Notes on a Cross Country Move

First off, let’s just say moving from Illinois to Colorado hasn’t been without a certain amount of odd events that soon translated to humor.
I moved in full nearly a week ago. By ‘in full’ I mean I finally to settle in permanence. My first journey was driving a 26-foot U-Haul truck across the COVID-hoax luvvin’ state of Iowa who still, in spite of clear evidence she’s a buffoon, re-elected Joni Ernst. After Iowa came Nebraska. Got to say, Nebraska, flat as it can be hauling ass on I-80, wasn’t so bad. I stayed overnight in York, Nebraska and they were super friendly even when I kept asking where I could see the World’s Largest Peppermint Patty. Frankly, York would be a hotbed of Nebraska tourism if someone would just get on it and erect that Patty.

Why would you ever want to drive a moving truck for 15 hours?

Good question. Because after trying to hire a moving company to haul my precious items such as my small Buddha statue and stuffed Paddington Bear, I was shafted by a fast-talking son-of-a-bitch salesman who quoted me at $2,500 to get my stuff loaded into the truck in Illinois and unloaded in Colorado “we got to get the truck their anyway and don’t want to send it back unloaded.” Uh-huh. The real estimator gave me a call a few days later to re-evaluate after he saw the notes that said I had enough stuff to Tetris a 20-foot truck. I literally gave him a tour of the stuff via Facetime, including two huge rectangles of stacked boxes. He hung up, ran the numbers to get cubic feet and called me back.

“You should work for us. Do you realize how close you were? 10 cubic feet off.”

“I told you and I tried to tell your piece-of-shit salesperson too, but he wouldn’t listen. So how much?”

“$7,000.”

“That’s not happening. Even if I eat my deposit and rent a truck I’ll still come out ahead by two grand.”

And that was it. U-Haul 20-foot truck… well 26 feet because they upgraded me as they had a brand-new truck they needed to get to Colorado (it had 158 miles on it when I picked it up). This way I didn’t have to play Tetris with my capitalistic history of goods, but I had to do the loading. I asked a work colleague, a friend’s young strong son and a friend of mine and his young strong son. My work colleague had to bow out at the last second as his uncle got shot two times in Rockford that afternoon – luckily his uncle is okay. My friend and his son couldn’t make it until about 7. Therefore, it was just me and Ross – now dubbed Super Ross – from 3 until 7. He was amazing and yes I paid him more than he asked for because he fucking deserved it. At 7 my friend Rob and his son Anthony arrived to deal with the heavy stuff… and it’s heavy as hell – 10 feet x 8 feet of bookcase and entertainment center (I’m old so yes I have one) of solid wood that splits into 4 pieces. It took nearly an hour to get the center pieces inside the truck but gall-dang it we did it.

On the trip…

My dogs loved the truck’s cab, hated getting picked up to get back into it

I could only get AM radio and holy shit there are some crazy-ass stations out there chock full of religion and conspiracy seekers

I sang – a lot – any song that came to me but mostly it was one song: Willie Nelson’s Whiskey River

No matter how many times you want to say it in your commercial Barbasol your fucking shaving cream DOES NOT COME IN FLAVORS – for fuck’s sake NO ONE IS EATING YOUR SHAVING CREAM (at least I hope not).

To the Nebraska hunters searching for turkeys – you won’t get them. I passed you and then two miles later I passed the rafter of turkeys. Yes it is a ‘rafter’ which I believe is because that’s about as high as they can fly.

U-Haul trucks do drive like a van, but when loaded they are hard to get moving and really hard to stop. Sorry for scaring the shit out of you good people in your older Camry but the speed limit in Nebraska is 75 on I-80, not 50.

With a loaded 26-foot truck on wide turns you can NASCAR them inside lane, outside, and then back inside so thanks for providing that opportunity, Iowa.

Jesus H Colorado has huge hawks! Nope, two bald eagles were on respective fence posts in the middle of the prairie. Well-played greeting Colorado, well-played.

Not well-played were the unloaders I hired via U-Haul’s system. Not U-Haul’s fault the pair ghosted me, but they did. U-Haul however, doesn’t pay them until they text the code saying the job is done, so no money lost. As such, when I arrived I was exhausted but still managed to clear out about a third of the truck on my own. If I didn’t have a flight of stairs to contend with I might have done more. LOL. Nope. Who am I kidding. I hired another company to finish off the job the next day.

But, what to do with the truck? I couldn’t keep it there. So I called my sister and asked if I could park it at her house. She and her husband have so many precious memories AKA useless tchotchkes (and they’re not even Jewish) they have an outbuilding. So, I asked my daughter to come over and help guide me in the dark out of my tight spot and then on to my sister’s. The guidance went great… because my daughter’s husband was the spotter and he works for Amazon and does it a lot. Following her? You may recall a few paragraphs up how a 26-foot truck is hard to get moving and hard to stop. But the time we went through two roundabouts I was 4 cars behind her. Two miles later as we got on the highway I was ten cars behind her. So I called her and not-so-nicely informed her to slow the fuck down and wait for me as I had no clue what car she was or how far she was in front of me. She put on her hazards, slowed down on I-25 to 50 in the 65-75 speed limit. Then we got off the highway and she stopped at a yellow light. Pretty sure every muscle I have in my body had to be put to work to stop the truck. Yet we survived and got to my sister’s. I pulled the truck around the curve to the outbuilding, dragged her garbage can with me, parked the truck then moved the full garbage can back to the curb.

The next morning, my mother came with me to spot so I could back out of the space. A word to the wise, when your mother tells you how upset your stepfather used to get when she spotted for him when they had a motorhome, you need to listen. I now know why. I backed the truck to get on the road, turned it tight and heard some branches rubbing against the passenger side of the truck.

As the second set of unloaders were kicking ass moving shit they ran into a problem. They couldn’t get the big-ass centerpiece of the bookcase AKA the ‘entertainment center’ into the townhouse as it wouldn’t make the corner. While they struggled, my sister texted me.

Whoo angry. No, they aren’t losing the tree, but it’s a pear tree so now they have two. OK, I did not say that joke to her – maybe I will later, like years later. And saying “you’re lucky I didn’t run over the partridge too” won’t help either. I waited a few days for her to cool down – I got 4 more photos texted to me – then we reconciled.

And did the unloaders get the big piece in? Nope. Missed it by about three inches. Did I help by taking off the front door and slipping with a screwdriver and tearing up my hand? Yep. The big-ass piece is now in my one-car garage and I have to figure out the best way to take a little off the top to get it to turn into the doorway.

The second trip? It was about a hunnert cheaper for me to fly back to get my car and clean the hell out of the old place than it was to tow the car behind the moving truck and hire cleaners – even with paying 1-800-GOTJUNK to haul some exquisite goods away once belonging my ex-wife. And BTW, 1-800GOTJUNK is not cheap but holy shit are they good.

Funny? Sure, everything should be eventually, and eventually I will get that blasted beauty of an entertainment center into the townhouse condo-townhouse condohouse whatever you want to call it. Mark my words… or Rick them.

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