We dragged our newly minted college graduate and 2nd Lt. home on August 11, only to leave early the next morning with our daughter for the six hour trek to Lubbock and Texas Tech.
This is a brand new apartment complex, nestled between the Overton Hotel on one side, and the football stadium on the other. Originally, the residents were told they wouldn't be able to move in until August 25, TWO DAYS before school starts. You can bet there were a ton of complaints from the prospective residents, not to mention the parents who co-signed the leases. Management was apologetic but adamant: no one could move in until inspections were completed, and the place approved for human habitation.
This schedule presented one hell of a headache, because our sorority girl had to report back to Lubbock TWO WEEKS before school started. While I beat my chest and whined, Paige made arrangements to stay with a Zeta sister who has a house somewhere near the Tech campus. I was not happy with the idea of her sleeping on someone's grungy floor for two weeks, but my husband liked the idea of shelling out major moolah for a two week hotel stay even less, so the floor won.
The old travel adage to "take twice the money and half the clothes" has never applied to me; I'm the kind of person who will pack six pairs of underwear for an overnight stay. So the next hurdle was to figure out what to take for the two week "layover"; we had to cover the essentials without overwhelming her hostess, who, I'm sure, was probably strapped for space, house or no. By the time we packed a deflated air mattress, bedding for the air mattress, a pillow, towels, and the required clothing and shoes for the rush week parties, we had enough luggage to outfit a camel caravan in the desert. I was toying with the idea of emailing the rush chair to say my daughter had contracted a case of the West Nile virus, so sorry, when a miracle happened: the apartment complex announced on their Facebook page that they would be ready for move-in on August 11. This was fantastic news because it meant that we could move her all in one go, and not in two parts as we'd originally planned.
We trundled into Lubbock on Sunday afternoon. Fortunately, the three roommates were occupied with sorority business, so we had the apartment to ourselves for a couple of hours, while we hauled Paige's belongings from the cars to the third floor. My husband flew home to Dallas that night, but I stayed through Monday to put the finishing touches on her room and bath. After the horrors of living in Chitwood Hall (give you three guesses what the kids REALLY call it) it was so nice to have a brand-spanking-new place; even so, there are things I would change about it.
For one, the nice big closet has no place to hang long clothes; there is a bottom shelf that runs the entire length of the closet, maybe 40" or so from the floor. I desperately wanted to use wire cutters on the thing to carve out some real hanging space for the extra long dresses, but my husband refused to consider such vandalism. For another, no desk drawer, and no drawer in the nightstand. Considering that the complex is owned by a company whose business is renting to students, you'd think they'd maximize the storage space wherever possible. Also, the only towel rack in the bathroom is between the toilet and the overhead cabinet, which means her bath towel has to be doubled up to hang; no way in heck it will dry efficiently when bunched up like that. I tell you, if I ruled the world...
On Monday, I went shopping...again. I bought an over-the-door canvas shoe holder to store accessories and free up the limited drawer space. I also purchased (they were on sale) two green vinyl ottomans that can double as storage cubes, and placed these at the foot of the bed. Fortunately, the bed rides high and we were able to shove four large bins underneath for more storage. All in all, I was happy with the way it turned out. It looked very pretty when I left; no telling what shape it's in now.
Hopefully this will be the last move into, out of, or around Lubbock until graduation. In the meantime, sweetie, if you are reading this, don't forget to clean out the lint trap in the dryer.
P. S. If you click on "Moving" (Categories) on the right, you can compare the freshman year room to the sophomore year room. Big difference!
When we moved our older son to College Station for his freshman year at Texas A&M, I think the whole move from start to finish lasted about two hours. This encompassed parking and unloading the car, hauling his belongings up to the third floor, putting things away and making the bed. It was even easier when our younger son moved. Freshmen in the Corps of Cadets at A&M are not allowed those homey little touches that make dorm life bearable. No posters or other wall decor, no television, no mini-fridge, no curtains, no carpeting, no microwave; just clothes (and not much of that), toiletries and a computer. We didn't even have to move him in. While the freshmen and their parents were having a nice lunch and meeting with the brass, the sophomores hauled all the junk to the dorms.
Friday, August 19, found us heading west on I-20 toward Lubbock and Texas Tech hauling another college freshman and a trailer that was 75% clothes, 20% make-up and hair products, and 5% "other". We were barely out of Weatherford when we ran into traffic. We inched along glacier-like for 30 minutes before it became clear there was an accident ahead that was the cause of all the fuss. Turned out a cattle trailer had gone over a steep embankment killing a number of cattle, the carcasses heaped together in a big pile. We still had hours of driving ahead of us, so it wasn't the most auspicious start.
Saturday morning, while my husband went in search of a parking space that wasn't in the next county, my daughter and I presented ourselves in the Chitwood Hall lobby for check-in. Key in hand, we peeked into the room first. As expected, it was small and drab, but the A/C worked and as we only had to climb one flight of stairs, no one was complaining. Unlike her brothers' moves, Paige's freshman move-in took all day. First, we had to cover the bulletin board with fabric and ribbon trim. Then we had to cover the ugly bolsters on the bed in coordinating fabric. Then the bed was made, the heaps and heaps of clothes sorted and put away, sorted again and put away, then sorted a third time and put away. I was about to haul everything out for the fourth time --- my OCD tendencies were in overdrive that day ---- when Richard lost his patience with me and insisted I let it go. Besides, we were way overdue for lunch.
We met friends and their daughters at some eatery near the campus. We had a tough time finding a parking space to accommodate the trailer, finally winding up in a nearby church lot. This church, I don't remember the denomination, had posted a bunch of very un-Christian-like signs that basically said we would go to hell if we parked on their private lot. Since it was Saturday and the lot was completely empty, we decided to risk it, even though Richard spent most of lunch running out every five minutes to make sure things were okay. I don't know what worried him most: a possible fine or his eternal soul.
That Saturday night, for the third and last time, I left my heart behind with a scared college freshman. I don't know how we managed to cram the contents of a walk-in closet into one 46" wide, or where the last 19 years disappeared to, or how a tiny baby girl can grow into a beautiful young woman, but we did and they did and she did.
Hey kiddo, if you are reading this, I know you'll do just fine.
PRUNELLA (aka MOM)
Get notified of new content! Enter your email address in the space below to get started...