So, our anniversary was last week and it is bound to be one of the more memorable ones we’ve ever had. We didn’t tour an exotic foreign country or watch the sunset from a hot air balloon while eating wine and cheese. We didn’t even go fishing with a 6-pack of beer. Let me back up and tell you the whole story…
My parents have lived in Tionesta, PA for 42 years, 41 of which were in the same house where my brother and I were raised. In the last year, they decided it was time to move to WV to be nearer to us so they bought a house here and listed their house there. About 6 weeks ago, their house there went into contract and they were given a closing date range of July 23-August 3. Mom checked around for moving companies and settled on one based in FL. They took her deposit and scheduled their move for July 23…our anniversary. That’s perfect…we could enjoy our anniversary and help them after as the movers unloaded the truck the next day.
On July 20th, the closing date was set…July 23rd. That date was tight for the move but the lawyer was leaving the next day for vacation…it was pretty much set in stone. Mom called the movers and confirmed that they would be there on July 23rd. They promised they would but did not have a time set. She called daily in the week leading up asking for the time. As late as the evening of the 22nd, they promised they were coming on the 23rd but didn’t know when.
As you might have guessed, the 23rd rolled around and the movers didn’t show. They did call at 8:30 am telling my parents they weren’t coming after all. To be clear, the night before, they confirmed they were coming; the day of the move, they told her they didn’t service their area. This is after taking their deposit and promising repeatedly that they were on track to move them.
So, I get a call around 9:30 am on the 23rd with the bad news. Of course, the closing still needed to happen but they had no movers. I said I could drive up and return in a rented truck and let my Mom drive my car back. It was certainly not ideal, but was workable. My parents called around local rental truck places and even called the state-wide dispatcher in Pittsburgh for one company. Basically, all companies reported that there were no trucks available in the state (or at least the western part of the state) until August.
So, I called around Charleston and found a 26′ Ryder truck here. My father-in-law, a real trooper volunteered to ride with me. So, I rented a Hugh Jass truck (say it out loud) and headed 350 miles north to PA….at noon…on my wedding anniversary. My wife is a real trooper also of course as she is the one who suggested renting a truck here and driving it up empty. This truck rode like…well, a truck. It had air brakes so made all of the cool big truck sounds and I bounced around the captain’s chair that was on air shocks itself. It was not a comfortable ride.
Anyhow, I got within probably 6 miles of my parents’ (former) house when I saw a sign for the upcoming bridge…clearance was 13’3″. I remembered that my truck had a clearance of 13’6″. I stopped 20 feet from the entrance to the bridge and it was clear I couldn’t make it through. This bridge has a blind curve leading up to it and is on a narrow state road so there was very little space to turn around. (Check out the first pic at this site. I was coming in through the forest at the left.) Luckily, another driver went and blocked traffic while I performed a 27 point turn to head back the other direction. All told, I probably had to add 45 or so miles to my trip to back track to a route I could successfully navigate.
Finally, we made it to my parents’ house where they had a small crew of dedicated and awesome people to load up their stuff (which fortunately they had already boxed up). We finished up the next day with the help of some young men from a local group and were on our way back to their new home in Charleston. Fortunately, the new owners were very understanding and even came to help move boxes and stuff.
Emily’s family came to help us unload on the WV side and we had the truck unloaded in no time! We were exhausted but everyone was safe and my parents are now in their new home in WV. I drove 735 miles round-trip and loaded and unloaded that truck (with others of course) in a 36 hour period. I am not sure I want to name the company but if you get ready to move, holler at me and I will tell you one company to avoid!