So….This is our driveway Wednesday morning (9/24). Lovely isn’t it. Not too cool. Beautiful clear skies. And…empty.
That’s right, no container.
Last week on Tuesday we thought we had everything all sorted out. Written in pen on the calendar, finally! The container was supposed to arrive on Sept. 23rd (yesterday) and we’d have until Sept. 25th to load it. They would pick it up, shuttle it off to New York, and on September 30th it would sail off for Ecuador.
Written in ink…on Elijah’s calendar even! (he likes to use abbreviations).
“c” was for container…
So…we did the next thing on the list: BUY TICKETS. This time we found great direct flights which even landed in the daylight! (woohoo!)
October 9th is the date.
Feels a little crazy to have a moving date *finally*! This time has been much longer than expected, but we’re trusting God. The days are FULL with packing and packing and packing and packing, but thankfully, the delays have meant that we’ve been able to go to bed each night, and have not been staying up into the wee hours. I don’t think I could have done that very well, especially with JJ waking up so much at night.
But, I am getting sidetracked.
Back to the container, or lack thereof.
Friday morning we sat down with a whiteboard to address our battle plan for the day. Then the phone rang. It was Juan Carlos, the guy who has been organizing the shipping for us…He was calling to let us know that the trucking company wouldn’t deliver the container to the house after all. Liability issues.
p.s. “bomb shelter” is our storage area in the house…
We were on the phone back and forth all through the day trying to figure out options…Could we load it down the road from here?
Could we load it at the church?
Could we try another company?
Was it a trucking issue or a container issue?
Were they going to require a load at a warehouse?
Who did we know with a warehouse?
Truthfully, this sort of stuff is exhausting. Mentally and emotionally draining. I think our brains have been overloaded with decisions, planning, thinking, logistics, organizing, and stress to the point that there are days right now that even small decisions seem mountainous. Sort of like when people are climbing Everest. As they get nearer the top, and more exhausted, (and yes, there is less oxygen than here in PA…), it becomes more and more difficult to take just one more step and to think clearly. That’s us right now.
“Live load” seemed to be the most viable option, although not necessarily the desired one. Live load means that the driver brings the container on the truck and sits there while you load the container. You have a few hours to do it.
I can’t imagine packing an entire house into a container in 2-3 hours. I am so glad that God gave Matt such mad packing skills…I think he’s probably excited about the challenge.
Live load at another facility (like the church), means that we have to load EVERYTHING for the container into a truck here at the house and drive it to the church where we will then have to unload EVERYTHING from the truck INTO the container, in 2-3 hours. (You see why our heads hurt so much??). Think mental gymnastics: loading the truck backwards so the container can then be loaded frontwards. Oh, I am so so so thankful for Matt!
We weren’t able to get the container sorted out Friday. The shipping company finally said they would only load at a warehouse facility (really the last of options for us), so Juan Carlos was waiting to hear from two other companies to see if there were other possibilities. Monday came and went, and he was still working out details. So, we packed. We are starting to run out of things to pack. I’ve been holding off on packing *all* the dishes, but the time has come for that too.
Jonah was a huge help this week!
Furniture is migrating towards the door…
Yesterday, we finally got word. If we use a different shipping company, they are willing to do a live load at our church. So…we are back to having a container, and a truck, and a LOT of loading and unloading boxes. But, not until next week. Which is a bit of a bummer as next week was supposed to be our recuperation week at the shore, but Matt is going to have to come back for a few days.
So here’s the plan:
Monday (9/30): Matt will come back to the house and load up a big truck (backwards). Hopefully we’ll have lots of helping hands around for that!
Tuesday (10/1): He’ll go down to the church with the truck to fill the container.
Saturday (10/4): The container will leave port. It sails to Panama and apparently chills out there for a week before continuing on to Ecuador (the original vessel only too 12 days to get there, this one will take 18).
Then we start to pray. For customs. For the container to pass through customs quickly and easily.
We’ll get into country on the 9th. Our container won’t arrive until the 22nd. And, depending on how long it takes in port, we could wait an additional week or two or three before we get it to us. Please pray it is quick!
The kids hope we’ll be able to stand on the shore and watch for the carrier ship next week. We’ll see. But for now, it is back to work. Tasks to finish: Finish packing, relabel all the boxes in Spanish, finish the manifesto, translate the manifesto (it is over 100 pages now), clean the house……(your head spinning now too?)
Thank you for your prayers, and for meals, and for baby sitters, and for hugs of encouragement, and for loving on our kids, and for inventorying boxes, and for packing, and for cleaning our bathrooms, and for bedding, and for emails…you all mean so much to us!