Friday, July 25, 2008

Dolly: The Texas Welcome Wagon

Well, we've arrived in Texas - and it's been a crazy first week here to say the least! I'm sure you have heard that Hurricane Dolly provided us with a hectic welcome to our new state - when they said everything is bigger in Texas, they weren't kidding! We've had quite an eventful trip down and first few days here, I'll try my best to chronicle the journey for's OK to laugh, that's the only way we've gotten through a lot of this! :-)

DAY 1 (Saturday): With the help of some amazing friends and family, we packed up the trailer last Saturday in a little under 5 hours - not bad for 24' of trailer space (I never ever thought we would need that much!). Thanks to all of you for your help packing, cleaning, and watching kiddos! So far so good in unpacking...the only minor injury sustained is the deep freeze top got a little smashed in! And that mattress cover still fits like a glove! :-) After packing up the trailer, we took quick showers and hit the road for Texas! We made it to Little Rock that night, after a bit of a wild ride through southern Illinois. We ran into a driver who was clearly intoxicated and was all over the road - almost side-swiping a number of cars. I had my first call into 911 ever (not counting the fake ones from the days of drills for lifeguarding)! No idea what happened to the guy - we just kept our distance.

DAY 2 (Sunday): Not alot happened this day - other than driving through Texas...I was a little disappointed that they didn't have a "Welcome to Texas" sign on our route...I had no idea that they had Dolly lined up as our welcome in the coming days. We made the trip from Indianapolis to Corpus Christi in 20 hours and 12 minutes (official driving time). In the picture, you can see my view of Dan for the entire trip...our cars were packed to the roofs!

DAY 3 (Monday): We woke up this morning to hear that Tropical Storm Dolly was passing over Mexico, back in the gulf and headed toward Texas. When we saw the "projected path" on the news, we both just looked at each other like, "Did that just say it was coming toward Corpus Christi...for real?" Yes, for real! Our insurance agent called as we were packing up the cars to go for our final walk through before closing on the house - she wanted us to come in that day and sign our flood insurance because it had to be filed by a certain time to be in effect for the storm. Thank you, God, for leading us to this agent who would care enough to call us! We found out at closing that there were tons of people scrambling to get insured and getting denied because the storm had passed the mystical mark where insurance no longer issues policies. We also found out that we were one of the only homes our title agency was closing this week because of the storm/insurance issue. Again, thank God that He orchestrated everything so perfectly! We also ventured out to the grocery store to get some food for our new house - moving tip: don't go to the grocery store or the gas station when a hurricane is coming! Yowsa! It reminded me of when snowstorms come through Colorado/Indiana - and you walk in WalMart and right in the front there are shovels, ice melt, and sleds...only here it was water, emergency radios, and batteries! We also went to pick up our new TV at Best Buy - it was supposed to be delivered on Wednesday, the day the hurricane would be at it's worst. Only, it was about 2 inches too long for the back of Dan's I rode in the back with the TV and it's stand for the 20 minute drive home. As we pulled around the corner, our neighbors were (of course) out in their yard and got to witness the entire debacle - including when Dan couldn't get the door open because my rear end had lodged the lock - and when it finally opened the "panic" horn started sounding because he had locked the car. Hello neighbors!!

DAY 4 (Tuesday): Today was day 2 of cleaning the house. The previous owners clearly didn't clean much - and the house had been vacated for about 10 months. It pretty much looked like once we went into contract 2 months ago, they never had someone clean or mow the lawn (maybe 2 weeks on the lawn...). They also left a ton of trash and crap in the garage and cupboards. Dan was quite pleased to find a samurai sword in the kitchen cupboard. We held onto it just in case we had to deal with looters as Dolly came through! :-) We spent most of today cleaning, chasing lizards (seriously - in our house), flushing the biggest roach of a bug I have ever seen in my life (well, Dan flushed, I cowered in the corner), and pulling wallpaper off the kitchen walls. In the picture on the left, you can see the first sights of Dolly as she made her way to us.

