THE RAPID FIRE LIGHTNING SPEED WEST COAST FANDANGO

Scenic view along the way

Wall cloud front of storm in Oklahoma
Wall cloud front of storm in Oklahoma
morning sunrise
morning sunrise
Beautiful pinkish morning clouds
Beautiful pinkish morning clouds
Desert desolation
Desert desolation
Desert
Desert
The road ahead...also in this picture:  smoke from the fires burning in Arizona
The road ahead...also in this picture: smoke from the fires burning in Arizona
Amazing dusk clouds
Amazing dusk clouds
Another fantastic cloud formation which was giving off the most amazing light show
Another fantastic cloud formation which was giving off the most amazing light show
Desert near  Arizona/New Mexico border
Desert near Arizona/New Mexico border
Really cool restored Studebaker riding along a frontage road along the way.
Really cool restored Studebaker riding along a frontage road along the way.
Lightning over New Mexico
Lightning over New Mexico

The Whirlwind Trip Back to the Past and Forward to the Future

The Penske 16 foot truck and car trailer were reserved for a planned departure date of June 11; a Saturday. Pet sitters had been interviewed, the two who were chosen were given instructions and taken through their ‘dry run’ in preparation for a week long ‘endurance’ schedule of care and feeding all the rescued dogs and cats located in two separate homes here in SE Kansas. Yards watered, neighbors alerted; last minute rushing check off of lists and more lists. Our plan was to depart before 2 pm that day; with hopes of arriving 2000 miles later, on the following Monday.This was to be a rapid fire, breakneck, road sizzling, mad dog drive in record time as our individual availability was severely limited due to work schedules and animals. Friday afternoon, we drove to Collinsville, Oklahoma; a round trip of about 150 miles, to pick up the truck and car trailer. We were feeling excited and anxious, knowing that we needed to pack the van as quickly and efficiently as possible and be on the road before night fall the next day; less than 24 hours away.

GETTING READY = DUMPSTER DIVING

I had already packed all the items I planned on taking this first trip. Running to the local Dollar General store dumpster over and over, I found all the sizes and shapes of boxes I’d need along with tons and reams of packing material. Each Thursday, DG stores receive shipments and discard the boxes into huge bins which are perfect for intrepid dumpster divers such as my friend Al and me. The best resource available and all for FREE!! Strong, sturdy boxes with liners, spacers and filled with shredded paper, tissue and Styrofoam peanuts. Perfect for my needs. For weeks, I’d make that Thursday jaunt a few blocks from my downtown home, filling the back of my little Honda hatchback with dozens of cardboard boxes. After each container was filled, it would be closed, taped and labeled. Then, down to the basement it went, on wooden pallets where it would await the day when as much as safely possible would be securely placed into the van. Crystal, china, utensils, silver and glassware; a lifetime of collections; along with everyday items found themselves stacked tightly and snugly with dozens of others…headed for the "Promised Land.”

Our idea was to bring the truck back to Independence that Friday evening, where we would fit all the boxes in place, first. This way, we would only have the larger furniture items to add on Saturday morning.

So, that day had arrived and Al and I were working feverishly fast to meet our time frame. First, in went the boxes; stronger, unbreakable things on the bottom, delicate, fragile things on top. Having done this 3 times previously while moving from California to SE Kansas, we had become proficient at expeditious, space saving compilation of all things great and small.

EXPERT PACKING BY MY PATIENT FRIEND

Next, in went furniture which could rest against the protective wooden railing which runs the length of both sides of the interior of the truck. To these, ropes can be tied to hold pieces from bouncing and bumping each other. Smaller stools and chairs can be placed inside the larger book cases and armoires, allowing for greater compacting and use of space. Al is a genius at this! Though the truck rental companies suggest that a 12’ van is meant to carry one large or two small rooms of furniture, or a 16’ van can carry two rooms worth; Al can expertly fit 3 or 4 rooms of typical furnishings into that 16’ area. And without a scratch, without breakage and no chipping of antique wood or vintage gingerbread.We had chosen to pack the boxes the evening we picked up the truck, the larger household couches, beds, dressers , etc. early Saturday, keeping our departure schedule on time.

MY BAD!!

Well, because Al is such a great packer, I had not planned on nor prepared the 2nd bedroom or living room for packing. I had no idea (and surely should have remembered) just how great a moving van filler Al was and, therefore, found myself emptying, moving and deciding upon additional pieces I hadn’t planned on taking. There was ample room for an amazing 100% more than I anticipated possible, causing me to rush around, picking and choosing, imagining the placement of these unexpected additions which took even more time to pick ‘who’ goes and ‘who’ stays for the next trip.Finally, we were finished, tied in, packed tightly and ready to load my Vintage BMW onto the car trailer. (please read The Auto Zone in my hubs).

