Adventures in Moving
The U-Haul we rented was a fairly small one. We did not have much in the way of furniture, since our campus apartment was furnished. Over the 2 ½ years of living in Davis, we did accumulate “Stuff”. Yard sales and moving sales, and even just free stuff from students moving and leaving Davis was a great source of the odds and ends of “Stuff” we collected.
My bead collection had also grown significantly. A few trips to General Bead, and up to Folsom over 2 years has increased my stash from what once fit in a shoe box to 2 good sized 15 x 20 boxes. I loved how my collection had grown! I stored most of the hanks I bought in small baby food jars gleaned from a next door neighbor. Beads stored in glass jars made for heavy boxes.
With map in hand, we were ready to go to Southern California. It was another adventure for me. I had never been to Southern California. Not having driven a car more than 3 times since arriving in California, made me especially nervous driving what to me was an enormous vehicle, and the expectation of the famed LA traffic was enough to give me an overdose of adrenaline.
We must have hit the LA area at the right time. Traffic was not horribly bad. Busy, as it was early afternoon, unbeknownst to me, we hit the lag just before rush hour traffic was on the rise. We did not have a home to move into. We were “winging it” Once we got to Upland, I planned on staying one or 2 nights in a cheap hotel while looking for an apartment. We checked into a Motel 6 right off the freeway in Upland and parked the vehicle. The U-haul sputtered and chocked when I turned the U-Haul off. Didn’t sound too good.
I was eager to start looking at apartments. So once we “freshened up” we piled back into the U-haul. We drove about ½ mile up to a nice looking apartment complex and decided to see what they had to offer. It looked quite nice. Well kept grounds, a pool and rent was a tad on the high side for what my budget allowed. We settled on a 1 bedroom apartment for the 3 of us. The soonest we could move in was the next day, while they ran a credit check.
I thought I would take a little time to “explore” the neighborhood while I had a vehicle to drive, since I thought it would be a while before I could afford to buy one. We drove around what we thought would be the range of our walking distance from the apartment and found just about everything we would need. Grocery stores, restaurants, clothing stores, everything was near by.
Exhausted, we decided to go back to the hotel and maybe go for a swim in the scrappy little pool that the hotel had. It sounded refreshing and just what I needed after a long haul down to Southern CA.
The entrance to the hotel was very narrow. I drove carefully, but didn’t make the proper allowance for the top of the U-haul. I should have kept more to the right where the building didn’t jut out so far. The U-Haul met the building with a considerable WHACK!/ Plaster from the building fell in chunks. The manager came running out. I am not sure to this day, if he really thought there was an earthquake, or just didn’t care that I had remodeled part of his building. He asked if we “felt that jolt”. We were quick to say, “yes, it was a good one”, to which he went back inside.
The next morning, I called the apartment manager, she gave us the OK, that we could move in. Excited, we piled back into the U-Haul to drive it the ½ mile up the road to our new home. I put the key in the ignition and tried to start it. It sputtered. I tried again. This time it backfired. I tried a third time and the U-Haul was lifeless.
I called U-Haul and they sent someone over to assess the situation. The man got into the U-haul to see if it would start for him. The damned U-haul started like a charm, as if it were brand new. I felt foolish. I told him the symptoms, including the sputtering I noticed the day before. I asked if he would follow us up the road to the apartment since I was apprehensive about making it there.
The man followed us until we turned into the drive way, then continued on. I felt rather foolish, but I was happy to be in the parking lot of our new place. I parked the U-Haul and went into the office to sign papers and get the keys.
The apartment we were given was further down the parking lot. We needed to move the U-haul closer so we wouldn’t have to carry our stuff so far. I put the key in the ignition, and attempted to start the U-haul. KA-BOOOM!!!!! Then black smoke came billowing out from under the hood of the U-Haul. It was quite a sight. John and I looked at each other, Jasmine crying from fright, and we just shrugged our shoulders. We were here, in the parking lot of our new place. Yes, a bit further than we cared to lug all our boxes, but we did have a dolly. So, we schlepped all our stuff to our new apartment. Some that day, and the rest the following day.
I called U-Haul and told them they had to tow their truck if they wanted it back. IT took them 2 weeks to pick up their broken down truck.
It was kind of fun to arrange our things in a new apartment and walk and bike to discover our new home town of Upland CA from our place on Mountain Ave. It was a nice uphill street going up to Mount Baldy. I didn’t even know it was there due to the smog. I finally saw it one clear morning from my kitchen window and it surprised the heck out of me. There it was, every nook and cranny visible. It was a rare smogless day when I discovered it.
We had the weekend to settle-in. Monday would be my first day at my exciting new job that I hoped would be the job I would keep for many years, possibly even until retirement.