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. Lora says

    Love this story! It’s so important to keep the humor in situations like this. I’m sure it was not funny at the time, but looking back it’s a great story to laugh about.
    I must admit that I was in the midst of writing a card to my grandmother who is an avid turtle collector (not real turtles, but anything turtle related) and I got a teeny bit misty eyed when I read about the turtle necklace. That’s embarrasing to admit… Love the turtle on the truck too. Thank you for such a wonderful story to brighten up a snowy Thursday! Wishing you nothing but happiness in your new home.

  2. says

    Ah, dont feel bad, John. That is a really tough corner for a truck like that! Just be glad it didn’t end up much worse. I can relate to the weather throwing a wrench into your moving plans. When we moved into our house 2 years ago (in mid December), it was semi blizzarding. It was so icy and cold. Cold like frostbite within minutes for exposed hands. We didn’t rent a truck but rather used an open bed pickup, so we had to put tarps on our mattresses and microfiber couch to protect it from the snow (which was mixed with ice). Then we had to figure out how to get my husband’s motorcycle over there. Extremely dangerous to drive a motorcycle on ice! We luckily found a friend who could move it with his truck. Needless to say, we were ready for an adult beverage by the time we unpacked everything. Moving sucks!

    • says

      Hey Kelli,

      I know! So funny right? John noticed it to himself (but of course I didn’t get the connection until he gave me my surprise a little later on). What are the odds?!


  3. says

    My beloved older sister was born on Friday 13th and exatly 28 years later she gave birth to her first child, a girl on a friday the 13th…

    I think it’s a great day, all is well that ends well…

  4. April in CT says

    I’m going to blame what just happened to me on emotions running amok because I just found out two days ago my husband got orders and we’re moving cross country from CT to CA, but I cried when I saw the necklace you got Sherry. That is just about the sweetest thing ever and the meaning behind it…oh dear, tear jerker. (sorry for the run-on sentence, I can barely put a thought together the last few days) I’m so excited to follow along in the new house and the 4 of you getting settled in. In about six months I’ll be doing the same thing in a state I’ve never been to!

  5. Becky says

    I completely feel your pain of moving in a snow storm! We moved into our first house over 3 years ago, a day after the worst snow storm in many years in Omaha. Our family wasn’t even able to come help us because the weather was too bad for them to travel but we were so excited and determined to move out of our apartment. Of course we didn’t own a snow shovel and the driveway was so packed we couldn’t even pull into it so we hired a guy who was snow blowing a driveway down the street. Pricey but completely worth it!

    We were moving into a house at the top of a hill so you can imagine the drama of getting a U-Haul to the top. Luckily we could come from the other direction that wasn’t as steep. We also ran over our neighbors trash can (who we hadn’t even met yet, akward moment at their doorstep, “hi, were the new neighbors, can we buy ya a trash can”.

  6. says

    OMG, not a great way to start your day that snowing morning. Glad it all worked out in the end. Glad everything else is going well and that no broken things have been found yet. {clapping}

    And John gets moocho points for giving you that cute little turtle. I love the saying. :D

  7. says

    The new owners are smart! We didn’t ask for a final walk through before closing and our buyer’s agent sure as heck didn’t suggest it. So, when we got the keys, we also got random garbage. The garage was full of (unbagged) junk, plus we found random stuff in the basement. I spent the first three hours in our house just bagging up debris (and I was itching to start tearing up carpet!) Final walk through–going to add that to my list of things to do next time.

  8. Jessica says

    Congratulations for getting the move done – even with minor complications!
    Our last move resulted in a major argument with a family member, who (among other things) tossed fragile items, which had a sentimental meaning for us, into a plastic bag so most of them were scratched and broken afterwards. She also forgot the screws for our bed, which we had put into a plastic bag for easy reassembly of the bed, in her car and we had our trouble getting those back after the argument.

    Some accidents of some sort happen during every move. The most important thing is how you cope with it and that you keep a positive mood and just go through the difficulties together.

    Have fun unpacking (and reading blog comments)!

  9. says

    I’m so sorry that this happened to you (phew, $185 !). But since you lived to tell the tale ….

    I laughed so loud when I read your conversation! (It reminds me of something I would say) and I can just imagine how John was thinking as soon as the wheel went into the ditch, “Now how do I call my wife, who hoped I didn’t go into a ditch, that I did just in fact go into one.”

    Well at least you’ll always remember that day for a few reasons, and the turtle is so cute. :)

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