Monday, August 18, 2014

Our PCS to Texas

I think it's a good thing to share PCS experiences. Everybody has different stories. Every move is its own experience... always the same, yet different.

We had an original date for the movers to come and pack us out but then because we were having a difficult time finding a house to move into, we delayed an additional 2 weeks.

When the pack out date came I was 1 week post surgery. I was pretty much back to myself, but not at full speed and I was still on lifting restrictions. Unfortunately, I was not able to do all the things I wanted to do before the movers arrived. There is sorting, and tossing, arranging and some cleaning to make it easier... that didn't happen. The only thing I did do was clean out my craft closet which we used to store all the stuff we were packing in our van.

For the first day I had a friend take my kiddos for several hours. They were out of the way and the crew that came was rockin' and rollin' and things were flying in boxes pretty quick. Each time we experience this I'm always surprised at how fast our house begins to look empty.

That night, we all slept in our beds for a final time, surrounded by boxes.

The next morning Will had a therapy session but after that we had no child care arranged. We had things to do which kept them occupied (including a trip for ice cream and an oil change). The movers came back. Boxes were all brought downstairs, tagged, and inventoried.

Then the loading started. To our dismay, our belongings were being put in storage for an indeterminate time because they had no drivers available to bring our stuff from Ohio to Texas. There was nothing we could do... in the past all our shipments came quickly or even beat us to our destination.

That afternoon we began moving our things to the hotel which would be "home" for the next couple nights.

Before we knew it, it was Tuesday evening, our house was empty, and it was time to tie up the loose ends and prepare for housing inspection on Thursday afternoon.

Wednesday came around and we ran into an issue. Because of my recovery I was not able to do the hard cleaning involved to get our house to pass the inspection. Ryan told me he would take care of it all and I should just take care of other things and keep the kids occupied. During this time I made the final arrangements for pet-friendly hotels on our route. In all reality, this should have been done over a week prior, but with all the hustle and bustle and hospital stuff it was neglected. Oops.

Ryan hired a guy who apparently does house cleaning for inspections come out to work on our place. Ryan was with him for awhile then came back to us to get the vehicles weighed. When we returned to the house the guy had only done the carpets! Oh, and he was gone.

And, because it is common place, we had told him after the house was done being cleaned he was welcome to take all our leftover cleaning supplies. Those things can't be packed and we didn't want to be taking all the chemicals in the car.

So the house was not fully cleaned, the guy said he was finished, all our cleaning supplies were gone, and our inspection was the next day.

Ryan got him back out to our place and I was just fuming in the car while he dealt with the man. My husband saw what the man was willing to do for "cleaning" and Ryan was pretty pissed to see the substandard work. He dismissed the guy and the next day Hubby worked very hard to get the rest of the house in condition to pass inspection.

When it was time for inspection, we passed. And we passed to the level that we were only being charged about half the amount for the "pay and go" option we had chosen.

Everything was done. We had finally finished all our duties to be clear of the base. Our home in Ohio was no longer our home. There were some final goodbyes to friends and then we decided to stay at the hotel another night and begin our drive the next morning.
For Christmas my parents had bought us a 2-screen DVD travel system for our van. This was the best thing ever for our drive! We had stuff to keep the kids busy besides the videos, but let me just say, this was a major entertainer!

Our drive was split into 3 legs. We drove from Dayton to Memphis on the first day.
It was a LONG day of over 8 hours driving. We stopped a few times for rest area breaks and meals. We ended up driving by the Jackson Generals ballpark and see Seattle Mariners signs on it... and I come to find out it is the Double-A Affiliate team for our Seattle home team. Very cool.

Oh, what also made that Dayton-Memphis leg a bit difficult was the stormy weather front we were driving straight into. We made it through alright.

That next morning I went to Graceland while Ryan got everything ready for us to continue our journey.

The drive from Memphis, Tennessee to Mount Plesant, Texas was much easier. I found Arkansas a simple drive with some pretty landscape to view. It was this leg where we reached Texas and began to feel the oppressive heat. This was also where we had the best hotel room, with a separate sleeping and living room. Ryan and the kids got to play in the pool and had a great evening together (I still wasn't allowed to swim yet).

Oh, and we began to see the pride of Texas everywhere... including in our breakfasts.

Our final leg which was supposed to be the shortest, seemed the longest. There was some major construction near Waco. So we went a more "scenic" route to bypass it. We knew we wouldn't really be making any time, but at least we wouldn't be in stop-and-go, bumper-to-bumper concrete prison!

At some point I fell asleep and Ryan suddenly wakes me up because apparently we were now on a toll road where the speed limit was a POSTED 90 MPH and we had no idea how to pay our tolls since we didn't have a special sticker and the tolls were not automated pay nor were they manned! Even now we still have received no notification to pay for that incredibly fast trip down the highway.

In the evening we make it to Lackland. Ryan was already familiar with the area since he in-processed over a month prior, so we quickly got to the TLF. We got to our room and were dismayed at the conditions, the huge beetle bugs outside, and the lack of beds. We couldn't keep Maya with us since there were no pet-friendly rooms available so some friends took her in. Although the situation of being there wasn't great, we endured for several days. At least there was a nice covered park outside for the kids to play in.

life in TLF
By the end of the week we finalized the closing on our house. OUR HOUSE. We own it! After signing what seems like a million papers we were given the keys.
Opening the door for the first time to our own house!

We had finally made it to our home in Texas. Yet we still had some hurdles ahead of us.

1 comment:

  1. I, personally, really like PCS stories. :) Something seems to happen on each one. When we moved from Tinker, our stuff went to storage too; it's one of the reasons we were in TLF for 3 weeks. It is definitely weird seeing how fast your house can be packed up. I am really looking forward to it! Texas is definitely proud of itself - we had Texas shaped waffles at our hotel in Lubbock, lol.

    I"m really glad that you had a bit of fun on your PCS - swimming and seeing Graceland and all that. It's like a mini-vacation in some ways. One that you don't return home from - at least now your old home. Do you know what I mean?