In other moving news, my parents' time in Texas is rapidly drawing to a close. My dad has been up in Chicago at his new job for a few weeks now and I am happy to report that it seems to be going super duper awesomely. He's already written up a patent and seems to be finding lots of ways to make a difference in his new company and find his place there. On Labor Day weekend, he flew back down and drove one of their cars up (filled with his instruments, which he prefers not to have the movers handle, and long-sleeved clothes, which apparently you need in Chicago in September) and he will fly back down here this week to close on their house here in Texas, help mom with the packing, and then they will drive out of Texas for real with their second car, drawing their 30+ year stint in the Lone Star State to a close. They don't have a house yet in Chicago so for the time begin will be hanging out in the temporary housing that my dad's new company has put him up in. As part of his hiring package, they will have ACTUAL MOVERS come in and pack up their stuff later this week and then CARRY IT OUT OF THEIR HOUSE for them. This is a wild, innovative idea to me as I have never been in a position to do such a thing. Maybe someday I too will have the good fortune to have someone else carry all my heavy earthly possessions.
Rob and I spent our Saturday moving mattresses around the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We have been sleeping on a mattress that we bought right after we got married (to replace the really dreadful thing that Rob slept on during his single days). Seven years, two pregnancies, and three homes later, it was reaching the lumpy end of its ability to keep us comfortable. We thought we were just going to have to live with it for a while longer as a new mattress is really not a budgetary possibility these days, but then my parents decided that they are going to try to downsize their living space in their new city and their guest-bedroom mattress was in need of a new home. Hooray! I am so grateful to have our need met in this way. We did have to figure out a way to get the mattress over here, and then what to do with the old mattress and my parents' box spring. We borrowed a HUGE GIANT PICK-UP TRUCK from some friends from church (who have fixed it up to run on biodiesel and rent it out to people in just our situation) and hooked a trailer to the back (mostly because it was raining all weekend) and then started a marathon of driving around Dallas and the Mid-Cities. We left our house around 1pm and drove from our house to our friends' house to pick up the truck, then to pick up the trailer at U-Haul, then to my parents'. This first stage took over an hour and Grace and Violet were starting to lose it in the car, so we convinced my mom to watch the girls for the rest of our adventure. In hindsight, this was SUCH a good idea and I am so, so grateful that she was willing to do it. We loaded their mattress and box spring into the trailer and then went back to our house, where we switched our old mattress with its hills and valleys for my parents' pristine guest mattress. We then went up to a mattress donation center to drop off our old mattress and my parents' box spring where we managed to wedge ourself into a tricky corner of the parking lot that required going in reverse to extricate ourselves. This took, well, A WHILE. Life has not given Rob a lot of opportunities to develop his going-backwards-while-towing-something skills (nor, I feel I barely need mention, has it done so for me) and that lack of experience tends to become glaring in such a situation. It made us remember all the other times we have towed a trailer and moved stuff together, perhaps most memorably the time we were moving me to grad school and could not fit all the stuff from my storage unit into the trailer I rented. We ended up making two trips between College Station and Austin within 12 hours to get it all into my new apartment.
Anyway, we did eventually disentangle ourself from the parking lot, went to return the trailer at U-Haul, then drove BACK to my parents' house to pick up our offspring. By this time, it was so late that we had to go out to eat (with my mom, which was fun, although Grace was starting to glaze over in exhaustion). Then we trudged back to our friends' house to drop off the truck and then, finally, at length, we arrived home. At what time, you ask? After 9pm. Yes, this whole thing took 8 hours. I still can't quite believe it. We did drive well over 100 miles and it was raining the whole time, but I still find it excessive. I have comforted myself by thinking that I made up for those 8 hours the very first night (it took Rob until the 2nd night to break 8 hours on the new mattress as he stayed up into the wee hours of the morning trying to catch up on all the college football he missed by motoring across the Metroplex) and now I expect to have at least 7 more years to enjoy our lovely new mattress. In that context, our lost Saturday doesn't seem quite so dreadful.