We’re Not in (Ar)Kansas Anymore…

While many people celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, my hubby and I were on a top secret mission to pick up our furniture from Arkansas that has been sitting in storage for two years. The way we ended up moving to West Texas was complicated with Terrance going over first for 9 months 😭 before I found a job that would allow me to follow him to Lubbock. πŸ˜† 

Then when our house didn’t sell we had to throw all of that furniture into storage to make room for our tenants (who we greatly appreciate beyond measure). Well, to make it even more complicated, when the house rented I was on a work assignment out of the country which meant Terrance had to race over to Little Rock from Lubbock πŸš—πŸ’¨ to supervise the removal of our furniture from the house to the storage facility. 😫

You don’t realize how attached you are to things until there is a full day’s drive between you and your stuff. 

The weight of that attachment was far heavier than I anticipated when we made the decision to uproot from Arkansas so that we would both have better job opportunities in our professional fields.

Over the past two years we dealt with tiny apartment living which is something I never thought I’d have to contend with again but never say never. πŸ™„ So when the opportunity came to move into a real house  πŸ‘ again, I was thrilled! Now we would have the space to put our stuff. 

So I started calling around to movers because it’s not like I have a lot of vacation time to be taking off for a move. The average quote for movers to bring my stuff from Little Rock to Lubbock was $7,000 and that was without frills.

Now y’all tell me who has $7,000 laying around with one person working full time and the other in school full time? 

Next step: Research U-haul options.

This is when I discovered something that you will want to jot down for future reference.

Rent your moving truck from a spot in a major city where they have lots of trucks and get unlimited miles if you’re moving 1,000 miles or more.

It doesn’t matter where you drop the truck off but we saved about $300 on our truck just by driving from Lubbock to Dallas to pick it up. We were going to have to drive thru Dallas anyway. Even with the addition of the full car trailer we came out ahead.

Now, I’ll also confess that driving a 26 foot truck with a full car trailer is not for the faint of heart. And for all you car drivers please note that it is not easy to drive a truck that big. Also, rental trucks can’t do much better than 55 mph when they are dragging a car trailer so be kind.

The most surprising thing about this move has been this feeling that I’m cutting my final cord to Arkansas. It was like a weight lifted from my shoulders that I was even aware of until we picked up our stuff. 

During that 18 hour truck haul I had a lot of time to think and process my feelings and here’s what I came up with…

While my furniture was still in storage there was this lingering feeling that perhaps we should just leave it there because in a year or two Terrance will be done with his PhD and maybe, just maybe we’ll move back right into our house. This is our first house I’m talking about here. The one we bought right after we got married. The house that I’d already made plans to expand. The house that we loved from the moment we walked in.

While you might think, “What’s the harm in that? I’ve come to realize that living in that kind of limbo is counterproductive to being present where we are. We’ve held back from really putting down roots because we’ve been living under the weight of “But what if we have to move again”. 

I don’t know how long we will live in Lubbock. What I do know is that I want to experience the beauty of fully living in Lubbock while I’m here, without strings attached. 

Yes, it’s far away from our family and friends, but I’m sure that there are opportunites for new friendships to grow here in West Texas. And you know what, now that we have a house and our furniture all our family has to do is get here to see us so there is that.

In the span of 62 hours we have made the roundtrip to grab our stuff, gotten everything unloaded and the house is starting to look like it should. All of the kitchen is unpacked and the bedrooms and living rooms are liveable. We’ve got some things to unpack yet and some things to throw away but we did well.

We’ve lived as academic nomads for the last 15 years. It’s time to put down roots for a little while and see what we can grow in this West Texas soil.

~ Marta. C. Youngblood

Featured Photo Credit: Lee Avison

To see more of this work please visit https://fineartamerica.com/featured/leaving-home-lee-avison.html

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