Mid-Life Crisis Trip
Entry 4: Moving Tuesday
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
More packing today.
We've spent the last several weeks making trip after trip to Half- Price books and Value Village and Salvation Army. We were thinking "Gosh, there's hardly going to be anything left to move after this!"
Hooboy. We should go into government planning, because there's a TON of stuff left. And it all needs to be packed into boxes small and medium (we don't use large boxes, because we can't lift them unless they're full of helium and even then we run the risk of spraining something).
We even saved a bunch of boxes from our last move. ("$2.50 EACH! For boxes!! I'm not throwing these away!" proclaimed the resident Scotsman.) Since we threw away "most" of our stuff (or at least what we thought was most of our stuff) it should all comfortably fit into the existing boxes, right?
Freecycle worked so well for generating interest in Phil, that Laura decides to try it for a couple of bookcases we want to rid ourselves of. She very carefully measures them so that she can include that information in the notice, so people can tell beforehand whether or not the bookcases will fit.
There must be some cyber-equivalent of "wasting your breath" ("wasting your bandwidth"?). Whatever it is, that's what Laura apparently did. A lady just showed up to look at the bookcases and said "Whoa--these are too big for my place!"
This is the second person to show up and make this declaration. Laura begins to wonder why, exactly, she bothered to measure them in the first place.
Robert heads out to buy MORE boxes (second trip today). How can we have so much stuff?
The lady is here for Phil!
She proclaims him to be magnificent and wonderful and promises that she will feed him and pet him and name him "George"--well, not the George part, but pretty much everything else. And she has a British accent, so it all sounds very noble and makes us feel not at all guilty.
We have to tie Phil's leaves up above him so that we can fit him out the doorway and down the hallway, so Phil is now about eight feet tall. We load him into the back of the lady's station wagon (he has to go on his side, and even then his head is in the front seat).
We bid a fond farewell to Phil, knowing he's going on to greener (nyuk nyuk) pastures.
Laura uses the library's internet connection (we are offline at home now) to see if there are any responses to the bookshelves offer. She discovers that Phil is up for grabs on Freecycle again. Seems the nice lady discovered he was too big for her place when she got him home.
Poor Phil. The Flying Dutchman of Philodendrons.
We arrive at the truck rental place in Seattle. We want to be able to fit everything we own into a 16-foot truck, so that's the size we rent. (We figure that we'll probably end up with an AmeriCorp job outside the local area, and we want to be able to drive our stuff there to save money.)
There is some debate about who should drive the truck. The last time we moved, Robert drove and he backed the truck into a house. Yes, a house. Our house, so it's not like he didn't know it was there, or it suddenly leapt from the shadows.
You know those handholds at the back of trucks? The ones that help you get up and down? That particular truck had one very flat handhold before Robert even noticed he was backing into the house ("I just thought I hit a bump or something," he said).
Oh yeah, he also drove into a cement pole protecting a gas pump at a service station. ("Now we know why they put the poles there!")
Amazingly enough, we weren't charged for this damage ("They expect a certain amount of wear and tear!").
Still, Laura doesn't like driving big trucks and Robert doesn't mind ("You don't get hurt when you drive into things!"), so truck driving duty goes to Robert. Laura shudders and agrees to follow Robert (from a long ways away).
The Chinese President (Hu) is visiting and he's going to have dinner over at Billy Gates's place. So, naturally, they need to shut down every freeway even remotely near the path of the motorcade. With our impeccable timing, this includes us.
So, we sit in the yellow-tiled tunnel from I-5 to 520 at a dead stop for 30 minutes. Robert spends the time playing with all the buttons in the cab and finding a good country station on the radio ("Gotta play country music when you drive a big truck!").
Robert is especially fond of the song "Thank God for unanswered prayers" about how the singer prayed to God to make this girl fall in love with him in high school only it didn't happen and now--20 years later--he meets her and she's all ugly and nasty and--whew! Thank God for unanswered prayers! (No word on his condition, although one suspects he's a few teeth shy of a full mouth.)
One nice thing about being church goers is that we easily get permission to park the truck in the church parking lot (Laura did NOT want Robert trying to park it anywhere near the apartment building).
And Robert manages to park it without hitting the church OR any of the trees nearby.
Thank God for answered prayers.