Goodwill and Deseret Industries donations drop-offs. It didn’t matter that I filled trash exponentially and purged so many items.

Oh no. It was as if none of that had taken place.

Let’s just say that we moved a week ago, but the Queen Creek (original house) still has work to be done and things to be moved out of it.  We’ve been back there twice this week and we go back on Monday.

I can easily point fingers at my husband and children and become angry at their lack of cleaning and organizing. I do admit I am the neurotic organizer and cleaner and the other four individuals in my household do not hold my high Queen-like standards. I get it. But Chris has made up for some of it in giving up multiple Saturdays to build the storage shed on our land in Wickenburg, and due to working in the heat, taking the kids to Wet n’ Wild waterpark afterwards as an incentive. He didn’t have to do  what it took to accomplish all that.

Chris also has this thing called a job that makes our home and quality of life possible.

Therefore, most of my frustration lies with the offspring. Alexander is three. There is not much I can do there but be so ever thankful for the angels in my life who gladly would take him off my hands for a few hours and keep him happy while the crazy organizing and packing took place at home. My friend Billie has had him multiple times. She barely moved back to Queen Creek just in time for me to move away. :-(

See? My sense of humor isn't completely gone.
The other two kids are more of my gripe. Thing One and Thing Two really do need to step it up. Delegating certain responsibilities to them completely failed and now we’re dealing with the items and work they did not do.

I get it. They’re kids. They're not me - a neurotic 30-something adult. But they really did drop the ball.

This is hard for them. I know that. New town. New school. No friends. It's still a hot typical Phoenix crap summer. I get it. But seriously, kids move all over the world and multiple times. Look at military kids! I am willing to bet that some of them help out just a tad more no matter how much they hate it.

Can I trade those kids for mine? At least until this move is 100% complete?

Okay, back to the timeline of moving sh- I mean, adventure.

Anyway, so we moved the big stuff in the big U-haul a week ago. We found that the nice tall white shelves I had in our previous office were too tall for the rental. Yes, the rental has very low ceilings. Seven-foot ceilings, I believe. So the white shelves are now in storage. I’m not sure how to put the office space together now, but that’s a minor annoyance.

The rental home is along the Hassayampa River Preserve, and it’s an older home. So while that means huge trees and abundant shade (which is awesome), it also means bugs. I knew this.

The kids, on the other hand, react to the bugs as if it’s some kind of epidemic Arachnophobia epidemic.
Maybe it’s my Generation X mantra of not growing up in the cushy 21st Century Suburbia like they have, and I remember bugs when I grew up in Laveen until I was eleven, but these kids really do need to chill out. The bugs aren’t that bad.  I’ve seen bad. Geez. Just go back to four years of Girls Camp at Kamp Kenyon near Prescott, and you’ll see a real bug problem.

This isn’t it.

We just need to deal with it. We already bug-bombed the house, and we do need a bug zapper for one of the entry ways. That can be done. I don’t need to hear the kids whine about it until it is.

What the kids do not know yet is the owners previously imported non-venomous snakes onto the property so they would take care of rattlesnakes and their prey (rats and gophers, etc). Because they brought these non-venomous snakes into the property and they’ve been well established, rattlesnakes are not a problem.

But there are snakes. The good snakes. But to many people, no snake is a good snake. At least the kids haven’t run into any of them yet. We need to have Snake Education Night talk with the kids and show them pictures of what these good snakes look like.

Anyway, last Saturday night, I realized something. In all the moving chaos, I had forgotten all of our meds at the Queen Creek house. Sure, that meant my meds, but I could function for a day or so if needed. The alarming issue was Christian’s meds. Let’s just say, he needs them first thing in the morning – every morning.

Therefore, Sunday morning, we put the kids and animals (our terminally ill Doxie and Zoey, our parrot) back in the car and headed back to Queen Creek. Our other dog was still at the Queen Creek house being taken care of by a friend.

Well, we barely made it 20 miles out of Wickenburg into Surprise when our tire went kaput. Oh, it was 110 degrees outside. Let me also add that because it was a Sunday, NO tire places were open. So there we were. Hot. Full car. Crap tire. No way to get it fixed.

I didn’t want to play the family card, but it was needed. My cousin Lori's husband runs a Discount Tire in Laveen. I messaged them and told them our plight with some choice sentence enhancers. I assume they were hanging out at their house relaxing on a Sunday afternoon enjoying their A/C when they received my distress signal. 
This is what Awesome Looks Like
Jason, her husband, was willing to come up and open his store for us. There are angels among us! I need to call the Vatican and recommend him for Sainthood (see right).

