Dear North American…

Dear North American Van Lines,

Thank you for, finally, delivering our stuff. We hope it didn’t put you out too much, getting it here a mere two weeks after you picked it up. Of course, the West was colonized in less time by families dragging their possessions across the desert in Conestoga wagons pulled by mules, but we’ll try not to focus too much on that.

We really appreciate the efforts to keep us entertained, as well! How kind of you to take time to pack pieces of one lamp in four different boxes, and power cords in separate boxes from the electronics they serve, thereby creating our very own customized game of “Concentration.” It’s been a real joy to play, forcing us to take numerous breaks from our unpacking. Although I fear we may soon weary of having a bunch of halfway-put-together things all around the house… we are so picky like that!

And how creative of you to ensure that the corners on a box of office paper stayed nice and square by putting the inlaid chess board I got from my late parents for my high school graduation in the bottom! I’d have hated to have some cheap copier paper get all bent up. Besides, the chunks knocked out of the corners of the board will just give it character.

I have yet to come across the chess pieces, but I’m sure they’ll turn up. The knight and the bishop probably ran off together and are living in sin inside the box marked “Master Bath.”

It was sweet of your driver to toss off a “sorry about the flower pot” over his shoulder as he dropped a blanket full of clanking stuff to the grass. (Not to be too fussy about details, but it really wasn’t a flower pot, just a handmade terra cotta outdoor hose hider.) The tiny Mexican man who crafted it lovingly from wet clay before carving intricate designs on it with a small stick would understand, if he were still alive. Isn’t it funny how it survived seven other moves, a 7.9-magnitude earthquake in Palm Springs, and three separate tornados and a flood in Nashville, but couldn’t make it the 20 feet from your truck to my front yard! (chuckle)

They say art is in the eye of the beholder. I’m guessing that your team decided that our handmade copper cattail sculpture looked better with the leaves shooting off at right angles, instead of straight up like they started off the trip. Art is such a personal thing, after all.

You know that rule y’all have about not moving open bottles of liquids? Well, now I know why you have that one! Upon further reflection, I’d have been OK giving up the $2.49 bottle of syrup, rather than having it leak all over those other boxes. (Seems like the blazing heat on the truck made it especially thin and runny. What are the odds?) All of my friends know how I feel about being sticky — hate, hate, hate it! So I’m glad we could give them a laugh or two to brighten their day.

It was generous of you to wrap the golf-ball-sized rock I brought back from my bike trip in Utah in 17 sheets of packing paper. That baby sure didn’t break, thanks to you!

I do wish you’d been able to spare a few sheets of that paper for my GPS-directed telescope, though, instead of dropping it unwrapped down inside that metal trash can. Now when I ask it to find Saturn, it just drops its little head and sighs like WALL-E. Oh, well, who really needs to see Saturn more than once, anyway?

Your determination to pack everything we might need is admirable. You never know when we’ll ask ourselves, “Hey, where’s that empty, broken plastic Scotch tape dispenser? I need it!” Or when I might say, “D, have you seen that free plastic cup I got two years ago at a Vanderbilt basketball game, the one with the big crack all the way down to the bottom?” Never fear, I now know where both of those things are, thanks to you!

I’m hoping to get lucky tomorrow and come across the square end caps for the guest bed. It looks kind of freak-o weird to just have raw wood sticking out there. I’m sure if we ever have guests, they won’t give it a thought, though. They’ll probably be getting their jollies from wondering when the bed itself will collapse and snap their legs, since we never did come across those bolts that attach the bed rails to the frame. I hope we don’t have any amorous guests, ha ha ha!

Thanks for calling today, too, to see if you could go ahead and charge the other part of our move to my credit card. Cash flow is so important to businesses, isn’t it? I hope it won’t inconvenience you too much that we thought it would be best to wait on that, at least until our other 3,000 pounds of household goods arrive. Especially since you can’t really tell us where it is, ha ha ha! I mean, what’s another couple of weeks among friends, right?

Anyway, it’s been a real experience. You really should talk to U-Haul about borrowing that “Adventure in Moving” slogan of theirs. Hope to see you soon, preferably with the remaining 3,000 pounds of our stuff!

(Oh, and when you drop it off, would you mind bringing back our ladder, too? It’s the 8-foot wooden one, with the orange sticker that says “245” on it. I’m glad it could be of use to you when you unloaded here, but we really do need it.)

Please feel free to use me as a reference down the road. Please, please do!



About wordsmith1313

Now: Somewhat retired, although I don't do it very well. Formerly senior director of Communications and Marketing for the Dallas Zoo. Journalist. EMT. Writer. Breast cancer survivor. I love to travel, and will always return from a trip with a new friend or two. Those fortuitous meetings bring velvet to the rough edges of life.
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5 Responses to Dear North American…

  1. Sharon says:

    You poor things – glad you can find some humor it all that somewhere — I’d be really to do physical harm to somebody!!! Miss you!

  2. steve raquel says:


    My name is Steve Raquel and I help manage North American Van Line’s Social Media efforts.

    I’m sorry that you have had a bad experience with your move to date and justifiably posted the comment on our blog.

    If you may not know, North American Van Lines is a national brand with multiple franchisees providing moving services under it. They collectively move thousands of people, but on a corporate level, we don’t necessarily know what the experience is for each one.

    However, because you took the time to post a blog, I’d love to learn more about your experience so that we can do some investigating on the corporate end and see what could have been done to make it a better move for you.

    Thank you in advance for your assistance.


    Steve Raquel
    North American Van Lines Social Media Team

  3. Jeff says:

    Steve, buddy. Just read the blog post. You’ll learn plenty about Laurie’s experience.

  4. steve raquel says:

    Trust me Jeff, I read everything. However, one can’t assume anything and it’s my job to be as thorough as possible to help make things right. 🙂

    Laurie already provided me some great additional info, which I am very appreciative of.

    We’re already working on it!



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