Expect the Unexpected

Jeanie's stuff at All American StorageI feel compelled to relay a story that happened last year about this time. It involves me, my daughter, Tina, and a friend of hers, Jeanie. I’m sure that the scenario isn’t all that unusual, however, the unexpected solution was a pleasant surprise and a lifesaver! Read on and enjoy my story of procrastination, hopelessness, and epiphany.

Both girls attend Texas Tech University, and the academic year was about to end. My daughter lives in the dorm, but her friend lives in an apartment not too far from campus. It’s not the best place to live, but for a ‘poor’ college girl, it was what was affordable. Most students were cramming, planning summer jobs or internships, among other things. Although finals are no fun, the students all seemed happy that the summer was almost upon them – except for Jeanie. She seemed more stressed than most, and didn’t have that look of happy expectations that comes with being almost done with a semester.

Tina didn’t badger her about it and just assumed it was the stress of finals. But even as finals were done and Jeanie had a nice summer internship lined up, she still seemed bothered, so Tina asked what was wrong. She asked just in the nick of time. Jeanie had not paid the last two months rent on her apartment, and was going to be evicted the next day. The problem – Jeanie had no relatives close by, no car, very little money. She literally had nowhere to go and nowhere to put her belongings. She was afraid she would lose everything that she couldn’t carry away on her bike.

The kicker was that it was 7:00 pm, and the eviction was in the morning. Tina called to try to find a storage facility that was still open, and called me to bring the truck and trailer to help. I thought it would be no problem. We’ll just load up her stuff in my trailer and take it to the storage place first thing in the morning.

Wow, was I wrong. She had been living there for three years and had so much stuff that we couldn’t fit it all in one trip. In fact, it would take a least three trips. Now I was getting bothered. My daughter was determined to get her moved, and Jeanie was literally crying, pacing around her apartment, not sure what to take and what to leave. We weren’t having any luck with any self-storage rentals either. It was starting to appear helpless. We sat down at the kitchen table that would soon not be hers any more and did one last Google search for self storage facilities. To our astonishment, we found one that not only was open 24 hours (they all pretty much are), it had a self-serve station that let you rent a storage space anytime, day or night, 24 hours a day at a kiosk on-site. Halleluiah! We raced over there, and sure enough, were able to rent a storage space and gain access right away, even though the office had closed for the day.

Through the rest of the night, we moved her stuff out of her apartment, filling the storage space to the brim. We finished just before dawn, so I took us to a nearby Denny’s for some coffee and a nice big breakfast. We were all exhausted, but that easygoing smile that Jeanie was known for had returned. I could tell my daughter was so proud of me for being there for her friend. And I got a much-needed workout. All in all, it was a win-win for us all.