Here we go!

I’ve spent the past two weeks focusing on work and getting lots of rest at my friend’s house. Now it’s time to hit the road. I’ll be departing in just over an hour, shortly after my sister and driving companion arrives. (While I usually want to hit the road very early in the morning, we had to allow some time for her to get here first.)

Over the past week I’ve vacillated on which route to take: the northern route or the southern route? The northern route goes through Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and then into California through the Sierras. While there seems to be some decent weather along most of this route, there is a travel warning for the weekend along I-80 as it passes through the Sierras. The warning calls for up to 12 inches of snow and notes “be prepared for the weather.”

So while I was hopeful the past few days that we could take the shorter, more direct route on I-80, it just seems really unwise at this point. I’m hoping we can push through to Tulsa, OK tonight. Onwards!

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When one door closes…

It’s done. I’ve closed on my home sale, and most of my belongings are packed in a shipping container that will soon be on the road out west.

The past few weeks have been an absolute whirlwind of activity, but now I’m in a resting phase. Logistics were tight, precise, and went like this:

  • Weekend of Nov. 1 — complete 98% of packing.
  • Nov. 4 through Nov. 7 — business trip to the happiest place on earth. (No, not Disneyworld, but our corporate training center in Texas turns out to be a close approximation. Any place that will put you up in 4-star comfort, feed you amazing meals and snacks all day long, and treat you like a royal comes close enough for me!)
  • Nov. 8 — shipping container delivered in AM; complete final packing; packers/movers arrive in PM. Move to Airbnb lodgings nearby for a few nights.
  • Nov. 10 — closing on home sale; celebratory dinner with friends.
  • Nov. 11 and 12 — in-office meetings with the boss and team. Execute a finally choreographed temporary move the evening of Nov. 12 to the ‘burbs for my final Chicago area stay.

From now until the day after Thanksgiving I’m able to settle in at my friend A’s place with my dog and enjoy all the comforts of living in a home again. I’m loving that I have the ability to cook myself a decent breakfast, take the dog out while wearing my PJs, and generally make myself comfy. Last night I whipped up a nice dinner for us both to share, and I’ve told A that she can expect me to cook a healthy dinner whenever I’m telecommuting (which is most days).

The only thing spoiling this brief interlude of peace and calm is the weather. I wanted to move away from Chicago because I was DONE with winter, but it is apparently not done with me yet. The last few days have been much colder than normal and we’ve had snow. This early cold snap is expected to continue through next week, and I am ill-prepared for it. The extended forecast wasn’t calling for bitter cold when I was making my final decisions about what clothing to pack in the car for the next three weeks. The super warm down coat, fur-lined gloves, and fur hat were all sold during the estate sale, and I only held back the more lightweight parka, gloves, and hats. While the suits for work have some wool in them, it’s very little and will not keep me warm enough while waiting for a train early in the morning of day that will have a *high* in the 20s F. Ugh! I think I may need to buy a warm sweater, hat, and gloves to get me through until I leave here the day after Thanksgiving.

Other than the weather, all of my plans have been working out like clockwork, though, and I’m grateful. However, with this early winter onset I’ve been thinking it best to plot a new route to my final destination. Instead of taking the “northern route” into California through Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada I think I need to take the “southern route” through Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. There could still be weather complications, as I understand Missouri and Oklahoma can get some nasty ice storms during the winter, but it sounds better to add about 6 to 7 hours of driving instead of getting trapped in a blizzard in Nebraska or Wyoming. Plus I’ll likely be more comfortable in my light winter gear if I head a bit further south first. 🙂

Now that I don’t have to stick to a rigid timetable to get stuff done, I’m feeling the effects of the past few weeks. My horrible cold/bronchitis is mostly gone now, but I’m still run-down and tired. I’m looking forward to sleeping in the same bed for the next two weeks and being able to enjoy some simple, relaxing evenings with my friend and my dog. Life is very good right now.