Soon after the concert was planned, my sister-in-law was approved for a transfer with her company, and the timing worked out that she wanted to move the same weekend of the concert. I took a few extra days off of work to help her get everything taken care of.
Sunday was crazy… The SiL had been making some phone calls on Saturday to confirm the arrangements for the truck, only to be told that the truck: a) would not be available until 12:30 (instead of hte 10am, as was requested), and b) Would have to be picked up from a different location than was originally requested (the “new” location” being about 20-30 miles away from where we were actually needing to load it, and in the opposite direction of where we would be going when we left…)
Sunday morning, we went to the local U-Haul (not the one with the truck) to get some extra boxes and packing supplies to finish the last minute items that had not yet been packed. Afterwards, we returned to the apartment to handle some of the other items before going to get the truck around noon.
The U-Haul location was located with a “Peace Frogs” outlet – a tilt up tin siding styled garage building, with some mini-storage units in an adjacent lot (sharing the same driveway). We had initially passed right by it when we were looking for it (I saw the truck, but the SiL had been given the directions, and lived in the area). In her defense, however, the directions were not very clear – “get to highway x and we’ll be a couple of miles down on the left”. If there had been something a little more specific, like, I dunno, “Look for the big ‘Peace Frogs’ sign” we probably would not have shot so far past it. The advantage to the extra detour, though, was there were a couple of sweet, old school roadsters in a yard that we passed – and I’m really curious if they were up for sale. The first two images that crossed my mind when I first saw the longer of the two cars was: 1) like something that would be driven in Great Gatsby, or 2) a model used for Toad’s car from the animated Wind in the Willows. I would have enjoyed a chance to check out the cars, if it weren’t for the time crunch that we were on.
SiL had some of the football players from William & Mary lined up to help load the truck, and they arrived while we were out looking for the hippie Kermits. By the time that I arrived with the truck, most of the boxes and smaller pieces of furniture had already been carried downstairs and stacked on the sidewalk to be loaded into the truck. That’s when I started having fun.
I see moving, and packing, as a big puzzle, a study in theoretical/spatial geometry (read: based on the size of space X, what kind of pieces & shapes can I use to fill the volume of space). Despite a few sprinkles (literally… a few random drops, no actual showers), we had the truck loaded in a little under two hours… and it was a 26 foot truck! There were still a few things in the apartment that would be needed during the night, but would be loaded up first thing in the morning.
Monday, after finishing the small, general cleaning and hauling off the last bits of trash, we drove over to the cable company to turn in her cable box and terminate service (after a breakfast at Chic-Fil-A) before retuning to the apartment to load up the last few items, get her dogs, turn in her keys and get on the road. We were rolling out by ten o’clock in the morning.
While we were driving across the state there were a couple of sprinkles and grey clouds, but the weather would hold (if anything, we traded the chance of showers for higher humidity). One little spot that we passed through had a shop that boasted “Digital Viewing Booths” – and I’m still trying to figure out what the point of those is supposed to be? (And, for the record, I do know WHAT they are for, but what is the point of a digital booth?)
We made it with no real issues (except for me backing into a light pole in a Burger King parking lot in Wake Forest – but no damage, no foul, so we kept on truckin’). I called my friend Chris who lives near Raleigh as we got closer to the area, and I called Allen after we had found the place (he was supposed to be in Wilmington for some tests, and headed back to try and help us move, so I was checking in – turns out he didn’t go to Wilmington because he wasn’t feeling too great, but he did come out a while later to help us finish unloading the truck).
Again with the upstairs apartments, so hauling things got to be more tedious (and the mid-day heat wasn’t making things any more pleasant). There was already a washer and dryer in the unit, so we had to arrange for the maintenance guy to come and remove them. They took the washer but did not come back for the dryer (until Wednesday… we left it on the porch, strapped to their dolly since we removed it on the Monday afternoon while unloading). The boxes and smaller furniture went along easily enough, but the living room set (the couch and loveseat specifically) were fun to maneuver, especially due to the way the landing for the apartment is designed.
They were the last two pieces, and I looked at the guys and asked, “Would you rather take care of the bitch, or the beast?” The bitch was the loveseat, which we handled first, and after some juggling (read: holding and sliding at different angles before finally removing the legs). Then came the beast – the couch – which required even more thought, shifting, and eventually leg removal. The truck was finally empty, and everything was in the apartment.
We spent a little bit of time tidying up the apartment (read: staging furniture and getting boxes out of the way so people could actually walk around the space), we got cleaned up ourselves (and I cannot stress how good the shower felt, even if there was no shower curtain to keep the floor dry) before going out for dinner. There was a group of five of us that went to eat (one of the cousins of my wife & SiL who goes to NC State had also come up to visit and help with the move-in process – as was also my ride home) and a Mexican place down across from campus, before going up to a Houka bar with one of the cousin’s friends.
Tuesday, since I slept on the couch I had the peace and quiet of being able to move around without the dogs, so I started unloading book boxes and putting then into the bookcase (a funny aside, my FiL made the comment around Chris, “I can’t believe someone would move with so many books.” Chris looked at him, and as politely an nicely as he could, said, “Um, I have over 1800 books” which makes the SiL’s collection look quite anemic.) and clearing through the boxes. We plowed through and got most of the boxes unpacked, and clothes put away… bigger pictures (paintings) hung and boxes consolidated. By the time we stopped to go get groceries before the cousin and I left, the only boxes that remained were those that contained knick-knacks and pictures/photos to be hung.
The cousin and I made it to the house early enough for me to still go to dinner with someone (the same person I had dogsat for) and still have some fun. A long, whirlwind of a weekend, but it was all good… even if it did take me a few days to really recover from all of the late nights.