What a year!

It’s official. We left California for Arizona one year ago! I can’t believe how quickly our year flew by — and in some respects all long it seemed.

Here’s what I thought about moving one year ago today:

Moving van
The moving van arrived.

Friday was moving day. Our movers arrived at 9 a.m. and we thought it would be a couple hours and we’d hit the road. No, we were wrong. By 5 p.m. the movers realized their truck was full and we still had a bunch of stuff in the garage like bikes, a wheelbarrow and my daughter’s small desk. Plus the STORAGE UNIT where we’ve been squirreling away boxes and stuff for months.

Yikes! They had to rent a U-Haul and we gave them the keys to the storage unit. Of course there weren’t any in town and they had to drive to San Diego or some place to find a U-Haul. They said they’d come back the next morning and pick up the rest of our stuff in the garage when our housekeeper and dear friend Delia would be cleaning.

We drove on to Arizona and our new home, minus our stuff. We thankfully packed suitcases and bedding. Our fellow Piranha parents and close friends drove one of our cars packed to the hilt, plus their car complete with all the stuff from our freezer and fridge. Now, those are real friends who volunteer to drive an 8-hour round trip to make our move easier!

I have driving anxiety and panic attacks driving on freeways and couldn’t face the four-hour drive. Our daughter was going to fly down from SFO and drive one car and help us unpack. Then the state went into lockdown and she didn’t feel good about flying. So our friends volunteered to help us out and meanwhile her supposed flight was cancelled. It all worked out in the end.

moving boxes in house
Our new living room. So much work to do!

We got to our Arizona home at 10:30 p.m. Unpacked what we had and settled into bed around midnight exhausted beyond comprehension. Boy am I glad we decided to buy the casita furniture! If we hadn’t, we’d have slept on the floor.

The moving van and U-haul arrived at 2 p.m. the next day and we’ve worked a solid weekend to get the kitchen in order and our closet organized. Kitty is stressed and hiding under the bed in the casita, where we’ve been living.

pink skies at sunset in Arizona
My new backyard as the sun begins to set.

I don’t recommend moving after 28 years after living in one house on anyone. It’s an unusually hard task, mentally and physically. But, when we’re more settled the sunsets will make it all worthwhile.

Cactus Arizona sunset
Sunset and saguaros in the neighborhood.

What’s the longest you’ve lived in one place? How did you handle the packing and going through years of stuff? Have you thought of moving during the COVID shutdowns? A lot of people did move.

11 thoughts on “What a year!

  1. I cannot imagine. We’ve been here 25 years. I’ve moved 6 times in my life but have lived in this town or the ones on either side of me so never more than a 2 mile move. Although those sunsets and sunrises are beautiful and I love your backyard, I don’t think I’d attempt it now so thanks for sharing your scenery with me!

    • It’s hard to move when you’ve been within a couple miles your entire life. I grew up in a small town in Washington and then moved to Palm Springs where my husband was from. It was hard for me to move, but the scenery is gorgeous and the cost of living is amazing!

  2. You’ve managed this first year with such grace and style! I’ve been in the same home for a little over 30 years! I can’t begin to imagine moving! Hats off to you for a marvelous transition! Well done, 💕C

  3. I know you’re following at least one of my blogs, for which I thank you. Lots I could say in response to your questions and may flesh out this summarized answer in a later post.

    Longest I’ve lived in one place is I believe 13-14 years. I have made several moves. The ones I made when I was single of course involved less stuff so were easier. Also distances between were not very long and way back then I was able to hire some movers who worked for my employer at the time so it was all pretty easy.

    After I got married first he moved me into his house in a truck he borrowed from his employer. When we bought our first home together, just before I delivered our first child, the move was about the same with my parents pitching in. He had more stuff than I did because he’d been married twice before, had a live-in girlfriend or two, and also a child he gave up for adoption when she was probably a toddler.

    Two children later we again made a local move which included a lot more stuff but was about the same as when we only had 2/3 of a child. We may have hired some help and/or a truck but it was so long ago I really don’t remember. All of these previous moves were in the LA/OC area – Torrance, Long Beach, Lakewood, Huntington Beach – all names you may recognize.

    The next moves were longer distances after his employer moved us from HB to Brentwood, TN. Since we didn’t have to pay for that move, we took EVERYTHING, including some stuff that was in our HB home when we moved in! We were not in that home for very long since we became retired empty nesters pretty quickly and were already looking to downsize. We moved from the Nashville area to the Knoxville area when I got a job in nearby Oak Ridge where we purchased a house that had quite a bit of storage space so we didn’t have to downsize much. The two locations, though they were in the same state, were separated E-W which was the long way for an intrastate move. This meant a round trip, including loading, could not be easily done on the same day. (I think the drive time was around the same as yours). That whole move was spread out time-wise so the ex moved it in batches mainly on his own and some of it in a rented U-Haul truck or trailer.

    For my final move to date, my idiot ex loaded everything I listed for him plus some other stuff I didn’t into a POD. As you may know from one of my blogs, I’m pretty sure I will have at least one more future move. Fortunately that should be minimized already thanks to my BFF who helped me sort, organize and purge all the stuff from Mom’s house where she had lived since 1965! We found a lot of surprising and interesting stuff in that many-phased project since it included everything she and Dad had collected from friends and relatives who had expired before them PLUS some stuff that Dad had kept in his few previous moves before he married Mom.

    Sorry this got so long- winded but here is the closing punchline/request. AZ is one of the places I am considering for a move, esp. if I want to become a snowbird so I am wondering where you live now, specifically. I have friends in Tucson and am also somewhat familiar with Phoenix since I had friends there until recently. Both of those sets moved from my area in CA i.e. not desert. I can tell you made a bigger move from WA state to Palm Springs which may or may not have been a huge culture/climate shock depending on where you lived in WA. Either way, I would guess that desert living works well for you year-round. I would also guess, from the photos you’ve posted of your new place, that you might not live in a retirement community. If I’m wrong, I’d appreciate if you could tell me if you had considered or looked into any of the myriad of those that can be found in AZ.


Leave a Reply