We are officially Sconnies!

At 3:19 p.m. on Wednesday, August 31, we officially became Sconnies. Or Wisconsonites, if you prefer, but Sconnies has a fun ring to it. And that’s what Jess and Joe, our friends in La Crosse, call themselves. Sconnies it is!

Up until Sunday, this move had gone amazingly well. How many people get a job, sell a house, and pack up all their belongings in the span of two weeks? It’s gotta be some kind of record. Even the garage sale from hell ended up being a big success! The worst part was all the inquiries leading up to it. And y’all were right when you said people would show up before we were ready to go. Our first customer arrived at 7:37 a.m., and Tara had to chase her away. A bunch more followed, but we were still setting up. By 7:48 there was a literal line, so we just said what the hell and let them in.

We sold half our stuff within the first hour and ended up getting rid of 90% of what we put out. It’s amazing the shit people will buy, ha. In the end, we netted about $600 and even closed down half an hour early. Not bad for a morning’s work!

Remember how I dramatically said “up until Sunday” two paragraphs ago? Yeah. That’s when we finally ran into our first hitch, and it was a doozy. After packing all morning, we took a break and were enjoying a bite to eat and a cocktail at Kelly’s Sports Lounge when Tara received a text from U-Haul. That truck we had rented for Monday morning? The one that was supposed to be at the Rapid City facility two miles from home? It wasn’t available. Instead, they booked us a truck in Alliance, Nebraska. Two and a half hours from home. And, the facility was closed on Sunday.

Guys, I’m normally the most mellow person around, but I kinda lost it there. When we went to the Rapid City U-Haul to complain, they didn’t even apologize. Instead, they said, if you read the fine print, you’re guaranteed a truck. But we don’t guarantee the location.

Seriously? That means they could conceivably reserve a truck for us in Tallahassee, Florida. WTF. Our neighbors were scheduled to help us load the truck the following morning and we were on a tight schedule anyway, so we had no choice but to drive down to Alliance Sunday afternoon. The key was in a drop box we would be able to access. We got there at 5 p.m., and luckily, the truck was there, parked outside the gate. But when we tried to access the drop box, we discovered they’d entered our reservation for 7 p.m. and we couldn’t get in.

Tara called, and they said the truck wasn’t ready. Bullshit, she replied. It’s sitting right there. So then they had to dispatch us through to the truck share service that controls the drop box, and when we dialed the number, we got an automated recording that said the wait time was 50 to 60 minutes.


Long story short, we didn’t leave Alliance until 6:30. Got home at 9 p.m., a full seven hours after we left. That seven hours we lost couldn’t be made up, so the next two days were a mad scramble. We’d originally planned on leaving Rapid City about 10 a.m. Tuesday, but didn’t get out of there until 5 p.m. Which, if you do the math, is…seven hours.

Damn you, U-Haul.

And in the end, even with the biggest truck, we couldn’t fit everything, so we ended up renting a 12×6 trailer, as well. At least we didn’t have to do a desperation purge like we did when leaving the PNW.

Not gonna lie: saying goodbye to the house was heart-wrenching. All our neighbors gathered around for a sendoff. We were forced to limit our speed to 60 mph (speed limit was 80 mph in South Dakota), so we just stuck to the slow lane and let all the semis pass us. We were unable to make it to Austin, Minnesota, as planned, but did push through to Hartford, South Dakota, arriving at 1:10 a.m.

After three hours and 42 minutes of sleep, we were up Wednesday morning for the final trek to Wisconsin. I swear, we’ve been operating on pure adrenaline for days now.

I will say, Sydney has been a real trooper. She slept the whole way, never letting out so much as a single peep. And sure, there may have been a bit of litter tracked around the motel room, but Tara left a nice tip.

The drive was uneventful, at least, and after many days of hard manual labor, it was nice to just sit down and drive.

We crossed the Mississippi River into Wisconsin at 3:19 p.m. and arrived in Fort Atkinson about three hours later. The motel we’re staying in is kind of sketchy, but the town itself seems pretty quaint. From what we saw of it, as it was already dusk. We did manage to find a potential new dive bar already.

What can I say? We’re pros.

Now, we have another labor-intensive day ahead of us. We’ve got to unload the truck and trailer and cram everything into a garage/storage unit and two-bedroom apartment. Which looks to be a tighter fit than we thought. There’s no direct access to our unit; we have to go through an outer door, down a short flight of stairs, and through another door. I don’t know how we’re going to manage getting some of our furniture in there. Wish us luck.

Needless to say, this all feels very overwhelming right now. When you’ve completely uprooted your life, that’s to be expected, I guess.

