We made the decision to sell the house and told them we would come out when the house sold, I made arrangements for a realtor to come out and give us an idea what to sell for, this was Friday and she was supposed to come talk to us on Monday afternoon, Cindy made her usual “Mickey Dees” run to get a coke on Saturday and mentioned to the girl we called Little Cindy at the drive up that we were going to put the house up for sale and move to CA. Little Cindy asked why and said that she wanted our house, we have known Little Cindy since she was in diapers and she is now married with a little girl of her own, she has been in our house a lot while growing up so it wasn’t like she didn’t know our home.
Cindy told her to go to the bank and get pre approved for a loan and we would talk, I figured this would take a while, but come Monday morning while I was finishing up on the remodel I had just done on our house with the intent of always living there, Cindy comes to me and says Little Cindy is on the porch and wants to ask you a question, her question was an offer for our house which was enough to pay it off and take care of our moving expenses, I told her it sounded good and off to the bank she went.
I am in the computer room starting to lay the tile I had been holding off doing until I finished painting, I was on the third row when I looked up to see Little Cindy grinning like the Cheshire cat, she tells me “Jimmy I just bought your house” I thought she was kidding I said heck you can’t buy it until I finish this tile, she says you better finish because the banker wants you to come down. Little Cindy the little sister of one of our daughter’s friends who we watched grow up had just purchased our home.
The paperwork went through quickly and we were closing at the end of the month, this means end of December and I had not even hung the Christmas lights outside for Cindy as we do every year as of yet, the amount of lights always got larger and the decorations on our house always made us happy to enjoy each other and our neighborhood full of friends, these friends were family in our eyes and now we had to tell them why there would be no lights this year.
We packed up, gave away, and donated the furnishings of a four bedroom house and three sheds, I cleared out my garage which was no small task and there we stored the things that would be going to California with us, in the middle of this we did have our Christmas tree in the window but all other lights and decorations remained packed. We have a lot of good friends who still live there and they were there to help us load, we weren’t going anywhere without having one more meal with each of them and we were not doing any work on our own because they were there for us. It wasn’t easy making this big of a change but I think when it really hit me wasn’t when we signed the papers or even when we gave our keys to Little Cindy, it was when I walked through our big house talking alone with Cindy and could hear that echo of an empty house, I knew then that we were on to the next page in our lives.
With the U Haul loaded and our van on a trailer behind it we were ready to go, we decided to get a trailer for the van to ride on rather than drive two, heck we had already sold my truck because there was no way we could drive a U Haul, van, and truck between Cindy, Dixie, and I, and we like it better riding together anyway, we get to talk and Dixie can sit on the passengers lap and bark at a select few vehicles as they pass us.
We left town about 3pm with the intentions of driving down to Las Cruces, NM and getting a motel for the night, then making it to her parent’s house by the following evening, there were no motels available anywhere in Las Cruces, we got on I-10 and headed west stopping at every available exit to find no motels, man there was a lot of traffic it almost seemed like it could be a holiday or something, well guess what Jimmy it’s New Years weekend and there are no motels, we finally got so tired that I pulled to the edge of a truck stop parking lot after filling up to rest for a bit, ran the engine long enough to get the cab heated up and tried to go to sleep, not happening too many trucks driving in and out, and the comfort of a U Haul truck is something you wont believe, we had a fairly new one that had reclining seats which was good until you went to recline them, to get this done I had to pull the seat forward as far as I could to recline it because the back of the seat was against the back of the cab, OK picture this I finally get the seat forward enough to recline it, the steering wheel is between my knees which are propped against the dash, Cindy covers me with a blanket, she had the same problem minus the steering wheel and Dixie just had to crawl up onto my leg that was against the door so she could see out the window, we slept until it got cold and the windows were fogged which didn’t take long at 12 degrees.
We got back on the interstate and headed west I’m thinking it’s about 3am by then and the traffic is still heavy, not sure where we stopped next but it was a rest area with a parking spot in between a tree and a semi truck parked for the night, the cab was warm and we had reclining the seats figured out, Cindy covered me and Dixie crawled up onto my leg, I laid back and next thing I knew it was daylight and the semi was gone, I never heard him leave, we made it to Cindy’s folks house in record time with no problems, we didn’t have to open up the U Haul for inspection at the CA Border which I had expected and the temperature was pretty nice, heck I even took my jacket off—This is going to be good, you just have to love a good road trip.