Last week, the four of us took a trip to Eureka to look for our new house and we found it. Sounds simple, right? When you have children, nothing is ever going to be as simple as it was before. This trip was a lesson in patience and trial by error for all of us. We got a late start Monday and ended up crashing in a Super 8 motel instead of the campsite we had aimed for, which was frustrating in that cheap motels feel cheap, but aren’t actually; free wifi is meaningless when we accidentally forget to bring our laptop; and having beds to sleep in does not guarantee a restful night of uninterrupted sleep.
We’ve reached a point in our lives where we’ve tried enough things that we generally know what we like and what we don’t like and neither one of us was the least bit surprised that we slept a thousand times better in our tent and sleeping bags the next night at the campsite. We know we like camping. Once upon a time, circa 2002-2003 BC (Before Children) it was ALWAYS backpacking, far from things like restaurants and parking spaces. We’ve learned to appreciate car camping only because of our children and in that way, and so many others, bless their hearts, our kids have taught us to expand our horizons and be willing to compromise. This time we tried out a KOA campground for the first time ever, which, for the standard campsite price, included a heated outdoor pool and hot tub, as well as access to arcade games, ice cream, and laundry mat. The boys had a ball swimming in the pool and before we left we dried our towels and suits in the dryer there. Not everyone would count this as “glamping” but to us it was as close to that as we will hopefully ever come and it wasn’t half bad.
Our house search took us all over Eureka and even to one spot in between Rio Dell and Ferndale. The kids spent hour upon boring hour patiently waiting in the car while one of us would jump out and look at properties or go in to management offices. The few times they were allowed out to look inside a house with us they managed to perform endearing childish acts such as rolling around on horrible old stained carpets or sticking their fingers in wet paint. Eventually we weighed all our options and chose a small two bedroom with detached garage in a decent neighborhood on a dead end street.
All the necessary steps for our big move up north are now falling into place as naturally as the force of gravity pulling an object back to earth.
Yesterday we rented the Uhaul truck. We chose a 14 footer, considered upgrading to a 17 foot truck when we looked a the daunting piles of boxes and furniture we had to fit it, and decided to stick with the 14 foot truck knowing that if everything was packed tightly all the way to the back it wouldn’t slide around on the six hour drive up. Family Man performed a feat of engineering and packing genius when he loaded this truck. Everything that needed to fit did, with not even two inches to spare in any direction.
He’s my hero. Nothing was left behind, including of course, two bunnies and one goldfish. They had the exclusive privilege of riding up front with him in the cab.
Brother and Young Son and I get to stay for three days so I can clean the house and finish my last few days working at the store. I just read The Little House in the Big Woods to the boys and I hope that by sharing these stories, they will begin to gain an appreciation for all the luxuries we enjoy which families just a few generations ago couldn’t even imagine.
This adventure of ours is not exactly heading west in a covered wagon, but its as near as we will come this time and perhaps a good bit more comfortable.