There is no brief way to explain how this whole situation came about, so if you’re interested in knowing all the details and complications of our PCS to Hawaii, I’ll probably write about the entire thing once it’s all over. To give a little more backstory, check out my post about receiving our orders to Hawaii. Basically, the earliest we could get the military movers was 3 weeks after Curtis had to report to Connecticut. After going back and forth on whether I should stay in New York alone or go with him, I decided to go to CT and return just for the move. I had been hoping that Curtis would be able to take just one day off to come with me, but unfortunately he had a test and was unable to join. Instead, we did a hike in Massachusetts specifically so that I would only have to drive halfway to New York alone, and Curtis got a ride home with a friend. After the hike, Charlotte and I said goodbye to Curtis and set off on our own little adventure.
I had never driven this far alone before, or done anything like any of this for that matter, so the stress of this weekend had weighed on my mind for the weeks leading up to it. I chose the scenic route back to Saratoga from Holyoke, and the drive took 3 hours. Besides being sad that I had to do this alone, the drive wasn’t too bad, and I enjoyed beautiful forested roads and amazing views of Mount Greylock. I drove Northwest through Massachusetts, briefly into Vermont cutting off the Southwest corner, and into New York where the roads became more familiar. I arrived back at our rental house and was greeted by our neighbors — and a tree that had fallen in the front yard. Thankfully that didn’t affect the house and all our belongings were just as we left them.
On Sunday, I spent the day running errands, organizing our things for the movers, and cleaning the house. Let me tell you, dealing with all this moving stuff is so much more fun when Curtis and I do it together! Also, I know most military families thought we were crazy when we chose to move ourselves from SC to NY rather than having the military movers do everything for us, but after all we’ve gone through…doing it on our own is honestly so much simpler, and I really wish that had been an option.
I was up bright and early on Monday morning, ready for the craziness to begin. We had 2 different moving companies coming in, one for our things moving to Hawaii, and the other taking things we didn’t need to storage. They both said they’d be there around the same time, which had me concerned that they’d be in each other’s way and I had to handle them both, alone. Thankfully, the ones moving things to storage showed up early, and their job was done within a half hour. Bye stuff, see you in 3 years. The next company showed up late, but still arrived before 10 and were done in 3 hours. I feel like the entire thing went as well as it could, and nothing like the nightmare moving stories I had read about in preparation for this day. (I like to be prepared for anything!) The worst part was watching them package up the beautiful furniture Curtis made. They did fine with it, and it was all still intact when they left, but just knowing how hard he worked on each piece made me so nervous. When going through moves, it’s always best to not be too attached to material possessions. I remembered what my parents used to tell us all the time: “It’s all going to burn someday.” See you in Hawaii, stuff. Unless the boat sinks.
Once they left, I ran to the post office to collect our mail on hold and change our address (please don’t mail us anything until further notice, haha!) then contacted the landlord to checkout that afternoon. That part could have gone better, but honestly we were just glad to get out of this house. It was great being so close to work for Curtis’ sake, but it honestly never felt homey or comfortable. Hopefully we’ll remember what we learned from this living situation and not settle for something so fast again.
While the landlord was there, a huge storm passed through, and I knew there was more rain on the way. This was very concerning as I had to drive back to Connecticut that night so that Curtis could have a vehicle again. Charlotte and I loaded up in the car and began our journey back. Goodbye Saratoga Springs…maybe we’ll be back someday.
Since it was the 5:00 rush hour, I decided to skip I-87 and Albany in NY in favor of quieter back roads. After driving East of the interstate, I ran into more heavy rain. I drove into Vermont, thinking I knew how I wanted to drive home, but when it was still pouring in Bennington, I called Curtis to have him check the radar for me. He told me I should be fine after leaving Vermont, as there were only smaller systems South of where I was, and nothing for the rest of Massachusetts and Connecticut. I confidently began driving South into Massachusetts.
At first, I was loving the scenic drive, with the cute New England towns and the moody views of cloud-covered mountain ranges, but when I reached North Adams, I ran into another heavy storm and flash flooding. It was definitely worse than I was anticipating, and a couple parts of the highway got pretty hairy. I pulled over and lost it…this was definitely a low point. I had been dreading the drive home for many reasons, but the thought that I’d have to drive through flooded areas never crossed my mind. I was getting one notification after another on my phone with flash flood warnings.
I finally got it together when I realized the facts: I was still 3 hours from “home”, and I had to get out of this area; directly South of where I was hadn’t received a drop of rain, so once I got passed Adams I would be fine. I set up Google maps and chose the fastest option, turned up the volume, and let it direct me home. I really hated doing that — I’d much rather know exactly where I’m going and not rely on that — but I was just desperate to be with Curtis again.
Sure enough, it wasn’t long before I was out of the rain. However, it was now growing dark, and Google was taking me through the wilderness of Western Massachusetts. No really…I drove 10 miles down a narrow winding dirt road in a dark forest because Google said so. I was driving down back highways for the majority of the drive, but I had gotten my one wish — I wasn’t surrounded by traffic.
I crossed into Connecticut around 10, and then had to face one of my biggest fears: driving on the interstate in a major city. I consider Hartford major because it has 1.5 million residents. Thankfully it was 10:00 so it wasn’t that bad, but still…I was pretty nervous the whole time, and very proud of myself for making it through. Once I got through Hartford, the rest was easy, and just consisted of me singing loudly to Charlotte to keep myself awake. Around 11:30, 6 hours after leaving New York, I made it back to the hotel and into Curtis’ arms!
I can tell you that throughout this entire weekend, I was constantly in prayer through every situation I faced. This entire thing was way outside my comfort zone, and isn’t something I ever want to do alone again. But then I think to myself…maybe the reason why God put me in this position was so that I would realize how weak I am and how much I need him. Maybe He gave me this trial just so that I would be in constant communication with Him. I know it was entirely by His strength and not mine that I made it through. And I know that as long as we’re with the military, I’ll probably be put in other situations that are outside my comfort zone. We really have no idea how the next part of this move will go. All I can do is continue to rely on Him to get us through this move, this path in life. I’m thankful that I have this reassurance.