It is amazing how things work out when you are following God’s plan.
By the time we figured this out we had less than four weeks before we were to leave for Alaska. All of us together.
Time to kick it into high gear.
The first thing to do would be to figure out what we would be taking and what we would not be taking. The company that Dave was going to work for had given us a relocation budget, however everything that we were going to take had to be shipped as air freight. The village we were moving to is WAY off the Alaska road system so it couldn’t go by truck and the ocean here is frozen solid, so no barge service until July. It all had to go by air. Because of that, the company does provide furnished housing, so we would not be taking any of our furniture.
We decided that we would work on taking minimal stuff, because it is just that; stuff. So begins the packing and sorting.
Over the next week and a half I packed and sorted. I gave each of my boys a box and told them to put their favorite things in. I went through my house and decided on what I could sell and what I couldn’t live without and Dave did the same.
Also during this time, word was getting out that we were liquidating and friends started calling offering to help. I was so amazed at the amount of help that I had. Dave’s parents came one afternoon to help pack, my friend Meleea called the next day; she had a couple hours to spare and wanted to help. My mom and dad came that weekend and spent the weekend helping.
Not only were friends coming to help, but others were calling wanting to buy our furniture. I was planning a garage sale for the following weekend but before that time came I had pre-sold nearly all of our big furniture and our trampoline. The day before my garage sale, my friends Val and Kelly came and spent the entire day sorting and pricing. THE.WHOLE.DAY. That afternoon my sister Kris also came to help with the garage sale and let me tell you, she is a pro. Seriously, Kris can work harder than anyone I know. Not only harder, but smarter. She is motivated, organized and OCD. You want Kris to run your garage sale…….
Friday of the sale brought the most beautiful sunny March day that the Pacific Northwest had ever seen. That was God! The sun shined all day and the people came and came and came, including my mom, who made the nearly four hour drive for the second weekend in a row to help. By the end of the day we had sold about 75% of our stuff. We were exhausted as we packed what was left into the garage and called it a day.
Saturday’s weather was much more typical of March in the Northwest, windy and rainy. Dave handled the very slow garage sale while Kris, my mom (the clean freak) and I worked inside on getting more stuff organized and packed and cleaning rooms. By mid-day it was apparent that Friday was a garage sale boom and Saturday was a bust, so Dave closed up shop and Kris and he sorted what was left and hauled most of it to the Goodwill, while some went to my friend Meleea’s to be sold at her garage sale the next weekend. By Saturday evening the garage was clean except for a few large items that we knew we could list on Craigslist, but most importantly NOTHING came back in the house!
I said goodbye to my mom and Kris on Sunday morning. It was tough, I was moving over 2000 miles away in less than two weeks. I had no idea when I would see them again.
By Sunday evening, everything that was being shipped was packed. We had reduced our possessions from 1356sq. ft. to 32 moving boxes that were scheduled to be picked up on Tuesday. Our bedrooms were empty and our mattresses had been set up in the living room. We were living out of suitcases and eating off of paper plates for the next few weeks.
Monday afternoon brought an appointment with a property management company about managing our house as a rental. Ugggh, that was frustrating. Let’s just say, I should have been in the property management business. The list of fees was huge, the list of services provided? Not so big. However, from that meeting came one good thing; a target rental price, and one bad thing; the suggestion that we repaint the bedrooms.
Repaint the bedrooms? I didn’t have time for that! We had one way tickets to Alaska on a flight that was leaving in a week and a half but it was very necessary. So we made plans to paint that coming weekend.
Tuesday brought the moving truck and all 32 of our boxes were loaded up to begin their journey to Alaska. They started out traveling by truck to Tacoma, where they would be loaded onto a boat and shipped to Anchorage and from there they would travel by airplane. So begins the adventure.
The rest of the week passed in a blur. We were busy cleaning, dreadfully prepping to paint the three bedrooms (I hate to paint!), scheduling a carpenter friend to come and do some small repairs around the house, still trying to sell our cars, and looking for a renter for our house. On top of all this Dave was still working and I was just closing out the month for my last few clients.
Thursday evening brought another answer to prayer. My sister Angie called. She and her husband were available to come that weekend to help us paint, and they would bring their paint sprayer. Once again GOD provided; my sister and David are the ultimate do it your-selfers.
They made the three and a half hour drive to my house on Friday night after both had worked all day. Bright and early Saturday morning we began the monumental task of painting three bedrooms. While David went to Home Depot for the primer and paint, Angie and I began masking all the trim and sheeting the windows and floor. The primer had to be rolled on which took just about all day, but we were able to spray the paint on and by 5:45 that evening the job was done! David and Angie packed up and headed for home, hopefully knowing how much they had blessed us in their less than 24 hours with us.
Then it was Sunday and we were heading into our last week in Washington……….
TO BE CONTINUED