Wednesday, June 13, 2012


By Mark W. Danielson

I suppose I could call this the move from Hell, but I won’t.  Instead, I’ll just say it’s been complicated.  The first issue was with the house closure.  All was fine until the last second when the lender pulled out.  Hmm, here we are with a house full of packed boxes, the mover’s on the way, already shipped two cars – not what you’d call an ideal situation.  Believing all would work out, I let the buyers rent the house until it could close.  All indications were it would happen quickly.  (It closed six days later.) 

I knew from the start there would be more problems when the movers showed up with a twenty-something foot truck.  I immediately called the person I’d been working with, but guess what?  She was no longer taking my calls.  I got the dispatcher and he and the movers both basically said the same thing – “Let’s see how it goes.” Great.  Another warm and fuzzy about as comfortable as urine streaming down my leg.  (From a dog, not mine!)  Sixteen hours later and still with a garage full of “stuff”, the movers said they were out of there and left with no backup plan.

Now past midnight, all I could do was leave a message on their 24/7 line.  Bear in mind that all of our furniture was gone, but thankfully I had left a sleeper sofa behind for the new owners.  We got to sleep somewhere around one AM and at 6, the dispatcher called saying the drivers were instructed to take a bunch of our stuff to storage, they would then pick up the rest of our stuff, move it to Texas, turn around and made the second trip with the rest of our stuff.  I say “stuff” because after a while our belongings don’t seem to have as much value.

So, why didn’t the movers show up with a real moving van?  Because the carrier I chose a carrier did their inventories over the phone.  She estimated my weight to be ten thousand pounds.  She was only off by twelve thousand six hundred pounds!  Our heaviest items were books and magazines – lots of them.  No, make that tons of them – literally.  Add some tool boxes and tools and it adds up to a big bucks move.  At least I now know the true value of books.

I drove our pickup while Lyne followed in the Caddie – both of which were packed with our most valuable stuff.  Running on full fuel tanks, but nothing in the sleep bank, we headed south from Denver under beautiful driving conditions with our doggie Maxx in my lap.  All was fine until we got to Amarillo where we were surrounded by ominous skies.  Not a problem, though.  We had driven as far as we dared and desperately needed rest.

From Amarillo, the drive became quite monotonous driving through small town after small town.  Many were devastated, but not quite ghost towns.  We stopped at two of them for a quick bite, and all was still well, but just outside Wichita Falls, the highway was shut down.  Behind the long line of cars and trucks, I could see emergency vehicles off the side of the road, then a life flight helicopter landed.  Later, we realized there was one already on the ground.  We got out and walked around a bit, which was more than the cattle in the truck up ahead could do.  Instead, they protested loudly, baking in the 90 degree heat – as if they had someplace to go.  We weren’t delayed too long before the helicopters departed and one lane opened up.  It turned out to be a rollover accident with four Mexican nationals.  Yes, folks, those were your tax and insurance dollars at work flying them out.

I had been staying in touch with our movers as we headed toward Granbury and they arrived shortly after we did.  Our rental house is fine, but is half the size of our former house.  Even though we had left a lot of stuff behind, we still have too much stuff.  Sadly, we still have another move once our new house is built at the ranch.  But here at the house, we have minimal cell phone service – as in one sweet spot, outside, in front of the garage.  I suspect I look like Buddha with a cell phone in his ear.  Hopefully that problem will be resolved soon.

Granbury is a very nice historic town with lots of good folks and good restaurants.  We love The Dock where we can pull our boat up and grab a bite.  The drought is over, the lake is full, it even rained all last night.  Our ranch property is very pretty, and we’ve had great conversations with our local cattle on the other side of the fence.  It will be great to move in a year or so down the road.

At times like this, you realize how dependent you’ve become on technology.  When the simple ability to answer a phone call is denied, you feel stressed.  Having to go to Starbucks to get the Internet was frustrating, but we now have it at the house.  At times like this, you realize we live too fast.  Life used to be simpler back in the days of typewriters and party lines.  We can’t turn back the clocks, but we can appreciate the need to slow down a bit.  Granbury, Texas, seems well suited for that.         


Jaden Terrell said...

Your ranch is going to be amazing, Mark, but I don't envy you the move. My husband has always said, if we ever move, it had better be to our dream house, because he's only ever doing it once. Good luck with the "stuff"!

Mark W. Danielson said...

Thanks, Jaden. Moving is difficult, but moving twice seems suicidal. Thankfully I have a wonderful wife who is willing to tolerate it. We met with our builder and architect yesterday and are really pleased with both of them. The moving saga will continue with my next post.

Jean Henry Mead said...

I can certainly sympathize, Mark. Our small ranch is at 7,000 ft. and the narrow, winding road up here was not made for moving vans so it was a marathon move although well worth it in warm weather.:) Best of luck with move #2.

Mark W. Danielson said...

Thanks, Jean. I can't imagine you moving from your location. Keep the wildfires away!

Earl Staggs said...

Mark, if moving to Texas was easy, everyone would be here, and we can't have that. You made it, which means you passed the test, and I can say, "Welcome to Texas, pardner!"

Mark W. Danielson said...

Thanks, Earl. We're unpacked and moving forward on the new house. Hope to break ground in a few weeks. Can't say I'm looking forward to another mooooove. (Had to include that for the longhorns in the front yard:)