This morning as I write this I’m sitting on my patio feeling a wonderful breeze and listening to the birds chirp as they build their nests in the tall pine tree behind my apartment. This truly is a peaceful experience. It’s as close to nature as I will probably ever get, unless you count the numerous baby deer back home. I still hate I didn’t get their picture before I left, but they’re so quick and they’re smart not to trust humans.Getting here was eventful and not without many casualties, but now that I’m here I’m truly happy. My goal is to get through some of these boxes then free my mind to write.

I received wonderful supportive comments from my mentor on the novel I’m working on so now I simply must go forward. I wasn’t satisfied with the way the story was going in the first six chapters I wrote, so I rewrote them and apparently it was a good choice. She laughed in the right places and felt my characters were believable. I would love to share some of the novel with you, but I must admit I’m paranoid when it comes to my stuff being “out there” and will probably keep it under wraps until I’m finished.

My pressing concerns now (other than getting rid of these boxes) are preparing for the next semester and all that it entails. Even though I’ve moved I’m still considered out of state until I find a full time position because you can’t just move to be closer to school (even though that is what I did). I’ve been trying to not stress too much and enjoy the moment, but when I figure out how to do that I’ll be able to choose a restaurant or make my mind up about something. I’m looking forward to the new semester of classes – I just have to find a way to pay for it all, but one step at a time.

My Jack Russell Terrier loves the new place – especially the patio. I swear she and I are kindred spirits. We feel the same things and even act the same. When we’re out on the patio she watches the kids as they make noise downstairs and the black neighborhood cat who keeps meowing at my front door. Even though this is my second Saturday here, it truly feels like my first because we arrived last Friday and since then everything has been a blur.

I have some advice in case anyone decides to relocate the way I did:

  1. Downsize – go through everything you think you don’t want and get rid of it. Sell, donate or gift. (You will need the money)
  2. Downsize again – I know you think one day you’ll actually use that appliance that has been sitting on top of the refrigerator since you bought it, but trust me – you won’t and you need to  travel light.
  3. Hire a Moving Company – I rented a truck, hired people to load it, had someone (my mom) drive it from Texas to Tennessee, then hired people to unload it. This was an expensive mistake, but a good learning experience. Cheaper is not necessarily better. Spend the money and allow professionals to package and secure your precious items for the long drive, and let them handle the driving too.
  4. Avoid Diesel – the truck I rented used diesel gas. It was 24 ft which at first I assumed would be too much, but they didn’t have a 20 ft and the 16ft was too small. If I’d properly downsized it would have been just fine. I didn’t realized the truck was diesel until after it was loaded and this little unknown fact threw my gasoline travel budget out of the water. I spent $165 one time alone filling up the truck. Never rent a truck that uses diesel.
  5. If you must do it yourself, use experienced people to load and unload – don’t use fly by night companies who leave advertisements on your door and mistake it for a good thing, and make sure to be present as they load and unload every item so you can correct them when needed. If not you will end up with poorly stacked boxes and many broken items, scratched furniture and destroyed appliances.
  6. Document everything. Make a video journal if possible, because there will not be another time to have this much chaos going on at once. When the boxes are all unpacked you can watch it and have a good laugh.

Since I’m a work in progress and learning as I go that is all the relocation advice I have for now. In the meantime until we meet again take care and remember to laugh.

: )