The mantra since June 6 has been, “Take a load to Lufkin.”
Lufkin, Texas, is our new city of residence. However, I need to back up and tell you why our move is interesting, at least from our perspective.
We left Albuquerque, New Mexico, on June 1, 2022. We had closed on selling our home the day before. Our scheduled closing for our new home in Lufkin, Texas, was on June 6.
In making this move, we did so in three significant steps. The first step was a “tour” from the last part of March to early April of places in Texas where we were interested in possibly living. We started in Granbury, about 38 miles from downtown Fort Worth. We had a good visit and met some folks we would enjoy knowing better. Then Lampasas, supper with dear friends. Cedar Park and a visit with cousins. They live just north of Austin. On to East Texas and a drive through Palestine, Athens, and finally Nacogdoches, where Tanya, my wife, and her sister inherited their mother’s home. That is where sister Melanie and her husband JD make their home most of the year. “Most of the year” is important to the story. More on that later.
Then we drove back to Albuquerque. Sometime during the trip, we knew we would return to Nacogdoches and find our home there, or at least in East Texas. A neighbor had indicated a desire to buy our home. He wanted our house because of a balcony overlooking the Sandia Mountains and having beautiful city lights at night. He was unwilling to pay what the market indicated we should be asking. So, we listed our home on a Friday. Monday, we had an offer from the family who would become our property buyers in New Mexico.
Significant step number two, the following Saturday, April 30, we drove back to Nacogdoches towing a 5×8 foot trailer loaded with our books and framed art.
Sunday, May 1, we toured homes in Nacogdoches with a realtor and friends from Lufkin. We looked with the Lufkin friends because Malcolm is an architect. He’s married to Vergie, who lived with us for a short while after graduation from the University of Texas. I had asked Malcolm to go with us because I liked a log home north of Nacogdoches and wanted his professional opinion. I really did like that log home! It had many issues that Malcolm strongly advised us that we wouldn’t want to tackle. And we looked at a couple of other properties. That was it. Nothing else was on the market. Every listing we liked was gone. The homes were either sold, pending, or had contingency offers.
We went to lunch. Malcolm and Vergie asked had we considered Lufkin? We hadn’t. Lufkin is 25 miles from Nacogdoches. They gave us the name of a realtor they recommended. Glenda Pettey was available the next day, Monday. One home caught our attention. We looked at it first. Then two more. Drove by a couple of others. Came back to the first home. Made an offer, and the offer was accepted within three hours.
Monday to Monday, a home sold and a new home under contract. God is so good.
We drove back to Albuquerque. Sounds so easy. However, it was an 842-mile trip. Contracted with PODs to use their system. Contracted with Pack & Load Services to load our stuff. It took three containers. In less than a month, we got everything out of our home. Fixed a few items the inspector found. And rented another 5×8 foot U-Haul trailer for stuff we knew we would need, clothes, kitchen supplies, canned food, etc. We even packed lamps, pottery, and other easy breakables.
Significant step number three, on June 1, with Pastor Gerard Kinna driving Tanya’s 2006 Cadillac and us in the 4-Runner, towing a trailer, we drove back to Nacogdoches, Texas. Tanya and I had left 43 years earlier. We would stay in Tanya’s jointly owned home while sister Melanie and husband JD were spending the summer in Alaska.
Tanya and Melanie’s 1300-square-foot home, had the two trailers of stuff crammed into the garage, dining room, and closets. The PODs would be delayed in delivery to our new address in Lufkin. They, PODs, only deliver to East Texas on Wednesdays. So, we had to get in line. The last POD is scheduled to show up next Wednesday. I pray it to be so. In the meantime, we have been getting the new home ready. Power wash, painting, gutters installed, deep clean the interior, and several days each week, “TAKE A LOAD TO LUFKIN.”
Tanya and I have welcomed the slooowww move-in. We aim to get all PODS unloaded in our new home and beds put in place by the middle of August. Why mid-August? Because we will join the family in Alaska on Bonnie Lake for our 2-week vacation.
For several months the mantra has been, “Take a load to Lufkin.” In my mind, I kept hearing the tune of The Weight by The Band.
“I pulled into Nazareth, was feelin’ about half past dead
I just need some place where I can lay my head
“Hey, mister, can you tell me where a man might find a bed?”
He just grinned and shook my hand, “No” was all he said
Take a load off Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
And (and) (and) you put the load right on me.”
This tells the story of a guy who visits Nazareth and is asked by his friend Fanny to visit several of her friends. “The Weight” that is his load are all these strange people he promised to check on. The song was never a big hit but endures as a classic rock staple.
So, the loads to Lufkin? We’ll get there. Just one of our most interesting transitions. It reminds me of a prophecy for us from Kim Clement, “Summer is coming and you will flourish again.”