Operation PURGE

May 15, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In two and a half years we’ve accumulated a lot of stuff. Every time we move (except for maybe the last one, when I was seven months pregnant), I take the time to PURGE. I open up boxes and bins and throw away, recycle or donate stuff that hasn’t seen the light of day in years. Floppy disks from college, manuals to Windows 95 and Photoshop 5.5 (egad!), random pieces of paper, a scanner to which we’ve long ago lost all of the disks and power cords to, broken soccer trophies (for James, of course – imagine me, playing soccer! For to laugh!). I went through piles and piles of magazines from work, whittling it down to portfolio keepsakes. (Which was humbling, BTW. There were a few gems, but a lot of stinkers. Funny what one notices in retrospect.) We set aside a bag of clothes for donation. Now it’s 5:30, and I still want to go through our hall closet toiletries (curse you, Costco! We have so much in bulk!) and what we call our “junk” closet, which started as a junk drawer in Kansas and exploded into closet form when we moved here. James has a pile of boxes to go through that he claims he needs for work. All eight of them. We’ll see about that.

The whole process seems daunting. And it is. But it’s also quite gratifying to roll up your sleeves and clean out the clutter. I’m sure we’ll find more to purge when we get down to packing.

With all of the moving we’ve done, you might think we’re pros. The task certainly doesn’t seem so impossible anymore. Don’t get me wrong, moving is not fun. But if I compare this move to, say, our four previous, I think this is gonna be cake. In comparison.

In 2004 James and I got married, sold our cars, and drove a U-haul cross country from Kansas City to Brooklyn. I remember it rained on moving day, and we got soaked loading the truck. We drove two days, vowing that if our marriage could survive this “honeymoon” we were set for life. Then we arrived in Brooklyn to more torrential rain. We parked the van in a bus stop, and James insisted I stand watch while he hoofed our boxes two at a time up a flight of stairs. We got quite a few stares from the Brooklynites at the bus stop. One guy, I’ll never forget this, waved us over and asked quite incredulously, “Whatya doing this for? Go ask one of those guys over there to help you,” pointing to the Hispanic guys on the corner, “They’ll do it for $20.” Sure enough, they did. For $20 a piece. We passed out sweaty and exhausted on our futon two hours later, mission accomplished. I don’t think James ever mentioned to his new employers at the immigration office that we probably hired a couple of illegals to move us in.

At the end of 2005, ready to give NYC the boot (or rather, I think it was giving us the boot), we rented another U-haul, this time destined for DC. We bought dinner for a few of James’ friends from work in exchange for their muscle. By evening we were on the road, paying $40 in tolls, then driving around randomly in Maryland looking for a hotel room because there was no one in the apartment office when we arrived at 10PM. We couldn’t afford a GPS back then. (Which probably cost $400 at the time, lol). The next morning we met with a couple of guys we’d hired online to help us move in, Two Guys and a Truck-style. It cost more than $40, but it was well worth it.

In the spring of 2007 we headed back to Kansas City. I wanted James to stop traveling so much, and I longed for friends and family back home. Nothing seemed to go right that day. James was late, U-haul gave us the runaround, and we ended up getting a hotel room right next to a train the first night! But all in all the move went pretty well. We certainly felt like pros then.

But in 2008. Oh, 2008. Nothing could have prepared me for this move. James hated his job. Absolutely-clawing-his-eyes-out-and-bitch-at-me-every-single-night hated his job. And so, much to my chagrin, I agreed that if he could get a job and get us moved before I was too far along in my pregnancy, we could go. In retrospect, seven months was too far along. But when he got the job and we were planning it, I felt just fine. Second trimester bliss. What I hadn’t counted on was the swelling feet, the aching back, and how ginormous I was getting. Seriously, my doctor was getting concerned. She put us in for an extra ultrasound, and even wanted me to get retested for diabetes. Thankfully we’d decided to fork over the cash for professional movers, which was not cheap, but in my condition, really the only option. We drove three days from Kansas to Maryland, staying with family along the way, and while I really thought I was going into labor in a White Castle parking lot somewhere just outside of Cincinnati, we made it to our house in Maryland in one piece. Liam waited a whole month before arriving…which was actually almost a month before his due date. We still had stuff in boxes, only half a couch, no crib, hardly any baby furniture (still on order), but somehow we managed.

So now we’re embarking on the move of 2011. This time with toddler in tow. And I’m hoping against all hope that this is it. That Orlando is where we’re settling. For good. Because five moves in seven years is almost one for the record books. I’m also hoping against hope that move number five doesn’t trump the previous four in pain and suffering. Surely it can’t be worse than the last one. Surely? 

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