Adventures in Moving...

Looking around me, surveying the stacks of boxes close at hand, I have to pause and tell the story of our move…

Part 1 - The truck

Tuesday morning - Wake up with only a few things to do. Almost eveything is packed. Just a few odds and ends, bathroom stuff, etc. remain. I have to call my doctor and see him one last time, check on last weeks bloodwork, get perscriptions written out for the next 6 months (figuring it’ll take a couple months to find a job, and then 3 more to get on their health plan). Call and get appointment for 11 AM. Still waiting to hear about the U-Haul. They were supposed to tell us the night before where and when we were to pick it up, but they called saying they didn’t know yet and would call in the morning.

So, have breakfast, pack the remaining items, off to the Doc, eveything is fine (bloodsugar and cholesterol, already at ‘acceptable’ levels are now even lower!), get perscriptions and am told that if I need anything for the next 3 months, I only have to call and he’ll phone a perscription in.

Back to the house to learn that U-haul still hasn’t called. Call them. Find out the name, phone, and address of the place that is supposed to get our truck. Call them. No answer. No answer for the next hour. Call U-haul again. (the 800 national number where I made the original reservation). They swear that the truck is confirmed at that location. So after consulting both MapQuest and U-Hauls own Webpage to confirm the location of the facility, into the car we go. Arrive at the location shown on both maps… It’s a farmhouse. The farmer has never even heard of the street, never mind the rental facility. (how mapquest showed me that location when the street doesn’t exist, is beyond me.)

Out with the cell phone to call U-haul again. Again, they try to tell me that location and I inform them that I am parked at the very spot their webpage shows it as existing and it REALLY DOESNT EXIST! … I hear typing over the phone, and am told ‘Oh, sorry, the computer gave me wrong information, go to this other location.’ … Grumble, grumble… Off we go even further from my house, to the new location. Find it, see a 14’ u-haul truck parked out front, go in to rent the truck, only to be told that truck is not for one way trips. It has to be returned to that location. … Yeah right. Better call U-haul central because they sent me to you and I booked a one way truck traveling 800 miles away. I’m not bringing it back.

While she’s on hold (it’s nice to know they put their own people on hold and not just their paying customers) I explain about our adventures getting to her shop. Turns out the address they originally tried to send us to, Was Her Shops Address, before it moved to it’s present location. But in a different town! The street address and the city address were mixed up and the phone number that I had been calling all morning was her old number in the other town. … She finally gets through to them, sorts it out, and directs us to Yet Another Shop Two MORE Towns Away! She’s nice enough to give us directions to them.

Finally at 2 in the afternoon, we pull up to the place were we can finally rent our truck to see them hitching a 4 wheeled trailer up to a 14’ truck. We go inside and are told that they are just getting out truck ready… Huh? I never asked for a trailer … But I did request a 4 wheeled dolly to move BOXES with. Somehow, when I placed my original order, despite my clearly saying I wanted to move boxes with it, they entered my order as renting a trailer. <sigh> One hasty unhitching later, we signed the paperwork and headed back home to start loading everything we own into the truck to move 800 miles away.

Part 2 - The loading

Getting home at 2:30 in the afternoon with our truck, finally, I spring a suprise on the missus. ‘Remember last week on our anniversary, when I said that with the move I’d been to busy to get you anything? Well, I lied. But it’s at work (well, my former workplace), in Boston, and we have to go get it. No we can’t get it later in the car, it won’t fit.’ An hour later, she is delighted to see the piano I bought her loaded into the truck. It’s a small uprite, only 4’ high, but with a great sound. Light enough that I can lift up one end while she places a dolly underneath it (remember that dolly I tried to rent?) so we can move it ourselves. My boss is out of the office, but the president of the company is there to say good by to me. I offer to buy one of our old beat up dollys from him, but he noticed one marked with another companies logo on our dock (our drivers somehow swiped one ‘accidently’) and he gave it to me for free.

Back home at 5 PM to start loading the truck… Oh, did I mention that our original plan called for us loading that day, and heading out at 4 AM for our 14 hour drive to our new place so that we’d arrive in one day? Yeah, that plan went right out the window. Two hours later, after getting some of the biggest heaviest stuff on the truck (with a friends help), I’m beat. (Oh, did I mention that I had gotten up at 5 AM that morning to drive another friend to the airport?) Off to bed (hadn’t packed it yet).

Next morning, up early, breakfast, start packing at 7 AM, finished at noon. It may seem like it took a long time packing, but you have no clue how tight I packed that truck. After 6 years of packing art and antiques on trucks and into storage at my warehouse, I have to say that was the best, tightest, most closely packed truck I have ever created. … The embarising thing is that I needed to pack it that tight. I totally under calculated how much stuff we had and we had to leave behind my desk chair (gotten free from a friend a couple years earlier) and 4 folding chairs (bought for $10 each ten years previously and in bad shape, needing to be tossed anyway). Every crevise, every hole, every crack was filled in that truck. Only the very end had any space, and that was only to allow the door space to open and shut without jamming.

