Monday The 13th

You don’t even know the half of our moving day adventure. We glossed over it because we knew you deserved empty shots of our old place and pics of the new house’s interior – but we couldn’t let this story go untold. So take a moment to pantomime the buckling of your seatbelt and get ready to enjoy the ride. As we mentioned earlier, the day started off with an unexpected surprise: a snowstorm. And even though it wasn’t a Friday, the thirteenth of this month (aka Monday) surely lived up to its less than lucky reputation. Which is so not a good thing when it’s closing/moving day.

Sure the snow was pretty, but it definitely had its hand in a few unlucky events that day. Like knocking out power at our attorney’s office, making it a bit more difficult to stay updated on what was happening and get transfers and files through in order to complete our closing on time (which is partially why it was delayed until Tuesday). But that was nothing compared to this, um, predicament:

Yep, that’s our 26 ft U-Haul truck in a ditch, blocking two lanes of traffic. And it’s not just any ditch. It’s the ditch at the end of our driveway- er well, the driveway that we had just sold. So technically, it was someone else’s ditch that was holding my truck captive about an hour before they’d be returning with the keys. Not to mention it was someone else’s mailbox that the truck was precariously leaning against. Sigh.

Here’s how it went down (pun intended). Sherry was already at my sister’s house with Clara and Burger playing the waiting game until we could move into the new house. I had been dropped off at our old house to meet the buyers and their agent so they could do one last walk-through of our old casa before closing (apparently to make sure it was vacant and everything was still intact… can you taste the irony already?). The walk-through went fine and I was leaving right behind them in the giant truck packed full of all our worldly possessions when this happened (though they were already too far up the road to see it). I blame it on some combination of paying too close attention to keeping the front end of the truck from ending up in the ditch across the street, snow that was hiding the edge of the driveway, and general inexperience when it comes to driving a big ol’ truck.

At least that’s how I like to tell the story. Sherry prefers this phone conversation play-by-play:

JOHN: Hey Sherry. Walk-through went fine. They’re off to go close and I’m headed to the new house.

SHERRY: Okay, be very careful. It’s snowy out there so drive as slow as you need, even if people are honking at you. Just take your time.

JOHN: I will. Don’t worry.

SHERRY: Great. I just don’t want you ending up in a ditch or anything.


JOHN: Crap, the truck is in a ditch and I think I knocked over the mailbox.

SHERRY: You’re kidding right?


We can laugh about it now, but let’s just say it was definitely a disastrous moment in our heads at the time. We had visions of everything in the truck shattering and having to wait hours to be towed out (which would definitely have pissed off the new owners who would be back with the keys in about an hour after their closing). Fortunately none of that happened. Heck, the mailbox didn’t even fall over.

Once I got the truck towed out of the ditch (within about half an hour- which was truly miraculous in that storm with all the other car-riddled ditches to be attended to) I drove it about one mile an hour over to our new house. Then I called our house’s new owners’ agent and agreed to replace the mailbox post (which had cracked in the process). Between that and the tow truck charge to un-ditch the truck, the whole ordeal ended up costing us $185. Sucky? Yes. But it could have been so much worse (so far not one thing that we’ve unpacked has been broken- which is a total Christmas miracle because the back of the truck crashed down at least 18″ when it slipped off the driveway). We’re just happy it didn’t result in a cracked flatscreen TV, a delayed closing, an injury, or any other number of things that could have gone wrong. And it somehow made making it into our house later that day that much sweeter. Like we’d battled all sorts of insane and unexpected adversity, only to end up where we belonged by day’s end.

Plus, later that night I redeemed myself by surprising Sherry with this:

I snagged it on lunaCielo’s Etsy shop a few weeks ago (after hearing Sherry admire Courtney Cox’s small gold turtle necklace during Cougar Town). I though it made a great house-warming gift because it came with this note about the turtle’s symbolism: “The turtle’s whole life is one of steadfastness, effort, and patience. There is a saying, “Home is where the heart is” — the turtle is always at home within itself.” As we switch from one house to another, it’s a good reminder that our sense of home stays with us wherever we are.

