Home At Last
November 14, 2007
[Elsie on the left, Chaser on the right.]
Well, we made it, sort of. At least we’re in the house–along with an entirely chaotic, disorganized pile of boxes, bags, furniture and plastic bins.
I had no idea I could be this tired and still move. I had no idea my muscles could hurt this much and still move. I had no idea I could eat this much chocolate and still move. I had no idea it could be this difficult to–move!
Our possessions are strewn about the place in the most haphazard fashion imaginable. The poor Poo Poo Girl keeps wandering aimlessly, seeking familiar landmarks like the triangular stair in the hallway, the sliding glass door to the back yard, the kitchen counter jutting out into the dining area (home to bowls and treats). Don’t get me wrong: all the familiar accoutrements are still here (Kong, Nylabone, pillow, etc.), but they’re in a new home, new rooms, new carpet–nothing feels the same. Eventually she stationed herself wedged between the back of the sofa and my antique sewing machine, where she spent most of the afternoon.
Chaser, on the other hand, continues to scamper ecstatically along the wide(r) hallway, bouncing from room to room and chewing pretty much anything that’s on the floor (including a fallen screw I found her chomping on, as well as an itty bitty piece of pink insulation). The upheaval hasn’t bothered her a bit, it seems; but then again, “her entire life so far has been change,” as C. mused this morning.
The actual moving was, in itself, quite the story. It rained the entire day (of course, we woke up Tuesday to brilliant sunshine). So we, the movers, and all our possessions were drenched for a one-foot space of ramp between the truck and the house, the only part not covered by the awning.
We were still frantically stuffing small and miscellaneous items into boxes when the movers arrived at 9:30 in the morning, with a 16 cubic foot truck. They took one look around the place (the basement, in particular, where C. and I have housed our 50+ extra boxes of books, those we had no room to put on one of the many book cases around the house) and blanched visibly. Edwin, the supervisor, suggested that it would take a minimum of four trips (four trips!!) in that truck, and that we’d be better off letting the company send another, larger (five-ton) truck with three guys. The time spent sending the new guys would be more than compensated for by the time saved in loading four loads. So we agreed. Bad move.
Ah, yes, bad move, in more ways than one. The new guys didn’t arrive until 12:30, and then there were only two of them. They promised backup on the way in yet another 5-ton truck, while they began to load up our stuff into the first truck. By 1:45 they’d completed most of the upstairs and the other two guys arrived.
Hauling and heaving, lifting and carrying, climbing and loading–this went on the better part of the day before they’d even emptied our old house. Dave, the supervisor, was a rather jovial Brit who was incredibly organized and commanded the move. They quickly set up a kind of conveyor belt, wherein one guy took boxes from the basement up to the top of the stairs, another took them from the floor to the truck, while the other two guys loaded large pieces of furniture.
Even with all this, there were crises, the most prominent one being what to do with the treadmill (previously stored in the basement, hardly ever used). It was a bitch to load into the truck, apparently several hundred pounds in weight (at least I haven’t gotten there yet), and then bringing it up the stairs at the new place required all four working in tandem, the coordination of a stealth attack, before they finally settled it gently in the TV room, where I am determined to use it as I watch my beloved soap every day.
By 6:30 or so, the guys were looking wiped out and beginning to wobble a bit on their feet (they’d obviously got more than they’d bargained for). I realized that no one had eaten since they’d arrived, so ordered a couple of pizzas and they took a short break before returning to the task at hand. To make a long (and it really was long–the rain never let up, they had to load a second truck by the end of it all) story short, it took until 10:45 PM before the last of our items was unloaded in the pitch darkness –that’s over ten hours of heaving, lifting, pivoting, pushing, placing, turning, and stacking our stuff.
I was truly amazed at their stamina and the ability to forge ahead despite rain, sweat, sore backs, ridiculously cumbersome and incredibly heavy treadmills, no food or drink for extended periods, and two dogs, brought home when the doggie daycare closed for the day, curiously milling about their feet for much of the time. (“Yes, it was rather curious, Mum!”) And through it all, they managed to retain a sense of humor, and, more importantly (and unlike me), a sense of calm.
They got everything here, more or less in one piece and dry, before driving off into the night, most likely for a visit to the pub for some much-deserved dinner and a beer or two. So, to Dave, Ewen, Marco, and Dilly, thanks again, guys. We certainly appreciated it.
Now comes the enormous task of unpacking everything, finding a new place for things, and settling in. Starting over has its own magical appeal, being able to see old objects in new settings, thereby conferring a certain sheen of novelty that had already worn off in the old house; and thinking about how to organize, what new accessories need to be purchased to help round out the new digs and supply the necessary atmosphere for a comfortable existence.
In fact, the first delivery of new furniture arrived today: our dog beds from LL Bean. There are The Girls in the photo, above, luxuriating on their soft new pillows. They seem to love them, and the beds look great overlooking the stairs. It was our way of saying “welcome” to The Poo Poo and the Doodle Girl. (“Mum, these are great! I can stretch out or curl up and still be cushioned. . . we love our new home, Mum!”)