The Big Move

All hail the triumphant return of the on-site blog… kind of. I still like my LJ, and am going to continue posting there, but I think I’m going to reserve my website for major, more important and archivable posts. Like the tale of The Move.

My apologies to everyone for not posting this sooner, but now that a week has passed, I think I can safely focus on the important parts and not bore everyone with stupid details. That, and the house is pretty much unpacked and I have now downloaded Dreamweaver 4 for Mac (until I get the PC back online using the power supply Sheryl generously donated to The Cause).

So. Sunday, March 21st.

Aaron and I get up before 9am, strip the bed and gather the remainder of the we-can’t-do-without-it stuff like toilet paper and shampoo. A little before 9:00, Aaron walks the five blocks or so to the welding place which is currently the U-Haul mecca of Bowling Green. While he’s gone, Eric shows up, and we shoot the shit about RCC and other randomness. As we’re waiting for Aaron to return with the big-ass U-Haul, Kris Heath shows up. (For those of you not overly familiar with the Schnuth Friend Clan, he’s the skinny vegetarian.)

Aaron does show up shortly thereafter, driving the biggest fucking U-Haul I’ve ever seen: a 24-footer. And he manages to park it in our driveway without smoking the fire hydrant, which is jolly good form. Since we have a decent beginning to our moving crew, we opt to start hauling the big shit out: couch, chairs, mattress and boxspring. In the midst of all this, Mark arrives. (Note: he’s the tall, skinny, bearded one.) He assists with getting the big shit out, and we continue with dressers and large boxes of clothes and other light stuff to pitch into “Mom’s Attic” in the front of the truck.

Meanwhile, our designated foreman Kris Fries and his wife Kathy have not yet arrived, and neither has Aaron’s brother Matt. We’re still operating short-handed, but doing fairly well. It’s around 10:30am and we’ve gotten most of the big shit out and into the truck. Finally, Kris and Kathy arrive. Kris takes over his duty as truck-packer, and Kathy does a heroic battle with her asthma and the aftereffects of November’s epidural (right in the spine!) to help carry out some lighter boxes. I take over vacuum duty once the master bedroom is clear, and let the guys and Kathy handle the moving on their own.

The rest of the actual move-out is kind of a blur. The guys gaped over how much shit we had (“We didn’t see all these boxes in the kitchen! All this goes, too?”), and I swept and cleaned the rooms, fighting a losing battle to retain some of our security deposit. I declare it a losing battle because Aaron punched a small hole in the drywall several months ago, trying to shut up our old upstairs neighbors.

Anyway, before long it’s almost noon, and the truck is just about packed. We put the fragile stuff in the car—stuff like the remainder of my plants, and the TV, and the giant lamp, and the guitar. So, after a record 2 1/2 hour truck-loading, we prepare to head off to Easystreet for lunch… but, as Kris Fries points out, we can’t leave the U-Haul packed and unlocked. So, off to Wal-Mart Kathy and I go, for a padlock for me and some Tylenol for her. Brief trip, no mishaps, we return with lock and drugs and all is well. Lock up the truck, walk downtown to Easystreet.

Wait half an hour for a table.

Wait another half an hour for our food. Wait longer for the waitress to return after the meal with the check.

All in all, treating everyone to lunch took nearly as long as moving. Meanwhile, we were all chomping at the bit to get back to the truck, drive up to Toledo, and unload, so we can be done with it. Gah. All told, we spent an hour and a half at Easystreet.

Finally, we take care of the check and all mosey back to the apartment. Everything is in order, and everyone has been given directions on how to get to our new place, so everybody leaves separately. I get to go last, because I’m parked in front of the U-Haul in the driveway. 🙂 Kris Fries accompanies Aaron in the U-Haul, so he’s not alone driving this massive beast.

