Still Moving Cross-Country (The Goats Opted out of the Last Two Legs of the Journey)

A few beloved possessions.
A few beloved possessions.

Parts two and three of my trip were better weather-wise. Instead of cutting through the middle of the country (what I know refer to as the “Blizzard Belt”), I took I-10 to I-5, and vice versa. I drove the rental van back to Washington, and then my dad and I drove my car to Texas. Aside from Oregon (top-to-bottom ice and snow) and the worst hail storm I’ve ever experienced—with lightning strikes close on either side of the highway as I drove—in New Mexico, the trips were long but uneventful. With the goats safely ensconced in their Texas pasture, the hotel stays were amazingly simple. I didn’t need to leave a tip and an apology note for housekeeping after staying in a room with my dad.

I’ve done the mental exercise before, “what would you save if your house caught on fire?” After rescuing animals and people, what are the main objects you’d grab? What’s irreplaceable? I had limited space in my car, after our suitcases and road snacks and coats and maps were packed, so I had to choose what to send—and possibly never see again—and what to take with me. Things I loved or valued enough not only to bring in the car, but to lug up to the hotel room and back every night. I thought I’d share the items that made the cut.

1. Memorabilia. Although the items chosen will vary by person, this category is probably universal. I had mementos from beloved pets I’ve lost, two boxes of photos, a handwritten book of family recipes, and an Elmo. A piece of jewelry—a gold horse pin my sister bought for me when we were kids—was tucked into the boxes as well. Nothing of great value to the world, but priceless to me.

2. Valuables. Most of the (relatively) expensive items I own are horse-related—saddles, bridles, show clothes, etc.—and were too bulky to take with me. They’re in storage or with my parents. But I carried my three delicate instruments, not trusting them in the jostling moving box. An acoustic violin and viola, and my lovely burgundy electric violin. I also—to my dad’s chagrin since he had to help me carry everything—brought my pricey and beloved compact (but very heavy) OED.

3. The final category was comprised of important objects. Maybe not irreplaceable, maybe not overly valuable, but things that mattered. Like the notes and collectibles from my current work-in-progress. I could have recreated most of them from files saved on-line, but there’s something about those pages written in my sloppy scrawl… And the going-away present from my nieces (a limited edition squishable stuffed-animal goat). And my book about horses around the world, written over a century ago (one of my most cherished gifts). And my ratty old cowboy boots.

It was a car packed with love. My dad, a phone to stay in touch with the rest of my loved ones, the few prized objects I’ve collected over the years. Everything carefully stowed, and just as carefully put on a luggage cart and brought to each hotel room. It was a lesson in value. What I value, not what the world values.

What would you fit in the trunk of your car?

9 thoughts on “Still Moving Cross-Country (The Goats Opted out of the Last Two Legs of the Journey)

  1. Very cool, Karis. I’m really happy for you.
    The trunk of my car would not contain a lot of my valuables. I have this awful fear of someone rear-ending me (it’s happened!) and destroying everything in my trunk. I put anything of value next to me in the front seat and things that won’t fit, in the back seat. The trunk is reserved for “replaceable valuables.”
    My dad, or his spirit (he’s been dead for 13 years) would be, and always is, in the passenger seat. He’s the one that taught me to never leave on a trip without a full tank of gas.
    Oh definitely ‘the notes and collectibles from my current work-in-progress’. I love my little sticky notes and scribbled messages to self, about scenes floating through my head, or unfinished ones where my characters are calling to me, waiting for their next adventure.
    I suppose the hand-made purple shoebox with upholstery tacks, made and given to me by my sister, would be on the floor in the front seat. It’s filled with love notes from my honey and cards from family and friends. As always, my digital camera would be by my side, to record this event in my life.

    Thanks for sharing your moving experience.

    It’s great.

    1. Yay! Another sticky note fan 🙂 They’re one of my all-time favorite inventions (along with indoor plumbing).
      I love the imagined visual of the purple shoebox and the spirit of your dad next to you, Carol. The important things in life, condensed into the front seat of a car 🙂

  2. This blog was sharing your love and heart with us rather than the love between you and your goats. Don’t know if that came out right but I enjoyed this one too..I happy you and your valuables made the trip safely and it’s over.

  3. WELCOME to Texas!! Thank you for sharing your tips, pointers and the overall experience. Hopefully, once you get settled and start to explore, you will meet a few of us Texans that aren’t quite as inept as the mentally challenged pj manager and his sidekicks you dealt with at U-Haul.  Hilarious story, but when incidents like that are happening I know I always look like a guppy; mouth is opening as if to ask “are you serious?!”, but their stupidity causes a short in my brain rendering me mute . After moving 3 times long distance, my only advice is……win the lottery and pay for movers!  Barometric pressure and rainfall differences will be hard to get used to, but we have lots of sunshine!! Now that you are down here, hopefully we will see you at the Lone Star Lesfic Festival one year. You have an amazing talent for writing, thank you for sharing that with all of us!

    1. Thank you for the wonderful welcome, Jennifer! I’m happy to be here and I hope to be at the Lone Star Festival, if not this year, then next.

      I had the same open-mouthed look you described during the whole U-Haul experience. Sometimes I couldn’t believe what was going on in front of my eyes. Next time I move, I’m definitely going with your “winning the lottery/hiring movers plan” 🙂

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