The Big Decision, April 94. Faced with the drastic reduction in staff and imminent closing of DIPEC, and no definite prospects for continued employment with the Government in the Memphis area, we decided to turn what could be a disaster into a hopeful advantage by requesting a transfer to DGSC, Richmond. The main hope prior to this was to be placed at DDMT. Im happy to have been passed over for that, because that whole facility subsequently closed. Cissy had accumulated enough time with Shelby County to retire after 20 years service with deferred annuity. She agreed that our mutual best interest would be served by transferring to DGSC and preserving my income and retirement rights. I requested to be transferred as a Computer Specialist. I was offered transfer at the GS-11 level, with immediate repromotion to GS-12 (I had saved pay rights anyway). Aside from the isolation from adverse financial consequences, both of us saw an opportunity to enhance our lifestyles by selecting a quiet, secluded place in the country with room for antennas and a shady porch to sit upon and observe nature. We also managed to disassociate ourselves with encumbering activities and concentrate more on specific interests.
Official house-hunting trip, June 94. We elected to travel by road in order to transport the first load. A 16 foot utility trailer was purchased to be towed behind my pickup, with a payload of over 5000 pounds. The first load consisted of items cleared away to make the old house more marketable, including all the radio towers, parabolic antennas, equipment console, shop equipment and workbenches. The first day involved driving through heavy rain and an overnight in Wytheville. Continuing on via Roanoke and State Route 460, we arrived at Charlie Purtles place in Midlothian. After unloading into a rented storage building, we parked the trailer at Charlies and proceeded to house hunt. We specified a place with some acreage and were shown a number of houses in Chesterfield County by the realtor. We tendered a contract offer on one we liked, located on 2.5 acres on Courthouse Road across from Pocahontas State Park. While in the area we visited Paul and Barbara Houser. When we got back, we were missing one cat, Matilda, who had severe health problems. She managed to wander out in traffic. Maybe the best for her to spare the trauma of moving.
Unofficial house hunting trip, August 94. The first house deal fell through, so we decided to go back on our own and look again, plus transport another load. This time, the trailer load was 150 uniform boxes all wrapped up in tarps for rain proofing (it didnt). This time we took I-64, a much easier drive. Ken King, Doug Castle and Charlie Purtle assisted in the unloading into storage. This time, we obtained the multiple listings book from the Realtor and checked out several possible sites on our own. It turned out that the house we liked most was the last one on our list because of the distance. The realtor showed us the place and we knew it was the one. We made our offer, which was accepted right away. We returned to Memphis to finalize moving out. Since we didnt yet have a house in Virginia, we had to rent additional storage space in Memphis and put all the rest of our household goods there before we left town. we also rented an additional storage unit in Midlothian to accommodate all the items we transported.
Permanent change of station trip, September 94. This time we transported another load in the pickup/trailer, including another batch of boxes and some household items. Cissy drove her Camaro. We divided the cats between us. We stayed for one week in the La Quinta on Midlothian while I got started working and Cissy started looking for a job. The four remaining cats stayed in their cages when we were not around. We moved into a furnished apartment on the West End until we closed on our new house.
One more time, October 94. We decided to go get more stuff over the Columbus day holiday weekend. The cats made the trip back too. They stayed in the old house while we were in Memphis. We loaded up major household items we would need right away when we could move into our new house. We took possession on Halloween Over the following week, we transferred all the items in local storage to the new house.
Household transportation trip, November 94. Having a house without a full set of household goods was no fun, so we set off to Memphis for more stuff. We rented a moving van. After loading the van and the pickup/trailer, I drove the van and Cissy drove the pickup. We made an uneventful two day return trip and got everything unloaded thanks to Charlie and Doug, and Rolf Anderson.
Final transportation and airplane transfer trip, February 95. After a couple of months settling in, we made the final round trip to Memphis for retrieving the remaining property. Cissy drove the pickup/trailer and I flew the airplane back. My return trip took 5.5 hours, non-stop from Memphis to New Kent. Cissy took the usual two days to drive back.
Ordeal? Maybe. Adventure? Certainly. Would I move myself again? Not entirely. Up to 18,000 pounds of goods are allowed on a GBL move. Our stuff weighed in at 30,000 pounds. We have accumulated even more stuff after the move. At this point, we are disinclined to consider ever moving again.