Stacking and unpacking


We’re making headway on unpacking, yay! We’re down to only a few dozen boxes or so inside the house.

I don’t want to talk about the number still left in the garage, though, and you can’t make me. So there, pfffttbb! (Although we did get it shoved around enough to get one car inside. Must celebrate the small successes.)

I have decided that, absolutely, unequivocably, I am too old and creaky to move boxes myself. Since last weekend I’ve been having back spasms, apparently caused by my delusion that underneat my small, out-of-shape self, I really am Supergirl. It seems completely within the realm of possibility that I could toss around a big wardrobe box full of weights and appliances and rocks and things.

However, it is actually not within the realm of possibility. Whatsoever. In fact, it is far more outside the realm of possibility than many things, including time travel, perpetual motion machines, bipartisanship in Congress and the answer to the whole what-came-first-chicken-or-egg conundrum.

I did manage to move a box containing one partial bag of marshmallows, though, and another containing a small accent pillow. I’m quite proud of myself for those.

After lugging box after box of books around for the umpteenth time, I’ve also decided that I those people with the Kindles have the right idea. (Or maybe the Nook… just because it’s fun to say “Nook e-reader” out loud.)

I also seem to be losing the battle with corners. Specifically, sharp, pointy box corners. (I seem to be OK with street corners, and those tiny little black corners that hold pictures in photo albums. And corn… I’m having no problems with corn, canned or on-the-ear.)

But the box corners seem to reach out and jab me with little knives every time I get within 5 feet of them. Consequently, I’m covered with little round bruises. It would be cooler if they were square, corner-shaped bruises, but they’re just boring, run-of-the-mill round ones. But there are lots of them, particularly on my legs. I look kind of like a dalmation.

And my arms look like I’ve been fending off attacks. Definitely defensive wounds, if those “Dateline” true-crime shows are to be believed. This has come from not paying close enough attention when grabbing boxes with sharp, pointy things sticking out of them.

But now that we’re really close to being unpacked, those will all fade quickly into just memories, I’m sure. In fact, it’ll be a fun race to see if they fade before the rest of our stuff gets here from North American Van Lines.

Yes, still no word on a delivery date for the rest of it. They do know where it is, though, which I wasn’t clear about in my last post. It’s sitting in their warehouse in Nashville. At least, that’s the word. When it gets here, if the boxes have little pink umbrellas stuck to them and sand on their bottoms, I’ll know they came via Florida. Or maybe they’ll have maple leaves stuck to them, from a swing through Canada. Yay, another puzzle to figure out!

Wherever they went, I’ll be happy to finally see them. Next time I move, I’m putting little tracking beacons in random boxes, so I can follow them real-time on the web. Once a PI, always a PI.

The kids — and I saw that because all of them were young enough to be my kids, and maybe even my great-grandkids, if I lived in Kentucky — who helped load and unload our things were really nice. In fact, in response to a question from one of my many, many readers (ahem!), yes, we did tip them. We even fed them, both in Nashville and here in Dallas. It wasn’t their fault that North American’s estimate was so far off-base — like, half of the weight that it ended up being — or that they lost their weekend having to pack us up.

They could have gotten all cranky and mean and started throwing stuff around carelessly, but they didn’t. This is good, because otherwise I’d have had to watch them like hawks instead of helping pack myself, and we probably still wouldn’t be gone from Nashville. Or else I’d have had to put in my angry eyes (just saw Toy Story 3!) and whoop up on them. Then I’d have been in jail, and I don’t have that much vacation time built up here yet.

Really, the guys were fine. The mishaps in packing, while frustrating, weren’t intentional. Some stuff will always get damaged, and for the most part, the big things made it OK. I can always find an obscure hardware store in Little Big Whoop, Montana, to replace the shelf pegs no one thought to take out before they stacked the bookcases in the truck. And the stuff that really, really mattered, like special artwork, we brought ourselves.

And after all, it IS just stuff. I feel very lucky to have stuff at all, and a house to move it into. Plus, packing up and moving gives you a great chance to reorganize and declutter everything.

I like organizing things. For instance, I’ve discovered that we own approximately 4,569 candles, if you count the one that kind of melted down into a mushy shape and ingested its own wick. (I plan to dig it out one day and light it up. I’m cheap like that.)

We also have waaaay too many bottles of sunscreen. SPF 4. SPF 15. SPF 25. SPF 45. SPF 1.3 jillion. Tanning oil with no SPF at all. Sunscreen for kids. Sunscreen for your face. Sports sunscreen that you can’t sweat off. Sunscreen for swimming at night. (OK, I made that one up.) Regardless, way too much sunscreen. And although there are no expiration dates on any of them, the small purple bottle looks suspiciously like one I remember when I lived in Palm Springs in the mid-1990s.

Maybe I should throw that one away.

We also have a vast number of orphan keys. I think we could open just about any door in America, we have so many keys. Except that we don’t know what doors they open, or if the doors even exist anymore. I’m tempted to take a trip to all of the dozens of places I’ve lived since college, and just start trying keys to those doors. I could write a pithy blog and book, like “Julie & Julia.” Except it would be “Laurie & Locks: A Fun Trip Until She Got Shot.”

D has tried to throw away these extra keys during the move, but I won’t let her because I’m saving them for an art project. There’s something about keys that I just love, even if I don’t know what they’re to.

We did find ourselves swimming in empty boxes and piles and piles of packing paper last weekend. So we decided to put a note up on Craigslist, offering it for free. I mean, that stuff’s expensive, and we hated to just pile it up for the recycle truck. But we really didn’t think we’d get much response.

Man, we were seriously wrong. D put up the listing just before she left for work on Friday evening, and before she’d gotten the 5 miles to our house, she had more than a dozen messages. We had to take the ad down as soon as she got home. So over the weekend, we had three different people come snag boxes and paper, breaking them down and loading them into minivans and SUVs until they couldn’t see out the back windows. Awesome.

Then, as we unpacked more through the week, we did it again, and had the same response. Made us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. We’re even providing some laughs to other stressed-out moving people, as one guy noted when he saw a box I’d labeled “Weird Kitchen Stuff,” and another labeled, “We Have Too Many Knick-Knacks.” 

And so it goes. Perhaps by the end of this weekend, I won’t feel a need to carry around a boxcutter, and we can catch up on True Blood and other great works of pop culture.

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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One Response to Stacking and unpacking

  1. Sharon says:

    Laurie – you’re amazing – love that you “take the high road” on the move – ha! What other choice is there, I guess. Glad things are settling – until the next truck finally appears 🙂

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