Leap Day One

I announced a few weeks ago on Facebook my then-upcoming move to Washington, DC. I’m headed to the one city in which the job market is booming! The past several weeks of preparation have been hectic… finalizing my time in KC, apartment hunting in DC from a distance…

Today, Leap Day, I departed Raymore, MO for Wheaton, IL – my first stop on the way to Virginia.

… and I made it to Blue Springs, MO.

Today was a decidedly tedious comedy of errors. I managed to carefully and intelligently stuff nine boxes, two plastic tubs, three tote bags, a card table, my laptop bag, my carry-on luggage, a large duffel bag, and several vacuum-shrunk bags of linens and clothes into my small, 2010 Hyundai Accent hatchback. My bicycle was strapped to the car. The accomplishment was marvelous.

 

My first clue that all was not well was when my normally flawless little car struggled to get out of the driveway. I went straight to Firestone to have the tire pressure checked to make sure I was set for the 7.5 hour drive to Wheaton. Tires were fine, but the car’s load was too heavy and unbalanced. I reloaded and rearranged. In so doing, I managed to pop open a few of the vacuum-shrunk bags. I heard the hiss and watched my duvet and blankets reinflate in place. The sheer pressure of the packed in mass must have held it in check, because the end result was not nearly as terrifying as the initial hiss-and-grow had been. I drove back to the house, re-shrank the bags, rearranged a little, purged a little more stuff, and drove back to the tire place to confirm that it was ready. I was given the all clear and I drove off… and when I made a reasonably sharp right turn I felt and heard the crunch of tire touching car. Still too heavy.

I did the logical thing. I pulled over and called people. I called Katherine to tell her that I wasn’t going to arrive in Wheaton until after 3am. I called my father for guidance. I was completely blitzed. I ended up coming to Blue Springs to leave three boxes of books – the only boxes I’m taking! – behind to be shipped to me later. My friends kindly suggested crashing on their couch, and here I am. Day One of the Leap: Raymore to Blue Springs!

My car is now sufficiently lighter. No more unpleasant contact between tire and wheel well. I have much more visibility to the rear right where I most need it. The packing isn’t anywhere near as clever or awe-inspiring as it was earlier. When I pulled out the book boxes, which were the first boxes I had originally loaded and thus were on the very bottom, everything else was so tightly packed that nothing else moved! Now it feels all a jumble. But! Safe car! visibility! Happy tires!

Wheaton tomorrow, Columbus, OH, on Friday, and DC on Saturday!

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