Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Move of Epic Proportions

We are home. As I sit at the counter of my new kitchen -- surrounded on all sides by unpacked boxes, mind you -- this reality still doesn't seem quite to have hit me. There's a reason for that. Let me explain. No, there is too much; let me sum up. No, wait, the only way for anyone to understand is to lay it all out for you, so bear with me. Okay? Okay.

Friday, May 28, 11 p.m. - Bryan and I had made a deal to finish our respective packing projects by 11 p.m. so we could go to bed at a reasonable hour, for us at least, so that we would be well rested for packing the truck. This deal worked out remarkably well, and we were indeed in bed and dozing off by ten after.

Saturday, May 29, 7 a.m. - Bryan's alarm went off. Thirty seconds later, mine went off. We both hit snooze.

7:15 a.m. - My second alarm went off. I got up. Bryan got up. The boys got up. We continued packing and organizing.

9:30 a.m. - Bryan went to pick up the Uhaul truck. I packed and cleaned the last bathroom frantically.

10 a.m. - Bryan brought the truck in, and we realized that Uhaul's idea of a 17 foot truck was much different than ours. Ours was actually 17 feet. Theirs was more like 12 feet plus the cab. Regardless, we began the daunting task of packing our apartment into it.

To note: Our apartment is on the third story of the building. There is no elevator. There are thirty-six steps; I counted them.

Also to note: Since we've moved into this apartment four and a half years ago, we have added an entire person to our family plus the various furniture and accoutrements necessary for that fourth person. We've also added a couch, a coffee table and more books than I would care to detail.

Now that you've noted this, consider how many times we had to walk those thirty-six steps with our furniture, boxes, suitcases, appliances, et cetera. A hundred, you think? More? We're talking four thousand steps to climb, down and up, approximately speaking.

I wish I could put a time on when the truck was half full, three quarters full, but I honestly don't know. What I do know is that I thought we would have the truck loaded by five in the afternoon. I would take the packed car to Whole Foods where I would purchase a picnic lunch and little cake for our dinner, dessert, reward and rest. Bryan had estimated six. We were both being starry-eyed and optimistic.

7 p.m. - We shoved our mattress in the truck, cursing Uhaul and our apartment complex and our lack of friends, and Bryan informed me that we would have to make a second run with the truck. I may have wept.
Bryan may have as well.

I took our packed car to Whole Foods, picked up a few slices of pizza and cookies and headed for the house. We ate. We unpacked in record time, patting each other the back for being to unpack so quickly.

10:30 p.m. - We drove back to the apartment. Bryan tasked me with making a Dunkin Donuts run, but Asher fell asleep five minutes from D & D, and there wasn't a single parking space to be found, and I was tired, and my hands hurt from carrying heavy crap, and my feet and my legs hurt from climbing the stairs, and I was scraped and bruised, and my baby was sleeping in the car, for crying out loud, and I arrived back to the apartment, carried Asher up three flights of stairs, went in and realized exactly how much more there was to do.

10:50 p.m. - Bryan showed up with the truck. I burst into tears.

11 p.m. - We emptied the boys' room, laid out a couple of comforters and set the boys to sleep. We continued packing. I moaned a lot, wept a little, complained way too much, and once or twice completely lost my gumption to pick up my end of whatever needed me to pick it up.

Sunday, May 30, 1 a.m. - Bryan assured me that he could handle the rest and I should go lay down with the boys since I was the one who had to be up to work nursery at church in the morning. Feeling despondent and mortified with guilt but so defeated I wasn't exactly helping anyway, I agreed.

1 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. - Bryan packed the truck. I did not sleep. I laid in the room with the boys, listening to every noise of my husband coming in and out of the apartment, wondering how well he was doing, was he coping, if he had fallen down the stairs, if he had grown despondent and defeated and angry with me for abandoning him, but I didn't sleep. I couldn't make myself wake enough to actually get up and help him, and I really did have to get up in the morning and present a decent front for nursery, so I remained where I was.