And perhaps on this unlucky day, it was a good sign that even our ditch-bound truck itself was emblazoned with a giant turtle. Coincidence? You be the judge.

So that’s the story of Monday the 13th. Don’t say I didn’t warn you about what can happen when a case of the Mondays merges with that unlucky number…


  1. Amy says

    Yikes. We moved into our house in the middle of an active snowstorm and count ourselves lucky nothing major happened.

    I’m glad to hear you emerged from the 13th (relatively) unscathed.

  2. Meredith says

    Thank you for sharing this. :) I always envision your life as perfect, just because you seem to have such a happy marriage, beautiful baby girl, and overall your act together. I’m sorry this happened, but it’s nice to be reminded that EVERYONE’s life has some hiccups. Glad you came through relatively unscathed!

  3. Elizabeth says

    Glad everything worked out well! Your posts always make me smile and think creatively, but the quote about the turtle made me teary! I am a turtle lover as well. Good luck as always!

  4. says

    We moved into our house (8 years ago in February) during a snow “storm” too. Here in Dallas it snowed 3 inches, the most that had fallen at one time in 18 years (but I’m from Colorado, so it seemed like a mere dusting to me). It was great, tho, because we got to meet a lot of neighbors who were out making snowmen, etc.

    Can’t wait to see more pics of your new casa!

  5. Johnna says

    So will you actually go OVER and replace the mailbox post yourself or will you have to pay for someone else to do it? Just wondering if the DIY spirit overlaps onto this mishap! LOL! Glad Monday the 13th didn’t present anything worse!!! :-D

    • says

      Hey Johnna,

      Paying a handyman to take care of it made them most comfortable, so we were happy to do that (even though it felt weird to “outsource” something like that).


  6. says

    I just have to say that I am incredibly impressed with how often you have been able to post and respond to comments this week. WOW! I would have probably thought something like, “meh, they know we’re moving” – which is one of many reasons why I’m not in your line of work and you two are so good at this. Well done.

  7. says

    haha… with my ADD, I read “even our ditch-bound truck itself was emblazoned with…” and skipped ahead to the picture, and thought, “no way! There was a picture of a mailbox on their truck!”

    Still, the picture of the turtle is an amazing coincidence. It’s so sucky when random things go wrong, but I’m glad everything went right in the end!

  8. says


    Seriously though, major props on a smooth moving day. When you feel that car lurch into a ditch, and then start spinning your wheels and realize you’re not going anywhere, the heart just sinks like a piece of cement in your stomach. Totally commiserate with you there. Especially with a huge truck like that (my situation was horrible rainstorm + high winds going down I-80 east to Michigan with a huge U-Haul going 35mph…and horrible windshield wipers)

    But John! Turning on the charm with the necklace! I think I might have to take a few pointers from you for the Mrs! Well played, good sir!

  9. Hayley says

    Why did you even have the truck there?! I thought you stayed at a ‘secret location’ with the truck. It would have made a lot more sense to go back to the house in the car!

    But thanks for sharing, it was very entertaining. And love the turtle. Can’t believe nothing was broken (yet, fingers crossed for the menagerie).

    • says

      Hey Hayley,

      Logistics and weather complications made John driving the truck from there to the new house the “path of least resistence” in our minds. Didn’t work out that way in the end, but oh well… we lived to tell the tale.


    • Seina says

      Why was the back end of the truck facing the street at that point? From the first picture, it appears that the you had backed the truck into the driveway, so the front portion was facing the street. So did you guys at some point pull forwards out of the driveway, then drive back into the driveway, then attempt to back out again? That’s a lot of driveway manuvering for a giant Uhaul :)

    • says

      Oh no, the front of the truck is facing the street the whole time. John just pulled forward (he had backed in the night before) and the back tire got caught at the end of our driveway (see that mailbox? it’s our old one – so sad!).


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