Monday, October 17, 2011

Moving Mountains

If you don't know Robin from Farewell Stranger, you should.  Her credo is "Live the Life You're Meant To" and you know that that sort of thing sets my heart aflutter.  But aside from that she is inspirational and kind and brilliant.  So when she suggested that we swap blogs today, I may or may not have squealed and then hopped up and down and then told her about how I'm a loon.  'Cause that's how I roll, yo.


She battled, and was victorious over, terrible postpartum depression and has helped countless women manage their own struggles.  And y'all...she is a real, published author OMG.   Check out the wonderful books she has contributed to: Not Alone: Stories of Living with Depression and Welcome to My World.  True story, folks!

So click that little blue button to visit Robin's blog (I'm over there today telling you that you're worth more than the sad, dim version of yourself that some people would suggest is good enough.  Because you are and it's not), read her HI-larious story here, and leave her some comment love.  She is truly great!

In 1999 my husband (then boyfriend) and I packed up everything he owned, approached some strangers at a gas station, and gave them all his stuff.
But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.
In the spring of that year our relationship was not quite a year old and had been mostly long distance. My husband was finishing university and had generously decided to move to the coast with me instead of subjecting me to endless Canadian prairie winters.

He lived in a basement suite at the time and didn’t have too much stuff, but it did fill a moderately sized U-Haul trailer. Since we lacked a car, my dad agreed to bring Sven – his much-loved silver Volvo - out to help us make the trek west. Sven was a trooper of a car, but it turns out his four cylinders weren’t quite up to the job.

As we trundled down the highway between Edmonton and Calgary – which, for those not familiar with Canadian highways, is pretty much dead flat – Sven was struggling and we quickly figured out he wasn’t going to make it over the Rockies with a trailer tied to his backside.

Cue minor panic.

We made phone calls. Renting a whole moving truck was beyond our budget and we couldn’t very well ship all that stuff. But my dad had an idea.

First, let me explain that my dad is notorious for being outrageous (and also annoying, because his wacky ideas – after we’ve laughed at them - usually work). So when he suggested we find someone with a trailer hitch who seemed to be going in the right direction and ask if we could pay them to take the U-Haul, we only hesitated for a moment. It sounded totally nuts, but we didn’t seem to have any other options.

We planted ourselves strategically at a gas station near the highway. Every time a truck headed in the right direction stopped there, we scanned for a hitch. The first few people we approached politely turned us down. I didn’t blame them, frankly. We kept stalking and soon saw a couple in a rented moving truck. With a hitch. Surely they’d understand our predicament.

We went to talk to them, attempting to seem as normal as possible, and gave them our pitch. They agreed and after ditching the rest of our dignity by doing a happy dance in the middle of a gas station parking lot we tried to hitch up our U-Haul.

It didn’t fit.

The hitch was the wrong size, but just as we were starting to think we’d have to ask the gas station for their postal code so we could have mail forwarded there the couple offered another option: unpack the U-Haul, put our stuff in their not-completely-full moving truck, and tow the U-Haul home empty, which poor, overworked Sven could probably manage. They were going as far as Vancouver, which would get us very close to where we needed to be.

I know this sounds more crazy than Plan A, but we figured driving off with someone else’s worldly possessions wasn’t any more likely with the stuff in their truck than it would have been with the stuff in a trailer hooked up to that same truck.

So we agreed, and that’s how we ended up giving all my husband’s possessions to people we had never met. (800 miles later we did get it all back.)

Friends You Love

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  1. Hi Robin, so good to see you here!

    Love the story, that's just - crazy, funny and totally wonderful!

  2. Hi Robin, cool story! I think driving across the prairies together really speaks to the strength of your relationship with your husband! :D

  3. Dwija, thank you so much for having me here today! I'm so glad you were up for the post exchange.

    TriGirl - We've done that drive SO many times since. Between that and a 30-hour bus ride in Australia, I think we're set. :)

  4. Hi Robin! Love the story...your dad sounds like a man I'd like to know : )

  5. Such a great story!!

    So glad that those folks were willing to help you out!

  6. I'm laughing about your car named Sven. I had one named Vern!

  7. What an awesome--and kinda wacky--story. It's great that they were so helpful!

  8. That's thinking outside the box!

  9. That's a great story! I think I'd be afraid every time your dad started with "I have an idea"! ;)

  10. wow, that's a great story! it takes a lot of courage (and trust) to do that.

  11. How freeing...and what a feeling of being unburdened.

    I often feel like just piling everything into the backyard and just throwing a match on it.

  12. Way to make it work!!! :) That would've been more than a little nerve racking though! But sounds like a great couple to help you out!

  13. Fun story! I'm glad you came across such a trustworthy couple.

  14. Thanks everyone! Looking back I still can't believe we did that, but I'm glad it worked out!

  15. great story, great storytelling, and a wonderful guest post! Great to see you at Dwija's place!

  16. That is an incredible story and really shows that there are nice people out there! I am glad that it turned out so well!

  17. What a cute story! I'm glad everything worked out for you and your husband.


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