You would think that moving a block would be a simple thing. Well, that is the way that it started. Then life happened. And then it happened again. And again.
Moving on Saturday
This would be the third Saturday of August. I am packing to be ready. I will have two weeks to move the odds and ends and have someone clean the old apartment.
Everything is arranged. Oldest child is renting a truck for me to make the move easier. Friends are coming to help.
Then I get news from my future land lord. We cannot move this weekend.
So, what happened? The city happened.
Stairs and an outside door were being built so the apartment so that it has its own entrance.
The contractor had been hired and the proper permits acquired. The work was started.
Then someone at the city offices decided that the wrong permit was issued, and all work was stopped.
It was Tuesday.
Come back on Thursday and everything will be sorted out. That is what the city said.
We cannot move on Saturday. The stairs and the door will not be completed.
I contact all those who are helping and let them know it will be the next weekend.
Moving a Few Things
I have so many boxes stacked around my apartment that I cannot move. There are six-inch corridors between the boxes so that I can get through my apartment. There is no room to pack more boxes.
I need to pack more boxes since I now have less time to move.
My future land lord allows me to move a load of small boxes so that I have room to pack more of my apartment.
I pack more boxes.
Moving on Saturday (Again)
We are all set to move the next Saturday.
All arrangements have been made. I pack more boxes.
More news from my new land lord. He is sorry, but the door will not be finished in time for the weekend.
So, what happened this time? The city happened. Again.
The contractor went into the city offices on Monday as instructed. The city is very sorry, but they cannot do anything until Thursday. Please come back then.
Again, I contact all those who are helping and tell them we will not be moving on Saturday. I will let them know when things are settled.
Friends bring their pick up and I load my car. Two loads of boxes are moved to the new apartment.
The Saga Continues
On Thursday the contractor returns to the city offices. They are very sorry, but they cannot do anything until the following Monday.
Frustration is felt by all parties involved.
My new land lord has a huge hole in his backyard and piles of dirt.
The contractor has other jobs and deadlines that need to be met.
I have only eight days until the end of the month and will have to pay a whole month’s rent at the old apartment if I am not moved out.
On Monday the contractor returns to the city offices. The proper permit is now issued, and work can continue.
Problem. The contractor cannot do anymore work on the stairs until Wednesday. Then they will be completed. Yes, they will be dry by Friday.
I contact everyone and make arrangements for Friday evening. I don’t hear back from anyone.
It is Labor Day weekend.
I am now packing like a mad woman because I will have only eight hours to get moved and clean the apartment. I am starting to just throw things in bags and boxes.
I take a quick trip to the new apartment to remind myself where I want the furniture so that it can be placed as it comes into the house. I don’t want to have to move it again.
The new stairs are beautiful and a full four feet wide.
When Oldest and her husband show up with the truck I am only three-quarters packed. No one else has shone up. Frustration is felt all around.
I load up my car. Three of my grandchildren (ages 10, 5 and 2) help me carry things out to my car.
The 2-year-old is determined to carry whatever is handed to her. Watching her carry things up the stairs is too cute. She puts the item on the next stair up, steps up that stair, picks up the item and places it on the stair above. This continues until she has made it all the way up the stairs.
I wish I had taken the time to take pictures….
My car is now loaded, and I prepare to move our cat. All his things are put into the back seat of my car. As I carry him out the door he begins to cry. Youngest gets in the car and takes her cat. I get in the car and drive to the new apartment.
Oldest follows me with the grandchildren in her car.
Grandchildren and I will remain at the new apartment while Oldest will be at the old apartment directing traffic.
We get the cat settled in Youngest’s room. The grandchildren then help me unload my car. The 2-year-old is just as determined to help.
Youngest is sent back to the old apartment to finish packing her stuff and help load the truck. Oldest is smiling wickedly. Youngest is in for some hard work.
Land lord’s teenage son also goes to help with the moving.
Where Is Everyone
It is now 5:30 and still no one has shown up to help us move. I have been on the phone for over an hour trying to get hold of anyone. I have left both voice and text messages with everyone who was supposed to help. No one is home. No one responds to any of my messages.
I forgot that it is Labor Day weekend.
My youngest son and his wife show up as soon as they get off work. Just in time to unload the first truck load.
My friends across from the old apartment get home and quickly change to help. Two of the volunteers finally show up.
The second truck load is transported and carried into the new apartment.
More friends show up for the third and last load. All is quickly loaded into the truck and brought to the new apartment.