So, despite the fact that I know how to get to my own house (really I do), I opt to follow the U-Haul and watch Aaron’s fun with getting the truck to stop on funky brakes with tonnage of personal belongings bringing up the rear. Meanwhile, I have to grab the damn lamp every time I make a turn, so it doesn’t tip and break or fall in my lap from the passenger’s-side floorboard or something. No major issues getting to the house.

Once we get there, though, it’s a different story.

First off, Mark’s car stalled not less than six times en route, and he thought (at the time) it would never start again. Then, I parked with all the other cars in the grassy (muddy) field across the street, and I got out to watch Aaron attempt to back the U-Haul up the driveway… and adjust… and pull forward… and backward… and cut the wheel… and forward… and cut the wheel some more… and backward… and forward—

A little too far forward. He got the rear wheels up over the curb and into the muddy grass, and that’s all she wrote. The damn thing got stuck there. We were destined to haul everything into the house from across the damn street. We figured that maybe, once the thing was empty, it would be easier to move. So, off to unpacking the truck.

Unloading took even less time than loading: only two hours. Once the truck was empty, around 4:30-ish, we all made a valiant attempt to brainstorm a way to get the U-Haul unstuck. There were some leftover bags of play-sand the sellers left in the back yard, so we tried putting that under the wheels; to no avail. We tried pushing from the front as Aaron reversed, and Aaron tried rocking the truck from forward to reverse to forward to reverse. All this only succeeded in digging the U-Haul deeper into the mud. Finally, Aaron called a halt to the U-Haul rescue attempt and resigned himself to calling a tow truck.

Once we were all inside and perched on various pieces of misplaced furniture, and once Aaron had retrieved the cell phone (I’d had it on me, in case anyone got lost), Kris Fries suggested a tow company, which Aaron called. Yes, Ray’s Towing had the capacity to tow a U-Haul, the nice man on the phone was going to call the dispatch, and the truck would arrive in 45 minutes. Great. Kris and Kathy bailed to rescue Grandpa from the perils of watching little Samuel, and Kris Heath decided to take off, too, which prompted Mark to leave so Kris could follow him home in case he stalled again. Eric, however, was determined to stick around and see how the story played out, and we were grateful to have someone to share the insanity with.

Because Ray’s Towing never fucking showed up.

After an hour, Aaron called Ray back and got his answering machine. Nobody was even there. So, we decided to pick another towing company and call them. I believe Aaron chose the company with the largest, prettiest ad in the Towing section of the Yellow Pages. 🙂

Anyway, the nice man from Mayberry Towing arrived 45 minutes later, only fifteen minutes after their estimated time of arrival. David, from the towing company, pulled up into our driveway and surveyed the situation, telling Aaron, “All we can do is try.” Oh, boy. He secured his vehicle against the force of the U-Haul, and hooked up the chain to the underbelly of the stuck truck. On the first attempt, the hook came unattached from the chain. On the second attempt, his tow truck began moving backwards against the pull of the U-Haul, and he had to further brace his truck with wedges behind the back wheels. But on the third attempt, he actually got movement, and had Aaron get in and get ready to hit the brakes and cut the wheel once the thing was free—which he did.

So, it took $48 and three hours after the move was complete to get the U-Haul unstuck and ready to return to the truckyard. After David the tow truck technician left, Eric took his leave and headed home, but not before we decided that we really need to hang out more. We’d both forgotten how cool Eric is to hang out with. 🙂

At that point, it was somewhere around 8:00. We took the U-Haul back and drove to Ruby Tuesday’s for a late dinner. Low-carb cheesecake… yum.

Got home, put the bed together while half-asleep and grumpy and tired, and crashed early (for Aaron, anyway). So ended our epic move to The New House.

Post Script: Despite the fact that Aaron’s brother had called the day before to confirm that he would be there to help move, he ended up getting wasted that night and oversleeping until 1:00pm. Heh.

I also intend to photograph the ruts left by the U-Haul in the field across the street. They’re still there, and will be for some time.