ALL DRESSED DOWN AND NOTHING TO DO

All the neighbors came out to watch this action. (This should tell you how much there is to do here in the heat of the summer sun, while the downtown main street is, virtually, closed up for business except for a few remaining shops and stores which have, so far, avoided the economic downturn that still ravishes small town Americana.) Having done it before with this car as well as my little Honda CRX Si hatchback, I am practically a pro, and was able to complete the task first try. Up and onto the ramps leading to the front tire tie ins…it’s a scary feat because all the driver can see is upwards, above the metal strip that seems to be way too narrow to drive on. But, thankfully, the ramps are just the right size; more than adequate to accommodate my car. Without a hitch, I was able to drive the BMW into the proper location and strap the wheels, tie the rear axel in using a chain attached to the heavy trailer, secure the soft sided car cover tightly and..we’re ready to GO ! Our friendly viewers offered claps of approval and waves “goodbye” with “see you in a few days,” and “we love you guys,” “we’re so sad you’re leaving” well wishes as we were about to start our grueling non stop trek across the lower half of this country, on Hy. 40, to our destination..It was 9:30 pm ! Way past our planned on exit time. But, we were “locked and loaded,” and ready for this great adventure…More to come…I have to find my download cord so I can add pictures of the amazing sights we enjoyed along the way of our hallucinogenic, sleep deprived, ‘in the zone’ driving adventure.

(Excerpt: "It's 3 am...I'm driving with windows down while cruising on open roads at 70mph. Occasionally, I lean out the window as I'm driving, so that cold, shocking air will help to keep me awake. I'm so sleepy that I find myself drifting off to the right side of the road. Thankfully, the road warning strips carved into the asphalt, scream a grating warning to "wake up!" I shake myself from the sleep which had crept into my body, and steered the truck and trailer back onto the road. Al is asleep. I begin to see blotches of inky, oily splatters hit the windshield...and a large, dark spreading oozing slick begin to form in front of the truck......:"



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Comments 19 comments

A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

Well, sounds like a typical moving day. Glad to hear it went without too many issues. I especially love the pictures. I need to check out your bimmer!


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Despite some ladies opinions, men do come in handy occasionally, don't they Ms.Lucky. Now, let me cool off. Anyone whose ever moved will be right there with you and Al as y'all prepare to leave. Although this move is a bit out of the ordinary to say the least. You both deserve the packing and moving kudo award of the year. Your descriptive power of the experience is a sight to behold and I could feel the exciting rush and traces of purposeful anxiety. The pics are grand and the last part was what we worried most about. How many times have we all shaken our ourselves and felt the invigoration of the wind. Wonderful Kathy!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Your story reminded me of the song, ' On the road again ' I detest moving, but sometimes we gotta do what we gotta do. Stay awake. Be safe.

Smiles


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Ex California girl shares random thoughts while driving Vintage BMW on the deserted country roads of SE Kansas

Augustine...the above is the story "The Auto Zone' that I referred to here. Just a description of the car..which I love. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Alastar; I admit it! This is the craziest time of my life; I've made so many decisions based on purely emotional reasons and have not acted at all logically. so, here it is, 4 1/2 years later, and I'm 'undoing' the last 1/2 decade of my life. And, along the way, I ended up picking up more and more responsibility along with physical things. So, to say that this is a difficult move on EVERY level would still be an understatement. But, it's ok! What is life if not to question? Explore? Experiment? And answer those questions that are always at the back of one's mind...begging to be addressed. so..on with the next step in this adventure called 'life.' Always thrilled to see your comment on my work, Alastar!

Hi Always! Yes, On the road again...'the life I love is making music with my friends...' Yes, we 'gotta do what we gotta do...' Makes life interesting. I can't wait to be home...in one place and one piece! It'll take a while w/all my babies and things(!!!) I'm going to have the biggest GARAGE sale when I settle...I'll do much better in CA. than here...Thank you for commenting !!! Kathy


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

OMG Kathy,

I'm tired just reading about all that you've been doing lately. I'm glad you made it through the "oily splatters . . ." Looking forward to hear what happened next.

Take care,

Sharyn


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Ooh, Kathy,

The pictures are so gorgeous. I think this move warrants a good rest with pen in hand to keep writing your magical stories! I love where your life journey is taking you on every level! Voted UP & UFAB, mar!


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hello my two dear dear friends, Sharyn and Marie!!! I just love you guys...let me start with that~ Well, YES, my life is insane and busy and filled with all kinds of mistakes and unraveling of those and excitement and fatigue and discovery and all this costs so damn much!!!!! But, it will be a step completed pretty soon...I still have to figure out what to do w/my babies, my un sold home and everything else! Oh!! Anyway...the oily splotches are coming up; these are my totally sleep deprived, hallucinogenic visions I get when I'm so sleepy that I'm falling asleep at the wheel...but, 'all's well that ends well..' and, when I'm settled back HOME...you'all have to come visit me..'till then, writing it is! much love!! Kathy

PS.Marie...I did as you suggested and altered the title of Abandoned, Forgotten...it works!! And, I read your rewrite...fabulous, dahling!


