The Moving Diaries
The past three days have been a flurry of activity. Twelve to sixteen hours each day of packing, loading a truck or the van, driving a half hour, only to unload and come back to do some more. (I totally am going to rock the Awesome Activity hours for this week and next, because dude, I have over 30 hours of moving activity this week!)
I got some furniture movers from Home Depot and I will say that it was forty dollars well spent. We were able to move the armoires out of the house with a minimum of smooshed fingers and bruised body parts-unlike moving them into the house.
In retrospect, we probably should have skipped renting the van on Tuesday in favor of doing more packing. It sucked a chunk of time in the middle of the day and not one thing went into the van until around 9am on Wednesday. We loaded some of the biggest things into the van: the two armoires, some odds and ends and the piano.
Yes, the two of us moved the piano into the van ourselves. It didn’t arrive here unscathed, though. One of the legs is partially shredded and Ed broke off the sustain pedal when he was trying to get the furniture mover out from underneath the piano once it was in the truck.
We continued to load up the truck and as soon as Chef Jr got home, he and Ed drove over to the new house. I waited at the old place, packing and waiting for Gameboy’s school bus. As soon as it arrived, we were off to the new house.
On the way over to the new house , one of the armoires fell over and dented the lid of the old upright. Some of what we saved by moving it ourselves will end up going to replacing the sustain pedal-can’t have a piano without it.
I expected to find the small things unpacked and Ed waiting for me to help him get that big stuff out. Instead, I found our next door neighbor there chatting happily with Ed and the van half unloaded! No sooner had Ed backed that van into the drive that the guy was over at Ed’s door asking what he could do to help.
He’s a very nice guy and has the brute strength that was sorely needed. Heck, I think he could have moved the piano on his own! I prepared for the three of us to get the upright out and he turned to me and said “We’ve got this-keep unloading the VW.” I offered him a bottle of wine, but he says he’s not much on it. After all was said and done, he agreed to us cooking him a meal as repayment, but only after we’re settled in.
I am blown away, as was Ed. The neighbor on the other side ran out to introduce herself Thursday morning. In our last neighborhood, we knew people, but didn’t have any friendships a la Karen and Pat in Frederick. We nodded and said hello, but nothing beyond pleasantries were ever exchanged. Heck, even the cows in the pasture behind us come up to greet us.
After unloading Wednesday night, we went back to the old house, got the kids into bed and packed some more, finally throwing in the towel at around midnight. I thought we’d be fine, Ed was worried that we wouldn’t get out in time! The liaison from the realtor handling the foreclosure had said we had until midnight on the 13th.
Thursday morning, the kids went off to school and we continued to pack the moving truck and Jane’s van. Our bed, living room furniture, refrigerator and assorted big pieces went in for this trip. I was thankful for the furniture movers, because my wrists announced their displeasure quite loudly. (Hey lady, don’t think you can cut us up five times and expect us to do things without complaint!) Even with the vicodin, I was in bad shape-but we had a job to do. Ed’s arthritis behaved in similar fashion and he was coming to the family drugstore (me) for his naproxen at regular intervals.
I had emptied the fridge into a few coolers and thus had a deadline for my departure. Ed and I loaded some kitchen stuff and items from the master bath and closet into Jane’s van for my trip, while he continued to pack as much big stuff as he could to maximize having the large vehicle.
This was the trip where I met the neighbor and her toddler son as soon as I pulled up in front of the house. I expressed my happiness that she runs a day care out of the home. My opinion? This means there’s always someone around to keep an eye on things. Other people who looked at the house? They thought it meant lots of noise. Their loss-you can hardly hear the kids when they’re playing in the yard. She’s very nice, and her two older girls are so cute and polite.
Now, to unload the coolers. Uh oh, we’d brought our freezer over the day before and Ed and the neighbor had arranged it with the washer and dryer, but hadn’t plugged it in (the extension cord was missing). I quickly called Jane to see if I could stow some stuff if I ran out of space. Somehow, it wasn’t needed.
Everything that was destined for the freezer was wedged into the one here except for a london broil (see picture below) and a shrimp primavera meal from the meal prep place that unfortunately wasn’t cooked in a timely fashion. Not bad, considering that the rental’s fridge is a lot smaller than ours. There’s nothing like a move to make you purge stuff AND also realize how much stuff you have on hand as staples because you have three cooks in the house.
