I have a confession to make. I hate moving. Hate. It. Okay – that’s out of the way.
When I moved to Oley 11 years ago, I announced to everyone present on moving day that this was the last time I was moving. Well, obviously I was wrong. Last time I moved was to my dad’s – without most of my belongings which remained in the house until I found my rental – and 3 months later I had a lot of helpers to help me move those belongings off my lawn (yes, on my lawn) and into our little rental house up the road. At the time I was just so glad to have that little house – and embroiled in a hot mess of custody – that I hardly noticed the hardship of moving.
This time was going to be different. A lot of packing and moving began in the week or two before, but the furniture and everyday stuff was going to have to wait until the day before. I swore I would NOT stay up til 4 in the morning like I’d done 11 years ago, palsied like a heroin addict in withdrawal and breaking out in hives. So, with a silent dread in my heart and prayer to above, I was in bed by 11:30. And up again around 5:30, packing and awaiting the arrival of our skeleton crew to load up the truck. We ran out of boxes.
We rented a 20-foot truck – because it said “3-Bedroom house.” Well, maybe 3 bedrooms, but certainly not the living room, dining room, and kitchen. We had the moving truck, a pickup truck, my Escape, and the restaurant’s catering van. All the above were filled to capacity, and I was still running around collecting odds and ends and trying to stuff them into the nooks and crannies of my vehicle. Almost forgot to load up the groceries – since they had to be the last to leave the house. And the cat – who was not happy to be held captive in the bathroom for nearly 5 hours, with the barebones conditions of a prison (albeit with pretty curtains and a window on the outdoor action).
It took us about 5 hours to load everything we could, knowing full well that we would have to come back at some point later, and our small caravan began its slow journey south. The house must’ve looked like a tornado blew through it… I haven’t seen it yet but will be back tomorrow to finish up the odds and ends (and all our curtains!) and clean up. Ava and I were the last to leave – because only I can go in and out of my house a hundred times before I’m satisfied I have everything I need. Did I leave a light on? Is the heat running? What important thing did I leave behind? Where’s my cell phone?
So, with Ava wedged in the backseat between laundry baskets and American Girl dolls, and Oliver riding shotgun, we hit the long road home. Ava was excited. I was already ready to cry and it wasn’t even lunchtime yet. Oliver, thoroughly NOT a good passenger, began his long solemn howl just 3 minutes from the house…which finally abated some 40 minutes later and just minutes before he started gagging and vomiting inside his carrier. A very excellent way to build an appetite right before picking up lunch at Wawa.
The drive was otherwise painless, but a little longer than expected since every community on the Route 10 corridor was having a yard sale and apparently the Amish are avid yard-salers too. We arrived at the new house a short time later to the equivalent of ants in an anthill… our next door neighbors had come over to help unload and everyone was hauling ass to carry the furniture and boxes in. My neighbor unpacked all the groceries and dishes and put everything away in the kitchen. I am still amazed at how fast the work got done here, as compared to the snail’s pace of the old house.
Todd was running around hooking up this, moving that, unpacking this, hanging that. Yes. He was actually hanging paintings. 14 hours later and nearing bedtime for the kids, I realized I hadn't even looked at my husband, let alone exchanged more than a handful of words, all day.
And between all the unpacking and making beds and ordering showers and washing up floors, I was checking blood sugars and treating lows, fielding questions from the son about internet connections and the computer, and making sure the windows and doors were shut so the cat couldn’t decide to walk home. (Cats have been known to do that – return to their old home – I had a cat once that disappeared for 3 weeks after we moved into the house where I grew up.)
I don’t know what else happened. It’s all a blur – kind of like being in a car accident where all you can see is what you were doing right before, and what happened after you were snapped back to the present. I couldn’t wait to go to bed, because I knew I’d finally get a chance to be alone with Todd after feeling like two ships passing in the night, but by the time I arrived he was out cold.
The next morning Owen was up at 6:40 and I secretly wanted to club him over the head so he’d stay in bed a few more hours, but then Todd was up right behind him muttering something about coffee and whatever project was first up on his list for the day. Ava was the only one who slept in.
We have so much stuff. Everybody who helped, or even heard about it, was perplexed by the sheer volume of things we were able to apparently hide in a 1200 square foot twin that filled our 2500 square foot home and the entire space of the rec room downstairs. And that rec room – is currently an area labeled disaster zone, complete with yellow tape. Well, not really yellow tape – but only because we don’t have any, not because I don’t have a sense of humor. I do have some chalk though – once I find it – and I may just draw an outline of my body on the rec room floor.
Items broken: 0… (a miracle, if you ask me).
Items lost: 1… (only because not being able to find anything for the first 3 days does not count as lost). I lost my driver’s license. And I mean, it’s lost.
Casualties: 1… the cat. Well, he’s alive, but he was definitely the greenest-looking orange cat I’ve ever seen.
Blood sugars out of range: 3…two lows, 1 high.
Hours spent on my feet: 16… (and another 11 on Sunday.)
Malfunctioning items in house: 4… (internet, dishwasher, and 2 toilets).
Cell phone calls received: 14.
Dollars in gas: $ 160.00 (on the first day. The next day, another $80.00 for round two.) Because we had to fuel up 2 cars, the catering van, a friend’s pickup truck, and the U Haul.
It's easier to die than to move... at least for the Other Side you don't need trunks. ~ Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose