The packers come in 10 days. It's like an army of ants advancing on the lone sugar cube in the driveway. We watch with fascination as they bring in their boxes, tape, packing paper and soft drinks. Literally jumping out of their way and counting our children over and over again to make sure none of them decided to "play" in a box for a a while we break out the lawn chairs and just stay out of their way. Occassionally a head nod or affirmation motion is granted, but for the most part we just sit and watch. There is a process we have developed over the last 13 years in this career field and we have it pretty much down to a science. A cupboard is emptied, it is then wiped down by yours truly. A drawer's contents are wrapped and packed... here comes the Mr(s) Clean. Pretty much by the time they are done packing my kitchen, I am done cleaning it. And so it goes for the rest of the house. I would love to dream and think that I lounge in my lawn chair all day, but who are we kidding? I would go nuts.
In preparing for the moving process, there are also different stages of purchasing, decision making, packing, phone calling, and finalizing. For instance... we needed a cargo carrier for the top of the Subaru and after taking the children and all of their gear up to the Miles' house while Kevin and I attended my father's funeral a second carrier for the truck was purchased. Those items ship by freight. I can't just order them on Monday and expect them to be here by Friday. I have to allow at least 14 days and that is assuming the items arrive undamaged. Strong verbage was used with the customer service representatives who willingly took my money to ensure the product would be packed correctly and shipped promptly. A few threatening words might have been used... but if ever accused, I will staunchly deny the accusation.
Other items needed before we leave on our month long trip to Alabama via New York... a road atlas. Fascinating for children and quite helpful in the middle of Kansas. Yes, we all have our electronic devices, but this lady does not leave a glimmer of any uncertaintly when traveling with 5 children, a hermit crab, a Jack Russell Terrier, over 1,500 pounds of "stuff" and two vehicles. Finding the largest ball of yarn will be done purposely and not "by chance."
It appears as though the children have grown over the year and they all need new sandals. Huge Keen fans here so internet shopping begins. Summer Bridging books to keep those minds sharp and alert while passing through rows and rows of corn in Iowa. You name it, I think I have thought about it.
Another aspect that I approach cautiously is the whole "once I start this it leads to this and this and this" syndrome. For instance, the dog. Make reservations in Nauvoo, IL. Hotels there are not pet friendly. That leads to a reservation at a kennel. That leads to making sure Ginny's vaccinations are up to date. That leads to a vet visit which then leads to a secondary vet visit to get her teeth cleaned. She is not riding with me in "Big Red" but I took pity on Kevin and decided he should not have to smell her breath for 6 days in an enclosed space. Finally, the dog is done and ready to roll.
I do think everything is coming together quite well assuming there are no unexpected delays like we encountered in California... oh the moving semi-truck forgot it needed to pick up our 13,000 shipment on a Friday. Lovely.
If you ever wonder where we are in our trip, just look on You Tube for the Amsden Family Traveling Circus. We guarantee it will be a show you will not want to miss. Tips are appreciated.