June 28, 2017
We did it!
(Well, almost… we have to go back to our now-empty house to finish a bunch of stuff today, and we have a bunch of errands to run today as well, but assuming all goes well, I’m estimating we’ll arrive at our first AirBnB around dinner time tonight.)
By the way, before I forget, here’s a pro tip for the next time you’re moving: make sure you EMPTY the Keurig of water BEFORE you try to stick it sideways into a banker’s box. Not that I would know this from experience or anything…
But we’ve pretty much said all of our goodbyes, we are moved out of our house, and our stuff got moved into our storage unit out near the Pennsylvania border last night.
Even in all of the stress of moving — and there was stress galore — I’m thankful to so many people.
First, our wonderful friends Lynley and Carl threw us a stellar Bon Voyage/Blaine Voyage party. I had a fabulous time on Saturday evening, and I feel so luck to have had the opportunity to say goodbye to many of my local people in person.
My cousin, Brian, bought my old car the day after his return from two years in Thailand on Monday. Then he graciously and good-naturedly allowed us to put his jet-lagged self to work packing our kitchen, carrying boxes, and with whatever other move-out tasks needed doing. I will say this: his parents definitely raised him right! (And I am clearly my mother’s daughter, as she was infamous for putting family houseguests to work.) I am hopeful that he is enjoying tooling around town in his new car now. He also has the name of my mechanic in case anything goes wrong.
My friends Lynley (again!) and Trente also stepped into the breech by offering to come help us pack our kitchen! We acknowledged the reality that we couldn’t do it all alone, and took them up on their kind offers. So Lynley and Trente packed a huge portion of our kitchen, and my cousin Brian then took over and packed the bulk of the rest.
Yesterday our movers came. When they arrived we still had a decent chunk of packing to get done — it’s always MORE than one expects.
Unfortunately it wasn’t until Monday that I discovered that despite many, many assurances that it was all done, my kids (mostly J) had about 5 or 6 baskets of laundry that needed washing and sorting/organizing before they could pack. I had been clear that Monday was to be MY day to do my laundry and packing, so that set us back substantially, and made for a grumpy, grumpy mom. Monday night our neighbors Sarah and (again!) Lynley stepped in and let us run a street-wide impromptu laundry mat by running loads at each of their houses. So yesterday with the movers was a little crazy — I did my packing the earliest I could convince Mike to let me wake him (6 am) but when the movers first arrived I had to ask them to stay out of the playroom, which was the staging area for bedding and J’s clothing explosion. We’ll find out how it went with J once we’re on the road — I know she has a LOT of stuff along she doesn’t need, but hopefully she has the stuff along she DOES need as well — once we have a chance to go through it all (probably at our first laundrymat stop). Worst case scenario, I could always donate what we don’t need.
Both girls were also… difficult… on Monday morning. I think the reality of it all set in, and one thing Mike and I realized we forgot is that neither of our kids has any memory of experiencing moving in the past, so as Mike pointed out, they experienced the “loss” feelings of moving yesterday when they were confronted with the reality of empty rooms and strangers carrying their stuff, but they had no real experience to rely on to assure them of the “gain” that can come from moving and experiencing a pivot point in your life. This is a massive rocking of their worlds, and difficult emotions are not abnormal. Seeing our house emptying out was really tough on E them, but they took it out on the rest of us, which was NOT HELPFUL when I really needed all hands on deck. Thankfully, fairly early in the day they snapped out of it, and then became reliable, helpful, and competent assistants. My confiscating E’s phone yesterday morning when her attitude exploded also probably helped with her change of heart! (She got it back after we arrived at the storage unit, and the kids spent the two hours of unloading time making full use of our new unlimited data plan.)
Fortunately, our day ended on an excellent note. It just so happened that the cheapest — by far — storage unit facility I could find in New Jersey was in Phillipsburg, only about 5 minutes away from my aunt and uncle’s house (and also from my cousin Jill and her family’s house). Given that, I’d asked my aunt and uncle if we could sleep at their place Tuesday night. We were fortunate indeed to have the opportunity to jump in their pool just before sunset upon our arrival following a long day of moving. They arrived home shortly afterward, and treated us to hamburgers, salad, and fresh Jersey corn. Yum! My cousin and her family joined us as well.
As to learning, my kids learned a lot. They learned:
Don’t cross your parents on moving day.
How to pack breakables.
What an empty house looks like.
Loading a storage unit is like a real-life game of Tetris.
Put your phone down immediately when asked to do so by Mom.