4:30 a.m. - Bryan came to bed. He promptly went into a sound sleep. I still didn't fall asleep.

5:30 a.m. - Our alarms once again went off. We both hit snooze. With the second alarm, I roused Bryan -- who later informed me that he had no idea where he was or what was going on or what I was talking about -- and we gathered the pillows, went out into the living room to discover that my amazing, astounding, unbelievable husband had cleared the entire apartment. By himself. Empty.

6 a.m. - Dunkin Donuts. Plenty of parking.

6:45 a.m. to 9 a.m. - Bryan, Elijah and I (and Asher, a little) emptied the entire truck. We even took most of it into the house, rather than simply dumping it all in the car port, though we did essentially dump it in the kitchen, den and dining room as they're the most accessible rooms from the car port.

We returned the truck, fully gassed as per the contract by 10 a.m., and I even managed to take a side trip to our church and inform the nursery coordinator of our situation. She was gracious and generous enough to tell me that they'd find me a substitute; take my family home to sleep.

10:30 a.m. - We sat down to breakfast, all four of us exhausted and in tremendous pain (neither Bryan nor I can fully clench our fists at this point, our hands are so swollen and damaged) but we were relieved because we were done.

We spent the entire afternoon napping in the new house. I never fully fell asleep then either, and at this point -- 9:21 by my laptop clock -- I'm so tired, I'm barely thinking straight, but it did my boys well.

And my boys... to the world, I would like to declare that my family is amazing.

My husband did everything. My husband carried the heavy stuff. He packed the truck like the most insane and meticulous game of Tetris EVER. He stayed up all night in order to clear the apartment, and he did all of this with a very sweet and patient attitude, assuring all of us we were doing fantastic.

And Elijah? Dude, that kid carried as much as I did, though to a lesser degree weight-wise, obviously, and he kept a cheerful, helpful attitude the entire day. He never complained. Not once. Can you imagine?

Asher couldn't carry things down the big stairs, so he couldn't help us load, but he did help us unload, the little bit that he was able. However, my little boy waited patiently these last few days while the three of us came and went, telling him that we were busy, that we would be working a long time, that we couldn't turn on a movie or game for him because the TV and XBox were packed, that his toys were packed, that we didn't have more than a few minutes at a time to spend with him. He was unbelievably patient.

This has been the longest weekend of my life. I still can't bring myself to say that the move went well because I think we were slapped silly by how huge of an endeavor it actually was, but I'm so proud of my family, I can't begin to even express it. That means so much more to me than the house or the yard. They made it worth it.


  1. Oh my! I am soooo sorry! No one should have to move all by themselves! And on their birthday, no less! My mother was what I like to call a gypsy (though her clinical diagnosis is called bi-polar) and she got the itch to move every 3-6 months - I am not lying. And we had 10 children. I don't remember a lot of people helping us move (my mom was rather private and we'd sneak in during the middle of the night, one van load after another).

    She would move all the fun, decorating stuff first, then leave all the junk boxes and cleaning to us older kids. I hated it!

    But, there is always a positive side, if you look for it. I made a lot of new friends over the years (even if I don't remember them now).

    Luckily, you're not a gypsy - or bi-polar, and neither am I! Think of how much you'll enjoy your new that you'll probably stay in for a very long time!

    P.S. You have a WONDERFUL husband and children!

  2. Goodness, that doesn't sound like the most fun way to move either, Dione! But look at you now with your positive attitude. How great are you?

    We moved often when I was a kid thanks to the military lifestyle, but it was more like every 2-3 years, not the 3-6 months you were working with. As a matter of fact, the longest I've lived in one place is five years: the house before the house my parents are in now, and they've lived there twelve years! (I went to college, then married, then somehow managed to move every few years with this little family of mine.)

    We're getting settled in, and I do hope we're here for a little while, at least long enough for the boys to experience nature as childhood intends it to be experienced. :-)

    Thanks for the love, and especially thanks for appreciating my men. Aren't they excellent?