You might think, after fifteen moves together in twenty-one years, that My Dear Wife and I would be better at it than we are. Moving is, to paraphrase Friedman, always and everywhere a traumatic event. Then again, things could always be worse, and often have been. We were fortunate this go-round in having not only time but funds enough to do a semi-proper job…and it still came down to the wire and was still fraught with peril and error.
From my journal, July 27:
“We have now spent our last night in the old grey house on State Street, and our last night in Pullman. How we ended up abiding here longer than anywhere else may seem like a mystery, though I’m sure there is a perfectly logical explanation somewhere. But that wouldn’t make a very good story, now would it? This very thing has happened to us before, on a different scale. Usually it’s just the dwelling that’s sketchy and somewhat inadequate, grabbed out of desperation at the last minute, that holds us for years at a time.”
Written at the end of a long, hard day, this excerpt reflects our feelings about the town as well as the house where we lived for the past three years, and makes reference to similar events in our past. So much led up to that moment, and so much followed.
A three-year sojourn on the Palouse was ever the plan, so in that sense the move came as no surprise. I gave proper and sufficient notice at both my jobs, started gathering boxes months ahead of time, and we started sifting through our belongings, packing what we wanted to keep and giving the rest back to the many thrift emporiums whence it all had come.
Why did we allow ourselves to settle in so deeply and accumulate so much stuff? That’s been a pattern as well: binge and purge. We’re stuff-bulimics. I’ve written before on the perils of cheap consumption, but it seems I have yet to learn the lesson. Suffice it to say that we reserved the biggest truck we could, 26 feet long and over 1400 cubic feet in volume. We would need all of that and then some.
I was able to take off an entire week from paid work to focus on the move, and that was a blessed thing indeed. Two weeks would have been even better. I wanted this move to be organized and efficient! I wanted to inventory every box on an index card and tape the card to the box; I wanted to pack all the food and clothing in clear tote boxes for easy identification; I wanted to group everything by destination room with color-coded tape.Sorry, Charlie. Not this time. I was doing well to get things boxed, period. Most got labeled, most of those got labeled with either a room (“kitchen”) or a name (“Luigi”), and most of those got some content identification (“books”), and that was as good as it got. Time to go; more to do.
Part of the problem was that, having packed all these boxes and disassembled the beds, we were running out of space to put the packed things. We couldn’t finish disgorging the contents of the house until we had a place to put it. We needed the truck. Right, the truck! Well, that was easy-peasy. We had reserved one three months prior, to be picked up right down the street. Maybe we could pick it up a day early, Thursday instead of Friday, Couldn’t hurt to ask, now could it? After all…how hard could it be???