It has been a minute since I shared a mom story, but this one popped into my memory today.
After daddy died, Mom spent a while trying to stay in Amarillo, but she just wasn't happy there. Since I was her only biological child, she wisely decided she should move closer to me. Plans began to be made as to how to accomplish such a mammoth move.
At that time, my husband worked for a local company here that often had trucks dead heading back to Arkansas and his company generously offered to let us move mom's household stuff in one of those trucks. We hired about 5 man power guys to pack and load her belongings and we had someone who was also responsible for carting all the stuff to storage that she didn't want to bring right now.
We had already sourced a great apartment in a really nice neighborhood and location so once her things arrived, mom was soon settled in.
Several months passed and she let us know that she was ready to have the stuff from storage that she had left behind in Amarillo. It was right around Thanksgiving time so Roger and I both took off work and told her we would go to Amarillo and get the rest of her stuff.
Mom assured us that it would all fit in Roger's Chevy truck , so off we went.
We got into Amarillo pretty late so we opted to motel it for a night and hit it hard early the next morning. November in the panhandle of Texas is usually pretty chilly and that year was no exception but we bravely set out the next morning to the storage complex with our truck, ready to load up and head home.
When we arrived at the storage place, I took the key mom had provided and soon learned it.was.NOT.the.right.key. So now we have quite a conundrum. Between Roger's pockets, my purse, the key ring mom had given me, the glove box in the truck and the console we had probably seven sets of keys. We tried each one of them one by one. Wonder of miraculous wonders, one of the keys on one of Roger's key rings worked! How? I have no idea. God took pity on us.
We were elated.
It was short lived.
When that storage door rolled up, we were met with a solid wall of Rubbermaid tubs, boxes, barrels, and loose household furniture. In short, we were about a semi-truck short of the needed equipment to get it all home.
So....off we went to U-Haul to rent a trailer....oh, and have a trailer hitch installed because the one on our truck would not work for the trailer we rented. That all took the better part of a day. By now, I can see my husband's patience is starting to fray.
We decided to not continue, but to load up the next day and head home. So, we spent another night in a motel, something we were not financially well prepared for at that time.
The next morning was freaking freezing and the wind was blowing straight out of the north at about 50 miles an hour.
We loaded as much in the truck as we could and started filling up the trailer. Each item that went in to that trailer made me doubt that we would find room for everything in the storage unit. We were quickly running out of space. So we decided to double stack the truck and tarp it.
We found a Walmart out in the middle of Nowheresville, literally sitting all by itself out there on the prairie in Amarillo. We bought a tarp, some rope, a pair of scissors and began the task of securing our load for a long drive back to Arkansas.
Trying to wrestle that tarp in gale force freezing winds could easily become an Olympic event. Roger finally made me get in the truck because we were both freezing and I know he was probably muttering profane statements regarding my mother....me....Texas....that he didn't want me to hear and take issue with.
So, I'm in the cab of the truck with the heater blowing, teeth chattering, watching to see if he signals for help. As I'm watching, he lays the scissors down on the edge of the truck bed to secure the tarp with rope and the wind lifts the scissors and blows them OVER the truck.
At that moment, Roger opens the truck door, crawls inside and says "f this, we are going home." This is not his usual preferred expression....so I knew that the patience had flown and I needed to tread carefully or I might too.
And so we started for Arkansas just in time to travel in a freezing rain storm that ended up laying a solid sheet of ice on the highway.
We must have been quite the sight...flapping tarp, piles of useless junk and pulling a U-Haul. Each attempt to find a place to eat devolved into pulling into places that had no power due to the ice storm, or simply had no food.
I honestly can't remember how long it took us to get home, but it wasn't a quick or pleasant trip. But, mom was happy to have her stuff and she was wildly unapologetic about our trials and tribulations to make that happen for her.