Once I’d unloaded Jane’s van (slow going thanks to the wrists), I set off to get home to Chef Jr. I took a short break to update the blog, knowing full well that I would be without bandwidth at least until Monday. Then, it was full tilt boogie cleaning, then packing. Packing, then cleaning. The ADHD I have coped with so long had me spending about a half hour on one task, chipping away at it, then I had to refocus on something else.
As soon as Gameboy arrived, we went off to Ryder to pick up Ed. He’d called a half hour prior to tell me he’d dropped off the truck. They were nice-even though he’d arrived back after the 1:30pm deadline, they only charged us for the two days.
We drove back to the house one last time, grabbing dinner in there somewhere. Pretty much nonstop cleaning and packing went on. Sure, they’d told us not to worry about cleaning the place, that they’d have a cleaning crew come in. However, that’s not our style-we felt we had to leave it as clean as we possibly could.
Dumb move alert: When I called to turn off the water, they gave me the option of Thursday or the following Monday. I didn’t want to leave it on over the weekend, for fear that the ruffians next door would turn on the spigot and leave it running. It got shut off around noon Thursday. Kinda made spending the last afternoon difficult when anyone had to use the toilet!
One child was bone tired at about 9:30 and we set up a makeshift bed. He’ll sleep anywhere if he’s tired. The other one, well, he wanted to play his games. He kept asking “Can we leave now?,” which shows how much he cared about this place. Eventually, he climbed in Jane’s van because he was bored. He did ‘play a game’ with Ed of grabbing all the clean clothes that were in a pile to be folded (but never completed) and putting them in trash bags to go to the new house. It helped Ed’s poor knees.
I finally convinced Gameboy to sleep in the van at around 11:00pm. I found him playing the DS, and took it from him. Then, the next time I had gone out to the garage, he called to me and handed me the Pokemon mini kit. He showed remarkable restraint and understanding, giving up the game because he knew he needed the sleep and wouldn’t sleep if the game was in the car.
The pictures I posted to the blog of the empty house were taken just before midnight, after everything but the lamps had been taken out. We’d made the deadline, but couldn’t find the realtor’s number. The paperwork had been packed away somewhere. She hadn’t called us at any time on Thursday, either. We figured Ed would try to contact her in the morning, after driving the kids to school.
We got the kids to our new home and in their own beds at 12:45. Then we unloaded Jane’s van so that Ed could drive Gameboy to school in the morning. Bedtime finally arrived around 3am.
I had to be to work at 8am, so it made sense for me to drive Chef to his school for 7:30 and his last day with Ms.E. Ed dropped Gameboy off at school and then ran some errands over in the Brandon area for the day.
Ed stopped by the old house to see if anyone was there, to bring them our keys. The house had already been broken into by people from the realty. They were there to rekey the locks, throw out any trash and to clean. They commented that the house was in great shape, that they usually come in to a pig sty.
My opinion is that they aren’t responsible for what happened, I am, so I’ll give them the house in the best condition I possibly can. Ed apologized that we didn’t get to shampoo the carpet, but was told that anyone buying the house would probably rip it out anyway. It’s a shame, that barely three year old carpet is in darn good shape.
At 2:30, Ed arrived at the elementary school to pick up Chef, coming through the car rider line. Chef hadn’t emptied his desk. They went back into school. Ms.S, Chef’s co teacher, didn’t know that this was his last day. She seemed very upset, almost as upset as Chef was about leaving his school and teachers.
It was right before this that in the interests of cutting payroll, I offered to depart from work early. The Assistant said “GO!” and I called Ed to tell him that once he had Chef that the two of them should head home, that I’d pick up Gameboy.
I got out of work very hungry. Off to Buffalo Wild Wings, because I knew they had free WiFi and decent food. I sat for an hour, catching up on the blog and emails. Ed told me I had to go through the car rider line to get Gameboy, something I’d never done. Boy howdy, that line was about 100 cars long. Seriously. I’m thinking that I should go take pictures of it someday, because Gameboy’s new school warned us about their ‘long car rider line.”
Instead, I figured I’d use my handicapped placard to park and go get him. Ms.V, his teacher, must have expected this. She was waiting at the entrance of the school with him and walked out to the car. She gave him a book as a parting gift and told me that she’d really miss having him in her class.
When we left the school, I made it a point to travel a different route to get to the interstate. I didn’t want to drive by the old block. Not yet. The pain is still too raw, the feeling of failure too much. If I don’t pass by, it’ll be easier to focus on the road ahead, and the promise a fresh start in a new place will bring…