Boxes Ahoy!

10 Oct

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.

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7 Responses to “Boxes Ahoy!”

  1. Kelly October 10, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    That’s my girl! Super mom AND Super baby! Any way to put garage items in storage w/ moisture control? I just LOVEEE reading these updates! I feel like I’m right there…and wish I was! Take care!

  2. Sue October 10, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    I know how stressed you are! We moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana when Blake was 1 week old,and we also had a 4 and a 19 month old. I was wondering, “What in the world were we thinking?” The day we arrived, the movers arrived shortly thereafter. We had purchased the house when the house was closed up with the heat on. We moved in with the windows open in June. All of a sudden we were hit with the horrible smell of cat urine! We kept walking around trying to figure out where it came from. Long story short – We had to pull up all of the carpet in the living room, dining room, and stairs because their cats (which were not there we we looked at the house) had completely ruined all of it. We even had to tear out much of the sub flooring!
    The second week we were in the house,the septic system for the subdivision backed up into our back yard. The TV crews arrived to interview me in our front yard with all 3 kids in tow. I was crying on local TV wondering why we ever left Illinois!
    At the end of the 1st month, we had a monsoon and when I walked down in the basement to do laundry, I saw our basement filled with 4 inches of water. I ran down to check to see if the sump pump was working. I thought that it was but couldn’t tell for sure. I grabbed the broom and madly swept water into the sump pump hole. As fast as water went into the sump pump, it came back out. After 20 min. of looking like Lucy from “I Love Lucy” fame, I finally called Steve at work crying. (Who knows what the kids were doing while I was in total panic?) He raced home to try to help. About 30 boxes were standing in water! I just about lost it. We had to install a 2nd sump pump so if the first one couldn’t keep up, it would funnel into the 2nd. We had to tear carpet out of 2 rooms in the basement! Not to mention me having to deal with all of those boxes. I had the movers put all of the boxes that were not totally essential in the basement to deal with at a later time when my life wasn’t in total chaos. Does make you wonder why you have so much stuff!!! Much of it not necessary!
    When we pulled the carpet out of the basement, our neighbors said “Oh yea, the basement has flooded before. We have seen that same carpet lying out in driveway drying out.” After ripping out 4 rooms of carpet and the stairs, we were fit to be tied!
    Well, like you Sarah, I found out that I was stronger that I ever thought.
    Things will get better, but there will be lots of low points. The roller coaster of life makes us stronger and gives us lots of war stories to tell which make us feel better. Keep writing. It is very good to vent. It will also give you a chance to look back and chuckle some day.
    We miss you! Hang in there!
    Love ya,
    Sue

    • smargiek October 25, 2010 at 11:55 am #

      I can’t even believe that! You are a strong woman!!!! Miss you so much, Sue!

  3. Heather October 10, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    You are such a trooper! And we already knew Smush was the best baby ever!

  4. peggy October 10, 2010 at 8:33 pm #

    You are doing great. It isn’t easy to keep your head when everything is falling apart and you did. You knew to hold onto Abigail and contact Ryan! Maybe, just maybe. . . say 20 years out. . .a smile will creep across your face as you remember that you survived a move across the country with a baby and a big black dog AND you did it with grace and style!

  5. KathyMagnusson October 10, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    I love how you are handling all of this. Mostly I love all of you three!

  6. Emily October 11, 2010 at 12:20 am #

    Did you find the rest of the vacuum cleaner? That cracks me up…and you can punch me for saying that soon 🙂 Too much confectioner’s sugar?? See below:
    1. Measure 6-9 cups chex cereal and set aside.
    2.In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave 1 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup peanut butter and 1/4 cup butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in 1 tsp vanilla. Pour mixture over 6-9 cups chex cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.
    3. Add 1.5 cups powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

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