Adriana of the blog From KS to PA is a few years ahead of me in the whole "being married to a resident" process, so throughout the past several months, she has offered me some very helpful advice about interviews and residency in general. Two years ago, she moved for her husband's residency, so she went through the exact same thing I'm going through right now - except she did it with two kids, and her move was about four times longer than mine will be. Yikes! The fact that she is still happy and sane after that is very encouraging to me. Here's Adriana's story:
The name of my blog comes from the journey my husband, two kids, and I took two years ago. We moved from Kansas (where all of our family and friends lived) to Pennsylvania (where we knew NO ONE). Similar to what Tova is currently experiencing we were "matched" to PA in March and had until the first of June to move and be settled because my husband's program started. PA was our second choice and being in complete denial finding out that we matched to our second choice was a huge surprise.
So in less than 3 months we sold our house, packed up everything we owned, found a place to live, and moved to PA. One of the most difficult chores in this whole process was the actual move itself.
If you have ever sold a house before you know that a lot of unexpected expenses tend to come up which left us without a lot of cash. Although ideally we would have liked to hire a moving company we just couldn't afford it. So instead we rented 2 u-haul trailers and hooked them behind two full sized pickups and road tripped our way across the country. Actually my husband, father-in-law, and husband's uncle did cause me and the kids stayed behind to close on the house and would drive up a few weeks later.
Moving in it's most basic sense is actually not that hard. I don't mind packing or unpacking. What I mind is sorting. You know the piles (sell, giveaway, throwaway, keep). After the biggest garage sale I have ever had we still had way too much stuff. You see we were moving from a four bedroom house into a two bedroom apartment and a small storage unit. In my fragile emotional state (I had a 3 month old baby and was still in shock that we were moving) it was very difficult to let go of our things. We worked hard for those things and there was nothing wrong with them so it was hard to sell them at discount prices when I felt we might need them. I realize now that I just had a hard time letting go.
Come moving day and everything is packed and ready to load onto the trucks. Bret and I started early in the morning the night they were planning to leave. The day progressed smoothly as it was a matter of just carrying things from the house outside while Bret worked on packing everything. We had the back seat of two trucks, the backs of two trucks, and two massive trailers...no problem right? Wrong.
We ran out of room. This would not have been that big of a deal except by the time Bret figured out that everything was NOT going to fit there wasn't much room for prioritizing. Things I would have been OK with leaving were packed and weren't coming out. So I was left with choosing what HAD to go and what could stay. My husband saw the look of panic/horror on my face and made quick promises that we could keep things at our parents' house until we came back and got it the next time but I knew that somethings were just never going to make it to PA. It was also starting to get dark and the need to hurry was pressing.
Through tears I made irrational choices about what things HAD to be packed and what could be left behind. What started out as organized and flowing turned into a disaster. When there was absolutely no room left I was still left with several boxes and large awkward things that were just not going to fit. Bret and I had a hurried goodbye and suddenly I was alone with the kids in a half empty house trying to figure out what I was going to do next. I had Emily's powerwheel car, lots of toys, trashcans, a mower, boxes of just stuff like photo albums and candles, baby clothes, and much much more. Through the gracious efforts of Bret's parents, close friends, and the help of Craigslist and Salvation Army I was able to either store, sell, or get rid of everything that wouldn't fit in my little Saturn after our clothes, car seats, etc. Bret too ran into issues as the apartment wasn't ready to move into so everything had to be stored in a large storage unit. After this most disastrous experience of moving my husband has made a solemn vow that we will never move ourselves again. My hope is that we won't have to move again for at least two years (when he is finished with the program) and then who ever he signs a contract for will pay for us to move too :) Hopefully Tova's move is going much much smoother.