This summer, Scott and I purchased a home (more on that in another post), which is very exciting. What was not exciting was the idea of moving into that home.
I didn’t always feel that way. I remember every time I moved in Boston, an overwhelming sensation of hope and possibilities negated the hard work involved in boxing up all my possessions and schlepping them to my new apartment, which was often in a building with no elevators.
But that was many years ago, and this is now the 21st time I’ve moved in my life. My moving adventures are of drinking age. I’m not sure that’s a point of pride — it’s just a by-product of a very nomadic lifestyle (which actually is a point of pride).
The difference between this move and so many others is that it didn’t involve going to a new state or country. In fact, this is the first local move that Scott and I have ever undertaken — as a result, we didn’t sell or donate most of our belongings in the process. Instead, we had to move them.
We envisioned closing on our house in early August, and moving slowly over the course of three weeks. But it never, ever works out like that, does it? Instead, we had 72 hours in which to pack up everything we owned, move it, clean the old space, and clean and organize the new space enough to be able to function and go to work. Since it was also college move-in time, there were no large U-Haul trucks available. But somehow, with the help of my family and some insanely long days, we made it happen.
(A warning: the rest of this post may not be for everyone. If you’re feeling squeamish or reading this while eating, I’d advise you to leave this site and look at some cute baby llamas instead.)
Hands down, our lowest moment came about four days before the big push. Some almost-new moving boxes had magically appeared at the end of our driveway — left over from a neighbor’s move, I guessed. We took them all, grateful that we didn’t have to spend yet more money on packing supplies. The boxes were neatly folded and stacked in a larger moving box. It was a gift from heaven…
We got to the very last box — the box that had been holding all of the other boxes — and I pulled put a few handfuls of bubblewrap to start putting away some kitchen dishes. As soon as the bubble wrap left the box, a hideous odor smacked me upside the head. It was so vile I actually jerked my head back and shouted. Scott looked up from across the room. “What is it?”
I looked into the box, and what I saw was so horrifying and grotesque that my brain shut down. “Oh, oh oh oh….OH OH…,” I said over and over.
“What is it?!” Scott anxiously said.
“It’s… OH…..OH….” my brain couldn’t make the words come out of my mouth.”Oh OH….”
“Bah… Bah…. Babies!” I finally said.
“Babies?” Scott said, in an octave so high I thought he might have broken his vocal chords. I wish so badly that we had a recording of this interaction, because “babies” was the very last thing he expected to come out of my mouth, and I would love to laugh at his facial expression now. But at the time, it was not funny.
My head still couldn’t register the horror, so I just said, “Babies….BABIES… make it go away, oh my God, make it go away….”
“What do you mean, babies?” Scott asked, grabbing the corner of the box from my outstretched arm.
Suddenly, my reflexes kicked in. I needed to protect him.
“DO NOT LOOK IN THAT BOX,” I said. “Just… just make it go away.”
But it was too late — the babies, which I assume were mice, started falling out of the rotten corners of the box. The next 2 minutes were a blur of frantic sweeping, gagging, running outside, and trying not to look at anything for fear an image would permanently imprint itself on our brains.
After getting everything outside, we agreed that the entire crime scene needed to go down the driveway to our dumpster. “I’m not putting that box in my car,” Scott declared. So he put it on top and drove very, very slowly away.
After that, we gained a new perspective on our move. It’s not that bad! In fact, it’s downright pleasant!
It’s been two full weeks since we first found ourselves in our new space. We’ve hung most of our clothes in closets, stacked our dishes in cabinets, and have enough space cleared in the garage to park our cars. We’ve also learned a lot. We have purchased a mower, a shop vac, and a million other things we “needed” to get the house into a livable state. Scott rewired the broken garage door opener, I installed new locks and deadbolts (which required cutting an enormous hole in the door — quite a scary moment as there are no do-overs), and we rigged up a harness system to get onto the roof (28 feet in the air!) to clean the gutters. It’s been a move like no other for us…
…but now that the worst part is done, I’m allowing myself to feel the hope and the endless sense of possibilities, and I can’t wait to start making this gorgeous house our own!