Friday, May 6, 2011

Drowning in To-do Lists

Semper Paratus.  Always ready.  That's the Coast Guard motto.  But a well-known unofficial motto among Coast Guard spouses is Semper Gumby.  Always flexible.  And it is so true.  You really do just have to try to go with the flow, and never be surprised when things don't go as planned. It applies from everything to ship schedules, duty days, orders to new duty stations, and especially government moves.  I have to remind myself that it will all work out in the end somehow, even if it's not the way we originally thought.

So here we are, exactly three weeks until we pack the car and head west.  The LT has been away at training for his new job for the past two weeks. I have been trying to keep us all organized and on track, hoping that I am not forgetting anything but knowing that I probably am.  Oh well, whatever it is, it must not matter that much, right?

We have three separate shipments of our household goods being picked up, and of course three separate companies are handling it.  One load is called "unaccompanied baggage" and will contain all of the stuff that we will want right away to make camping out in our new home a comfy as possible (clothes, cookware, small TV, folding table and chairs, etc.)  They send this stuff "express" in hopes that it gets to Alaska around the same time that we do.

We also have stuff we are sending to storage because it won't fit in the new house.  They call this "non-temp storage" and it is only authorized for overseas moves.  We can't access it until we transfer again, so we better be sure about what we're sending.  I think they store it somewhere around our current location, but I'm not positive because we haven't heard from whichever company is handling it yet.  Yikes.  Apparently they have up until 3 days before our requested pick-up date to contact us.  As a planner, that is not an acceptable rule to me, but I can't change it.  So hopefully we hear from them soon or we are going to have a dining room table, guest room furniture, and some other stuff hanging out in our otherwise empty house.

Then there's the rest, or our "household goods."  The company handling that shipment contacted us yesterday, and so far we are pleasantly surprised with their service, which is great.  They even have an online tracking system so we will know exactly where our stuff is.  Let's hope for smooth sailing for the barge from Seattle so one of our tracking lines doesn't read, "Container jumped ship in the Gulf of Alaska."  That would be my worst fear.  The only bad thing is that the packers are coming 5 days earlier than we requested.  We now have no more weekends left with both The LT and I home at the same time to tackle a very long to-do list.  We will also be getting packed up on a Thursday and Friday and then living among the boxes for a weekend before they pick up on Monday.  Then we have 4 days of camping in the empty house before we hit the road.  But with 16 nights in hotels to follow, I think staying in our empty house may be better than adding on extra days of sharing a room with the kids and dog.  Then of course we have to wait for our stuff on the other end.  The moving company gives a date that it is guaranteed by...that date is August 8!!  That's up to six more weeks of camping after we arrive in Homer.  They assure me that it shouldn't take that long (last time I believe it was about 5 weeks from the time they picked up), but they are fined for each late day so they give themselves plenty of wiggle room.

Now that the to-do list is made, I suppose I should get to work on it rather than be sitting here on the back deck in the sun enjoying my lunch.

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