Saturday, July 21, 2007

o.k....that was crazy!

Since the last few days has been a whirlwind of activity with the move to the eastern part of the country, this is the first night that I actually have time to sit down and write. How nice it feels to be rested and and somewhat settled.

On Friday of last week, the moving truck showed up at our house around 4:oo pm. As usual, I was interested in getting started on the packing knowing that it was going to take a LONG while to get it all done. That night, my children and I loaded as many of the house items as wee could and then waited for the big Saturday move. It really was helpful t0 have people pop in throughout the day and help pack or move things for me.

The plan was to finish packing on Saturday, then leave late Sunday night after an all church picnic that was planned for another family and us. Not only did we not finish packing that night, but we also spent two more days packing and adding three-fourths of second truck to the moving caravan. After all was finished, we loaded up the van with several snacks (and children) and started our journey across America on Monday night.

The first night we drove from Los Angeles to Amarillo , Texas. All together about it took us about 19 hours. We switched driving roles a few times which gave us resting periods to drive for such a long time. That night, I took the children swimming and then as a family, we went out to eat. They loved it!

The next day, we drove around 5 hours to make it to some friend's house in Tulsa, OK. We stayed, ate dinner, and talked until midnight before we set out on the rode again to get to Ohio. We landed at some close friend's house by the late afternoon.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

DMV cont'

to have a chance to smog it before I left. She again barked what seemed like another order to me about having started registration here that I needed to finish it here. That other states did not receive and register cars that were "fleeing" from other states. All of this made complete sense to me and I knew that I would have gotten that type of response. However, I stood there looking dumbfounded by her response as if I did not expect it. She again reminded me that I needed to "finish up" business here before moving on.

As I stood there, I was not necessarily thinking that she was going to change her mind, nor did I want her too. I was just standing there thinking "wow, not what I wanted to do." Then God stepped into the situation. I told her that the whole problem was not even an emission issue but rather a sensor issue that was going to cost me several of my precious green dollars. She exclaimed, "A thousand dollars! That's crazy" . . . to which I agreed. I told her I was trying to sell the car and wasn't able to sell it before I moved and that I would need to take it with me. Then the funniest thing happened. She said, " Wait a minute, hold on, there is something else you can do." I about flipped! She then started informing me that if I filled out a certain form once I got to NC, and sent it back to CA that they would EXEMPT me from smogging the car just this once. Just this once! Since when did the DMV EVER exempt anyone from smogging their car! I thought that the odds of this happening were as good as me winning the lottery in Los Vegas. (and I don't even gamble :)

Making a long story shorter, she gave me more paper to carry to my seat so I could wait for my letter and number combination to be called to be EXEMPTED from getting my car smogged this year! What a move of God on someone's heart.

The only sad situation was that on the way home, prior to giving God ALL the credit for the earlier DMV OFFICIAL PARDON, I thought that the way I stated my situation, you know all humble and innocent, was what converted her mind. Within seconds, thankfully, I came to my senses and realized my selfishness.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

in the midst of moving....God moves

What a crazy time to be sitting and typing. Almost 3:00 am and today was a successful day moving some BOXES! Had some friends stop by and give some help, and along with the dedicated work of my wife and children, we got almost half of the truck packed BEFORE the big move day. I am still wondering what I am going to leave behind because I know that the whole house is not going to fit.

In making this move, one of the biggest challenges has been the sale of my car. Through several circumstances, it has drained time and money from me with no hope of letting up. However, in the midst of such a troublesome situation, God has again showed his mercy and grace on me. The story goes like this: I was at the DMV, well let me start before that. I needed to get my car smogged before I left California. In order to get a certificate I was going to be required to fix a whole bunch of things on the car that did not necessarily need to be done yet. About a thousand dollars worth of work. So, I am driving to the DMV and I ask God to be gracious to me and get me through the smogging situation by giving me an extension on it. When I got there, I waited in the usual line and when it finally was my turn, I approached the window.

Barking, the DMV Nazi asked me how she could help me. I told her that I was not sure. I then told her my situation about moving out of state and that I was not going...I'll finish it tomorrow :)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

oh the boxes!

