The origins of this 3-part blog series started when Cindy and Skye left on a quick trip to Nashville to visit relatives, including a surprise birthday for her sister and then a side-trip to find a hedgehog for Skye's Christmas gift.
I decided that I would have my own surprises for them when they returned.
In order to do this, I would have to come up with a pretty creative game plan.
I had one day to wrap up and out of the Fast and Furious gig. That would leave me without a vehicle until I was able to get one when I started the commercial, probably Tuesday. And by then I would probably be crazy busy with the new job.
We've only had one vehicle since selling our Explorer and trading in the Prius for the Rav around 2 1/2 years ago. It's worked out wonderfully.
When we're on the road and traveling, having just one car is preferable. When we're working, we have a car rented for us.
Occasionally we've had to rent vehicles for our personal use, but its been much more convenient, affordable and eco-sensitive than us owning two cars.
However, at times that situation can become problematic.
We are still in the process of moving in. When the girls headed up north there were still a couple of wardrobe boxes crowding our room as well as various crates and boxes taking up space in closets and hallways.
So getting those out of the way was one of the first orders of business.
Home by Ikea
We were pretty close to having all the furniture that we "needed" in our new pad.
All that was missing was a coffee table, a case for our DVDs, and a file cabinet.
I decided I would get stuff to storage as well as getting these last few pieces of furniture.
I also would like to get some sort of Christmas tree put up before they got back.
Over the last few years, we've had all sorts of "Christmas trees". For the first few years at our Milagro house we had a big, gigantic 12' tree.
And even that wasn't big enough to display all of our ornaments.
Since we've moved and become nomadic, our trees have run the gammut from when we were in Mammoth, having no tree at all and telling Skye to pick one of the many trees surrounding us to a little metal tree all of 2 feet tall when we were down in Key West.
This year I decided to get a real tree from a local lot, Tradition Trees, just like we did when I was a kid.
Not Part of the Plan
Not everything went according to plan.
When I went to assemble the Ikea file cabinet, I was almost finished when I realized there was a piece missing.
I looked all over the apartment, hoping that I had absentmindedly set it aside somewhere.
That wasn't the case. After going back to Ikea, it took about an hour before I was able to finally get the piece.
On Monday, I had to rent a car for a day until I was able to get the one provided for me on the commercial.
In that short time, I had forgotten to put the parking permit sticker in place and ended up getting booted.
It took a few hours to deal with that.
In the end, I was able to get almost everything accomplished that I wanted.
The Ikea pieces all got put together and worked really well in regards to form as well as function.
The tree fit in a little niche spot and was the perfect size.
I was able to get every crate or box in storage or out of view, as in one of our several closets.
And I got the place cleaned up as well.
And I was able to get home just a few minutes after them while getting all of my work obligations fulfilled.
I had to leave the next day, but what a wonderful homecoming.