last night began the caravan voyage journey into our New House.
directly after work, i drove the black lifted dodge 4×4 my manager at work insisted i borrow to move with up to the apartment. i solicited helping hands to load up the bed of the truck with the towering structure of boxes that crowded my bedroom. most boxes fit and there was still room in the king cab so in went more boxes and bins and the boys’ backpacks and tent.
the power at the house was still off even though i requested the transfer in plenty of time. i thought maybe with Memorial Day things got a little jumbled up or lost so i didn’t think much of it. honestly it was a little odd being in the house. i kept expecting someone to come and tell me to leave. it was warm inside and very musty. nothing familiar at all. during escrow i’d continually pictured the rooms as-is, with norm’s stuff in them. so to be here in his presumed space of the last 25 years felt wrong.
but there i was shoving box after box into each room before anyone could kick us out. as we unloaded, my neighbor from across the street came home in a mini van. a little blond girl waved from the driveway and kara and i went across the street to introduce ourselves. the little girl’s name is emily and her mother’s name is jackie. they live there with jackie’s husband and they are happy to have more children in the neighborhood.
shortly after that, we finished unloading boxes and locked up. we dropped the truck off at the apartments and then left to go pick up my car and then the boys. when i went to go get them, my oldest, elijah, asked me when we were moving. i told him “tonight and tomorrow is when we are moving.” and he couldn’t have been more excited. i took them back to the apartment where we ate dinner and after the arizona sun set, we loaded up the truck with the dining room table, two bookcases, and with the unexpected help of passerby, my big heavy coffee table.
the kids rode in the backseat of the truck, naturally convinced that this truck was now also ours. they helped with trip #2, keeping the cell phone screen lit as we moved furniture into the living room in complete darkness. it was approaching 9pm when we finished up and the street was quiet and dark. the boys were eager to get out of the house because now in addition to the stuffiness of the house and the musty smell, it was pitch black and they didn’t feel safe. they were waiting at the truck as i locked up.
i panicked as in the dark all alone at an unfamiliar place the door wouldn’t close all the way. at first i thought the trouble was air pressure so i pushed the door open and pulled to close it but again that resistance was there. i called out to kara for help and got more worked up and anxious as i repeatedly called to her and tried to close the door. she could hear the fear in my voice as she approached and when i told her that something was holding the door open, her first instinct was to take a huge step back and kick the door in . . . it flew open and bounced against the wall. i shined a light into the doorway. no one and nothing there. i went to close the door again and the damn curtain to the windows next to the door was in the door jamb. i didn’t laugh about it until 10 minutes later or so just because my nerves were so shot. we all went home and went to bed.
the next morning felt like The Big Day. i woke up early to pack a couple more boxes and go get my mother and my sister and some coffee. when we got to my apartment, the boys were awake so i dismantled all the beds and my sister and i packed more boxes as my mother graciously folded my laundry and packed it away. the boys ran around and picked up toys and put them everywhere except for the toybox, naturally. we began to pack up the truck and my honda with the boys’ beds and more boxes and toys and odds and ends. after unloading everything, including my ma, my sister, and the boys, kara and i drove to the moving van rental. on the way to the rental shop, i called the power company. even though they sent me an email saying the power was in service, it wasn’t on. as i waited on hold, it occured to me that i should’ve checked the circuit box. sure enough that’s exactly what the operator said. called my sister at the house and she flipped the switches for me. magic! power!
after that was a new adventure of driving a moving truck (14 feet of truck!) and making a u-turn in it and trying not to flip it on the way up to the apartment where kara met me with the truck. my brother met us with his buick, and my friend mike met us with his truck. two hours of loading up the trucks and van with belongings, and one solid bit of advice that i was not to quit my day job, we were set to begin the 30 mph parade up to my new house.
of course, mike parked under the covered parking and one piece of furniture that we’d carefully balanced on top of the truck and tethered to the bed got caught on the cover of the parking spot and made an awful sound. all vehicles partially pulled out stopped and jogged over to see what the damage was. luckily nothing, just some red faces. hence the 30 mph in a 45. just in case.
when we pulled up to the house, Metro Water was there to shut the water service off for the previous owner. the lady was nice enough to give me the phone number of the office where i could get it switched to my name. as i talked to another nice lady (whose daughter happens to be best friends with one of my coworkers), mike, matthew, and kara unloaded the truck, then started on mike’s truck, which i was able to help with. then mike moved the uhaul and we unloaded it. ordered a pizza and then unloaded the buick (note to self: order food a few days beforehand. we got the short end of the pizza stick). shoved the mattress up the stairs and pushed furniture out of the walkways. pizza man showed up just in time and luckily i knew where to find paper plates for us. everyone ate and pretty much left. the boys and kara and i went and returned the uhaul and then went to the apartment to grab a red desk and drop it off at goodwill. then it was down to return the truck to my manager and then lastly to target to pick up essentials. stopped at the apartments to shower everyone crashed and burned with exhaustion.
ahhh moving day.