Linda Broday Charts the Unknown


At the height of Western expansion, thousands of pioneers loaded up what belongings their wagons could hold and set out for the great unknown. With extreme hardship they made the trek across the rugged plains, wide rivers, and steep mountains. They had no idea what lay in store for them. But, that didn’t stop them from seeking a better life.


In exactly two days, I’m going to load up bag and baggage and move 200 miles away from here. 

movingboxesIt’s scary. 

I’ll be leaving behind the place where I raised three children and buried a husband. I have 39 years of memories here. That’s a lot of living. It’ll be tough to walk away. 

It’s time though to turn a new page, start a new chapter in my life. Time to move forward. 

As I pack up all the things I’ve accumulated over the years I wonder how my new life will be. I envision sharing good times and bad with my son and youngest daughter, watching my three smallest grandchildren grow up into young men and women, and finally being with family again. What joy! My immense loneliness should end. At least that’s the method behind my madness. 

I confess that starting out in a new town, new house, new life, terrifies the pants off me. I’ll have to learn new phone numbers and addresses (ugh!) and find all new doctors. And what if I hate it after I spend the time and money to move? After all, I’m sure lots of those pioneers regretted pulling up stakes and heading into the unknown. 

But a whole lot more loved their wonderful new life once they got settled. I’m going to think positive. I’m sure those pioneers embraced the whole adventure of the newness. They made new friends and carved out a place for themselves in their new surroundings. And that enriched lives and helped a nation grow. While I don’t hold those kinds of lofty aspirations, I confess I’m getting excited. The pluses definitely outweigh the minuses. That’s a good thing. It probably won’t take me long to find my way around Lubbock. I’ll be zipping along the freeway like I’ve been there all my life. Lubbock has a lot to offer newcomers and I intend to take advantage.


Meanwhile, I’m packing boxes and getting some last minute things done. I’ve had forty years to collect all this stuff so you can imagine how disheveled my house looks. Boxes are everywhere. Some (but not nearly enough) are already full and others are filling fast. Lord, please let me find boxes for everything! I have this fear of the movers having to cart my belongings onto the moving van piece by piece as I desperately try to finish. 

I just hope and pray I can find my sanity again after all this is over. 

And my toothbrush and nightgown. And computer. And my books! 

How about you? Have you recently moved or are planning a move? What are some things that went wrong?

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Here in the Texas Panhandle, we do love our cowboys. There's just something about a man in a Stetson and jeans that makes my heart beat faster. I'm not much of a cook but I love to do genealogy and I'm a bit of a rock hound. I'm also a NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of historical western romance. You can contact me through my website and I'd love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. HAPPY READING!

35 thoughts on “Linda Broday Charts the Unknown”

  1. Hi Linda, I can relate! After we moved cross- country from Los Angeles to Northern Virginia/Washington DC, I had all sorts of surprises. The biggest one came at the grocery store. I couldn’t find familiar brands. On the West Coast, you see Best Foods Mayonnaise. On the East Coast, it’s Hellman’s. My mom still sends me packets of Chili-O mix so I can make burritos.

    I wish you all the best with the move. It’ll have its challenging moments, but being close to family trumps everything else. Happy Unpacking!

  2. You’re a real pioneer lady Linda! Something tells me this move will be wonderful for you. But the moving process can be so stressful. Years ago when I was married, we were always moving, like 20 times in 20 years (much of it in the same town, we were fixing up rental property; but this included several cross country moves as well). But now I like putting down roots. I’ve been in my cozy little house ten years and I love it. But my move here from 50 miles south was so hard. At the end of the day I collapsed on a mattress with my kitty and bawled myself to sleep.
    Hope all goes smoothly with your family helping. Hugs.

  3. P.S. After that last move I have one piece of advice: Never pay movers by the hour! Mine were the Three Stooges, the truck they brought had to make 2 trips, they couldn’t find my house, etc. etc. and it wound up costing 3 times more than I’d expected.

  4. Dear, sweet Linda–I can’t imagine pulling up roots after 39 years! Oh, gosh. The older we are, the harder it is to accept change.

    But you are so right in that it’s time. Your children and grandchildren need you in their lives, and theirs in yours. Without family, what’s the point?

    I’ve never lived anywhere but in Nebraska–two cities in all my years. (Notice I didn’t put in a number? Hee!) Doug is more resistant to change than I am, so I know we’re staying put forever.