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California

You are on your way Kathy, I have to agree with Sharyn, even reading about your move makes me tired, much less with Noah's Ark in tow - lol! I had to sing to my cat the entire 2 hours on our move, just to keep her calm, I don't know how you do it....

You and Al sound like you have it completely covered though, can't wait for your next update?! How you ever have time to write is beyond me?

Drive Safe!!!!!


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hey CKathy! Yes, on my way...except that I feel like I have a huge 'ball and chain' on my ankle as I try to get everything done and in order and complete...I only wish this home would sell..I need the $ and the freedom. The animals are covered/taken care of as we've found the greatest animal sitter..who will watch over them *(and can do it..amazing how she just is a natural..of course, she loves animals as we do). I'm getting ready to book a flight back one way so that I can stay for a while and get things in motion. It really is crazy; I had no idea my life would be so involved and that we would be so overwhelmed w/so much responsibility. But, I have faith it will work out. Just have to sell this house so that I can begin to build the animal sanctuary in N. Ca. Today, it's already around 105+ (haven't checked out the downtown temp. in an hour or so)...could be higher...and it's only 2:30 pm....this evening, it'll get to a chilly 'low' of 85. HATE IT!!!!! Being in Napa for those 2 weeks was absolutely wonderful and I'm "kicking my own ass" (ala Jim Carey in Liar Liar) for not leaving sooner. Oh well...it'll work out...it HAS to. LOL!! Thank you so much for 'visiting'...I am SO behind in my catch up reading of everyones' wonderful writing...


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

You guys could make this into a book or a movie. So compelling. I'm rooting for you. Any news on the home sale?


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi Sally! thanks for the idea...I'm thinking "a how-to" or "How NOT to"...what do you think? We've done this so many times since knowing one another....over almost 3 decdades...NO! Wait! We met in '75 and we're still "trucken' " through so so many changes, experiments, trials and, yes, errors. But, what the heck! What else are we going to do with our "free" time ( right!)...No sales and no interested parties for my home in SE Kansas. But, I have to say..when we arrived in Napa, dog tired and spent with so much work ahead of us and so little time, still...(and hopefully, I'll write more about this fabulous feeling...) walking through those doors...having my home since '86 mine again...feeling, after 4 1/2 years that I truly was HOME! What a wonderful feeling. I think, in all honesty; I haven't fully relaxed the entire time until I slept in my bedroom again, threw open the windows to fresh, cool air, heard the wind whip through the huge Oak and Bay and Pine trees...I was in Heaven....back in SE Kansas right now continuing the 'closing down' of this life....getting together a last time for a big bash on the 4th w\ the "Wild Kids."

thanks Sally, for stopping by..I notice I've turned my answer to you into a letter!!!!!


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

I think the idea of how NOT to do something is funny! So glad you feel at home in Napa. You and your animal crew deserve all good things!


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Thank you TS! "What a long, strange trip it's been..."


Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

Lucky Cats, I'm so sorry I haven't been able to read anything to keep up with your move. I've caught something since you got there, but I would have loved to have kept up w/this from beginning. This whole thing takes me back to a fantastic similar fantastic move I made (alone, however--transport and all) years ago, sans photos. Love the photos. Amazed you've got what it takes to photograph, write, etc. while doing it all! Now I'm back and started, I'll keep up--have to; continuations kill me!


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Teylina, so glad you're back and, hey, you've just been through one of our most difficult things..loosing a parent. I'm just happy to see your name out there again. Hope you're doing well...better...fantastic and looking forward to more of your thoughts...you're such a great writer. This trip..it's been a crazy time but, we will make it..all will work out. thanks for stopping bu...Kathy


Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

Don't worry; I've gotta go back and catch up and keep up w/now on you! Don't forget--think there's a couple of us want to track you down for some good talk, animal stroking, and a bottle of wine--someday!


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Oh..I don't think I finished this series...or several others, for that matter. So...you may have just read the end of it so far...or not, I don't know!!LO

Yes! Wouldn't that be cool! Well, when I'm finally settled...hopefully soon...it's an open door policy!


Sunny Barb profile image

Sunny Barb 5 years ago from Central Florida

Hello, Fellow Cat Lover,

Really enjoyed this. I have been out of The Hub, so to speak. Interestingly enough, I went to California for the first time in June, and have gone back two more times and I am addicted! During the time away I have not been in one place enough to get to a computer. Hopefully I am back in business again and will have access to a computer even when I do go back. It looks as if you have gone back. Hope you are all settled and life is treating you well. Look forward to reading more of your work as always.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi Sunny I noticed your absence....and here you were in Calif. Which parts did you visit? It really is a wonderful summer this year; never too warm and, in the northern part where I am, the evenings always cool way down. It is addicting, being here...so much to do, so much to see, so many different venues and people and food and fun. I'm glad you've gotten to enjoy this pretty place. Do keep in touch and I will, too. Kathy

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