When the moving truck pulled up next to our rental house I had this moment of complete panic. The trailer seemed to tower over us like a menacing, black cloud. I kind of wish a single bolt of lightning, complete with thunder, would have shot down in the distance, but that probably would have been a little dramatic. Granted, we didn’t take up an entire 18 wheeler but let’s just say we filled up a good half. Where did all of that stuff come from? What was even in there? I was just in the middle of a daydream about a life where I was moving, not into a 1000 sq. ft. home, but an extremely large house complete with echos and possibly a moat, when the man who was in charge of our move remarked (and I quote), “Mrs., You weren’t kidding about it being a smaller house. I think this is pretty close to the worst, I mean, most difficult job I’ve done.” Awesome. Did I mention he had been doing this since 1985?
Usually when movers come to unload the truck the owner of the house stands on the driveway or in the foyer and says, “That goes in the living room. That is bedroom 3. Put that box in the kitchen.” That is a good plan – for someone who actually has enough space to put all of the boxes inside and still move in the furniture. That wasn’t going to work for us. The driver headed back to his truck to make a quick phone call to his boss. The extra time it was going to take to move us had to be approved. What would have happened if the time wasn’t approved? Would they take the remaing junk and drive off into the sunset? One could only hope. But sadly, the extra time was approved and we were proceeding full steam ahead. I gave the movers the grand tour of the place and it became even clearer that in this situation nothing could be moved in until we knew that the furniture was going to fit. Our life, in boxes of assorted sizes, started coming off of the truck. Then it kept coming. And coming. Once we got a good number of boxes off the truck I decided what could be buried in the depths of the garage. Never to be seen again. So there I was, alone, standing in the driveway with Abigail in one arm and a pen in the other. I had been recruited as the official “checker” of boxes since they were shorthanded. Apparently Abigail seemed to give me the extra hands needed to do the job. Yep, I stood there and checked off all 405 boxes. Abigail alternated between spending time in her stroller, her pack-n-play, and my arms, all located conveniently in the front yard. I could have easily been in tears, but I wasn’t. I was sick of crying about stuff anyway. Instead of being the emotional wreck that I had shown myself to be, I became this drill sergeant of a woman – walking through piles of boxes and giving orders of where things needed to go. I was feeling super proud of myself for being so assertive. Darn it, we were going to make this all fit! It was right around lunch time when our next door neighbors, bless their retired souls, came over to tell me that they hoped I didn’t have anything in the garage that would be damaged if it got damp. Oh no, I didn’t, just tons of clothing, throw pillows, pictures, about a million school files, and our extra furniture. They went on to explain how the moisture comes up from the ground because of all the rain we get in the winter. They wouldn’t say it flooded, just stayed really wet. Of course it did. It rains about 175 days a year. That’s when I sent a very panicky text to Ryan at work. I think it said something to the effect of “GET HOME NOW.” He did, being the extremely supportive, level headed guy that he is and took both the pen and the baby out of my hands. Around 6:30 the movers finished and left us buried in boxes. Stacks and stacks of boxes that made it impossible to relax or even walk in the kitchen. So I took a knife and opened the first box. Unwrapping everything that had seemed so important to our life before “the move” did one of two things. One, made this house seem more like home or two, made me wonder why in the world we had brought it 3,000 miles. My favorite example of this was probably the 3 boxes of confectioner’s sugar we found. Thank goodness we have that!
The driver ended up coming back the next day because he felt so sorry for me. I unpacked and unwrapped at lightning speed, as he took the empty boxes and paper to his truck. In the end it took me about 3 solid days of unpacking, but we’re getting there. To be honest, I don’t know how it all fit and I don’t know how I managed with a 6 month old. But I did. And as the driver said (and I quote), “That is the best baby I’ve seen.” I had to agree. But I still don’t know where the rest of the vaccuum cleaner is.