    I thought of you when I read about Michelle Obama’s mother. She almost put her foot down and refused to move to DC to help babysit her granddaughters. She loved her life in Chicago too much. Now, in just a few months, she has a whole new social schedule and a fabulous life. She’s doing things she’d never do in Chicago. The First Lady commented that now they have to schedule around her mother, instead of vice versa. It was a heartwarming article.

    Change is good, change is good. Hugs! And much luck!

  5. Hi Linda, I had moved just a little over a year ago. My husband and I moved from Ohio to Tennessee. We moved away from our family, why I am not postively sure. I love where we are living except for the job prospects. We had left Ohio and stayed with some friends in TN until we found a place to rent. Then we flew back to OH to rent a U-haul truck and finish packing up our stuff. I still think I left some stuff, I had to many family members that kept moving my piles around. I had piles of what was going and what I didn’t want anymore, it got very confusing and then we had to get everything loaded so we could leave. I only had a week, since my husband had to get back to TN for his job. I like living here in TN, but wish I was closer to my family.

  6. I ran away from home as I like to say, 6yrs ago. I had lived in the same city all of my life, I was 44 and left my family, friends and everything that I new to move over 160 miles away which might not seem a lot but to me it seemed like it was a world away to me. It was scary and yet it was starting out to a new life. I found a nice place to live and settled in to a new life. I have made a few new friends, but the old friends come out now and then for a visit and I have a good life.

    So Linda your new adventure will take you to a new life. New people will come into your life, but the old ones will always be there. Life is what we make of it. Some do more, some do less and some just stay the same. It seems scary because we are doing it alone, but I can tell you are a strong woman and we strong, bright woman can do anything we set out to do.

  7. I’m one who stays put, Linda. The sight of all those boxes terrifies me.

    Once in my 32 years of married life we moved from a rented country farm house to a purchased country farm house. The move was down the hill, 1/4 mile. To a house built with the EXACT floor plan of the one we were leaving. Brothers who built houses and were so cheap they only bought one set of blue-prints.

    Even so, it about killed me. I started really early, about two months ahead, and wow, I threw away so much junk. We’d lived in that rented house about twelve years. I had four kids and I’m really not a packrat. I don’t get around to throwing anything away, but that’s not the same as stockpiling it deliberately.

    At the time someone told me, “Three moves equals a fire.” I figured that was about right.

    I suppose I need to move again just to force me to throw away every thing that’s stacked up in my basement.

    But please, no, no, no don’t make me.

  8. Hi Vicki,

    Sounds like you really missed some of your old things. Even though I’m only moving 200 miles away there’ll be lots of changes. What makes this harder for me is that I’m a Taurus. We hate change of any kind. I want everything to stay the same but it never does so it throws me into a tailspin.

    Thank you for the well wishes. I’m sure I’ll love it when I get adjusted to everything.

  9. Hi Elizabeth,

    You’re an old pro at this moving thing. My gosh, I can’t imagine moving that much! You must’ve felt kinda like vagabond. Thanks for the advice. I did hire movers (Atlas Van Lines) and I hear they’re pretty professional. At least I’m hoping and praying they are. It’s stressful enough without movers messing up.

  10. Hi Pam,

    Thanks for the support. I need people to tell me everything’s going to be all right at least once a day. As I told Vicki, once I put down roots it’s harder than heck to rip them up. But I know in my heart that this is the right decision for me. I’ll really enjoy living by my kids again. I’ve missed having someone to go shopping with or to eat meals with. It’ll be great.

  11. Hi Becky,

    That was quite a move you made, girl. I can’t imagine doing it in a week. It takes me that long to get my thoughts together. And I hate that you lost some of your belongings. I only hope and pray I get to Lubbock with all my stuff. But I won’t know the difference for about a month after I unpack. It makes me feel disjointed not to know where everything is when I need it. And yes, you really need family. I’m sorry you don’t have any where you live. Maybe you can move back at some point. I hope so.

  12. Hi Linda, I’m one who likes familiarity and routine. I think hubby and I are called “nesters.” Although we considered moving a few times over the years, we find ourselves staying right nere. The weather is fabulous, and our next-door-neighbors are to die for. We’ve been in this house for 24 years and in this town since we were newlyweds. So I can’t even imagine pulling up roots.

    Although I’d do it in a second if our grandbaby moved farther away. He’s about 40 minutes away which in Southern California is nothing by freeway.

    Good luck on your move. Try to keep the stress level down. And hopefully going through 39 years worth of memories has had tons of good moments.


  13. Hi Kathleen O,

    Thanks so much for the pep talk. I needed that. And yes, it’s really scary to do this all by myself. But you’re right. I am a strong woman and can do anything I have to. I’ll be just fine. In fact, I’ll be great. I’ll think back years from now and wonder why I waited so long. It’s nice to meet new people and yet still have old friends. It’ll sure give me lots of new ideas for future characters!