DAY 5 (Wednesday): Hurricane Dolly arrived through the night. We spent our first hurricane inside, painting the kitchen and living room (I'll post some pictures once we get everything situated!). The best way to explain what it was like is a 2-day long severe thunderstorm. We were woken up by the biggest, loudest thunder we'd ever heard (everything..still bigger in Texas!) and it was just really windy and tons of rain. This picture shows pretty much what the day looked like. Along the beaches in Corpus Christi, there were waves 12 feet high! Dan wouldn't let me go see. We also had wind gusts up to 70 mph, with around 40mph sustained winds through most of Tuesday night and Wednesday. The local news stations were reporting 10+ inches of rain from good 'ol Dolly - our yard definitely needed it after being neglected for the last 2 months! We only lost power for a couple of really brief bouts - nothing too crazy. I think the craziest thing for me was the way the storm swirled around. One hour the wind would be pelting the rain on the south-side of the house, the next hour it's on the north-side. At one point, the branches on our tree in the front yard were swirling around in a circle from the wind! We were under a tornado watch, but never had any around here. Kingsville, where my school is, had some sighted - but no major damage.

DAY 6 (Thursday): Broncos Training Camp opened today!!! Our trailer arrived this morning! We were told yesterday that it wouldn't make it until Friday because of the hurricane - but were woken up by the workers at ABF telling us they were bringing the trailer out! We scurried around and got the air mattresses deflated so we could sleep on our own bed tonight! They dropped it off and couldn't believe we were going to unload it in a hurricane! It was still pretty windy, but the rain had stopped - so we figured, why not? We spent about 2 hours unloading things so we could get to our bed and get it out and set up. It was REALLY humid today - so we were both nice and sweaty from moving around outside. We had movers scheduled to come out at 4pm, so we saved most of the heavy stuff for them. While we were waiting for the movers to come, we put away the boxes that we had unloaded and got our DirectTV (yay - NFL Sunday Ticket - GO BRONCOS!!!) hooked up. Dan pretty much directed the movers, and I stayed inside for most of it to start unpacking and getting things situated.

DAY 7 (Friday/Today): Both of Dan's interviews that were scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday of this week were rescheduled because of Hurricane Dolly. He is on the first of 2 interviews right now! He is out at Texas A&M-Kingsville, where I will be teaching. They are interviewing him for 2 positions out there now - we are praying that he will get one of these so we can be at the same school! He also has an interview at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Monday. Please be praying for him as he goes through these interviews - that God will place him where He can most use him!!

Again - thank you all for your prayers and support through this move! We'll be sure to keep you updated on our lives down here in the Lone Star state! I'm in full unpacking and getting things settled mode, followed by finish painting rooms mode. We'll post some before/after pictures so you can see!
Be blessed!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

T-minus 2 weeks to Texas!!

Two weeks from tonight (Monday) - we will officially be in the Lone Star state!! We have rented one of the green/gold/silver trucks many of you have probably seen on the road from ABF, a moving company where we load and unload the truck, but they drive it down for us. They were quite a bit cheaper than a U-Haul, and we didn't have to figure out how to get both cars, and a truck loaded with our things down there! We'll receive our trailer on Wednesday, July 16th (Happy Birthday Chas!) - and will be loading it up on Saturday, July 19th! We would hate for anyone to miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime if you'd like to help us load - come on over! :-) (we'll feed you!)

Depending on how quickly loading the trailer goes, we will either leave Indiana on Saturday afternoon or early Sunday morning - making our arrival into Corpus Christi on Monday! We are so excited!!! God has just orchestrated everything so perfectly with both houses. We will close on our Indiana house this Wednesday!! Pray that everything with this closing goes well, and that the buyers will pull together everything they need to for a smooth closing! We will likely close on our Texas house on July 21st or 22nd - we'll keep you posted on that one!

Dan's job search has kicked into high gear. He has two interviews scheduled in the next couple of weeks!! The first is at the school I will be teaching at (Texas A&M-Kingsville) and is a sports information director position. The other is at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and is an assistant athletic director position. Both jobs were on the top of his list - and we are confident God is pulling everything together even now! We'll be sure to keep you posted on this - please keep praying that these doors will continue to open up, and that Dan will be sensitive to the Spirit's leading as he begins making decisions!

As always - thank you so much for your prayer and support through this process!