Tuesday, March 18, 2008

PCS Wrap Up

I'm going to try to round out the continuing coverage of our transfer with a gigantic post.  We have successfully reached our destination, and we're all in one piece.  
I believe I last posted a few days before the packers were coming.  They did come, and packed up our home in a few hours.  It was incredible.  It's shocking to see piles and piles of boxes everywhere.  I used the tips I've seen on message boards and heard firsthand - put your silverware in baggies, wash your bed linens and fold a dryer sheet in them so they are fresh and clean, etc.  The movers said we were the most organized they'd seen lately.  I chuckled because I felt completely unprepared and unorganized.  

The packing was good.  They were thorough and didn't just dump things in boxes like the previous movers had.  There were some small issues that gave me a laugh after the fact.  Like the one packer that asked what size clothes my son wore and if there was anything that I could give her for her child.  Or the one that used our bathroom that was the NO PACK ZONE and thought the middle switch was the vent.  In fact, it was the heater.  Ew.

The moving truck came the next day.  There's nothing like trying to explain to a child that his things are, in fact, going to be safe with these people.  My son is quite the little host and made sure he introduced himself to each person that was handling his things, and told them thank you repeatedly.  I think part of it was his natural charm, and the other part was really hoping they'd take good care of his stuff if he was polite.  He was really good about letting them pack away his toys and bed.  I was really proud of him.

The truck was packed and our things were adequately labeled.  We discussed a likely delivery date, and agreed on the following Wednesday at the earliest, considering the delivery schedule the gentleman had.  He said he'd TRY to make it by Wednesday, and I was ecstatic that we'd possibly have our things as soon as we arrived.  I told him no pressure, we would be waiting patiently.  

The next couple of days were spent taking care of cleaning for the housing check-out.  If you've never lived in military housing, it's surprising the areas that must be white glove ready when you check out.  I was completely beside myself scrubbing to ensure that we passed the inspection on our first try.  My nose BURNED because I was using so much bleach.  Yes, I had the windows open, but I'm a lightweight when it comes to cleaning products.  Maybe I should use them more often, eh?  

We did make sure to give the kids some special time.  Moving is tough on a child.  We went to the park, played with great friends, had a special Mommy/Son day with my 5 year old, and really made a confusing, stressful time fun.  I gave lots of hugs, talked about our new house a lot, and tried to validate concerns about when we'd see his bicycle again.

After a successful check-out, it was time for the road trip to commence.  I've mentioned before that I'm a planner.  I didn't, however, plan ahead for our hotel on night one.  We weren't sure if my husband and dog would be able to leave the same day as the kids and me.  As a result, I hadn't booked a hotel room.  Oy.  Big mistake.  We ended up staying at the only hotel we could find that would allow a dog bigger than 10 pounds (give me a break).  It stunk.  It was nasty.  The floor was sticky.  

I promptly got online and booked a hotel for the next few nights.  A little plug - the rest of the hotels we stayed in were La Quinta.  I know, not the first chain one thinks of for a nice hotel, but they allowed our pup, the rooms were fantastic, and the hotels were really nice.  In the future, I'll definitely be booking with them for a pet-friendly PCS.

We covered a lot of ground quickly.  I flew my sister out to help me with the kids in my car, and it was FABULOUS to have that back up.  I didn't realize how great it was going to be.  I hadn't seen her in a year, so it was great to spend time with her.  It was also nice to have someone to help change DVDs, dole out apples or graham cracker snacks, and refill sippy cups.

Her support was immeasurable on day 3 of our trip.  I'll be interested to see what some of the more experienced of our readers have to say about my situation, actually.  For whatever reason, I had an all-out breakdown on that day.  I don't mean hospitalization was necessary or anything, but I couldn't function.  My stomach hurt.  I was a blubbering mess.  I was tired.  My body ached.  I honestly slept through all of New Mexico.  I think I had been so "ON" for so long trying to organize, purge, clean, support, encourage, and bid farewell that I couldn't bear it another moment.  My sister was great and let me cry and fuss and whine.  I also called my friend (who happens to be a psychotherapist) and let her talk me through a little of it.  

"I just want this to be finished all ready.  I'm done.  I want to wiggle my nose and be through with this whole thing," I moaned over and over again.

I was fine the next day.  Thank God.

It was on that day that we received a call from the gentleman driving the moving truck.  He was going to be ready to deliver our things on Monday morning.  Monday being 2 days before his "best case" day of Wednesday, and a whole lot of days before his "likely" day of Saturday.  When he called, we were still about 12 hours away from our destination, and it was 11:00 pm.  Not to mention that we hadn't stopped overnight in our hometown to visit family.  

Things worked out and we were able to have the delivery scheduled for Thursday, giving us an extra day to visit and decompress a little.  

We're here.  We're mostly unpacked.  Most of all, we're done.  We've transferred.  I am able to sleep in my bed, wash my clothes, cook for my family, and read the kids their favorite stories before bed.  There are still issues that might arise.  Pay issues, mail forwarding, finding a doctor, and the like.  The important thing is that we're in a new house and will be working to make it home.

Now the adventure of learning a new area and figuring out boat life begins.  Oh, and being driving distance from family.  Did I mention that they've all ready started planning visits?  The first being in a week and a half?  Yee haw.


Just a Girl in a Port said...

Phew! I need a nap know. That was quite a comprehensive run-down.

I'm so glad your sister was able to come and help.

I can't believe the mover asked for clothes. What's that all about?

Just a Girl in a Port said...


Mary said...

It's not a true PCS unless there is at least one emotional breakdown. :)

Christina Cope Anderson said...

Oh geez, I have another emotional breakdown to endure on the road? I have already had two and I don't actually PCS until the end of May. For the love. :)

Thanks for sharing. I am delighted to hear you bonded with your sister during your trip.

Home, sweet, home!

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