Monday, August 17, 2009

Secrets of the Move

There are so many things that go into a 'move'. Among the most stressful: Putting one house up for sale, buying another, scheduling inspections and scheduling movers. I handled a majority of the tasks associated with the move out of pure necessity. James started his new job 4 days after we returned from our African trip, returning home to Virginia only twice before the truck pulled away from the house. I'm relatively organized, but this current move (our 5th since 2000!) was by far the worst.

I will admit that I haven't been in the greatest frame of mind. I'll also admit that I haven't been the most optimistic person for the past two months. But, I am trying. There are many things that I've not written about because I really don't have a commentary on them. Simply put, 'it is what it is'. So here are a few things that happened in the past few weeks that you might find interesting or humorous:

- The packing crew in Virginia arrived at noon both days instead of 8AM as scheduled. The driver hires the packing crew locally, based on a list provided by the local agent of the van line. We used United. Our driver was out of West Palm Beach, Florida and contracted by Crown Moving and Storage out of San Francisco. The packers were out of Baltimore. It took one packer 2 days to pack just our kitchen - and I don't have a lot of 'stuff'. It took another packer 1 full day to pack our art.

- The packing crew was fired by the driver and replaced by a Fredericksburg, VA 'moving' crew. These guys actually did the loading into the truck. They did a pretty good job and our driver seemed happy with how quickly they moved. It took from 8AM to 4:30 PM to actually load the truck.

- One of my neighbors in Virginia (ones we rarely spoke with because they both worked and weren't a particularly social couple) actually gave the van driver a hard time for blocking part of the street. Seriously. It was one day out of their lives, and they certainly were aware it was not a permanent situation. Why do people have to do things like that?!

- During the last day of the move, a gentleman was driving around our neighborhood looking for a lost dog. We hadn't seen the dog but promised to keep an eye out for her. Wouldn't you know it, as the truck was pulling away from the house, this beautiful old girl came wandering out of the woods. It was 5PM on a Friday. My friend, Jamie and I lured her into the garage and then hopped in the car to go look for her owner. My friend Sharon, stayed at the house and contacted animal control. All three of us are huge animal lovers, so it was particularly heartbreaking when we couldn't find her owner. The animal control officer was on his own time when he came to get her. He was kind and assured us they would feed her and get her cleaned up (she was covered in mud). I worried about that dog for days, not knowing if they found her owner.

- The people who bought our house in Virginia (we never met them or knew anything about them) are total A-holes. Our former neighbors are plotting on how to deal with the new owners 12 wind chimes and 22 bird houses. My suggestion had three elements: the dark of night, a pair of clippers and a hand saw. I'll let you think about that for a while... ;-)

- In an attempt to be good neighbors, James and I knocked on a few doors last Saturday. We wanted to let our new neighbors know that our moving van was going to be arriving at 8AM the next morning. The streets are narrow and we didn't want them to be blocked in their driveways. We introduced ourselves, apologized for the inconvenience and smiled a lot. We were met by blank stares and no reciprocal introductions. Honestly, they looked at us like we were nuts. We get the same response when we give a wave as they drive by our house. Oh well. We'll just keep on doing like we do and hope for the best!!

On the Personal side:

- I've gained 10 pounds since May. I attribute the gain to stress eating and a lack of exercise. Remedied at least one problem: joined the local gym and have an appointment with a trainer for a walk through on Tuesday.

- Still haven't found a pre-school for Josie. I'm flabbergasted by the prices. Just can't commit to mediocre programs that charge a fortune. More appointments for tours set for this week.

- Maddie is miserable. She misses her friends, she scared to death about starting a new school.

- Josie is off and on... We were driving down the highway today (on our way to Disneyland, of all places) and she broke out in tears. "What's the matter JoJo?", both Maddie and I asked. "I miss Roma, I miss Emma, I miss my school friends." came the sobbing reply. ( I think this was brought on by seeing the Facebook photos of her friend, Riley's birthday party ) Then later, while having lunch Maddie said "I'm scared to death about starting this new school" Josie told her, "I'm not afraid, Mad - you make friends at school." Let's keep our fingers crossed for them both!

- My Mom & Dad and my younger sister, Claudine are coming to visit for Thanksgiving. Mom & Dad will stay for 10 days and Claudine will stay for 5. We're all very excited!!

Sorry no photos. The movers packed my camera case (with my download wire and battery charger ARGGG!) Found that box late yesterday. I need to download the shots I took when I mooched Maddie's camera. I hope to post them tonight...
Have a great day!


  1. Sounds sucky. Sorry.

    California isn't as friendly as other states but some of us try to reach out a hand of friendship.

  2. I know all too well the adjustments and stresses of moving. We moved Chris in between JR and SR year in high school, but fortunately, he found his niche and it all worked out. Brandon, wasn't as easy to convince that moving was going to be good for him and things were very tense with him for some time. You can only do what you can do, Michele. Be prepared for anything. In time, when you're no longer the 'new kids on the block', I'm sure things will sort themselves out.

    My thoughts are with you all as you get settled.