Loading the truck didn’t quite go as planned but all vehicles are prepped and ready for the trek to the pacific northwest. Josh and Jim are my other pilots on this journey and they will lend some levity to what has been a sad departure. Andrea and Amelia and their entourage will head out on Thursday.

I’m ready to get going and leave the heat behind. But the life I’m leaving will be pulling on my heart.

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Leave A Comment, Written on August 30th, 2011 , Uncategorized Tags: ,

The truck is loaded, the trailer mostly done, and tomorrow we ride. By loaded I mean stuffed from floor to ceiling with our stuff. I underestimated the amount of stuff we had. There is an abundance of great stuff in front of our house right now if you want it.

Leave A Comment, Written on August 29th, 2011 , Uncategorized Tags:

Intended today to be easy but there was plenty to do. After the road test last night I brought the trailer home so I could have it weighed before the trip. So I thought it would be a good idea to take it up to Amelia’s school. I had no idea how excited she would be to see it this morning when we left for school. She did a little happy dance and said, “Daddy, it is beautiful!” Which will probably be the absolute bestest compliment I’ll ever get. She climbed inside like a pro and got up into her future sleeping area with wide eyes and a big smile. Best part of the day.

Pulled the trailer through rush hour traffic without incident and got to the scales. Folks running the scales were confused why I wanted the weight but did it anyway. When I pulled around to get the ticket there were a few guys around the docks eyeing it.
One asked,”Is that for grey hounds?” “No, I’m going to camp in it,” I said.
His buddy piped up, “I saw a show on the travel channel or national geographic about those! Where did you buy it?”
“I built everything but that axle and the windows!” I replied, my chest inflating. I’m amazed at how proud I am of this little trailer.

I headed off to get the weight ticket and walked inside. An older man with long, grey hair and a beard asked me, “What are you weighing it for? A title?”
“No I just want to see what it weighs.”
“Well let me take a look at it,” he says as we walk outside.
“I’m not going to charge you for it if you aren’t needing the slip but they wouldn’t understand that,” he says as we step outside. “That’s cherry man! Did you make it”
“Yep, with help from a friend on the cabinetry and skin,” I reply.
“I saw one the other day made out of a VW. Kitchen where the engine was.”
“I’m pretty proud of it. Still needs a little work. But I’m towing it to Oregon next Tuesday so I gotta get it finished up.”

He goes on to tell me he looked at renting one but they go for $60/day. I tell him he should build one, but not use tubing. He’s genuinely impressed and I think it made his day. As he walks off he tells me to make sure there are chains on it and says, “Keep Austin weird man!” I’ll do my best. Damn I’m going to miss this town.

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Leave A Comment, Written on August 25th, 2011 , Uncategorized Tags: , ,

We took the trailer up to 75 mph today to check for issues. Mostly everyone was fine, a little shimmy at 60 and a latch that may not close easily but all resolved. In the end it did well at 70 and 65 and should pull just fine at highway speeds.

I’ll weigh it tomorrow for good measure but I think with a little weather sealing we should be fine for our trip. I’ll still be worrying about it till I encounter our first rain shower but I think it will pull just fine. It better, I don’t know what I’ll do if it doesn’t.

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Leave A Comment, Written on August 25th, 2011 , Uncategorized Tags: ,

Another late night. It was unexpected as we thought we were further along. But we got it far enough along to do a road test this evening. We got door exteriors mostly done, windows in and drip edges.

The whole water proofing design is theoretical since we haven’t seen rain in months here. The only chance to test will be the trip.

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Leave A Comment, Written on August 24th, 2011 , Uncategorized Tags: ,

With Gary Cross’ help I’m almost done with the teardrop. Last night we worked until 1 am on getting it sealed up, vents installed and external fittings. Today I took Dad’s utility trailer and tools to his house in Cuero, Texas. 220 miles of driving I didn’t want to do. But that’s handled now.

Tonight is another working night. Hopefully we’ll get the doors done and prep for a road test tomorrow.

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Leave A Comment, Written on August 23rd, 2011 , Uncategorized Tags: , ,

For any story to be relevant you need the history. Especially this story. It is about a small family picking up their world and moving it 2300 miles. The reasons are numerous and there are risks. But let’s see how we got here.

In 2003 Tom moved to St. Thomas where Andrea had been living for a few years.  He had high hopes of being part of a ‘happening’ marina and bar, part of a radio station and building web sites.  Very little of that happened as planned.  Andrea was a wine and spirit expert.  They met online and started a relationship in 2004.  By May of 2005 they moved back to Tom’s home of Austin, Texas.

2006 – Tom and Andrea get married in an odd but beautiful wedding. Life moved on.

2008 – Amelia, their first child, was born.  It was 55 hours of labor for Andrea ending in a trip to the hospital but a natural birth.  The adventure only begun that day.

2008-2010 – Amelia is a healthy child with the generic condition of colic which can mean anything from gas to indigestion to painful acid reflux.  They spend the first year or so of Amelia’s life trying to decipher her 3-5 hour long crying jags, living on very little sleep, and commuting an hour home from work with Amelia in the back seat.

April 2010 – Andrea and Tom make the decision to move into town and take advantage of the tax rebate.  Unfortunately their old house doesn’t sell as expected.

October 2010 – Andrea and Tom find out they are pregnant.  The news buoys both of them up from the fact that their old house hasn’t sold.  The future is bright with the prospect of a sibling for Amelia.  Now that they are in town maybe all will be good.

December 2010 – Just before the holiday season Andrea has a miscarriage.  It isn’t easy for anyone.  Tom’s spirits flag, Andrea is concerned she did something wrong. Luckily the Christmas holidays boost their spirits.

January 2011 – After 6 months on the market for sale, Andrea and Tom offer the old house for rent.  Luckily just before the year ends they find a tenant and the lease is signed at the beginning of 2011.  Tom has a new job downtown and Andrea is working from home 3 days of the week, driving to Temple (1 hour one-way) 2 days a week.  It isn’t ideal but all is relatively good.

March 2010 – Tom’s new job is not as great an opportunity as he had thought.  He’s miserable and is looking for any way out.  He even contacts his old office to see if they’ll have him back.  Unfortunately their business hasn’t picked up enough to warrant an added employee.  Tom is stuck in his job, hates it, but there is no where to go.

April 2011 – Out of nowhere Andrea gets an offer to work for WordPress/Automattic.  Tom is jealous but encourages Andrea to pursue  the opportunity.  As fate has it, she gets the job.  This means she can work anywhere with internet access.

Easter Weekend 2011 – They host Andrea’s father and partner for easter. A grand time is had by all but Andrea is unusually tired.  Very tired.  Tom encourages her to take a pregnancy test.  As soon as the family leaves Andrea’s test is positive.  They are pregnant again.  Great news but memories of the first months of Amelia’s life has them thinking about support.  And Portland.

By May of 2011 they have made the decision to move.  It will be a hard move.  Tom’s family is in Texas.  They have two houses they have mortgages on.  The job prospects are uncertain for Tom.  But given his experience with his current employer he won’t mind a change.  After discussing with Portland, Oregon family the decision is made.  To make the move after Wigglet 2.0 is born would be difficult.  Ideally they need to move in enough time to get the new house in order before the little one arrives.  After discussing logistics they start notifying friends and family.  There’s lots to do, hard good-byes to be said, and a trailer to finish.

This is their journey and the trials and tribulations of moving from Austin, Texas to Portland, Oregon.

Leave A Comment, Written on May 6th, 2011 , History, moving

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