Arrived Alive


We made it Austin about 5:00PM yesterday. The apartment is nice, has a gorgeous view of Austin from a few miles away. Daughter’s belongings have arrived at the Pack Rats storage facility and were available today.

Yesterday was an interesting journey. We left Pearl, MS at 6:30 AM and headed west on I-20. Nice country out there, with a few small cities along the way. Jackson isn’t that small, but apparently is that violent. We were advised not to stay there which is why we ended up in Pearl. The La Quinta people were very nice and most of their hotels are pet friendly. The Fred was happy.

Back to the trip. We drove, stopping only for fuel, bathroom breaks, and food. When we could, we combined all three in one stop.

We went through Vicksburg, then into Louisiana. Somewhere in east Louisiana we saw Black Bear warning signs on the highway. Those critters do get around, although we didn’t see any along the road. We went through Monroe, which was way bigger than I thought it would be. Then West Monroe, which was bigger than I thought it would be based on Ambulance Driver’s stories and Duck Dynasty. Then into more rural green parts until we got the Shreveport. Seemed like a decent city was drove through it and then into Texas.

That’s where we exited I-10 and hit state highways for the next four hours or so. Cattle country as it’s called. Lot’s of small towns and some bigger ones. Henderson, Jacksonville,  Palestine,  Thornton, etc… Down 43, then to 79, then to the toll roads into Austin. At rush hour of course.

Dinner at Threadgills, then relaxing. Actually early bed time for me, I was exhausted.

Picked up a Budget Rental truck today and went to the Pack Rats place.

Let me interject a bit here about Budget Rental trucks. The company was easy to deal with, including the local guy we picked the truck up. The truck itself was a piece of shit. 2006 Ford E350 box truck with about 160K miles on it. It reminded me of every POS spare ambulance I drove during my career. First, the transmission shift indicator was broken. That’s common on Fords, I had a lot of ambulances that did that over the years. The different being that our mechanics would fix it. Not so Budget. Then there was the steering. You short of pointed the truck where you wanted it to go and hoped that it felt like going there. Then there was the front end shake. It kind of reminded me of those WW II movies where the bombers were getting buffeted by Flak. I did get a bag of potato chips though. Unfortunately the chips weren’t in a bag and were scattered on the floor. At least this truck doesn’t seem to ever get cleaned. Did I mention the transmission that sort of shifted when it felt like it?

The good part was that it was a bit cheaper than U-Haul which itself doesn’t have a sterling reputation. Oh, and the air conditioning worked like a champ. Which was good considering how freaking hot and humid it is today. Yeah, I know, it’s Texas in June. At least it was cloudy most of the time we were working so our brains didn’t fry.

The very nice apartment complex is on the side of a hill and it’s obvious that the person who designed it knew he wasn’t ever going to have to move furniture into one of the apartments.

The heaviest thing was a seven foot sleeper sofa. If you’ve ever seen The Big Bang Theory “The Nerdvana Annihilation” episode,  you know what we went through. Only there were two of us and this thing weighed about 200 pounds. When they move, the couch is going out the slider and into a dumpster.

Then the rest of the furniture and about 40 plastic tubs of various shapes and sizes. All told we spent about four hours moving stuff. But, they’re in and my job is done. She’s a grown up, in a grown up relationship, and ready to live her life as a productive adult. An accomplishment for which Mrs. EMS Artifact and I are very proud.

Now, I’ll have two days to relax and enjoy myself. Back to the grind next week, but for now, it’s vacation.


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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.


  1. If you have time to kill and are feeling adventurous head out to the Jester King Brewery. Very well egarded sour and farmhouse ales. If all you drink is bud-light it’s not your thing.

    • We had little time to kill. Lot’s of unpacking and house setting up. Plus some needed repairs to my daughters car. Which didn’t seem to like the trip all that much.

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