Monday, May 13, 2013

Moving, Monopoly Money and Madness! By Linda Kozar


Since lots of people move in the spring and early summer, I thought I would share to share an excerpt from my new nonfiction book, Moving Tales--Adventures in Relocation
Janetta Messmer is hilarious in person, but the next best thing to meeting her is reading her blog: http://nettie-fudges-world.blogspot.com

The Almost Move
By Janetta Messmer

Dad secured the ties on the rooftop carrier and helped us pack all of Linda’s possessions into or on, her 1970 Chevy Camaro. The time had come for us to head out on the open road--a trip I had decided to take with my sister the day after I graduated from high school in 1974.
The reason for our long distance trip--Linda decided to move so she could be closer to her best friend, “Mary” in Rochester, New York. Our estimated time of arrival calculated by AAA, was eighteen hours, give or take a couple for soda stops or photo ops.
There wasn’t much traffic on I-70 the morning we started weaving our way across eastern Kansas. Frequent stops for gas gave us ample opportunity for bathroom breaks. We soon found out Camaro’s are not known for great gas mileage.
And every time we stopped, Linda or I would check the ties on the rooftop carrier. Of course our Dad had done a great job securing it, and though we felt assured the load would stay right where it belonged, we checked it all the same.
Our travels took us through Missouri and into Illinois. Torrential rain kept us company for most of the first evening. At one point I couldn’t see the road. Panicked, I announced to Linda that I was pulling over and she would have to take over driving for a while.     
“I’m not getting out of this car to switch seats.” Defiance rang in my sister’s voice.
“Then I guess we’ll sit here on the side of road until the rain quits. I’m
done driving.” I could feel our first sibling disagreement of the trip brewing.
“Got any brilliant ideas on how to accomplish this without getting drenched?”               
“No, but give me a minute.” I silently deliberated our dilemma. A few minutes later I announced my idea.
“Linda, you stay put while I climb into the back seat. Then you scoot over and get into the driver’s seat. When you’re settled, I’ll climb back over to the passenger’s side.” Sounded simple enough.
Oh, did I forget to mention both of us weighed over 200 pounds at the time and were 5 feet 10 inches tall?
The plan sounded great. I turned around to survey the scene behind me before I took the plunge. Impossible. Linda’s possessions cluttered every inch of the back seat. The only way I could make it work was to rearrange some of her stuff, which I did. Then I made my way to the back, which worked great until I got stuck between the bucket seats. Linda pushed and pushed and finally I dislodged myself and settled into the small space I’d cleared.
From the back seat, I watched my sister maneuver over the emergency brake that stuck up between the seats. For the life of me, I don’t know why it was engaged. After clearing it, she landed safely in the driver’s seat. I moved back to the front seat and settled in.
“Are we situated?” she asked, a sarcastic tone to her voice as she pulled back onto I-70.
And I’m not sure who noticed it first, but neither of us commented on the fact it had stopped raining. I looked at her and tried to think of something witty to say about the weather change, but her expression told me to keep my mouth shut. I complied. There were way too many miles yet to cover on our journey across America.
About 11:30 p.m. Linda pulled into a Motel 6 outside of Indianapolis, Indiana. On the way to our room I prayed that no one would steal my sister’s belongings. When we awoke in the morning, the carrier sat on top of Linda’s car safe and secure for the next leg of our trip. Thank You, Lord.
With our handy dandy AAA map in hand, we discovered that our next stop would be Mary’s driveway in Rochester, New York. The estimated time of arrival--six to eight hours, give or take a few for pit stops.
A clear blue sky surrounded us as I headed across I-70. We’d pick up I-71 North outside of Cincinnati and it would take us all the way to I-90 East, right along the shoreline of Lake Erie. Linda and I marveled at the size of the lake. To my eyes, the largest of the Great Lakes looked as vast as the Pacific Ocean, the only other enormous body of water I’d encountered in my eighteen years on earth. I suggested we stop for a photo opportunity, but Linda was anxious to get to her new home before dark.
We pulled into Mary’s driveway at approximately 2:30 p.m. E.S.T. and honked her horn. They hugged each other and chattered away while I carried our suitcases inside. Mary decided, instead of unpacking Linda’s worldly goods at that very moment, to take us on a tour of Rochester.
Yippee, more sites to see out of a car window. I could hardly wait. 
I noticed right away that the main attraction of the city was the Kodak plant. I couldn’t really see much except for the acres and acres of buildings housing the photo giant. Rochester looked like a nice place to live with all the tree-lined streets and well kept homes.
We went back to Mary’s house and finally started unpacking the car and rooftop carrier. Mary laughed when she came across Linda’s stash of games. She’d packed Monopoly and Aggravation, along with countless decks of cards.
“Well, I didn’t want to have to go buy these again when I already had them,” Linda reasoned, taking the board games from her friend’s arms.
“Makes sense to me.” Mary grabbed another box of stuff and headed inside her house.
We finished unloading Linda’s things into the extra bedroom and called it a night. Mary promised we’d get up early and explore more of the city the following day.
Another fun filled day in the car. I was sure to develop saddle sores.
Bright and early Wednesday morning, Mary woke us up. The three of us headed out to see more of what the big town had to offer Linda, its newest resident. Mary’s extensive explanations of the sights and sounds almost made me want to stay. I glanced over at my sister a few times while Mary gave us the infamous city tour. Not a lick of excitement etched her face. What her expression looked more like was complete and utter fright.
Mary must have noticed Linda’s lack of enthusiasm and took us back to her house. Once we got there, Linda went directly to her room. I followed her, wondering if she was coming down with something.
“What’s the matter with you?” I asked my now crying sister.    
“I don’t like it here.” Linda dropped the bombshell, then got up and started packing up her stuff.
“We’ve only been here a day and a half, how can you tell whether you like it or not?” I questioned.
“I guess Rochester wasn’t what I expected.”
After a few minutes, Linda went out to explain to Mary the new development. Her best friend tried to understand and suggested Linda give it a little more time, but my sister insisted that she wanted to go back home to Kansas.
So she and I repacked the backseat and trunk of her Camaro. But things didn’t seem to fit as well as when we were doing the packing. We
reattached the rooftop carrier, filling it like we watched our dad do, or so we thought, only a couple of days before. Linda and I went around the car checking the tie downs. Everything concerning Linda and her belongings seemed in tip-top shape, everything except two best friends saying goodbye, again.
We started our journey back the same way we came. The weather cooperated and I-90 stretched out in front of us. But only a few miles from Buffalo, New York, I heard a whoosh and an immediate deafening crash on the Camaro’s back window.
Linda screamed. I’m not sure what I did. When we looked back, the only thing we saw were my sister’s belongings littering I-90! She pulled to the shoulder as quickly as she could. I watched in amazement as four cars did the same. Strangers piled out of their vehicles, immediately gathering up some of the lost items. The gentleman, who told us he witnessed the rooftop carrier’s front-to-back flip, started stuffing Linda’s things into his own car.
“Buffalo’s about 12 miles from here. You can follow me there so you can get a U-Haul.” Something I’m sure Linda or I hadn’t thought of.
We thanked him and continued on our quest to find more of her belongings. We darted around traffic to retrieve her high school yearbooks, a lone piece from her board games, anything we could find. Now I realize both of us were in shock over the rooftop carrier catastrophe, because no one in their right mind picks up Monopoly money from the median strip of a major four-lane highway . . .
The fellow who stopped to help suggested we end our search and get going. Linda agreed, knowing she’d located the most important things. She followed him to a U-Haul dealer and we loaded up one of their smallest trailers with what we’d gathered. I offered the man some money for helping out two damsels in distress, but he wouldn’t hear ofit. Since that day, I’ve hoped our highway angel has been repaid many times over for his generosity.
Linda and I encountered a few more hiccups on our journey back home, but they dimmed in comparison to the previous mayhem. THANK GOD! We landed safely back at our parent’s house Friday night.
The first question out of Dad’s mouth as he patted the top of the Camaro was, "Where’s the rooftop carrier?”
“Dad,” Linda answered with a sigh, "let’s just say the rooftop carrier is the only thing that found a home in New York."


