Moving Cross Country


It’s amazing to think how simple it is — relatively speaking — to up sticks and move halfway across the country.

Right now my wife and I are taking a very leisurely drive — from Saint Paul, Minnesota, to our new home of Frederick, Maryland. We’re stopping off in Michigan to visit family. The whole trip is going to take six days, with about 20 hours of driving time.

If we’d done this trip in the 1800s it would have taken three months minimum! Assuming we could avoid the bandits and the dysentery.1 Heck, we might have stopped along the way to build some covered bridges or give birth to twins. It would have been a life-defining experience.

Today all you do is call several moving companies trying to decipher their nonsensical quotes, save a parking space outside your apartment for 4 days, finally get a big container delivered to that parking space, move all your stuff into the big container, beat the doors closed with your fists, call the company to pick it up, call another company to come and pick up one of your cars, get a call from the trucker they contract saying he’s going to be a day late, give him your keys so he can come and pick up the car later, despite the fact that he looks decidedly unsavory, call the original company to make sure you did the right thing, jump in your other car and drive a few hundred miles, find out that you car still hasn’t been picked up, drive a few more hundred miles, call the original company again to find out why your car hasn’t been picked up, get placed on hold for twenty minutes, have them promise to call you back “in a couple of minutes”, wait half an hour, get an impossible to understand email from the original company, get a call from them saying (in very broken English) that the car has been picked up. Take a deep breath.

21st century problems, eh?


  1. We did visit Taco Bell today, so fingers crossed.