Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved
Bugs and Beaches
And things I learned the hard way after I moved
I made it! (With all three children, dog and worldly belongings.) Saturday morning (one week ago yesterday) I jumped in the car, with one change of clothes each, a cooler, a 75 pound dog (and accessories), Mom (grandma) and our GPS. 30 hours later (after a quick stop in Clarksville to sleep) we drug ourselves onto the threshold of our new rental home at 9 a.m. on Monday morning.
What a CRAZY trip. What a miserable, hellish trip. We 'survived' the worst gas station I have ever been to (Mom swears she's been to worse) and went to a 3,000 foot mountain for fun (unfortunately missed Rock City by six minutes) and three of us got sick along the way. It was truly a modern-day "Oregon Trail" for this family.
When I'm more settled in (ie: my house doesn't look like a hurricane destroyed the interior of the house) I will write more. But - I wanted to share my "lessons learned" with you.
Things I Wish I Had Known Before the Trip:
1. Don't settle for moving expenses being split up into two payments. It will never work, financially. Get the money in your sweaty little palm before you head out on the road. You'll be very sorry if you do it any other way.
2. Figure out a way to ship your pet to your destination. Traveling with a dog (that farts constantly) and has to pee every 10 miles is indescribable misery.
3. Don't sign a lease on a property/apartment until you've been to (and walked through) at least five more houses in five different locations. While I love the house I chose, I was so desperate to sign on a house, I discovered that it really is too far from work.
4. If you have children that you are moving to a completely different kind of area you need to go the area you'll be living and experience it with your children for, at the very least, a week. Turns out my kids have been to the beach a handful of times and they don't really like it (too much sand in crevices and cracks).
5. Ask if the house is at risk of flooding. Just do it. And then check out the public records to make sure the landlord isn't lying.
Things I learned the hard way:
1. When your friends tell you the house you chose is "country"...they know what they're talking about. (Today my children found an escapee pot-bellied pig...and brought it to my house...where it took a little nap under my boys' bunk bed...Then we wrapped 'her' up and took her back to her farm - yep...farm - where were informed that the pig's name is "Jerry" by a man named Rusty.)
2. When your friends tell you that the house is too far of a drive from work...they know what they're talking about.
3. There are a LOT of bugs in Florida. And when I say a LOT...I mean it. Red ants, love bugs, cockroaches, palmetto bugs, banana spiders and my personal favorite: no-see-ums. Seriously? As if cockroaches weren't enough of a deterrent...Florida also has no-see-ums...bugs that bite/sting/crawl on you..but you can't actually see them. The native Floridians refer to them as 'fleas' that you can't see...
4. Unpacking one box at a time is a much sounder method than ripping into every box near you out of sheer excitement.
5. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER plug in the dryer cable unless you're sure it's grounded...
6. Test the water in your home before you buy/rent it. Mine tastes funky.
7. Drive around your potential new neighborhood. You might discover a farm one street over with goats, pigs, bulls, chickens, dogs, horses and a junkyard in the middle of all the animals...
8. You also might discover a pond with a retaining wall that floods during tropical storms is within less than a mile from your new home...
9. Don't leave furniture behind just because you're afraid it won't fit later. You can throw it out or sell it once you get to your destination if it doesn't fit or you don't need it. (I got rid of two dressers before I left Kansas and I discovered here that I needed them.)
10. Do your research on wildlife and the local insects in your new area. You might discover you don't want to live in an area that is cockroach/mosquito/no-see-ums/fleas/red ant infested...
I will learn to live with all of the above mistakes...but some of those on the list may have completely changed my decision on where to live and how to prepare myself for the different lifestyles and climate. I am happy. It was a good move. I dread the day (Tuesday) when Mom leaves...but I know that it will be okay.
I really hate cockroaches, though.