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Part #1: The trip back to Tennessee from California. Today's blog
If you want to get to know someone...try a week cramped into the cab of a Penski moving truck!
Moving was traumatic to say the least. We had never moved 2000 plus miles to an area that was new and unfamiliar. Moving in the dead of winter during a cold crisis presented its own set of challenges. It was also my goal to save some of the plants I had spent money on such as the blackberries, elderberries, comfrey, and aronia berries. I even took several of the Neem tree seedlings that did not sell. Add my sister, three cats, and a dog.....it was a REAL TRIP!
Why did we pick Tennessee?
The Clarksville, Tennessee area is growing fast as a great retirement area. It has restaurants, a Walmart, Home Depot, and other stores you are familiar with. It has less congested traffic than many cities with friendly people who say hi and welcome you to their home. It has a number of rural areas within an hours drive but where you have more room and less rules for those of you who want chickens and more say in how you live your life. Dover, Erin, Indian Mound and Paris are several to check out. We researched the area first.
Many blessings awaited us in Tennessee!
What blessings are worth such an stressful trip?
A 1700 sq foot house with a basement, sheds, and 17 acres for $500 a month with a well. I kid you not if you are paying the outrageous rents in CA. Is the California sunshine worth the taxes, the rules, regulations, traffic and water restrictions. No water problems or water restrictions here in Tennessee. No state income taxes! Less restrictions on your business. Affordable for family and for retiring. Room to roam...its here. Room to grow garden veggies and herbs. Space for chickens and whatever I want to raise. We are planning to buy this house in the next three years. It is so beautiful here with all the wildlife and water. There are abundant lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers including the Tennessee and the Cumberland rivers. There are deer all over the woods, along with other creatures such as turkey and raccoons.
My sister and her family live in the area. I am excited to get to know my middle sister and her family again after many years!
Moving ranks as one of the most stressful events in life. I can sure agree with that one.
Even though my middle sister and her family live in the area....Tennessee was still very unfamiliar. I had only gone there to visit before the move. Before we made the decision to move the end of Dec instead of Jan, we invited my older sister to spend Christmas with us. Then we changed our moving date, so December became filled both with moving stress and trying to preserve Christmas for my sister and our family. She was there during the fun and insanity. We decided to stop in Denver on the way back to see my oldest daughter and her family. My sister ended up going with us to Denver as well. So our moving plans had to be adjusted several times. On top of that we had 3 cats and a Laso that were part of the move. I might add everyone told us not to go to Denver, on the way back, because of the snow storm. I felt in my heart it was going to be fine. We left a day early to beat the storm storm in. We only had three hours of snow driving. The roads were still clear. We stayed in Denver until it was sunny again, three days later. All came out fine. We only had one other day of driving while the snow was actively falling. 95% of the trip was easy weather driving. We left at that time because our lease was up so that is the way it goes. I prayed often for God to keep the path safe and he did.
The cab of a moving truck were never designed for comfort for three grownups. That is not even taking into account the animals. I was jammed in the middle next to my husband with the middle console that holds coffee mugs. I could not move my legs but a few inches for the whole trip. We had days to talk. Trying to get a 26 foot Penski with an auto trailer tagging behind in and out of motel lots and gas stations was enough to give you heart failure. My husband is not a professional driver but he did an amazing job of weaving that Penski through the tightest places. I have to state that Kansas City and several big cities are horrible to find gas stations in near the freeway exit. We lost an hour twice looking for a gas station that could take the truck and auto trailer.
The car on the Penski auto trailer became a igloo for the cats .......warming it up at times every two hours during the frigid trip to our new home. Their cat beds included heat packs under their blankets to give them added warmth. The back of the car was covered with rugs from our floor and a tarp tied down over the car to preserve the warmth inside the car. That cost us much travel time.
Do not move during the winter if possible! We went through a snow storm on our way to Denver. The last part of the trip was bitterly cold through Kansas and Kentucky. Every night we carted all the animals into Motel 6 for the night. Motel 6 is the only motel chain that does not charge extra for animals. They have their rules as well. Every morning we had to spend an hour digging out the cats from under the bed where they were hiding. That was not fun. Taking our little dog out in the cold for pit stops was not fun either. He does not like the cold. I have to say I cannot understand why Dorothy wanted to go back to Kansas in the Wizard of OZ. It was below 0 with the wind chill going through Kansas.
Saving my plants .....on a frigid cold moving trip.
The plants were another issue. It was the dead of winter and we would be days driving through cold weather including Denver expecting a snow storm. I thought about the problem and consulted several growers by phone. The comfrey roots, blackberry plants, elderberry bushes, and aronia bushes were taken out of the ground bare root, placed into moist pine shavings, then into a plastic bag, then finally placed carefully into several thick 33 gallon trash cans for cold protection. Dry shavings were placed around the plants for added protection. My little Neem tree seedlings were put into boxes lined with plastic and cardboard for protection. Then these were covered with extra blankets in the truck. Odds of survival with all of this work...questionable at best. I am stubborn and convinced I would make the effort. The Moringa trees were too big and cold sensitive to take. They went to the people who helped us pack the truck. I have to thank our Mormon friends who came with their whole family to pack the truck. Even though we are not Mormon, they gave us hours of hard work. They packed quickly and with expertise. We got 90 percent of our stuff in the truck including plants, plywood, 4 by 4's, and other building materials.
Part #2: Arriving in Indian Mound, Tennessee the first week of January.
Thanks for reading my blogs.....there are many changes to tell you about. I hope you will come back and read Part 2 of the move. There are going to be some changes on the way I run the business...so stay tuned.
Buy USDA Organic Certified Moringa Powder, Tea, and Capsules from Ecuador. The products are tested and shipped from a US/GMP compliant lab in Connecticut.