I Remember Sixteen
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The Cross Country Move: I Will Survive!

Cross country trip I will survive 2018 (1)
This isn't our first rodeo. Tom Collins, the hubby as he will often be referred to, and I made the cross country trip from New York to Colorado in November of 2008, just as we were establishing BlogPaws, the popular and still famous pet blogging community and conference.

A few weeks before moving we lost our beloved dog, Carmel. I don't like that term - lost - as it refers to the death of a loved one. Carmel isn't lost. She made her way to the Rainbow Bridge and we grieved for her every day, turning our love and attention to the cat, Wabby Wibby (otherwise known as Pandora). And it was the cat that accompanied us on our trip across the land, to the wonderful world of mountains and dry air and sunshine. Oh the sunshine!!!

I will miss the sunshine.

But, I digress. As often happens in good stories. Yes, this is a good story. It's a story of passion and desire and not a little trepidation - as this blog post written by the cat, at the time, can tell you. It's also a story of determination and vision. It's a story of living life to its fullest.

I will survive. I will survive this cross-country trek back to my home state, and I will thrive when I arrive! 

That previous trip was done after a short discussion on life and opportunities. It was the fall of 2008, Tom and I were successful bloggers, I was also a book coach, and he was all things techy for both the blogs and the book publishing company. It's a bit of a stereotype, I know - Tom, the man, doing the techy work, and Yvonne, the woman, doing the creative work. Truth is, I did my fair share of techy work and no one is more creative than Tom, in more ways than I can share here. It merely happened, at that time, that we both settled into the places we were most suited for. I knew I could depend on him to fix the blog, recreate the blog, take care of the back-end of the blog, and to be the page-layout person for publishing. He also did book covers. His ability to understand the nuances of image placement and design is far better than mine!

Given our work was mainly online, and a decision to work with Caroline Golon and the daughter in CO, on a new project (the emerging pet community, BlogPaws), we looked at each other and made the decision. 


"I love Colorado," I think I said. A bit wistfully. I was thinking back to June and our two week annual visit to see the granddaughter, Miah. 

"Who doesn't?" Tom said, in agreement. 

We were relaxing in our king-sized bed, watching TV, the Wabby Wibby snoring a little at the foot of the bed. Life was good.

"We should move to Colorado," I may have said. It's been 9 years. What I actually said is lost in the clouds, but I'm certain the conversation went very much like this.

"We could!" Tom agreed. I think he moved suddenly to face me, waking up the cat, who gave us both that deep scowl of disapproval, and took herself off to safer sleeping quarters.

"Could we?" Oh, but my eyes must have been as big as dinner plates. I don't know how serious I was, truth be told I think I was just mumbling out loud and not expecting an answer.

"We not only could, we should!" Tom fairly leapt out of bed and grabbed his laptop to begin exploring moving options.

I will survive cross country 2018

It wasn't easy, that move. It wasn't all that hard, but, it wasn't easy. There was the house to prepare - you don't just decide to sell your house and have it go on the market. You have to do a thorough cleaning (even in the corners), decluttering (the Viet Nam Vets were grateful for all the clothes I pulled out of the closet), and... paint. We did a lot of painting. Sprucing up. Getting the house in the best shape it could ever be in.

It didn't sell right away. No, it sort of lingered. We had one couple who put in a good offer, but the bank loan fell through. At that point, I have to say, we were committed to CO and already had a house there, so... it was time to vacate the house in NY. Leave the sale to our realtor. Carry two homes, if we had to. 

The packing wore me out. I am not kidding. I could not believe how much 'stuff' we had, despite decluttering! And still, we put things out on the curb. Perfectly good things. Things we knew folks driving by would take away. And, they did. 

The day of the move, Tom's brother from Buffalo, NY came to help pack the last bit of our furniture into a U-haul truck Tom rented. The bulk of our possessions would go on to CO in PODS. But, we had enough left to pack one U-haul ourselves. The decision was to drive the truck, pull the car behind, and have Wabby Wibby in her cat carrier, in the front of the truck, between us. 

And there we were, loading some chairs and our bed and some dishes and things we'd need in CO, knowing we would arrive before the PODS. And, as I was preparing the last box of kitchen items, Tom came into the room with that look on his face. The sheepish one. You know it. The one that says something is wrong and it's his fault and he's hoping I will forgive him for it. 

"SOOooo," he says, not quite looking me in the eye. 

I stopped packing my box. I looked at him, one hand poised in the air, biting my lip, prepared for anything except what he said. 

"So...what?" I asked, as he seemed to have been struck speechless all of a sudden.

He sighed. "So, if you have to leave something behind," he said, "what would it be? The desk or the dresser?"

The desk or the dresser. I heard him, but I couldn't answer right away. I kept thinking, the desk or the dresser.

"Neither," I finally said, quite firmly as I was not leaving either piece of furniture behind. 

"But," he stammered, "if you HAD to leave one behind, because it didn't fit in the truck, which one would it be?"

Yes, I heard the desperation in his voice. Yes, I understood what he was saying. Yes, I contemplated for about 3 seconds which one I'd leave behind, and I said, "Neither. I'm not leaving either one behind. You said the truck was plenty big enough. You said it would fit everything we had left. You said you were the packing expert of the century. Find a way to fit both in the truck."

To my amazement (I expect way more push back), he let out a huge sigh of resolve, turned and walked away. And, he found a way to fit both pieces of furniture in the overloaded Uhaul truck. 

And, in a short bit of time later, we gathered our kitty, made sure the car was hooked up to the back properly, and we were on our way. I think Dave waved to us as we pulled away from the curb. Dave, I will say, was a trooper. He didn't want us to leave, but he did his best to help us do so.

Our trip from NY to CO was uneventful. Wabby was perfectly fine. She didn't seem at all concerned that we'd taken her from her cozy home and were now living in a truck and a series of hotels. 

I remember that trip fondly. I remember the adventure. I remember the excitement. I remember the anticipation. And, I remember being ready to collapse when we finally arrived in CO. It was a journey. A positive, forward moving, worthwhile journey. 

The joy of living in CO will always be a part of me.

But, it's time to go home.

New York is calling. 

I am not sure I am prepared for the trip... will I survive? I don't know. Help me!!!!

  Cross country trip whose idea Yvonne Tom


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Yvonne DiVita

Caren, your enthusiasm is catchy! I am ready for this move and I will not only survive, I will thrive! (and I do hate the weather in NY but... those grandbabies are too precious to ignore!)

caren gittleman

Oh how I LOVED reading the back story!! YOU WILL SURVIVE! YOU ARE A SURVIVOR!!!!!!!! You will be just fine!! (now...the weather might bother you a tad but other than that, you will be fine!!!!!!) If anyone can do this, it's YOU!!!! Welcome back to the East Coast!

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