Well, the great American Anthrofamily trek is well underway. By the grace of God.
Of course, the final packing and truck loading went as well as can be expected. Which is to say, like hell. Our wonderful next-door neighbor (who happens to be moving into our vacated house) was kind enough to help load the truck for several hours on Saturday and Sunday. But the process of packing, loading, and cleaning has reminded me of some moving wisdom.
THE FIVE THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER SAY TO YOURSELF WHILE MOVING HOUSE:
- Sure, that will be enough boxes/packing tape/garbage bags/room in the truck.
- We’re almost done packing! Let’s take a break.
- This should only take a few hours to finish up.
- I’ll just quickly dust/vacuum/sweep/mop/scrub the kitchen/bathroom/floors/top of the refrigerator. It will only take a minute.
- All that miscellaneous crap still unpacked and strewn about the house? I can just sweep it all into a box in no time.
So, things ran overtime. We planned on finishing up loading the truck and cleaning the house on Saturday and hitting the road early Sunday morning. Ha! We didn’t get on the highway until about 1 pm Sunday.
But, that said, the trip so far has been pretty smooth. (Knock wood. Oh, I’m in a cheap motel surrounded by plastic wood-like veneer. Guess I just jinxed us completely.)
Even though we have been driving each day for 8 hours or more, the kids have been really quite good. Barring today’s tantrums, of course–there are limits to how well a four-year-old can act in a situation like this! What in particular has saved our sanity? Two things have been most popular: the anthro-approved Stockmar modeling beeswax, and those awful, yet we’ll make an exception for cross-country peace Color Wonder pens and coloring books. Tomorrow I’m busting out the potholder loom for SillyBilly. Ya gotta hold things in reserve, you see.
And how are the cats, you ask? How are they, being cooped up in little plastic carriers all day in the noisy back of the minivan, and then dumped into strange motel rooms each night?
By God, they are FINE! And why, you ask? I have two words for you, oh my bloggie friends:
We ordered a huge bag of catnip, a smaller bag of valerian, and a can of hormone spray. The two herbs were put in small amounts into old socks tied with knots at each ends–we call them “happy socks”. Evidently valerian calms cats right down, as it does humans.
Feliway was new to us–it’s a spray used either for stressful situations or for curbing unwanted urine spraying. It’s got “analogue of feline facial pheromones” (say that five times fast!) which makes the cat think that where he is is just groovy.
Between the herbs and the hormones, our cats are completely mellow. They cry about five times right after we put them in the car, and they hide under the motel room beds when we first arrive, but otherwise they are completely normal. Contrasted with the time we drove these two plus another cat from Los Angeles to Sacramento–a chorus of kitty yowling for 7 hours straight!
Well, I have a few photos that will go up in a future post. We’ve driven through five states, crossed the Mississippi River, and seen way too many corn fields and freight trucks to count. Tonight we’re in Iowa, tomorrow we’ll be in Nebraska, and after a fun-filled day through Wyoming, we’ll finally be in Idaho, our new home.