Tag Archives: moving

Life in the Slow Lane

Do you ever get to the point that life has gotten so far away from you that you don’t even know how to begin to make excuses?

That’s how blogging has been for me these past couple of weeks. A combination of factors that I rationally know are out of my control but are nonetheless stressful, plus long lists of specific things that need to be done, overlaid with general anxiety about world issues such as the weather and that damn impeachment trial. (Seriously — how could any sentient being think 45’s behavior was anything but inexcusable?!) But that one, at least, is in the rearview mirror for now.

I know this is a first world problem, so I apologize in advance.

Dear Husband (DH) and I are in the midst of renovating our soon-to-be-one-and-only-house, which is rapidly being gutted. This is all good news, though it means we are renting a townhome/apartment in another location and need to drive out periodically to pick up mail and make sure there are no contractors lying insensate under a random beam.

Meanwhile, we are trying with no success to date to get on a Covid vaccination schedule. We have signed up in both of the counties where our house and rental are and neither has resulted in an appointment since the state has nowhere near enough supplies for everyone who wants to get it.

On the good news front, our Texas house went under contract within a day of our lovely realtor — who is DH’s oldest daughter — notifying a few agents that we were preparing to sell it. Everything would be proceeding smoothly if it weren’t for, oh, deadly ice storms, massive amounts of snow, power outages, etc. We’re thankful not to be living there but worry about friends and family who are coping with this.

Selling the house also means having someone else pack and ship it. Anxiety-producing because a) we have a lot of things we hope to sell or donate and can’t manage this ourselves, and b) we have to relinquish all fantasies of control over the specifics of the process. I’m trying to adopt the attitude that “stuff is just stuff” and if something gets lost or broken we will replace it. But this is not helping me sleep at night… I’m not counting sheep, I’m counting boxes.

I guess, like all of us, I have to put my faith in whatever powers-that-be may exist, know that we will eventually be on the other side of pandemic-related stress, and just hunker down while managing the few small aspects that are within my control.

If anyone has any good tips for patience after this year of endless upheaval, please share!

Demolition derby!

The Ballad of a Thousand Boxes

IMG-1053Do you remember moving into your first apartment? Mine was a dark, tiny, one-bedroom in Springfield, Missouri – notable for its cheap rent and even cheaper-looking olive green shag carpeting on the walls as well as the floor. (Even for the 70’s this was mind-bendingly ugly.)

But it was my first post-college job and I was thrilled to be on my own.

Moving in those days was much easier.

  • We had friends to haul stuff and we paid them in beer or cheap wine — not the price of a European vacation.
  • I had more energy than possessions.
  • An old orange crate made a perfectly acceptable coffee table.

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Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

Having just moved again for the umpteenth – and hopefully, last – time, I’ve noticed:

  • It costs more to move across town than it used to cost moving across the country.
  • I have way too much crap, even after endless trips to Goodwill.
  • I have way less ability to carry said crap, especially up a flight of stairs.
  • Young people don’t seem to accumulate china and crystal.
  • The more stuff we have, the more storage we need.
  • One TV used to be sufficient. Now we all have multiple TVs, each with complicated hookups and several remotes that have to be housed somewhere. Not to mention computers.
  • Sunnier rooms reveal flaws and dings in furniture that used to look pretty decent.
  • Change is good, even when it’s painful. And it’s better to share that pain.
  • Rugs and wood floors look a lot better than shag carpet.

 

Thanks to Laura S. for suggesting this topic!

Addicted to Books

Our current move has involved putting approximately 1000 boxes of books weighing approximately 1,000,000 lbs into storage: Art. History. Art History. Theatre. Theatre History. Obscure Writings on Theatre History… you get the idea.

Which prompts me to wonder if my Dear Husband and others like him should form a chapter of Book Buyers Anonymous.

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In fairness, DH’s library is much better organized!

DH navigates a bookstore or library the way I peruse the designer floor at Neiman Marcus or almost any bakery: eyes glazed, slack-jawed and bent double so as to read the title/label. It’s nearly impossible to leave empty-handed.

Like chocolate and expensive perfume, scent is part of the experience: dusty, musty old books exude an irresistible pull, as does the cottony, slightly acrid crispness of a new volume.

I used to share DH’s addiction but, much as I love to read, I don’t collect books the way I collect, say, shoes and bags. Once done, I almost never return for a second round of the same story. The library would be a perfect solution, except that I prefer the pristine quality of a new book to one that’s been handled by someone else. Hence, regular purchases of paperbacks, which can easily be recycled to friends, family or Goodwill.

But as a kid the library was my safe haven, especially during the summers we spent on Cape Cod, when I had endless hours to curl up with a book.

My childhood library was founded in 1875 and moved to its present stone building in 1913. It felt both vast and cozy. Also deeply welcoming, despite the looming presence of librarians who’d shush you if you happened to be giggling with a friend.

I loved the dark, dusty stacks, the wooden files of Dewey Decimal System reference cards (named for the proprietary library classification system first published in the United States by Melvil Dewey in 1876), and most of all the sense of anticipation that you’d find something wonderful to bring home.

Dickens. Austen. Nancy Drew – I was voracious and indiscriminate. And I still have anxiety if I have fewer than 3 books at the ready. Kindles have their place but I want to hold my book. (Sounds like a Beatles song, no?)

Anyway. For the time being DH’s beloved boxes are safe and snug, though I have recurring nightmares of the second floor of our soon-to-be-built new home caving in under the weight of all those invaluable tomes.

Maybe I should go bake something.

 

How To Avoid Fighting During a Move

You can’t! Arguments are inevitable; just accept it.

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We’re currently in packing hell, surrounded by boxes, bubble wrap and furniture that suddenly grew three sizes when we weren’t looking.

To minimize the inevitable stress that arises when two strong-willed people want to do things their own way, I’m attempting to adopt these 10 simple rules:

  1.  Start every day by saying that no matter how much your partner will irritate you in the hours ahead, you love and forgive them in advance.
  2. Limit your fights to once per day.
  3. Tell your partner they’re right, no matter how idiotic their suggestion is.
  4. Work in different parts of the house.
  5. Don’t roll your eyes.
  6. Have two tape rollers, markers and other materials so you’re not waiting impatiently for the other person to finish putting their box together.
  7. Shower early and often.
  8. Ruthlessly donate anything and everything you don’t want to pack. And…
  9. Encourage your partner to get rid of ugly crap from another life, ideally without identifying it as “ugly crap”.
  10. Drink heavily at 5:00 or as soon as practical (some days, this could be lunchtime).

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