Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Goodbye, Old Friend

Randy and I have moved for the very last time.

I mean it.  Really mean it.  I am serious this time.  I am going to die in this house.  I am not packing up another thing I own and moving it to another house.  I don’t care if it is across the road or across the country.

I am not doing it.

After moving ourselves the first fifty times, we have hired movers for the last twenty moves.

I kid.  We haven’t moved that many times.  It just seems like it.

For the move from McKinney to Mountain Home, Randy had a couple of moving companies come to the house for bids.  The first one didn’t start off on the right foot when they missed the appointment by a day.  She also scribbled the bid on the back of a piece of scratch paper, so I wasn’t too sure how I would get the truckload of my prized possessions back without a formal contract.

The movers we ended up going with had a very nice young man come to the house for the bid.  Between the business-like and professional demeanor, pricing and the fact that he actually had the proper contract for us to sign, we opted to go with his company.

Even though the bid included the packing and loading, I could not sit idly by waiting for moving day.  I first started with filling the six or so empty plastic bins that I had.  Then I moved on to using up all the smaller boxes that we had saved.  I would estimate that I packed up about 80% of the house, leaving most of the kitchen and craft room for the movers.

The plan was for the movers, Brian and Jeremy, to pack and load on Friday, drive on Saturday and be in Mountain Home bright and early on Sunday.  They were ecstatic that I had packed so much already.  That was the good news.  The bad news was that they felt the trailer they had was too small, so they would have to come back on Saturday to load.

The new plan was for them to finish packing on Friday, bring a larger trailer in on Saturday and drive Sunday to get to Mountain Home.

The 52' trailer was over-kill in my opinion.  My opinion was not inquired of, however.

Then they ran out of boxes.  If I would have had my wits about me then, I would have wondered how did they plan on packing the entire house with the amount of boxes they brought?  Good thing I packed what I did.

On Saturday morning, Brian and Jeremy showed up with a helper.  It turns out that this helper, I’ll call him ‘Sid’, missed all the internet classes on “How To Pack A Box 101".  Or he just didn’t care.  I guess it was probably more of the latter than the former.

One of the things that I knew they wouldn’t take as both the sales representative and Jeremy told me, were my cactuses.  I have four small planters with cactuses.  Two are sentimental - one is a Christmas cactus that Randy and I have had for twenty years.  The other is a rat-tail cactus that was started from one that Helen had.  The original plant came from Randy’s aunt, Helen’s older sister, Louris.  I put the cactuses out of the way on the fireplace mantle, as Randy and I planned on coming back in a week to clean up some odds and ends and we would take them then.

I could tell which boxes ‘Sid’ packed.  First of all, he didn’t see fit to label any of the boxes.  (Well, in truth he did manage to mark one box - more on that coming up.)  I guess it would have been hard to do considering the conglomeration of articles in each box.  Now, there wasn’t that much left to box up, but he managed to put in a little bit if this, a little bit of that.    Nothing was wrapped - unless it was plastic or otherwise unbreakable.

Opening up each box was an exercise in astonishment and despair.  I expect damage.  That’s a fact of life when one moves - whether you pay someone or do it yourself.  Damage happens.  But I never, ever suspected that so much would get broken.  I did a good job, I think, of not getting upset.  

Medication helped.

So did the wine - when I found it.  It happened to be the one and only box that ‘Sid’ marked.  He marked it “VINE”.  Twice.  I get it.  Vines grow grapes.  Grapes make wine.

I almost lost what little composure that I had left when, two days after our belongings were thrown off the trailer, I opened a box, started to unwrap something and dirt came out.

The cactuses.  He had wrapped them up in paper.  Placed them in a box in amongst a kitchen canister, a small appliance of some sort and some things from my craft room.  Needless to say, there was no other paper in the box to soften the blow when the box got tossed around.

He wraps cactuses, but not glass plates and such?  Maybe he lives in an upside-down world.

I am trying to salvage what is left of Helen’s rat-tail cactus.  The Christmas cactus, however, did not make it.

Randy, who never gives up on anything, knew right off that saving the Christmas cactus was an exercise in futility.  He even said that it looked better in the picture than in real life.  I guess the good news is that my photography skills are improving.

Today, Randy and I are saying goodbye to our old friend.  A silly plant that has been a member of our family almost as long as we have been married.

~ Dorothy

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