When our son McClendon and daughter-in-law Yessika offered to fly us out to San Diego to help move them and their school bus home to our farm, I thought there was no way we could be gone for several days. Someone would have to be at the farm every day to take care of the animals. And what about our home pets? We could maybe get coverage for a day, but for five days?
But then one by one, each responsibility began to be covered. First, a friend offered to pet-sit our dogs at our downtown loft. Someone said he would take care of all our farm animals. Then another friend gathered and washed bed linens from all of last weekend’s glampers.
Finally we could focus on helping McClendon and Yessika with the move.
I’ve done a lot of road tripping over the years. Since moving to Texas more than ten years ago, I’ve made the 13+ hour drive to Georgia in one day many times. And I’ve driven with our daughter and a friend to Lake Tahoe to visit our other kids - a 26 hour drive from Dallas, stopping overnight in Flagstaff, AZ.
But nothing prepared me for the drive from Escondido to the farm. McClendon told us a friend with a skoolie said to allow for a four day trip. I thought there was no way. If you look on Google Maps, it shows a 21 hour drive. With four drivers and two vehicles, surely we could get it down to three days. And that was our original plan. However there are challenges with driving a bus/tiny home that you don’t have with other vehicles.
First off, the bus could only go 65 miles an hour. McClendon researched truck stops with exits that had easy off and on ramps. There had to be plenty of room to make turns, whether we were getting gas or stopping at a hotel for the night. (Boards from their disassembled wooden deck were laid out on the floor of the kitchen and living room. He used his Marriott points for a room for Houston and me, while they slept inside the bus in the hotel’s parking lot.) Because of all those variables and the fact that none of the rest of us had ever driven a bus, McClendon felt most comfortable driving.
Monday through Wednesday Yessika and Houston took turns keeping McClendon company in the bus, while I either drove or was a passenger in their Subaru. Thursday morning I got my turn to ride in their skoolie. I loved hearing McClendon talk about their passions and plans for their future at the farm. I have so much respect and admiration for their bravery in deciding to start this new adventure.
As weary as we were when we arrived at Purdon Groves on Thursday, my heart was full because of time spent with my daughter-in-law; conversations the four of us had over meals and just knowing that we’ll all be working together to do something really special.
This piece first appeared in Sherry’s column, Finding Myself in a Small Town, in the March 26, 2022 edition of the Corsicana Daily Sun.