The Big Move to Bend

It’s been a really crazy week.  Last Wednesday, 5/23/12, I was in Seattle hanging out with Jessie.  We mostly spent our days together goofing off and reading, when she wasn’t in school; some of our favorite things to do. On Thursday morning, I dropped Jessie off at school and headed to the airport to catch my flight to California.

Janet picked me up at the airport and we drove back to the hotel to pack up.  I had put on jeans in Seattle, it’s not particularly warm in Seattle at the moment, and when I hit Sacramento I was overjoyed with the ability to put on shorts!  In May!  We left around 4pm and headed north towards Klamath Falls, Oregon.  We realized, with such a late start, we would never make it to Bend in one day so we thought Klamath Falls was far enough.

Once we started climbing up out of the lowlands of California, the temperature started dropping enough to scare the bejeezus out of us.  The car thermometer said it was 37 degrees, but I chose to ignore it.  When the sun was but a fond memory, Janet said, “Is that snow I’m seeing in the headlights?”  Being such a level headed, scientifically minded person I said, “Hell no!  I don’t see anything!”

By the time we turned off the car, finally put the Prius to sleep, the temperature in Klamath Falls was 34 degrees.  Fahrenheit.  Janet and I, of the short pants and sleeves fame, looked at each other, put our heads together and debated the best way to get our bags, backpacks, and snack bag out of the car and into the hotel without going outside.

I won’t tell you how long we debated, but it was getting mighty cold in the car when we finally, truly, realized that couldn’t happen without driving through the front door.  So we took a deep breath, flung the doors open, ran to the back, grabbed our stuff and ran, full tilt, to the entrance where we were welcomed into the warm embrace of the Holiday Inn Express.  Power to the points (wink, wink).

So you can imagine our dismay when the nice young man at the front desk informed us we HAD to write down our license plate number on the paperwork.  Like most normal people who move a lot, we have no clue what our license plate number resembles.  So, once again, we both looked at each other.

Janet didn’t say a word, but her eyes said, “please, please!, don’t make me go back out into the cold.  You know how much the cold bothers me and I’m barely wearing any clothes.  Please go look at the plate and tell me what it says.  I’ll do anything you want, just don’t make me go back outside.  Please, I’ll make you brownies when we get settled in Bend.”

Damn, how can I say no to those eyes?  So I ran out and took a picture of the plate and ran back in at lightning speed.  If only we hadn’t packed our long sleeved shirts and jackets in our suitcases before we left California.  It was 90 degrees there, in our defense, and it was hard to imagine we could drive out of 90 and into 34 degrees in the space of six hours.

We woke up Friday morning eager to make our way to Bend, to our new home, when we happened to look out the window and saw all the snow.  Don’t the people in Klamath Falls realize it’s the end of May?  It shouldn’t snow at the end of May!  That’s why we moved to Bend and not Klamath Falls.  Did I live in Texas too long?  Did it mess up my view of climate?

We drove up Highway 97 and it was mostly uneventful; the occasional snow flurries and U- Hauls in the ditch aside.  At one point, Janet turned to me and said, “What have we gotten ourselves into?  Last weekend it was beautiful and now we are ten miles away from Bend and there’s snow everywhere.”

Luckily, in those last ten miles, we dropped down however many feet we needed to be under the snowfall level and we cruised into a snow free, relatively warm 57 degree, beautiful Bend, Oregon.  When we told Joe at our property management company about the snow, he told us it had snowed in Bend a few days earlier.  I chose not to hear that statement.

While still in Vancouver, when we were packing up, we had to make three big piles: things going to Seattle, things we were taking to Bend for the summer, and a small, Prius sized pile of things we were taking to Sacramento.  We planned pretty well, but we forgot one small thing; it’s always the logistics that mess us up.

We forgot about Friday night in Bend, after driving up from California, but before we actually had any of our stuff.  Since we refused to spend another night in a hotel, we slept on the floor with our little blankets and pillows we bought at Target (which is having a terrific sale on pillows) and Costco (where we also had to buy a couple of towels).

