Barry Smith: Irrelativity
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado
My moving diary …
T Minus 7 Days – Call U-Haul, “America’s Moving Adventure,” to reserve a 20-foot truck. I ask if it has a CB in it. They say no, a cassette player. No, a CB, I repeat, not a CD. “You know, breaker one nine, good buddy smoky, how ’bout it come back, all that? Over?” The person taking my reservation has no idea what I’m saying. Damn kids. Anyway, the reservation is set. The last time I moved was 15 years ago, when all of my belongings fit in a pickup truck, with room left over for a cooler. But after a decade and a half in the same space, well … we have some stuff. Hopefully not 21 truck-feet worth,ha. No, I’m sure a 20-footer will be plenty.
T Minus 5 Days – Our friend Judy comes over with bubble wrap, tape guns, shrink wrap and enthusiasm. She gets us going on this project, as she’s moved several times over the past few years. According to her, the secret to packing is to put stuff in boxes then transferring them to your new location. We bow to her wisdom. I remember helping people move in the past and their stuff wasn’t all neatly packed. I vow to not be one of those “throw stuff in black garbage bags at the last minute” people. I will excel at this packing/moving undertaking. We pack up all of our books and put them in a corner of the room. Wow … that’s a lot of books.
T Minus 4 Days – Momentum is good. We pack all day long, obsessively labeling things. For instance, “B Office” goes on the boxes full of the stuff from my office. And, since our stuff will be in storage for a while, “B Office NOW” for the stuff I’ll need, you know, now. Clever, right? Yeah, this moving thing is no big deal.
T Minus 3 Days – I’m really into the labels. “Kitchen.” “Kitchen NOW.” “Stuff for Now.” “Stuff for Now NOW.” And, just in case, a sheet of labels that say “Crap.” Each box gets a label on all four sides, so you can read them no matter how they’re stacked. Send out email invitation to all our friends, asking them to come and help us move on the big day. One big truck load, adios. Yeah, I’m gonna dominate this move.
T Minus 2 Days – Still more packing. Doing good work, but it’s proving to be more than we anticipated. Feeling glad that we still have a whole extra day before the truck comes. Also, learned a valuable packing lesson – don’t pack up all of your toilet paper on the first day. Oh, the shenanigans of moving. Call up U-Haul to get the pickup time and location. The woman says, “Yeah, we don’t have a 20-foot truck for you on that day. Sorry.” What tha …? She goes on to tell me that she’ll gladly offer me $50 off any future U-Haul purchases. Great. I look forward to saving money on other unavailable trucks. After much negotiating she gives me a smaller (14-foot) truck with extra days and miles, so I get to make two trips. Great. This means…
T Minus 1 Day – Ahhhh! We’re moving today! Alone. We decide to load everything we’ve packed so far, take it to Paonia today, unload, then return tonight for the moving party tomorrow. Our friends will be impressed that we have so little stuff! We pack the truck full. Real full. Drive it, unload it – books are freakin’ heavy! – but weather prohibits us from driving back to Aspen. This U-Haul has Florida plates. Not so good in snow.
Moving Day – Early start, but McClure Pass is so icy that I turn around before reaching the top, drive all the way around – basically tripling our 2-hour trip – making calls to cancel the moving “party” along the way. We get home hours later and fall asleep. We do no actual moving on moving day. Awesome.
T Plus 1 – Throw all our stuff in black garbage bags and shove them the truck. It’s utterly full – that’s two 14-foot trucks. 28 total feet. Drive it over the pass, put it in storage, return U-Haul, exhale simultaneous sighs that registered on the Richter Scale.
Oh, and our U-Haul had a picture of some prehistoric catfish on the side. To me, this is the most important unimportant detail.
(Next Time: Life in storage.)
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