Nothing says roadtrip quite like U-hauls packed to the hilt, 2,3396 mile drives, and a lot of fast food. The month of September was pretty crazy for Chesh and I. We left camp around the 12th and then proceeded to drive halfway around the country to see family and friends before the big move to Michigan.
SIDENOTE: If you’re just now hearing about Michigan, you might be saying to yourself: “What? Since when are you moving to Michigan? Don’t you know it’s cold up there? Don’t you know that only polar bears live up in the great white north? What is this nonsense?” Oh, no worries, friend, I hear you loud and clear. But when the Great White North calls your name, all you can do is grab your boots and go a-runnin’. Actually it was less of the Great White North, and more of our friend Dot, who works at Intervarsity’s Cedar Campus in Cedarville, that did the calling. The call went a little like this:
Dot: “Hey Hannah! Know anyone who needs a graphic design/marketing job for the fall?”
Dot: “I was hoping you would say that.”
And thus…here we are. I applied for the Media and Marketing Intern position, and Chesh applied to the Recreation Intern position, and voila! We’ll be in the Great White Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a year.
We left camp, ready for the call of the North, and drove down to South Carolina, to pack and empty our storage unit, and say hello and goodbye to friends and family. Then we drove to Georgia for some more packing and hello-goodbyeing. Then to Saint George Island, Florida, with the family for a beach vacation with the Joneses. Catch my post on that here. Then back to Georgia, South Carolina, and onward to Michigan. All in all, September totaled to 2,396 miles traveled. Talk about a never-ending road trip…
Now, here comes the part of the story I know you all love to read. Since this IS Hannah Reinhard we’re dealing with, there was bound to be a few mishaps and misgivings about the whole things. Let’s start with mishap #1.
Up in the Great White North, there is snow. A lot of it. And in the winters, if you don’t have 4 wheel drive, and aren’t going to make it out of the snow. In fact, you’re not moving till the snow thaws in July. Considering how neither Chesh nor I had a four wheel drive vehicle, it was pretty obvious that it was time to sell both our cars and buy a new one. I placed pictures of my car on Craigslist, but apart from two scammers and a random guy who tried to lower my price to half of what I wanted to sell it for, I had no bites. Chesh’s car we decided to scrap just because it was such a….well…mess. With our timetable closing quickly, we checked out a couple SUVs on Craigslist and found next to nothing. Luckily my dad offered to buy the Lexus since my family needed a new car, so I didn’t have to worry about having cash to get something new. The problem was finding a decent replacement. Everything we looked at was either way overpriced, or had a salvage title, or just was really dented and rusted out on the outside. It was getting to the point where we refreshed the craigslist ads every hour and just had to keep lowering our standards for a vehicle.
And then it happened. It was as though God looked down on us with pity, and we found it. A 2000 Black Dodge Durango, in our price range, with a clean title, low mileage, and decent exterior. It seemed too good to be true. So we called up the couple that owned it and set up a time to come see the car. It didn’t matter that it was a solid hour drive away and that there was a good chance that they would be weirdos who didn’t take good care of their car. Turns out, the complete opposite was true. The car ran beautifully and the couple was nice. We called a mechanic with the VIN number and he verified that the car had been taken very good care of and was in good condition. The outside was beautiful with next to no scratches or rust. The inside was comfortable and spacious. The only downside, the lady said, was the AC didn’t work. Not like we cared. Nothing like a little WD40 to get us going; Windows down going 40 miles an hour.
Now we had the car, but needed a U-haul. Chesh arranged for us to pick on up in Columbia, and so we did. But there was another problem… The second I saw it I had a sinking feeling in my gut that said “No. All of our stuff is NOT going to fit in that.” Thus began a conversation that happens between all married couples at some point or another:
Myself: “Uh, Chesh? Are you sure this is big enough?”
Chesh: “For sure! It’ll be a tight fit, but it’ll hold everything.”
Myself: “Actually, I really don’t think it will…We have a lot of stuff, babe-”
Chesh: “Don’t worry! It’ll be fine!”
Fast forward five hours later… It wasn’t fine. There was still a medium pile left of things and the U-haul was packed to the hilt. It took all of my strength not to mutter the words “I told you so” in Cheshire’s general direction. Stress stress stress. That’s all I seem to do well, apparently, because Cheshire had the whole thing under control. He packed the remaining stuff into the trunk of the car, and then scheduled two massages in the hopes that I’d calm the heck down and stop worrying so much. It worked. Have I mentioned recently how wonderful my husband is?
After our glorious massage, we pulled out of Columbia on Tuesday morning and began the long trek to Columbus, OH where we would spend the night. The day went well, with few (if any setbacks). It was warm, but we rolled down the windows and talked about all kinds up stuff. In one state and out through another, we traveled up to Columbus, stopping at a motel just out of town. As we were getting out of the car I realized my passenger window wouldn’t roll up.
“Uh…Chesh?” I said, motioning to the window. “We seem to have a problem.”
Ten minutes later the window still wasn’t rolling up, and we had googled every possiblity the internet had to offer. We’d tried slamming the door, pulling the glass out, turning the car off and then back on again… The window wasn’t budging.
That night I must have woken up four different times, running over to glance out the window to check on the car. All I could think of was someone stealing the car (and thus the U-haul) with every piece of stuff we owned. I was paranoid. I would wake up with a jolt, think to myself “What was that noise?” and then race to the window and peer through the curtain. We had parked under a streetlight in the hopes of deterring any passing mischief makers, but I still had trouble calming my internal screaming.
I woke up 15 minutes before the alarm and the feeling of dread had yet to leave my stomach. I got up and walked to the window, pausing with baited breath at the window. The car was still there. Thank God.
The rest of the trip was long, but uneventful as we finished breakfast with Cheshire’s grandparents in Columbus, and made our way up through the mitten of Michigan. The five mile bridge that connects Michigan to the Upper Peninsula rocked as we crossed. The radio told us the winds were crazier than usual, and the waves below us looked terrifying. But a good terrifying. It was the kind of water that looks like it has sharks in it.
After that it was a short drive to Cedarville and Cedar Campus. As we settled into our house, a new adventure begins for us, and I’m very excited about it. An adventure? Yes. Stressful? Less than I thought. Boring? Never!
I realize this was a long post, so thanks for sticking with it till the end. I’ll be posting some more things soon, including the new house and new life. Do any of you have fun moving stories? I’d love to hear them.