If you need a quick gift for a friend on the move, Moving Tales is available on Kindle for just $2.99 and paperback for $6.99.
Linda Kozar is the co-author of Babes With A Beatitude—Devotions For Smart, Savvy Women of Faith (Hardcover/Ebook, Howard/Simon & Schuster 2009) and author of Misfortune Cookies (Print, Barbour Publishing 2008), Misfortune Cookies, A Tisket, A Casket, and Dead As A Doornail, (“When The Fat Ladies Sing Series,” eBooks, Spyglass Lane Mysteries, 2012). Strands of Fate released October 2012 (Hardcover/Ebook, Creative Woman Mysteries) and her nonfiction title, Moving Tales, Adventures in Relocation, released in 2013 (Indie-Published). She received the ACFW Mentor of the Year Award in 2007, founded and served as president of Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas ACFW chapter for three years. In 2003, she co-founded, co-directed and later served as Southwest Texas Director of Words For The Journey Christian Writers Guild. She and her husband Michael, married 24 years, have two lovely daughters, Katie and Lauren and a Rat Terrier princess named Patches.

Represented by: Wendy Lawton, Books & Such Literary Agency

Member of: CAN (Christian Authors Network), RWA (Romance Writers of American), WHRWA (West Houston Romance Writers of America), ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas Chapter of ACFW, Toastmasters (Area 56) The Woodlands, Texas, The Woodlands Church, The Woodlands, TX.

Linda Kozar is the author of six books. Her latest, titled “Moving Tales, Adventures in Relocation,” is a collection of stories from people who experienced the good, the bad and the ugly when they moved. www.lindakozar.com  http://bookishdesires.blogspot.com


1 comment:

  1. I hope I never move again. Three moves in the past seven years is enough for me!

    ~Nancy Jill

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