I can’t think of anything more fun than moving. (Did I just write that out loud?) It’s especially “enjoyable” when you’ve been in one place for decades and accumulated lots of stuff — kid stuff, office stuff, hand-me-down stuff, garage sale stuff, family heirlooms and day to day necessities. Yup, we’d pared down before, shrinking from a monstrous Victorian money-trap to a much smaller abode. I was ready. I knew how to do it. I girded my loins. (Can you hear the Rocky theme song?)
I figured a week between the cabin closing and renters taking over our townhouse should be just about right. Seven days seemed like enough time to clean, drag out the dirty shag carpet, install tile and redo the hardwood floors. We had a schedule and everyone had a part to play. I was pretty impressed with my organizational prowess.
Then they changed the closing date.
All of a sudden, my carefully laid plan looked like the candy conveyor belt scene from I Love Lucy. Now, we’d close late on Friday and renters would move in on Sunday
The race was on! Once I had those keys in my hot little hands, I skedaddled out to the woods and unlocked doors for the flooring guy. Back at the townhouse, a few hardy souls appeared, enticed by the offer of pizza and beer. They filled and stacked towers of boxes that swayed to the sounds of My Life Would Suck Without You by Kelly Clarkson. Cats ran for cover and cowered behind the dryer. We worked until midnight knowing our efforts would surely make the next day so much easier.
Morning dawned, full of hope and promise. I got the donuts, commandeered a truck and lurched my way back to the townhouse, expecting to see hordes of eager volunteers. Two lone relatives greeted me at the door, then turned their attention to the donuts.
Where WAS everyone? The clock was ticking and that truck was empty! Turns out, it WAS a great day for a friend to treat most of my movers to a leisurely breakfast. I ask you, what better way to ease into the day?
By Noon our gang was working like a well-oiled machine. We packed and loaded, hour after hour. But without knowing how or why, stuff magically reappeared in closets and corners we knew we’d already cleared. It was as if we were bailing water from a sinking ship. When would it EVER END, I cried in dismay!
Meanwhile, out in the woods…
Boxes were emptied into the dark and dirty recesses of a one-car garage. Furniture littered the driveway and deck. Only once did an inconveniently placed tree interfere with the truck’s front bumper. Slowly, the clutter diminished at one site and rose at the other, like bubbles foaming from a pot of pea soup.
Hungry and tired, we gathered for pizza under the pines. The piano was in the kitchen and the couch was outside by the front door. The only thing missing were a few corncob pipes, a jug of moonshine and a banjo.
As dark descended, my trusty movers drove off and I was left with the cats. They crept from one room to the next, lurking around corners and moaning like tortured souls. They jumped up on window sills, then leaped to the floor and took off like something was after them.
Those windows were big and bare, so I hurried to drape them before who-knows-what discovered I was in there — all alone. I tore open cartons and pulled out one blanket after another. Thankful to find a hammer and nails, my anxiety level dropped with every window I covered.
Time to sleep, but where were the rest of our blankets? I would freeze rather than take them down from the windows. So I curled up under some throw rugs, dozing and waking to the moans of two neurotic cats. They wouldn’t shut up; it sounded like a horror movie. I heard every sound that night.
And I kept telling myself, “Well, it WAS you who wanted a cabin in the woods.”
But soon morning dawned. Again, full of hope and promise.
I opened the front door to the smell of piney air and sunlight streaming through the trees. Dew glistened on the grass. The deer scampered about. Bluebirds swooped down and draped ribbons through my hair.
(I get carried away sometimes.)
If you’ve ever moved, you know how nice it feels to have the packing and stacking part over and done with. Then you sit back, look around at all those boxes screaming for attention, roll up your sleeves and…
…pour yourself a big glass of wine!