  14. Hi Mary,

    Okay, I see you hate moving as much as I do. I’ve really tried over the years to get rid of the stuff I don’t need. But like you, I keep cramming it in drawers and closets until they won’t hold any more. This time, I’ve given and thrown away tons of stuff. I thought it was the considerate thing to do. This way I won’t feel near so guilty watching those movers cart everything to their van. And risk being sued when one of them breaks his back. 🙂

    Now if only I can get accustomed to the west Texas sandstorms and endless cotton fields. Oh, my allergies! It’s a small price to pay though for being near my three youngest grandchildren. Can’t wait to have them stay the night with me. What fun.

  15. Hi Tanya,

    I like familiar surroundings too. That’s why this move is throwing me in a tizzy. Us Tauruses like things to stay the same. Change is for other people. But here I am and it’s finally happening. I’m beginning to get excited. I’m looking forward to being with my three littlest grandchildren and watching them grow up.

    I appreciate your well wishes. I know it’ll be wonderful.

  16. I’ve moved about five times, four of them in Atlanta, and my belongings were not so many as now. Most of them were books. Most of them now are still books, but the other possessions have also grown accordingly. My house, in fact, would raise about three feet if I moved again, so I plan to stay here forever, as to not sink a new one into the ground. Moving the books alone would cost a fortune.

    Having said that, though, I love new places, and were it not for the books, I could quite happily move anywhere. I love exploring for new restaurants and sights, and I’ve never met a stranger. It seems every place has its own treasures.

  17. Great post, Linda. I’ve moved often and really enjoy finding my way around new cities, meeting new folks, leaving behind bad habits–no, wait, that’s what I always hoped I would do. lol

    Our last move was to our “dream home”, near family for the first time in move than 25 years, and I’m done with boxes. They’ll have to carry me out of here feet first.

    Good luck on the move and be sure to pack one box with all the things you must have: coffee pot, a cup and fixins, a couple of plates, forks, etc., toiletries, bath soap and shampoo, and a telephone – you’ve got to be able to order pizza that first night!

  18. When I’m cleaning a closet I have a draconian test for whether things stay or go (to the burn barrel). I call it the Cranapple Juice and Shattered Glass Test.

    The test goes like this, I hold up each object to decide if I keep it or burn it and ask myself…if this were soaked in cranapple juice and a million pieces of shattered glass, would I try and save it?

    If the answer is no, out it goes.

    I developed this test through a dreadful real life experience, which resulted in the cleanest pantry closet of my life.

  19. Good luck with your move Linda. We just moved my daughter and granddaughter this weekend. She only moved a few miles but she moved from a 4 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom townhouse. The storage is very limited but she is making do. My only advice is when you are unpacking and you find things you don’t need, automatically put them in a box for donating or a garage sale. My daughter packed things she will never use again and is discarding a lot of what we wasted our time moving. Hope you love your new home.

  20. Hi Pat,

    Hope your mother is doing better. Seems we’re in agreement on this moving business. I’d love to be able to throw everything I owned in the back of a pickup and take off. That would be really neat. But alas, I have to have a jillion things (not all of which I need.) After this time, I think my next move will be to the nursing home. LOL

  21. Hi Tracy,

    Yeah, we do have to have our priorities don’t we? I’ll be sure and take those essentials in the car with me. I’d love to see your dream home one of these days. I’m sure it’s just gorgeous. I envy you being on the lake. And I’m really glad for you that you’re close to family. Yay!

    I’m thrilled you’re a full-fledged Filly now!

  22. Mary,

    Thanks for sharing your fail-proof test with us all. I’ll have to remember that next time I’m sorting through junk. You’re what I call a wise woman.

  23. Hi Judy A,

    I see you have wisdom to share too. I’ll be sure and listen. And keep some boxes just for donation purposes. But I really hope I won’t need it. I’d hate to think I paid high bucks to move lots of stuff I don’t need.

    Thank you for your well wishes!

  24. My daughter has a new baby and when she comes to visit and starts unloading the paraphenalia that goes with the little tike, I tell her, “Pioneers set off in covered wagons to cross the continent with less stuff than you just unloaded from your car.”

  25. I’m thrilled for you, Linda! I begged my parents to move closer to their grandsons, but they wouldn’t budge. I think you made a brave decision and one you won’t regret. And another good thing-Phyliss and I are just up the road now! I see a road trip in my future.

