Friday night: Bob packed up James' bookshelf of books and dvds. I fetched empty boxes from the little house. I thought I'd saved enough, but we could have used a few more. And all the saved packing styrofoam came in handy.
Saturday 8am. Bob and I picked up the U-haul reserved. Fourteen footer. With a ramp.
James and Bob start loading the heavy, bulky, super long stuff---James' six foot desk, six foot twin bed, dresser, chair and love seat, bookcase. I went by Tom Thumb to get snacks, apples, and more Gatorade.
James picked up Amber while Bob finished loading the last of the boxes. The ramp did come in handy. I baked a batch of cookies to take along. Put James' uniforms in the van so they did not get mixed up with the boxes. I remembered to grab a roll of toilet paper...
And we pretty well emptied the little house of stored items---like a skillet for James with a glass see-through lid I bought from a niece when she sold Pampered Chef, figuring James might need it someday. There are still some loose items of James' in the closet---tennis rackets, old keepsake items, etc., but most of it was hauled to Fort Sill to his Lawton, Oklahoma one bedroom apartment.
We caravaned through Fort Worth and headed north without stopping until we got to Lawton and the strange Chick-fill You Up off Cache Road. I have never seen such a poorly designed Chick-fil-eh in my life. Our wait was long, as I am suspicious that the whole town was just getting out for the first time since their snow and ice storm. Piles of snow were shoved to the sides of parking lots like dirty snow mountains. Ice was still evident on north slopes. In fact, in the housing complex next to James' apartment complex, the north facing houses had an inch of glazed ice on their drives and walks and residents where chipping away at the artic. Temps still dip into the twenties each night in Lawton, and I guess they ran out of rock salt. We saw fields of cotton on one side of the road driving near Lawton and fields of white ice, frozen ponds, and snow and ice on north slopes of the overpasses. James showed us the spot he slipped on the ice on Monday a week ago when he was trying to look for an apartment. It is a tricky spot in the road, on a bridge, and if he had slipped at any other spot before or after the bridge, he might have rolled the truck as the sides are much, much steeper. And this was about the only spot in the road with a median wall. The rest of the road has grass mounded medians---another roll potential or meeting the oncoming traffic head-on which would have been much worse.
Poor Lawton had a dirt mixture just like our streets and bridges making a dust cloud everywhere we went, and their streets were crowded, and the side walks littered with car bumpers! Like a bad movie set. But, James' apartment complex looks nice, and the trees are budding, and the birdies tweet.
By 3pm, we had the boxes and furniture in James' new place. James had time to set up important stuff---but like in all moves, the trash can got trapped back in the corner behind the boxes.. He will get to it eventually. We made a list of things he needs, like a shower curtain, and vacuum. And he has a nice, big storage room just outside his front door---so he can save some of the boxes (or all of them broken down) for the next move in September---after the wedding.
Back on the road south, after turning in the U-haul, Bob was able to visit with us, and we tried a new route outa town. Lawton lists almost 100,000 people. Looks like it grew up beside a railroad. The Army nestles north of town next to the mountains/hills. We did not go on post this trip.
So, now James will be just three hours away. When he was stationed there for BOLC 2, he used to come home every weekend. So, hopefully, if he is off duty, he can come home many weekends to see Amber.
We stopped at Angello's for some ribs for a late supper when we got back to Fort Worth. It was not too much out of the way. We buy ribs from there all the time and bring them home for family gatherings---but we rarely eat there at night. Whoa---loud. Why do Stock Show goers drink beer and exibit deafness?? Yikes. Now we know why we ususally get our ribs to go.
We were home by 10pm, and I unkinked my muscles by vacuuming James' old bedroom, and James helped me move the guest bed back there so that James' old room is now the guest room. There is much more privacy back there, as the middle room, which used to be the guest room has a folding door on one side, so little privacy. We will use the middle room for a sitting room or something. It has a desk with a file drawer where we store receipts for taxes, and a bookshelf Bob made from floor to ceiling of old picture albums, and kids books.
Bob's Sunday School lesson was excellent. And James picked up Amber and brought her to our church for the first time and introduced her all around. That was fun. Usually, Amber is busy at her own church teaching Sunday School or helping with the Praise choir, or with leader meetings. I am so relieved that our song service was a good mix and the message from Pastor Mark. And Amber got to show off her ring. We celebrated with a special lunch at Carrabas. It was fun to see James eat some other animal other than steak. I should have split my entree with Bob, as we never have room for dessert. And Bob and I were not even hungry for supper.
I pulled some old paintings out of the little house after church Sunday while Bob snoozed in the chair. Sallycat sat on his chest during his nap. I took a picture with the digital camera, so I may post it later. Sallycat is all confused by all this moving, and boxes, and even though it was seventy-five degrees yesterday afternoon, Sallycat felt more secure on Bob's chest. I will try to match old paintings to the rooms, and decorate a little. Eventually, we will move this computer desk where I am pecking to the middle room and be able to repaint the living room and kitchen.
Sunday afternoon, after Bob's nap, we played Scrabble. And I beat Bob by one hundred and one points. And I tried to keep the laundry done up and folded hunting for any of James' items.
Today, Monday, James will pack up the loose items, and his suitcase, and head back to Lawton and get organized before reporting in tomorrow for a couple of days of in-processing. He has heard that most new postings sometimes last three years...so he might get to know Lawton. And Lawton is where he will bring his bride...
I bet Lawton is a blast furnace in the summer. So, a September wedding will be best to get settled when the weather breaks a little and the leaves start to turn.
Lawton is 180 some odd miles northwest of us. Mostly, north. Arlington is 32.6 N and 97.2 W and Lawton is 34.7 N and 98.4 W. They see below freezing temps at night, where we have not.
The sunset was pretty on the rolling plain and the cows and trees silhouetted on the horizon. I am so thankful for the clear skies and mild temps. The Oklahoma I-44 toll road is $1.25 one way but the roads in Texas on 287 are much smoother having been more recently been repaved.