Waking up the next day brought many adventurous expectations one of which was picking up the truck. The truck Lydia had rented was a little 10 foot truck. We arrived at the pickup point at the designated time. The lady behind the desk asked, "Do you have a washer and a dryer, cause this truck doesn't have a ramp you know?" I said, "Yah, we got a washer and a dryer, but we'll get it in the truck somehow." She proceeded to poke around in the computer and shuffle through the papers on the desk. Finally, she laid out the papers and the normal routine of sign here, initial here began. On completion of the proper paper work, we jumped into a golf cart and boogied around back to pick up a dolly for the move. We sped out in the yard where the trucks were and pulled up in front of a truck. I glanced at the truck and turned to the rental lady and said with a puzzled look on my face, "This isn't a 10 foot truck is it?" She looked at me and said, "Oh honey, you really need a ramp if you're going to be moving a washer and dryer so I upgraded you to a 16 foot truck for no extra charge." This turned out to be a huge blessing. This was a brand new truck with only 3,000 miles on it with an engine that toted us up the hills and down the hills at 70 MPH. What a joy it was to drive such a truck. We got the truck back to the house and the packing began. By noon I suspected that we were in trouble with the 9AM check out time the following day. As we moved on into the evening and night I knew for sure that we would not be having any sleep this night. About 7PM Lydia informs me that we needed to unhook the satellite TV. OK no problem just pull off a few cables in the back of the receiver and unscrew the cables from the wall receptacle and we're good to go. Lydia said, "No we have to remove the cables out of the house and leave it just it was when Eddie and I moved in. OK not a problem a few staples here and there and it's a done deal. Lydia says, "No, I mean everything has to be removed even the dish as well as the pole in the ground out back." Now those of you that have read the story about moving my Mother-in-law's flagpole with the concreted in bottom can certainly understand the thoughts dancing through my head at sound of that comment. The silver lining in this project was I got to go to Walmart to buy a spade to dig out the concreted in dish pole. Upon digging around the pole in preparation to pull it up out of the ground I ran into ....... you guessed it ROOTS. Man, why did it have to be roots. I found a saw in the stuff to be moved and sawed out the roots . Finally, after a few minutes of blood, sweat, tears, a grimace, and grunt out popped the pole. Only one little dab of concrete probably not more than 50 pounds on the end of the pole was all that held the pole in the stable position. My goodness sakes alive when I put my Mother-in-law's flagpole in the ground I put close to 200 pounds of concrete down the hole to keep flag jitter from happening. This was a piece of cake compared to moving the flagpole. I was right the next morning found us still cleaning up the floors and making sure everything was out of the house. At 9:45, the task was done. Total evacuation was complete. With the house check completed we headed out to Lydia's friend to leave some furniture that she didn't want to take and some of Eddie's clothes with her. Eddie would be picking up his clothes to take to the barracks when he came back from the short sea duty. By noon we were getting hungry so lunch was in order. After being up all night and eating lunch at noon, I knew we would probably make it out of town and be too tired to drive much farther. I was surprised when we actually made it 100 miles before Lydia came on the walkie talkie and informed me she couldn't go any farther. We bedded down for the evening and night. And thus ended the first two days of moving, but hey we were on the way with only 2300 more miles to go. The next day we headed out through Georgia, Mississippi, and into Arkansaw. We made about 900 miles that day and 700 the next day. We ended the third day by getting through Amarillo Texas. What a ride it was through that town. By this time I was feeling quite comfortable driving the truck. We hit the town of Amarillo just after dark. We are whizzing through the town following the signs to stay on I-40 and some how I ended up in the outside lane going through what looked like some kind of construction zone. There were big concrete dividers placed on the lane line on my left side. To stay in the middle of the lane put the left side of the truck only a foot or so from the concrete dividers. All these big towns drive at an incredibly fast speed. I have no idea what the speed limit was but I was cruising along at about 70 just to keep up with traffic flow. Much to my surprise a huge flatbed 18 wheeler with some kind of machinery strapped down on the bed came inching up beside me and decided to snuggle up real close to his lane line on my right side. There we are flying down the highway in the middle of town with one side inches away from a cement wall and the other side inches away from the big boy's mirror. I looked straight ahead and did my best to just keep brand new Penske (Truck Rental's name) in the center of the lane. With white knuckles and beads of sweat popping out, I praying, "Lord just get through this town. I promise never to sin again." It's truly amazing what I will promise to do when I'm praying for the Lord to bale me out of whatever situation I've gotten myself into. I made it through the town of Amarillo and heaved a big sigh of relief. I was truly glad to end that day, but little did I know that the next day would be scariest yet to come.
The morning of the 4th day we headed out across the plains of New Mexico right into the teeth of a storm. The wind was no less than 40 MPH angled at 45 degrees across the highway. We headed into the hills so the wind would be blasting in gusts. Then it began to rain and not too far down the road driving snow began to fall. By noon we were driving along thick ice covered roads with still a cross wind. Sometime right after noontime we ground to a halt and could see nothing but stopped cars and trucks all the way over the horizon. After about an hour or so, the line began inching along until we passed the crash site. A big 18 wheeler had mashed the back bumper of a little white job clear up to back of the front seat. Once past that we spun up the speed to about 55 or 60 and headed once more toward the ever decreasing space between us and our destination.
When we stopped for gas, I asked Lydia if she wanted to stop for the day and hope the next day would be better. Her reply was just as I thought it would be, "Dad we're from Nebraska. We know how to drive in this stuff."
We stopped in Gallup New Mexico to gas up and eat up. We stopped to gulp down some Mc Donald's finest quizine. Only in New Mexico could you find on the menu at Mc Donald's a Green Chili Hamburger. Yum Yum good. Chase it down with a shake and you got yourself a real deal of a meal. Leaving the town of Gallup posed some what of problem as the entrance to the interstate required starting from a dead stop at the bottom of a hill of maybe a quarter mile and bearing off to the right to enter onto the highway. The problem was the snow had been packed down to the point of ice up the hill and of course everyone was spinning and sliding trying to get up the hill. I wasn't going to get stuck on the hill by driving up behind a spinning car and then have to stop and be stuck like the rest of the town's citizens. I got some irritated looks as I patiently waited for the hill to clear. When the road was clear I mashed the accelerator to the floor and flew up the hill without ever so much as a spin. I guess Lydia was right. We're from Nebraska. We know how to drive in this stuff. We barely made 200 miles that day. The next day we made the Arizona ride to Flagstaff with much better weather and a lot easier driving. With out final destination in sight for the day, we left Flagstaff and headed toward Las Vegas only a short 5 hour ride. At Kingman, Lydia headed toward Las Vegas the shortest way to get to the apartment at the 2:00PM hour for signing rental papers. Because of 911 trucks are not allowed to go over Hoover dam, so I pealed off and took the hour longer route across the bridge to get to Las Vegas. So with the 2400 mile trip at an end the fun will begin unloading.