Friday, November 6, 2009

Hotel Stories: Moving Day

Moving day was set for October 30, which meant another flying trip back to IL for me to direct the packing, labeling, coordinating, etc.

This was supposed to be simple: just sit back and relax and a professional moving company will do it all. NOT!!!

Instead, before the relaxing, the professional moving, I had to divide the house up, finding sticky notes of color to denote which things in EVERY room would stay, and which would go with us to the apartment and the 300 square foot storage space, which was sounding more and more like what might occupy my life for the next ten years. I mean, if I didn’t have time to sell, give away or throw away all of the stuff BEFORE the move, it was only a matter of time before this task would haunt me at my new location.

You know, we spend the first half of our life accumulating, and the second half trying to get rid of it all. It is daunting. Stuff! I have really come to hate stuff!! I want no more stuff. Friends, hear this! Do NOT give me more stuff. No gifts that are not consumable, or about travel, or perhaps small boxes of writing paper—but even that will soon go the way of the dinosaur.

And, books! Oh my. Of the 17,800 pounds of stuff, 3500 were books. We do love our books, but really, this is a stat that has to change. There are libraries. So, don’t give me books either. Give me the author and title, and I will borrow it somewhere. A book is heavy. I am thinking about a Kindle, but even that is stuff, and I might miss the page turning and the feel of paper, even though many of my library loans’ pages revealed what the previous readers had been eating, or in some cases, more than I wanted to know about their DNA.

But, I digress. I got my daughter to list for me what she wanted: the claw-footed oak table and chairs, the piano (of course), the antique Singer sewing machine, the trundle bed and mattress, the treadmill, and the washer and dryer. Only problem is, she lives in one room in a house, and had to find storage. She did. Whew. Then a friend wanted our family room couch and chair, a bedroom set, and assorted other items. The rest will go to charity, and they will pick it up. Again, big whew. But, there were still 17,800 pounds to label for three different locations at the other end: the apartment, the storage room and the barn. This, of course, was also my job.

I stressed. But, there was little basis, as so often happens with worry, for my fears. And, that was due to an awesome man, named John Dalton, who when he pulled up in his Allied Van Lines semi (which he owns), communicated a calm that was contagious.

When his three mover-guys arrived, Larry, Steve and Joe, it became very clear that they were professionals, and that John’s management style left nothing to chance. They walked through the house, saw the items to stay, labeled those for the apartment, the storage room and the barn, and began packing—for the next eleven hours! The next day they loaded the truck.

At the other end, one week later, John hired Peter, Eddie, Dave and Louie, and they were most appreciative of the large entryway to the loft, and the proximity of the storage room, and they traveled on to the barn and even unloaded the lathe, the tools, the motorcycle, and the parts, plus the rest of the garage contents. I have to say here, I love that barn! J

I also have to let you know that John is a very interesting person. I plan to interview him for my Rock River Times column, Lunch with Marjorie, (which hopefully you have clicked on the live link at the bottom of this blog, and visited to peruse the many interesting stories of ordinary people, living extraordinary lives). After it is published, I will tell you more about John Dalton. But, here, it is just important to say thanks, John. You and your crews did, indeed, allow me to begin to relax and enjoy the move.

So, this is the end of hotel life, but not the end of my stories.

NEXT: Loft stories