We had a significant move milestone in the form of a rather sizable delivery arriving in our driveway: the PODS mobile storage unit was plunked down on the 14th. It is now easily half full with the boxes Meg has packed as well as the furniture we are taking with us but can do without for the next two weeks. Meg is mapping out the remaining floor space in the POD to help her anticipate where certain larger objects should go as she reaches the final phases of packing.
When the PODS unit arrived, we said to each other for about the 25th time, “Well, looks like we’re moving!” Up until now it’s like this whole thing has just been an abstract dream off in the distant future. Given the path our lives have taken so far, both of us expected some unforeseen obstacle or family-related calamity to scuttle our plans to go out west. So as each milestone is reached and we inch closer to the day that we leave, we become more and more surprised.
In Portland, the transition from a one-bedroom apartment to a two-bedroom apartment finally happened, and except for the 72 hours of agonizing back pain, it occurred without incident. The new place has a smaller porch but a nicer view, less storage but more living space, a full-sized washer and dryer instead of the stackable apartment-sized ones, and otherwise should fit us in quite nicely.
On the Chicago end, Meg has been working tirelessly to clean out the storage unit. Our oldest son has been in and out of town for work, a pleasant but unexpected circumstance, and has chipped in along with our younger son to help with the hauling and heaving. We have continued with the CraigsList and eBay sales extravaganza, which has so far brought in $500 of extra cash to help us squirt through this last month. Nearly everything that we can sell at this point is gone (including the Wii for those of you who remember from my last post) with the still-using-it things like the couch and the TV to go in the final week.
Meg’s piano was safely moved to its temporary home at a friend’s house last week; I have started contacting utility providers to let them know that we’re out of the house on the 31st; we have just either purchased or ordered a whole slew of things that we knew we were going to need for the trip or the move or both; and the to-do list is shrinking in proportion to the number of days we have before we leave.
So far — knockonwoodofcourseitcouldchangeanyminute — we haven’t had anything pop up that wasn’t either expected or at least on the list of possible outcomes. Keep your fingers crossed.
Things are starting to get weird. This is an emotional time for Meg, who is now going through the boxes that make up our lives to this point, sorting through pictures and letters and mementos from the years we have spent here. It’s a stressful time for me, as I stand balancing in the middle of our budget see-saw, trying to prioritize and manage the purchase of those things we need immediately while still ensuring that we have enough cash for food, gas and hotels as we drive across the country. Each of the kids is showing signs of anxiety surrounding this transition, and since each of them is going in a different direction each of them has his or her own reasons to be upset.
Even our dog Dudley, having watched the furniture slowly disappear over the last 8 weeks, is getting more emotional when anyone leaves the house. Whatever it is we’re preparing to do, he wants to make sure he gets to go with us. And he will — 2000 miles of fresh smells await him on the open road across the U.S. And Portland has thousands of dogs whose butts he has never sniffed before in his life. If only there was a way to comfort him by telling him that. For now, he just gets more snuggles with his mommy.
It’s all down to this. 12 days from now we climb in the car and head off towards our new life. It’s a lot like staring at the clock watching the seconds go by one by one — wishing that things would just hurry up already, while also fearing that you won’t have enough time to get everything done.
My team at work is making preparations for me being gone for a week. This Friday after my paycheck arrives I will buy the one-way plane ticket home to Chicago. No turning back at that point. Looks like we’re moving.