  26. Hi Linda,
    Chiming in late here to wish you lots of good things on your move. No moving blues for you, girl. You are going to be with your family … and where they are is HOME.
    Keep us posted whenever you can on how things are progressing… we’re your family too, you know!

  27. Linda,

    You’re a brave lady, undertaking this move, but you will be with family! That’s the greatest!

    Honey & I have been in this house for 40 years on
    June 2. All our children and grandchildren are
    within 45 minutes of us. All my sibs are here and
    Honey’s sister is about an hour and half away. So
    a major move is not in our future.

    One hint given me by a friend: carry a bag with
    clothes and necessities to cover a couple of days
    with you, just in case!

    Pat Cochran

  28. I feel for you Linda! I have not moved in 25 years and I would hate to try now. We have collected so much junk over the years I don’t know what I would do with it all.

  29. Linda,
    Good luck. My husband was in the Air Force for 24 years before we had to retire. We didn’t move as often as many, but it is never fun. We always drove an extra truck of stuff – books and tools are heavy. We love traveling and looked at each move as an adventure and new place to explore. Sometimes it hurt to move, but you deal with it and focus on the next place. It is not a life for everyone and some families don’t handle it well. How the children respond depends a lot on the parents frame of mind. Of course once the kids reach their teen years, the rules change and things do get a bit more complicated.
    You have a good reason to move to your new home. You will miss the old place – friends and memories will always be a part of you. You have important family and I’m sure you are familiar with the area. Just remember to pack those things most import for your move (those things you need to get to or may need right away) yourself and keep them separate. If you can, put them in your car, if not, put them in a closet or room and keep the movers out. (one friend taped the door shut and put a TOUCH AND DIE sign on the door). They have a tendency to move fast and pack everything. We had a butter dish (with butter) and a bag of trash packed on one move.
    Again, good luck and enjoy. It will an adventure and you don’t have to sit in a covered wagon for weeks/months to get there. Pat

  30. Im VERY late today Linda-I just got home from a 4 day trip with my 2 girls (minus my hubby)…we went to visit my family in Alabama!

    Moving is hard for so many reasons-as well as exciting-also for many reasons!

    I was born in AL…grew up there-got married there..then my husband joined the Coast Guard and we moved to Charleston SC-then when he got out-moved back to AL…then after a while his job moved us to LA…I hated it there so we moved back to AL…only then to move here to upstate SC-we’ve been here for 6 years….now-we are about to move about 20miles down the road-so that my husband doesnt have to drive so far for work!!….So-yes I have TONS of moving experience and it never gets any easier-it only gets harder because you collect more stuff! LOL

    I wish you lots of luck Linda-I bet you’ll love it in no time!

    P.S. Could you RE email me your new email addy…my mom brain took over and I lost the one you sent me! LOL

  31. Linda, I an so totally excited for you! This is a while new beginning, and good days are ahead.

    I know it’s hard, going through all that stuff and reliving the memories. I did it several years back when we moved out of the house where we raised our family. One day I actually walked around holding a pencil holder made out of a juice can and postage stamps; my daughter had made it many many years before. Some things I just couldn’t bring myself to get rid of. Like that pencil holder. I decided it could hold make-up brushes in my new house.

    I made my kids each go through their old school papers and report cards and then we threw them away. I have four kids and I had saved everything, from kindergarten through graduation, so it was a lot to deal with.

    I have the highest hopes and expectations for your new home, and the good times you’ll share with your grandkids. They must be tickled pink that you’re on the way.

  32. I’m rolling in late…as usual *lol*

    Dang it, Linda, you got me all sniffly. Lubbock is lucky to be getting you, and I bet your grandkids are really excited 🙂 I sure hope all goes great with your move!!!

    I recently moved twice–out for the remodel, and then back home four months later to a house double the size—I’m glad it’s over 😉 Well, almost. The laundry room and boys’ bathroom is still under construction, living room still needs paint, but after nearly a year of being shuffled about, we’re no longer living out of boxes 🙂

    Wishing you much joy and peaceful unpacking as you start this new chapter, Linda 😀

  33. Hi Linda! Best wishes for a smooth move! We moved from south Florida to north Florida in 2005. Last month I finally made the last transfer from the south storage of my old office files! We did get rid of a lot of accumulation, but not all cause when it gets close we just started putting everything into boxes to sort later! I know we have some boxes in the attic that haven’t been touched since the move. We love our new smaller, less busy town! I am sure you will make new friends and it will be great to be near your children and grandchildren!

  34. Linda, you keep thinking positive. Know too we all are still right here with you so you’ll always be close to us. Hugs

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