One last check of the house, grabbing our overnight bags and packing them into the cab with us (because there wasn’t even room in the back for a small gym bag) and … the missus insists we sit down in the house for one minute… It’s a tradition. Sure, I can humor her. I’m slightly winded from running nonstop all morning. A sit would be good, and if it makes her happy… We sit down, I draw a single breath, … and I burst into tears…

The enormity of what we’re doing crashes down on me like a ton of bricks. I’ve barely stopped to think about it, being on the move constantly for the last week. … We’re leaving Boston. … I’m leaving Boston. … I’m LEAVING Boston! I’ve been there for two weeks shy of twenty years since the day after I graduated highschool. I’ve always had family nearby. I’ve built up a huge community of friends, co-workers, and acquaintences. For years I never thought I’d ever live anywhere else. And somehow, from about a year ago, when she first asked me ‘Why don’t we buy a house?’ - ‘Because we live near Boston and can’t afford to buy one.’ - ‘Well, why don’t we move someplace that we can afford one?’ - … ‘Ok.’ That “OK” from me, started a crazy chain of events leading to that very moment. Me sitting on a bench, next to the woman I love, bawling my eyes out helplessly for several minutes. … Catch my breath. Wipe my tears. “I love you.” - “I love you too.” - “You ready to go?” - “I am ready” - “Yeah, me too. Let’s go.” Outside. Lock the door. Jump in truck. Drive away.

Part 3 - The drive

We hit the road at 12:15 on the afternoon of June 1st. It was a perfect day. In fact the weather has been co-operating wonderfully. Yesterday it was overcast but not raining (at least in the evening when loading) and it had been the same all morning, just a delight when having to lift and carry everything we both own. (Yes, I sometimes think 1000 books is too many to keep on hand, but then I finish moving and those thoughts die a swift death, hacked to peices by all the times I just Have To Read a book again, I mean I haven’t read it for at least two years and I’ve forgotten some of the details and heaven forbid that it’s not sitting on my bookshelf waiting for me!)

Other than an hours slow crawl through NY City until we hit the GW bridge, the roads are swift moving and easy to drive. It’s even nice to know I don’t have to worry about getting a speeding ticket. Keeping the truck floored, it only goes over 65 on a long downhill when it can build momentum. Other than that, I have to use the slow truck lanes when going up hills because it slows to a crawl.

We make such good time that we decide to push on when it gets dark (our original ‘revised’ plan) and clear the Capitol Beltway before stopping. Even at 9 PM at night, it is still the busiest stretch of road since NY city that we have to deal with. Finally at 10 PM, clear of the Beltway, we try to find a hotel. The first one we hit has only one room left, a smoking jacussi room. I’m all in favor of the jacussi for my aching muscles, but checking it out first, the smoke smell is too strong for her to stand. We get lucky though and the clerk calls around and finds another hotel on the same strip that has two rooms left, nonsmoking jacussi rooms! Woo Hoo! Even better, since it is so late at night, they reduce their rates and we get a $225 room for only $119. After a long soak, I sleep like the dead and we resume our journey at 10 AM.

We get to Durham at around 2 PM. It’s been raining all morning, varying from light to heavy but never stopping. Get to the house, find the keys, and… we’re here.

Part 4 - The aftermath

The rain miraculously decides to let up a bit reducing into a fine mist. I manage to back the truck around trees and stone driveway markers, onto the lawn, extend the ramp right onto the stairs and only have to deal with 10 feet of uncovered distance plus one step. It makes unloading (relatively) easy. Three hours later the truck is unloaded, including the piano (thanks to all guardian spirits, that’s the one thing I was really worried about!), not one thing got broken, not even the 5’ sheet of glass that goes on top of a massive antique chest we use as a coffee table.

It’s now 5 PM, time to find food. Found a grocery store not far way, loaded up with a weeks worth of goods (until we get my car down here, we’ll be on foot). Supper, collapse for the night.

Next morning it’s raining again. Heck it’s pouring. Put off returning the truck till after lunch, spend the morning unpacking, Oh look, it’s stopped raining. Check the map, return the truck, Oh look, while walking home, we go past city hall, pop in to arrange the water/sewer billing, keep walking home, missus asks “Do you know where the post office is?” (I’m the one who has been looking at the maps) - “Nope, not a clue… Oh look there it is.” Yep, we walked right by it on the way home.

Home again, more unpacking, collapse for the night. Woke up to a knocking at the door. It’s the guy to install internet service. At 9 AM on the nose. … Heck, I figured we’d be lucky to see him before 3 PM. Gotta remember I’m not in Boston anymore.

So here I sit, surrounded by boxes. In my new appartment … Our new appartment. The job search will start next week. It can wait, we’ve got a household to put together. Once we have jobs, then the house hunting will start. That will take a long time. We want to be sure we get it right. The perfect house. Not one ‘good enough for now and we’ll get a different one when we retire’. No, we want the right one, the perfect one, the first time. Because we only plan on moving once more. To OUR HOUSE. … Because I’m dammed if I’m going through this again.

Congratulations! Despite the trouble with the truck, you had a relatively easy move. I’ve heard North Carolina is beautiful. We are still trying to find a place to live near RI and I hope our move goes as well as yours did.
Keep us updated on your job and house hunt.

Is that Durham, North Carolina? I’m just down the road in Chapel Hill. Sorry about the rain! It’s not usually like this. But it looks like the weather’s going to be much better for the rest of the weekend–warm and sunny tomorrow. Good luck with the job hunt, and getting settled in. If you’re anywhere near Ninth Street, go get some treats at Francesca’s. Gelato milkshakes make the world a much nicer place! :slight_smile:

Thanks congodwarf. Good Luck on your move.

MagicEyes Yes, it would be. We’re right between Durham and Chapel Hill.

Oh, a gelato milkshake sounds wonderful! But somehow I doubt they come sugar free. <sigh>

The good news is all the boxes are unpacked and/or stored away. Now to update the resume and start sending it out…

We’re practically neighbors, then. I think Francesca’s has sugar-free gelato. Maybe. If not, I know Maple View Dairy has sugar-free ice cream, so you’ll just have to go there. :slight_smile: