Thursday, September 1, 2011

the best laid plans....

I had all of the details worked out for the move. I had all the right paperwork, I had the forms, I had everything we'd need for the move. I had the inventory of everything we own and values in triplicate. Triplicate! I had the import papers for the car, I had that EPA paper for the car saying it passed emissions. I had every box meticulously labeled. I had papers for our cat, saying she was in good health. I had papers saying we were bringing goods across the border. I had a list of random things we'd bought in the past year, in triplicate, because we'd read that they wanted to know what we'd purchased in the past year.

My son and hubby rode together in the 26' truck, along with out cat and everything we own except what was packed into suitcases and carry on luggage in our car, which I was driving. We pull up to the border - the sign says 10 minute wait. We walkie-talkie back and forth (because we don;t own cell phones) and decide to use the passenger lane, even for the truck, because the truck lane is completely loaded with trucks. As promised, we reach the actual border in 10 minutes.

I'm behind them in the car, so I watch the border guard talk with my husband for a few minutes, expecting him to say the truck needs to pull over to the building for inspection. Or that at least he has to go in and show the inventory of our stuff. But the guard waves him on and my husband begins to pull over toward the road instead. Wow, sweet, they're through! So fast, no hassle - rock on!

I pull up and show him my passport and say I'm with them. He asks if I'm importing the car, too. Yes, I say. He tells me to pull to the right by the building and go in to give them the paperwork. No problem, and I radio to Hubby to let him know I'm going in to give them the paperwork for the car. He says great, they'll be at the gas station filling up the truck. Great. I park, go in, am seen by someone immediately, and hand over my paperwork. I say, "oh, you also probably want the registration," at the exact second that my brain is showing me a picture of where said registration is. In the folder for "Auto license and registration" in the filing cabinet...which is in the truck. The one that just drove across the border and to the gas station several blocks from where I now stood.




I delude myself, thinking no, it cannot be in there, it must be in the glove box of the car, right? So I go out to the car and search the glove box. Right. Not there, just as I actually knew but was pretending not to. So I try and radio Hubby to let him know. After all, these rockin' walkie-talkies we bought have a 23-mile radius! He can just open the truck, find the file cabinet, get the folder, then drive back to just before the border and meet me there! A quick walk across and we're good, no worries. A slight snag.

I radio him. No answer. I try again. No answer. I explain my predicament to the border guards who watch the cars, then let them know I'm going to walk to the gas station to get the paper I need. I begin walking there, and keep trying to radio Hubby to let him know what's up. I'm pretty sure he packed the file cabinet close to last, so I'm sure it is near the back of the truck. This shouldn't be too big a deal.

I am able to reach him as soon as I am away from the border building. I let him know of my missing registration and where it is. He lets me know that the file cabinet is, in fact, near the back of the truck. Oh. Well, we need the registration or no car, so he begins to unload the truck in the parking lot of the gas station while I keep walking toward them.

Right about the time he'd gotten a significant amount of our stuff offloaded from the truck, one of the lovely employees at said gas station came out to yell at him to move the truck, because "he was blocking the semis from getting in" even though the semis were driving around him just fine. When he explained his predicament, her response was, "Well, I know you've got all your stuff out here, but you need to move." She went back inside. He didn't move. She didn't return.

Meanwhile I was walking to the gas station, and Kiernen and I were radioing back and forth - which likely was keeping him occupied and out of his Daddy's hair while he unloaded the truck. Right when I got to the truck, Josh had unearthed the filing cabinet, I handed him the key I'd retrieved from my keyring before I left the border. The folder was retrieved, washrooms were used, orange juice was purchased, my poor exhausted Hubby finished reloading the truck (in record time, I might add - while washrooms and juice were happening). He took me close to the border and dropped me off, then went to retrieve a package and say goodbye at Security Mail where we've been receiving packages for the past 4.5 years.

Once I had the registration in hand, all I had to do was fill out a form and sign it, then the guard there entered something into the computer, got out an orange piece of paper, stamped it, handed it to me and I was on my way. It took all of 5 minutes, most of which was my filling out the form.

The moral of the story is: Keep your registration in your glove box! Or at least a copy of it. Because wow, the amount of time and effort expended after an already long and trying day (in which we ended up being 5 hours later then we'd intended leaving) was just...insane, really.

And there is appreciation: I appreciate that I purchased said walkie-talkies. This would have been much much more drawn out without them. I appreciate that I remembered that the key to the filing cabinet was on my keyring before I'd gone too far in walking toward the gas station. I appreciate the border guard letting the huge truck full of everything through with such ease. I appreciate only a 10 minute border wait.

I appreciate being able to stop here, at the Turners', and feel the connection and warmth and love of their home, and just be with them, even if only for a little while. I appreciate that there was a home-cooked delicious meal hot and waiting on the table for us when we arrived, even though we hadn't been able to call and give them a heads-up on what was happening with us. I appreciate this warm cozy bed to sleep in.

I appreciate all of our neighbors at Windsong going above and beyond in helping us load the truck, clean, clear things out, giving us shelter, feeding us, and making us feel so so loved. I appreciate that so many of them came outside as we left and saw us off. I appreciate the hugs and the tears and the family we have there. We really did make some beautiful connections there, and we will miss living next to our wonderful neighbors so much.

And now we're on to our next grand adventure. Well, after some sleep, anyway.

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