Now I remember why I am so reluctant to move. The boxes are never ending. Today I spent the whole day unloading the garage. That's not even getting to any of the work I needed to do on the INSIDE of the house. Hopefully, I will be able to get through it all and have it ready to put into the container by Saturday.

Tonight again was a time for saying goodbye. We spent some time having dinner with a favorite couple and talked about all sort of things. Kind of felt like that last night out before the move. A little sad. :(

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

feeling the nerves...

Today, it finally hit me that we are REALLY moving. Not that it hadn't occured to me before, but today it took on a new feeling. You know the one....the pit in your stomach accompanying the multiple questions.....will we have enough space in the truck......what about the baby during the trip.....what if we find no place to live.....and the list goes on.

As I sit here, after rumaging through the gargage boxes, I am reminded of how much "stuff" we have that is not necessary. I have collected all this seemingly important and useful material only to arrive to the decision that I have indeed waisted time and space again lugging stuff from one place to another. Things I have not used in years still following me around everywhere I go. And, I wonder why it is so difficult to part with it all. What is the big attachement? Am I afraid that I am going to miss it even though I rarely use it?

I have been reading more about the agrarian life through some popular blogs. There seems to be tons of others who have gone before us fleeing from the city and establishing themselves in a rural lifestyle and living life like people used too. I have (really my wife did!) decided to label what we are attempting, Hobby Farming. We are still so early in the process that the idea of running a farm seems so foreign.

Tommorrow is a big packing day. I can't wait to sift and purge more!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

waiting for the day...

As the day of moving draws nearer, the anticipation in our hearts is increasing. The days seem to "linger" and we are filling them with last minute visits to the beach, and saying goodbye to old friends. Saying goodbye is always difficult, however, we are finding excitement about what awaits us.

There are still a few things that need to be wrapped up before we actually leave and drive across the entire United States though. Hopefully, those tid-bits will be quickly and easily handled. From packing to selling, the list of items to take care of before a move seems to never end!

Today I spent some time online looking for banks in the area as well as where the local post office was. I also spent some time studying the names of streets and how they run through the city. Seems boring huh? Also, a local realtor sent some literature about the city and the surrounding area that gave me insight on the various places to visit, places to eat, and cultural activities that are planned. What fun it is to find out about the place prior to moving!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

a little history

What prompted this move was the closing of my position teaching art in the public schools here in greater Los Angeles. Ildi had been talking about moving to the country, getting a cow, growing food........and I was reluctant. Having come from a small rural town, I was in no hurry to go back to the place where everyone knew everyone, and the checkout line at the local grocery store took hours because the checker needed to catch everyone up in the line on the local gossip. Hence, the reason I moved to the city! Anyway, coming from different angles, she convinced me that tending "things" was something that I was already doing and that it wouldn't be that different to just increase the scale. I wasn't completely convinced, until January, when I recieved the notice that my position at school was closing. With the state tests becoming more important, classes like art are being phased out and replaced with additional math and language arts classes. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to see if God would open the door for us to move out of state and possibly start on the process of purchasing some land to work on. After some research, we settled on North Carolina, and I started down the road of finding a new position teaching there. After visiting and interviewing at several schools, we decided on a place to land. We were insecure thinking that once we decided on a city, that we needed to move there, buy a house, and start living our lives. It wasn't until a few weeks ago that that we realized that we are not bound to any city, and that we could move there, stay for awhile, and then evaluate our needs at that point. It is so freeing to know that at any time if we want to move, we can. This is completely different that my previous mindset of staying in one place forever.

INTO the world of BLOGGING

I think it has taken me too long to start the online diary of my family's story. So, I am starting today, (short and sweet) with the the most current and exciting news. That news being that we are only two weeks away from moving from our beautiful home in Pasadena, California to embark on the journey of living completely debt free and learning to live a more agrarian lifestyle in the state of North Carolina. After years of reading about others leaving the urban life to retreat to a simpler way of living, we have finally come to the place where all the circumstances, of course orchestrated by God, have worked out for us to make the jump from city to country folk. I can hardly wait to get where we are going and start the life we have been planning for years!