I’m feeling a little sheepish at this point. If you’ve read my blog posts over the past few months, I’ve made many decisions (gobs of decisions!) to get myself ready for my March departure for the A.T. Slowly but surely, I’m reversing course on quite a handful. (If you don’t think so yet, you’ll understand what I mean in the next couple of weeks.) It’s really hard to acknowledge actually. I see myself as a pretty steadfast person. Once I decide on something for myself, I don’t like to change my mind. I prefer to check that decision off my list and move on to implementing it.
It started with my pack. I was sooo excited about the Osprey Aura that I announced it on the blog and expounded upon its wonders. Of course I jinxed myself by saying something before I’d gone on a hike with it, during which I discovered that the frame was too narrow for me and jabbed into my lower back. Now I’m trying out other packs but too gun-shy to mention which ones since I haven’t hiked with them yet.
Well, now my most recent reversal has to do with moving. I decided a couple of months ago that I would sell all of my furniture and store my other stuff (clothes, kitchen supplies, etc.) at my mother’s house. My mom has been so supportive in letting me bring those items home but didn’t feel she had space for bulkier items (i.e. furniture).
Over the two recent holiday weekends, I loaded up my car with boxes, taking advantage of the trip to move items. This last weekend I brought the art off my walls and all the books off my bookcase. My mom and I made everything “disappear,” putting the larger pieces of art on the walls in her house, tucking some books on shelves and giving away the rest, and squirreling away the remainder of the art in an unoccupied wardrobe.
It so happens that my youngest sister Ari was home for the weekend as well and was doing her best impersonation of a pout over the beds in the two upstairs bedrooms. Ari does have a point that the two mattresses are about 30 years old and slightly sagging in the middle, but it doesn’t really bother me. My mother contended that Ari no longer lives in the house and rarely sleeps there. Even so, it got her thinking.
“Jor, you’ll probably be back for a couple of months after your trek, right?”
This question, in and of itself, was enough to make me pause. After I graduated from college and spent a year serving in the gulf coast with AmeriCorps, my mom promptly informed me that I needed to get a job and move out. In my mind, the idea of living “at home” as a 30 year old still brings to mind images of a slacker. I understand that, in this economy, many hard-working people have difficulty getting a job (or even paying the bills with a job!), but it’s still a stereotype I must overcome in my own mind, especially because I have a job now and am willfully leaving it.
“Yes, if I’m welcome to stay for a couple of months while I figure out my options, I would likely buy a ticket from Maine to Virginia Beach.”
“Well, if you sleep on those mattresses more than three nights, you’re going to hurt your back. Why don’t you rent a U-Haul and bring your bed home?”
Because I made my decision already, that’s why!
“I don’t want to go through the trouble and spend the money on a truck for just my bed. I could sell it up in DC and then buy a cheaper twin mattress down here.”
We’d had this exact conversation a half dozen times already. But this time, having realized that my mom just wants to limit the clutter in her home (hence making my stuff “disappear”), which I totally respect, the wheels started turning.
Pause. Think. Strategize.
“Mom, Lani’s room” – everyone’s moved out, but it’s still “so-and-so’s room” – “doesn’t have any furniture in it besides the crappy bed.”
“Yeah, I finally sold it all on Craigslist a few months ago.”
“What if I brought down my furniture – 2 dressers, wardrobe, bookcase – along with the bed and put it in Lani’s room? That way it wouldn’t be “in storage” in your garage and so wouldn’t clutter up your space.”
“That could work. I mean it’s good quality furniture, right?” She’s thinking out the pros. Gaining traction. “You don’t necessarily want to get rid of it in case you’ll be moving within driving distance ultimately. And that way you wouldn’t be living out of a suitcase or cardboard box when you return.”
“What about my TV? I love that TV.”
Now we’re negotiating.
“It’s really bulky. It may be too heavy for the load-bearing capacity upstairs. Maybe you could bring it and put it in the garage for the time being.”
Wow, that was unexpected. She’s warming to the idea. I’m making progress. OK, what the heck, let’s see where this goes.
“I guess that just leaves the dining table and chairs. It’s not a big deal. I got them at a yard sale for so cheap. It’s a pity, though, because that table is a solid piece of wood.”
“Well, the shed has moisture control issues, but there’s space in there if you think it won’t damage it.”
“I would have to take the cushions off of the chairs, but the wood would likely hold up. Remember how we had the wooden rocking chairs in there for a couple of years? I think they were fine.”
We left the conversation tenuous since I hadn’t yet looked into rental truck costs, which I thought might be about $200 plus gas. The next day I did some research, first checking U-Haul and finding a base price of $260 for a one-way rental of a 10 foot truck from DC to Virginia Beach. I tried a couple of other companies with similar results.
I was not feeling particularly hopeful, but then I remembered my friend April talking about her experience with Budget Truck rentals. Shockingly, when I submitted the info for a quote, they were less than half the price. And I managed to find a coupon code online that brought it down a further 15%. With a price of $135 including all taxes/fees, there was no way I could turn that down. I reserved the truck. With gas, I imagine it’ll be about $200 total.
OK, so I changed my mind. (Here begins the rationalizing.) It’s not the end of the world (I’m trying to convince myself). This way I get to keep my high quality furniture and won’t necessarily have to go through the struggle of finding furniture when I return (unless I move to Africa or something…not likely). Oh, and I don’t have to worry about selling all my furniture in the next couple of months when I already have enough on my plate to get ready. And truth be told, my back and hips, which had been sore during my entire Virginia Beach visit, already began to feel better after one night’s rest in my own bed in DC.
Deep breath. Decision’s made. Rental reserved with a credit card, so there’s no turning back now. Phew. Onto the next decision. No, really, I’m serious this time.