The Very Beginning
So when I heard that Brian was interested in doing research at the UA, I was a bit unexcited. It wasn't Europe or New England, or any place really appealing to me. After all, I grew up there. I've seen it/done it and well...it's just Tucson. Then I started reconnecting with a bunch of old friends from school (elementary - college) and got a bit more excited. Some of them are still in Tucson and others come home for holidays and vacations. Cool!
Then, just as I was getting a bit excited about coming back to my hometown, we played the numbers game and realized that if we didn't rent out our home, we simply could not afford to go. That would be paying to go to work, and who wants to do that?!! I was very particular about our potential renters. They simply had to have a personal recommendation from someone we knew. I didn't want total strangers living in our home with all our stuff. I just wasn't comfortable with that at all. So, our potential renter pool was quite small. Finding a renter would be like finding a needle in a haystack.
There was some interest...not a lot, but some. There are not that many people who need a furnished home for just 4 1/2 months!! We gave ourselves a deadline...if we didn't find renters by a certain date, we would simply stay in McMinnville. All spring I truly believed that this would be the outcome. So much that I re-did a garden bed in the backyard and put in a vegetable garden.
At the last possible moment (literally a day before our deadline) we learned that a new Linfield family wanted to rent our home. Wow. Really?! OK! Into planning mode I went...
We rented the house out with the exception of two rooms: Katie's bedroom and my office. Those rooms would be used for storage. We had to clean out our dressers, closets, bathrooms, pantries, put away knick-knacks, breakables, etc. Plus, we completely emptied out our guest room, leaving just the bed, armoire, and nightstand. All the rest of our stuff went into the two storage rooms. By the time we left there were just mounds of piles (organized, but still mounds of piles!) in these two rooms.
So the house was ready...next was packing our car....the Honda Accord with everything we'd need for 4 1/2 months! We had a huge pile on the dining room table that was "have to take", and another pile that was "want to take." Most of it was clothing and the piles were HUGE. We had some Space Bags that we filled, sucked all the air out, and squished our clothing into a space 1/3 of their original volume. Impressive!
Once we packed the computer, clothing, some books and other little essentials, we found we had plenty of room for the "want to bring" pile. Everything in the "want to bring" pile fit too...with room to spare! YEA!!! At that point, we began stuffing little things into crevices...more books, DVDs (out of original cases....into smaller ones), favorite kitchen gadges, a few more pair of shoes, a volleyball...even Katie's huge stuffed cow made the cut. The cow had to be in her personal space, but it made the cut. We were very impressed!
The next morning Brian loaded his and Katie's bikes onto the car. Katie got in the back seat, and Tahoe took up the other half. Brian's parents waved as we drove off.... for two 11 hour days of travel!
Next installment: The long drive and arrival in Tucson...