I made it to Seattle! Well, Kirkland, a suburb, to be specific. The last month has been some variety of hell I wouldn't wish on anyone, but now that everything's settled, I can look back and laugh about it.
Well, maybe it's too soon for that still!
Way back in November I had exactly three days to pack up everything in the townhouse Jim, my fiance, and I shared. Not only did we have more stuff than could be packed in twice as much time, we had half the help we thought we were going to thanks to some ridiculous "but it's Thanksgiving!!
" drama. Fortunately my parents and sister showed up every day to make the move possible. I'm really grateful they were willing to help, since no one in his family did and we really, really needed it. I didn't think we'd make it, but we taped up the last box about an hour before the moving truck was due to arrive. The truck was then five hours late. But they loaded it up, and after the truck drove off at 8pm I finally had a chance to relax for a week! Or so I thought, until I had to work late every night of my last week at Webfoot.
This was the same weekend Jim's car died. We'd been pushing it further than we should have, I admit. But it couldn't make it ONE MORE WEEK!! It just died on the street. My dad brought over all his car jumping tools and we were able to milk another day of runtime out of it, but it croaked for good about a day later. As far as "things we didn't need" go, this was pretty high on the list!
I arrived in Washington on December 9th. Fortunately, the flight went well enough. I caught a horrible cold my first day here, probably from freezing all night on the air mattress I bought here. I had no idea those things don't maintain any heat. Brrrr. I bought blankets and pillows (thanks Linens N Things store liquidation prices!!) and spent the days between the 10th and the 13th bundled up and trying to get well.
The truck arrived the 13th, hot off the highway in an 18-wheeler that couldn't get up to my apartment, which is situated at the end of a narrow windy road up a hill. I got out of bed, still ridiculously sick, and Jim and I scrambled to find a rental truck to "shuttle" our stuff from the truck (which they parked at the beach nearby) to the apartment. The movers then $550 in cash for having to use the "shuttle", so I got to feel like a drug dealer counting out a huge stack of 20 dollar bills in a shady parking lot. (Sidenote: Don't use Olympic Moving and Storage out of Skokie IL!! Tell your friends! Their final cost was almost twice their estimate! They SUCK!)
I spent the 14th unpacking as much as I could, even though I was tired and sick and just wanted to be in bed. This was probably the crappiest birthday I've ever had, and my birthday expectations are best described as "rock bottom".
The 15th was my first day at my new job, which finally felt like relaxation compared to the previous three weeks!! It was probably also the only thing that went well in this drama-laden, expensive, stress-fest of a move. My coworkers all seem really nice and competent. The project is really exciting, too, and I was just starting to carve a place for myself in the team when the snow came.
Seattle has like, three plows. And no salt. At first I laughed at the little bit of snow that fell the first day and the way people freaked out over it, because it wouldn't have been worth noticing in Illinois. But when the roads aren't plowed and you live on a hill, it's absolutely terrifying. Half the office had trouble getting to work it seemed, and I was stuck on my hill for what eventually turned out to be about 8 days. My company gave the days between Christmas and the 5th off, so at least I wasn't missing any work. I spent the vacation recovering from being sick and playing WOW when I felt like sitting up.
Now, I love being at home and I'm certainly capable of staying indoors for days and days. But the food was running out and once the hot dogs and cereal went, we had to brave the snow. Driving on what was probably 6'' of unplowed snow in a two wheel drive Ford Taurus was terrifying. We skidded. We got stuck and had to push out. We even parked in what was probably not a parking space, but when there's that much snow, no one seems to care.
We hiked through shin deep snow to the grocery store, only to find that the store was majorly picked over. Whatever goods had made it through the storm were already bought. We bought what we could find and trudged back to our snow cave and didn't leave again until it melted. I'll just gloss over all the other crap, like the DMV refusing me a license, the Internet installation getting botched and taking an extra week to get going, all the stuff the movers broke, and missing everyone back home at Christmas.
But I'm happy to say that things have improved now that the snow is gone. We have food, we're mostly unpacked, and I started some new art.
We still have the house to sell and we're trying to stay hopeful in this very bad house-selling market, but once it sells we might.. just.. make it!
At least we'd better make it, because I really don't want to move again anytime soon!