It is now 10 p.m. I don’t care where boxes are put.
Me and my Grandchildren
So, while all this frustration is going on at the old apartment, I have Oldest’s four children with me at the new apartment.
We sit on the floor and eat pizza picnic style. Thank goodness I have an old flannel sheet to spread over the floor. Pizza is messy.
Now we wait for the first truck load.
The youngest grandchild is only 13 months. She is in the pack-n-play talking and playing with some toys. It is not where she wants to be though, and she does complain.
The older three are busy exploring my new apartment and giving it their stamp of approval. The 10-year-old goes in to sooth the crying cat in Youngest’s room.
As each truck load arrives I direct traffic so that all furniture is put where it belongs, and all boxes reach their appropriate room. I also keep the grandchildren out from under foot.
It is a long night for everyone. Especially the two littlest girls who are so tired.
The Move is Finally Done
The last truck load is moved into the new apartment and everyone is very glad.
I am now expecting Oldest to come get her children so that they can be put to bed. After waiting half an hour, I call her on her cell phone. My son answers. Totally confused I ask him where they are.
My son and son-in-law are dropping off the truck. Oldest is back at the old apartment cleaning.
After the truck is dropped of Son tells his older sister not to worry about the cleaning. It will be handled in the morning and she has tired children.
It is after 10:30 p.m. when Oldest and husband finally come to get their children. Everyone one is exhausted.
Time To Clean
The person I was hiring to clean my apartment was not able to make it. While Oldest vacuumed the apartment before coming to get her children, Youngest and I would have to go back in the morning and finish cleaning.
After getting up on Saturday, Youngest and I took the cleaning supplies over to the old apartment and began working. I vacuumed the blinds while Youngest cleaning all the windowsills. Then I moved all the large appliances: washer, dryer, refrigerator, and stove.
Youngest cleaned the bathroom and behind the washer and dryer. it wasn’t too bad but did take a little time.
I cleaned behind the appliances in the kitchen. Apparently, none of these had been moved between tenants. The amount of dirt, food, and miscellaneous objects was massive. There was even petrified mold between the stove and the cupboards on either side. YUCK!
After that was done Youngest and I went home. The apartment wasn’t done, but it could be finished later that afternoon. I paid Youngest and one of her friends to finish cleaning the apartment.
My Children are Awesome
You need to understand that my children have always been there when I needed them. It doesn’t matter how crazy their lives get, if I need them they are there.
As a thank you to my youngest son and his wife, they will be coming over for dinner as soon as I can find my new apartment. (That requires much unpacking.)
As a thank you to Oldest and her husband, I will be taking her four children overnight as they celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary this month.
Youngest was worked hard and given more responsibility during this move than she has had before. She gets the biggest closet. Not the biggest room.
It has been almost 6 weeks since our move and I have decided that it was the best thing for us.
Neither Youngest nor I were happy at our old apartment. The only reason we moved in was because it was the only available place in our neighborhood.
Even though it was clean, it was old, had a little mold and a bit of a dump. Each room had its own walled space, so it felt small and cramped. There was no room for us to invite people over to visit.
The windows faced east and west, so sunlight was limited, and the apartment was often dark. The windows all faced public areas and opening the blinds gave me the feeling of living in a fish bowl. To leave the blinds closed just made the apartment darker and more depressing.
It served its purpose. It kept Youngest in the same neighborhood and the same school and with the same friends.
Our new apartment is just that; only about three years old. It is also 200 square feet larger and has bigger windows facing north, south, and west. We have sunlight all day. The living area is open and large.
We had not been living in the old apartment. We had been surviving. It was dark, and we were often depressed and tired. We were quickly become reclusive. There was no place to go outside and relax without the neighbor kids wandering through and asking a lot of questions. Even the cat had stopped playing.
Since moving into the new apartment, Youngest and I have started living again. The lightness and airiness of the place lifts our spirits and gives us energy. Our cat has even started acting like a kitten again. A rather large kitten, but a kitten none the less.
We are living in a quieter place in the same neighborhood and our windows are not on public display. We can go outside and have relative privacy. We are good friends with most of our neighbors and our landlord.
For the first time since before my father got sick, we feel at peace. We have found a place where we can live in light and peace. Both from without and within.
I thank God everyday for this wonderful opportunity for Youngest and I to begin living again. For this beautiful apartment surrounded by good friends.
While I am not completely unpacked, we feel at home. We are looking forward to having friends and family over.
We are home.