I’ll check in again once we’re a little more settled.

40 thoughts on “We are officially Sconnies!

  1. Happy for you the trip is done, Mark. It’s been 17 years since we picked up and moved somewhere, but that was only a six mile or so move. While the travel was next-to-none, the loading and unloading had to be done…and I count my lucky stars I’ve been able to avoid that activity for awhile. Good luck on the furniture…and I hope you navigate all the angles and spaces successfully.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. This old lady recruited her realtors and her buyer and even one of her kids to do that. Of course I had to pack the boxes and they only had to load (and unload) them in a U-box. Based on that experience, I totally agree that UHaul, at least at the top/nationwide/call center level doesn’t really have their stuff together.

        My more localized Uhaul experience has been much better, thought after reading about your truck pickup time disconnect, I made it a point to call the local place where I’ll be picking up a Uhaul van to move one item, a recliner, the few miles from the estate sale to my new apartment. They were able to confirm so…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my goodness. That U-Haul situation is the WORST. I would’ve lost it too. That’s so very sucky. Glad you arrived though. With any luck, you’ll meet some new, super-helpful neighbors (whose name may or may not start with K) to help you unload your furniture.

    Glad Sydney survived. Nice of Tara to leave a tip. Great cat drawing too. 🙂

    Did you just say, “Hey, Honey! Betsy likes your cat drawing”? (Maybe you don’t call her ‘Honey.’ Insert any appropriate pet name you see fit, and let me know.)

    Best of luck with the unloading!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As soon as I read your comment, I said, “Hey, honey! Betsy likes your cat drawing!” She got a good chuckle out of that. And I don’t normally call her honey (she’s “babe” usually), but it worked this time!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. YEOWWWW!!!!!!
    I can’t believe Sydney slept the whole way.
    When we moved from NC to NJ in 1992, our 2 cats serenaded us the whole way.
    For 10+ hours.

    We’ve done some pretty intense moves . . . one was two weeks from decision to relocation, but (1) we left the house in Maryland unsold; (2) we left most of the furniture with the house; and (3) we didn’t line up jobs in Florida before moving. So your move was more challenging, by far (i.e., we won’t challenge you for a spot in the Guinness Book of moving records).

    Have fun settling in!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG. I can’t imagine having to deal with yowling cats for that long of a drive! I can’t imagine it even for a 10-minute drive, actually. We used a calming spray in her carrier that must have done the trick. Either that or the fact that she’s 16 y/o and very mellow.


  4. May I just say… wow. I’m exhausted and all I did was read. After finishing it, know I don’t have another move in me. I’ll second the F.U. Uhaul… what the utter Hell? Talk about an inconvenience.
    Good luck with the move into the new place, can’t say that sounds like fun but yay to a new dive bar.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pleased to know you’ve made it safely to your destination, but very not happy to read about U-Haul. Still you’re in the Wisconsin and your stuff is with you and the cat is okay. When you two decide to move you put the pedal to the metal.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Daughter ran into the same issue when headed to CO- she had to drive all the way to the WA coast to get the small trailer she needed the morning before her move. That was when it was over 100 for days here. UHaul sucks big time with all their hidden rules. Glad though that you survived and are safe. Happy settling in!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I guess everything was going a bit too smoothly for you. The gods of ciaos must have contacted U-Haul. That “small print” is so wrong. It sounds like things are working out (good attitudes and dive bars help) and all you’ll need is a large shoehorn to fit everything into your temporary abode. Good luck with that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ughhh I think we ALL have a U-Haul nightmare story to tell and HEY! I think this quote I just came across might be fitting right now:

    “There are no bad experiences. It’s either a good time or a great story.”

    I’m glad you guys made it to your new home state and that you got $600 from your yard sale. I look forward to hearing how you managed to get your stuff into your apartment.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Overwhelming indeed! Many positives–but the truck situation would have enraged me. When my kids’ moved from New York to Washington they had some issues with the moving company also. Must be standard.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did feel sorry for the U-Haul guy who hooked up our auto trailer. He said he’s got a thankless job; with all the truck shortages these days, everybody yells at him all the time.

      I’m guilty of that myself.


  10. I only took a few weeks off and you’re moving! What??? I’m going to have to go and read back story, aren’t I? I hope the overwhelm eases – moving is a nightmare even when everything goes smoothly.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. In truth Mark, this is how I like to make decisions. Himself likes to take his time over things, so we’ll probably end up somewhere in the sensible middle. But, even with my preference, I doff my cap to Team MarTar!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow. Nothing is ever easy, right? I mean, you had some significant momentum going there for a while.
    I hope by now you guys have your apartment settled and are resting up a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

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