For the most part, our move was pretty stress free. The most agonizing part was arranging transportation for the horse and cow. My brother Luke was a huge help and arranged for a truck and a trailer that he drove down and back, but securing those came down to the wire. As in, the morning they were leaving to drive down to help us, they had to find and borrow another truck. Aside from that, there were only minor things to deal with, like driving to another town an hour away to get our moving truck, and not having room for our canoe or BBQ. Two things we rarely use anyway. We’ll get them another time.
The animals loaded great. We put the cow in the front of the 3 horse stock trailer, and Banner in next, then the chickens and some hay. I think Banner loaded so well cause he watched his buddy load into a trailer two days before and was hoping to join him. The chickens were in the dog kennel, and Kai was in the back of Luke’s truck, which had a canopy.
The whole drive, which normally takes 5.5-6 hours, took us 8.5. We stopped for fuel on the Westside for Luke’s truck and a Starbucks run, then stopped at the Canadian Tire gas station in town for fuel for the moving truck, then stopped almost at the next town cause the foot on the horse trailer was barely clearing the pavement and dragging over the smallest bump. The guys went on to the next Canadian Tire store, and I met them there after feeding Tirzah. Darryl bought a new receiver and that fixed the problem. The next stop was in the next, and last, major town for a bathroom break, and then it was on to the boring part of the trip with only two more stops in tiny blips on the map for fuel or baby feeding. The moving van set the pace at a leisurely 80 kms/hr, which I’m guessing is why it took so long. Steph rode with me for the last leg of the journey and we stopped for chicken feed at the feed store. The guy at the counter was really friendly. I asked when they closed and he said 5:30. It was 5:37. “And we’re still here!” The debit machine was really slow and he said they had dialup and that the debit machine at the McDonald’s was so fast! My introduction to our small town. After the feed store, I dropped Steph off at a friend’s house (she was stopping at her mom’s for a pot of chili and driving out with her friend) and continued on by myself. The guys had already gone ahead to get there hopefully before dark. I knew the route fairly well just from looking at Google maps, but Steph drew a map for me anyway. It was dusk when I arrived. The driveway was blocked by a couple of trucks, including the landlord’s, who said hi as he left. He would have helped, but wasn’t feeling well. While the guys were outside doing who knows what, I sat on the hearth and fed Tirzah again, while Sadie and Chad ran around the big open living room in the partial darkness (no lamps yet). Then with a little direction from me, our helpers (all friends of Luke and Steph) began unloading the moving truck. Some details are a little blurry, but I think it took about 2 hours to unload everything. With the front door open the whole time, it got really cold in the house, and by the time everyone was gone, Darryl and I collapsed on the couches downstairs by the wood stove for a few minutes. I had to take a hot shower to warm up completely. The wood stove wasn’t warming the house up fast enough so we turned on the propane furnace for the night and we’ve been sweating in here every night since then. Except the few times we remembered to open the bedroom window for a while before going to bed.
That first week the temperature dropped down to minus 20 with snow blowing in sideways. Moola was hiding out beside the house instead of eating her hay, and she got a touch of mastitis from the stress of moving, so we put a horse blanket on her and she was much happier. By Sunday, the weather warmed up to plus 10 or something. Nice enough that I went riding for the first time in 9 months. The roads were bare, and there were people out walking on this remote road 25 minutes from a small town. One lady said she’d lived here for 35 years. Another couple have been here 30 years and said this winter was abnormal with a lot more snow and colder temperatures. There was over 2 feet of snow in our yard when we got here. One month later, we’ve had many more days of snow blowing in sideways and few days of sunshine, but the snow is only a foot deep now, and the driveway and road is bare. There’s a ring of dirt around every tree and stumps are showing up we never knew were there. Last week me and the kids went for a walk around the property, exploring the aspen grove below the house. I could walk on top of the crusted snow up until the end of our walk, when I started falling through in a few places. The snow was up to my knees. I guess it doesn’t get much sun in the trees down there.