August 19, 2013

The BIG MOVE: Part 1

"It's easier to die than move...At least for the Other Side you don't need trunks."

- Wallace Stegner

The last winter we lived in Wisconsin was torture. I've spent my whole life in the North and had cold and snowy winters. Since there wasn't an alternative option looming in the near future, you made do and learned to like it for what it brought: crisp mornings, sparkling white snow and hot chocolate. The knowledge that this was our very last freezing cold winter could have made it a glorious event. We could have enjoyed every single snowflake and nose freezing breath to the fullest in the hopes that we would remember it always. Instead, it just made us hunker down and count the remaining days until we could get the heck out of there. Knowing there was a blissfully warm end in sight made us long for it even more.

Moving entails making a ton of decisions even when it is simple. Our move was most decidedly not going to be simple. We were 16 hours away from our new home which happened to be a place we knew relatively little about. Both the hubs and I had used up all our vacation time and then some so making trips to look at housing was out of the question. Our first thought was to rent a farm, or at least a small amount of land, so the horses could be out back again. Well, good luck with that! We talked to a ton of real estate agents, posted on forums and begged people selling to rent instead, to no avail. Land was cheap enough that people bought instead of renting. With that bubble burst, we looked into housing for us and boarding for Gem and Pete. I put the hubs on housing detail and he landed us a nice ranch in a small neighborhood for a little less than we were paying in Wisconsin. The pictures were nice and we just hoped it wasn't next to a cesspit. House settled.

The horses were more difficult. We were spoiled for 3 years in Wisconsin having them in their own private pasture together. Most facilities require mares and geldings split. Another issue was the lack of barns here. Given the better climate, most used stalls for feeding only and kept the horses out 24/7. I'm not opposed to that since they are outside animals, but I was just used to having them stalled at night. And last was the hardest part of all - location. I found the perfect place: they could have a pasture to themselves, they could be brought in at night and there was access to miles and miles of trails. The problem was a) it is 40 minutes away and b) it is insanely expensive at $100 more per horse a month than we were paying in Wisconsin. Not going to happen.

Then one day I got an email from my new employer stating that they received a call from a local facility. They asked if I was slated to begin working there and if they could forward the farm information to me. I still have no clue how the knew, but it ended up being only 6 miles from our new rental house and directly on my way to work so we jumped on it. Unfortunately they couldn't keep the beasts together and did pasture board, but the price was right and the location was golden. We figured it would work a least for the short term until we figured our new lives out. Horses settled.

Then there was W. We loved his daycare in WI. It was perfect. Now we would have to find something new. I refused to pick one without visiting and had a month off at home with him after the move, so this could wait. Baby settled.

And finally there was the actual act of moving itself. There were two of us. We had 3 vehicles (my minivan, the hubs' car and the truck) plus the moving van. Unless we got W and Gem to drive we were two drivers short. We also had 3 cats who would take up the car, 2 dogs to go into the minivan with W and the horses. It was a circus. The hubby's wonderful sister, M, must have had a bout of temporary insanity because she immediately volunteered to fly to WI and drive down with us and then fly back home. Wow! We then only needed someone to drive the horses and so we asked our friend, B, since he had horses himself and knew how to take care of them. He said yes and we were all set!

Umm..this post wasn't all about me!


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