But we had to get there first. Laveen is 30 miles from Surprise. So we had to plan our route where we could stop every three or four miles to put air in that tire. I think it took over an hour to get there. I didn’t keep track. Let’s just say it took awhile. And may I add Christian still didn’t have his medication yet and we weren’t exactly on a ride at Disneyland. The kids and animals were not enjoying the fun.

We finally arrived at Jason’s Discount Tire and wow, check out our tire (left). We’re lucky it held any pressure at all every time we stopped to put air in it.

So Jason was awesome and he helped us. That should have been it, right?


Heading from Laveen to Queen Creek (I don't think we even made it to Tempe yet), the AT and engine light came on. 
Our Transmission. Again. 
Our Mazda 5’s Transmission has been a piece of crap – starting from our Grand Canyon trip a year ago (so our car was stuck in Flagstaff for three weeks last summer...remember?) and then again in October. Our Extended Warranty had been exhausted due to the transmission, and what happened? It started up its crap again just minutes after we solved the tire problem.

Jason said he thought he saw a dark cloud follow us out of the parking lot. The least it could have done was rained or something to cool us off. But no, it was just going to curse us with more crap.

We were able to get the car back to the Queen Creek house (pretty much by ignoring the light and the car appeared to drive okay), but we were pretty much stuck there until we figured out what to do about the car. Our white truck was at the Queen Creek house, so I could have turned around and took 2 of the 3 kids back to Wickenburg, but we planned to be at the Queen Creek house all of Monday anyway and there was work to be done there.

Chris took the Mazda in the next day, and oh, I had a root canal to finish. My root canal was supposed to be finished a few weeks earlier just before Independence Day, but in that particular appointment, my tooth created a lot of problems and the doctor finally decided to inject me with antibiotics and let it sit for a couple of weeks, as the tooth had become very angry. He to numb me close to seven times in that appointment, so waiting a couple of weeks for the tooth to chill out was best. 

That sounds awful in all this mess – to get drilled on, but I knew about it ahead of time. It wasn't a nice surprise like forgetting medications, jacked up tires or crappy transmissions. If anything, the root canal was a needed break away from the move and car drama. Isn’t that awful? A root canal was the solace?

Well, it was.

Sadly, I hadn’t even left the Endodontics office when Chris called with the car diagnosis.  He had been trying to text me during the appointment asking if I could talk. That wasn’t possible. Plus, I just knew it was going to be bad news. I didn't know that because I was being a negative fatalist, but because I know the car. It’s a piece of crap.

In the waiting room I finally called him, and feeling numb and cranky, I was informed it would have been close to $1000 to get the transmission fixed. With no more extended warranty, that was very bad news. And why fix it when it obviously was a lemon of a transmission? It had been fixed tons of times before!

We were at a stalemate.

That was pretty much the point where being stressed was pushed over the edge into a completely new type of chaos. Because of the car situation, Chris would not be going back to the work the following day as originally planned, and we were sleeping on the floor in Queen Creek in sleeping bags.

We were aware that in order to obtain a new car, our construction loan (that is currently in the hands of the bank as we were waiting for their go-ahead so we start building the damn house) would be screwed up. I pictured us remaining in the tiny rental home indefinitely with the end of our hopes to building this new home. I felt like everything was collapsing around us. Should we just move back to the small Queen Creek house and say “forget it all”?! That was one of the things discussed.

Crying, yelling, and other methods of coping commenced.

One of my friends who works in the banking industry (poor guy) assured me that the construction loan should still be fine. He said the loan should not be hindered by car purchase. He said most brokers scare the mess out of you because you're changing you debt to income ratio, but as long as we don't exceed the lenders guidelines we should be fine.

I went a little nuts (okay, a lot nuts) on Tuesday waiting for Chris to get the answers from the banks to determine what we needed to do to make sure our construction loan wouldn’t be messed up if we got a new car.

This is good place to stop, because just the journey back to Wickenburg (because there are beds in Wickenburg, not sleeping bags on the floor…) Tuesday evening in the white truck with Mikelle, Alexander and the bird (while Chris and Christian stayed behind for the car buying adventure) and more stuff loaded in the back, is like the second half of this huge ridiculous epic chronicle of crazy. 

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