(Still neck-deep in boxes: here's the move-day story:)
I know I’d hired professional movers when they called me at 7:25 the day of the move… to ask if they could be, oh, an hour and a half late. Definitely pros. They’d probably had me double-booked for weeks, but knowing I can’t say no when I’ve just packed my last roll of toilet paper and my last spoon, disconnected my phone and internet… I was as much a hostage as the people sitting in row 17 of Northwest Air-Lies… so I sat there, gnawing on cold Mexican leftovers (okay, I saved out one fork-- I‘ve moved before too, you know) and re-reading old computer files… no sense moving them if I can toss them in the trash ahead of time, right? I kept seeing more and more items that I was too afraid for them to move, and putting them into the pile for my truck -- soon I’d be moving everything except the furniture… which is probably a good thing because they also asked if they could bring a smaller truck.
When they did arrive, they worked very hard to cram the smaller truck full of my stuff. No tossing boxes, at least, but there were a few things that were definitely a size smaller when I finally unpacked them… to their credit, I have never seen a truck packed that full -- safety line be damned -- that space had boxes to the roof, and probably a mouse couldn’t have fit between them. And they managed to get the steelcase flatfile into the truck without taking out more than half the drawers, which was more than my friends and I could do. However, despite their best efforts, and despite also piling my truck as high as was safe, they managed to only get 99.5% into the truck… as the got to the back of the garage, the guy’s patter went from, “Oh, sure - no problem! That’s why we’re professionals” to “Oh, I think we can do it” to “Well, we’ll get close, for sure.” The problem is: close doesn’t get all my stuff down to the new house! I pursued the theoretically possibility: and if you can’t get it all? What then? Unfortunately, I’d let slip that I was coming back the next day to clean up the apt. His cheerful solution was that there wasn’t more remaining than could fit in my truck. However, he didn’t offer a .5% discount for only doing a partial job… which is why I didn’t feel much guilt as I led them along ever more rural roads, as the sun dipped closer to the horizon (hey, they said they’d be there at 9am!), and when they got out of the truck at the new place with glazed, exhausted looks on their faces, I was minimally sympathetic… after all, they had to drive back after they’d unloaded it all!
And they did -- stuff poured out of that truck like it had legs. And since I’m sure the boxes weren’t groaning, I assume the guys were throwing their voices. They put the furniture where it needed to be with only minor gouges in the plaster (left unremarked by them) and piled the boxes 5 high in the new garage -- in front of the pump house door, I later realized. By the time they were done, they looked like it would take a gallon of coffee to get them back up the highway, so I tipped them despite the residual packing still facing me. I was grateful it all got there, presumably in one piece, and that I had an off-the-floor bed and towels for that hot bath I’d be taking!
Hot water is one of the first necessities … and it’s amazing how we just assume it’ll be there… as dusk was closing in,I first unloaded my truck (I'd been too busy directing before that) and made sure I knew where all the light switches were, and then decided to try the hot water. Cognizant of the fact that you must get the trapped air from the line before you try the hot water, or you will burn out the heater motor (learned that at the cabin), I first ran the cold til it was smooth, and started on the hot… at first it was the usual spluttering (like Rush contemplating Hilary), but then it sounded more like hissing. Uncertain, I actually consulted the manual -- a good thing: apparently hydrogen gas (very explosive) can form when the heater hasn’t been used in a while (like, say… 2 years??) and it is very important (duh!) to release it safely while not using machinery that can spark… I rushed to shut down the baseboard heaters, turned the faucet on full and backed away… contemplating the fact that I had not yet physically signed the insurance papers. After what seemed like forever, the hissing stopped and the water sounded like… well, water. And smelled like rotten eggs! Back to the manual. Apparently the anodes (Anode? wasn‘t that Luke Skywalker‘s father?) can react with certain kinds of water (Ah, Murphy‘s Law….!) to create this lovely sulfurous odor… and the only solution is to chlorinate and hope for the best. Okay; I’m supposed to add chlorine to sulphur? Isn’t that a Chemistry 101 taboo? Or am I thinking vinegar? And it states that it may still persist and in that case your have to get a chlorine filter… or walk around stinking of rotten eggs. I’ve just gotten to that age when everyone would immediately assume my gut was betraying me… what a great way to meet the new neighbors! Not.
I also have a 1940 era stove -- quite a feat, since this house was supposedly built in the 50’s… I can’t see how the burners are detachable, which means the saucers under them look like the floor of a theater after a Star Trek weekend marathon… and it has a combination clock and timer… which is unfortunately 6 hours off, and there is no way to reset the clock! Proof positive that this stove was built before Daylight savings time! It also ticks like the logo noise from 60 Minutes, which has put me on edge a bit… I am guess that one of these days soon, I will be disassembling that piece, and hoping that it’s not an essential part of the damn stove!