I can honestly say at the age of 43, sleeping on the floor is not an easy thing to do.  But I woke up Saturday morning not as sore as I thought I would be.  I thought I would snap, crackle, and pop all the way into the bathroom, but I only crackled a little.  We did wake up early though, before 7, because it wasn’t comfortable enough to lounge around on the floor.

We put ourselves back into the car and headed for Vancouver which is a very nice 3 hour drive from Bend.  An added bonus: no snow anywhere.  We picked up the Budget truck and headed over to the storage unit.  (It was cheaper renting a one-way from Vancouver, WA to Bend, OR than it was a local rental from Bend.  89¢ a mile would have been very expensive.)

We packed up the Budget truck in about ninety minutes and TruckerJenn headed off to Bend with Janet following close on my heels.  We left our Chevy truck in Vancouver, waiting for a friendly face to drive it to Bend.  That little Budget truck did a great job.  I made it up the hills fairly easily.  I even passed a couple of semis and one little old lady driving a car older than I am.

When I got home (yay, Bend!), Janet helped me back the truck into the parking area near our condo without killing anyone or destroying the truck or any parking structures.  That’s always a good day in my book.  I will admit, though, I almost took off a couple of branches from a poor innocent tree when I went to park the truck on a side street for the night.  I’m pretty sure no one saw.

We unloaded in another swift 90 minutes and, after we were done, it looked like the Budget truck had vomited in our living room.  I was so tired after packing the truck, then driving the truck, I had a hard time carrying boxes up the stairs to the bedroom.  Janet and I joked we should be on an episode of the hoarders show because we just had little footpaths to the sink, fridge, and bathroom.

We couldn’t bring our king size bed, it wouldn’t fit in the small bedroom, but we brought Jessie’s futon couch and decided to sleep on that mattress for the night.  When we woke up on Sunday, we really couldn’t decide which night’s sleep was better: the floor night or the hard, unforgiving futon night.  We came up with a verdict of undetermined because we could have been sore from the three hours of moving, but I’m not convinced.

Sunday was spent looking through boxes, determining what went where and trying to unpack as much as we could.  When making our pile to Bend, we were under the assumption we were going to rent a 3/2/2 house with a ton of space and storage.  We ended up with a small condo and now I don’t know where to put some of this stuff.  So we’ll probably end up taking some of it back to the storage unit and pile it with the Seattle stuff.

Another thing we did on Sunday?  Something Janet has dreamed of for a year? That’s right! We bought a cute little travel gas grill; the kind that sits on top of a table or other firm structure.  So, of course, on Monday we spent the morning putting it together and then the rest of the day grilling sausages and pork chops.  Yes, life is good.

How did I respond to moving day and a couple of unpacking days?  In my usual I’m-as-healthy-as-an-ox (if-he-were-dead) way, I became sick.  By noon of Tuesday my stomach didn’t feel well and then, before you knew what happened, I was down for the count.  I spent Wednesday suffering on the couch feeling sorry for myself.  And we only get one channel, but I’ll talk about that later.

As you can imagine, with all the moving and unpacking, we’re creating a lot of dirty clothes.  Just one problem: we don’t have a washer/dryer here, just the hookups.  So, in between being sick and unpacking, we’ve been running through Craigslist looking for stackable washers and dryers because it has to fit in the closet sized condo.  Janet found a set in Portland.  Life would have been easier if it had been in Bend, but it never works like that.

It was such a good deal, of course that’s only if it actually works, we decided to jump back in the car, wicked early this morning, head back to Vancouver, get our Chevy truck, and buy a slightly used stackable washer and dryer.  I left Janet in Portland, she has to work during the day (it’s really only me who goofs off) and I came home to write a blog.

Janet just crawled in from her drive back home and I’m sure she’ll enjoy a little relaxation time this evening; after she grills something, of course.  Me?  I’m kicking back with a big slice of brownie, washing it all down with some sun tea.



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