Building/moving to a new home – day 90

You can’t make it without friends

I am sitting here at Doug Thompson’s computer striving to recapture
the events of the last 28 hours before they vanish into the wastebasket
of old memories. Thanks to the hospitality of Doug and his wife Amy, we
and our cats are enjoying the warmth and comfort of their hillside home
while glare ice and and hostile 20-degree weather lock down the
surrounding countryside.

It takes special kind of friends to invite us and our cats to bunk
with them on short notice. The situation verges on the mystical when
these friends greeted us cheerfully and fed us a delicious dinner of
lasagna with garlic bread after we have arrived at 10:30 at night!
Suffice it to say that we four weary travelers enjoy full bellies and a
good nights rest as a welcome respite from a long day of non-stop
effort.

Gretchen and I started our final day of packing shortly after dawn
yesterday. We realized that we had to find  viable options to solving
our problem of insufficient space for our "stuff" and insufficient time
to pack it for transport while cleaning a three bedroom house and
workshop.

By 8:00 am, we had identified and packed 10 boxes of excess "stuff"
which could make a critical difference in our departure plans, if we
could only find a way to make them "disappear" for a few days. I called
my good friend Gerry Brown who has helped me design and build some of
my most challenging woodworking projects.

He and his wife Cindy graciously offered to store our boxes of
household goods until I could return to pick them up. One big objective
was being accomplished through the assistance of friends.

Gerry and Cindy had already let me use their new utility trailer to
take several trips to Floyd and they invited us for dinner during the
last crazy days of our packing marathon. Good friends like these are a
treasure. They have promised to visit us in Floyd and we are going to
take them to the Friday Night Jamboree at the Floyd County Store and
show them the simple pleasures of life in Floyd when the weather is a
bit more civil.

I called Charles Nevins, the neighbor who had helped me pack the
Smart vaults, and explained that I wasn’t out of the woods yet and I
needed help with the worst kind of packing of all. Charles is
unflappable, as you would expect of an Army veteran who served in
Korea, Germany and Vietnam, and he just laughed and said he would be
right over.

He spent the next five hours helping me clean out my workshop and
skillfully packing all of our remaining household goods into the
Subaru, The Dodge van, and the trailer. We could not have done it
without him because after a week of non-stop packing and carrying of
heavy boxes up and downstairs, Gretchen and I had reached our physical
limits. Old injuries had gotten stirred up to the point where it was so
much of an effort to climb stairs that we were constantly aware of the
possibility of losing our balance while carrying heavy boxes. When your
knees start to go while you are carrying a TV, you realize that hiring
help is a necessity.

By the time Charles left at 2:00 pm, we had loaded most of our
household items and the rooms were almost empty except for our
suitcases and the cat cages, with cats safely inside. The cats were
remarkably calm during this last day of packing, and it seemed as
though they recognized the signs from our previous moves. Instead of
yowling, they slept or watched as we rushed through the house handling
the hundreds of last-minute details that come with shutting down a
household.

Even with our best efforts, it took us three more hours before we
stood, car keys in hand, ready to begin the trek to Floyd. It was 4:45
pm and the sun was low in the sky. We had been working for almost
twelve hours and we had a 175 mile drive ahead of us, but we were
refreshed at the prospect of beginning a new life in a new home.

The drive was uneventful, although our last few miles was enlivened
by increasing amounts of black ice on the main roads and hard-packed
snow and ice on the final few miles to our new home. Our new driveway
was 200 feet of glare ice unbroken by tire tracks. Amazingly enough, we
were able to negotiate it safely, although I fell down several times
once I got out of the van. At one point, I kept sliding down the slope
to the house and was only able to make my way back by crawling on all
fours.

I finally was able to make my way out to the emergency generator. It
was now 27 degrees, but the generator started on the third pull. With
the generator roaring behind me, I made my way back to the new workshop
and raised the new automatic door. After a few minutes of reshuffling
contractor equipment, I was able to make room for the Dodge van, with
its cargo of live plants. Readers may remember that I described
Gretchen’s four crates of plants. The actual count was eleven crates of
live plants! Our final step of this long day’s move was to park the
Dodge van in the insulated workshop, leaving the trailer outside.

I transferred the cats from the van to the Subaru, closed the
workshop, shut off the generator, and backed carefully down the glare
ice of the driveway without incident. The sure-footed Subaru took us
safely down icy roads and up the icy hill to Doug’s house where we were
greeted by Doug, standing in his stocking feet and beckoning us to come
in. What a wonderful end to a most challenging day!

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0 Responses to Building/moving to a new home – day 90

  1. Clarence says:

    What would any of do without our good friends in a time of need?

    I’m so glad that your trip was uneventful. Bless Doug and his wife for being there at the end with home, food and a warm place to lay your weary heads.

  2. Chris Owen says:

    As we’d say in Aussie “what great blokes”! Congratulations for getting there. Even tho there’s still so much to do, PLEASE pause and congratulate yourselves on reaching a new and most exciting phase of such a massive task!
    Well done!

  3. Judy Emerson says:

    Have you considered gathering the house-related blogs into a book? Your pattern of informative writing could certainly aid a once and future mover in avoiding the pitfalls and securing the wise options.
    Awed Sister

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