Hell Week

Van

I forgot what a pain in the ass moving actually is.

The process started on Friday the 18th, when I took the day off from work to help with a few last-minute details. The following day a host of friends helped move all the boxes and some of the larger items we had in the garage of the old place into the garage and basement of the new place, which took about five hours. Then the moving van showed up at 9 on Monday the 21st, and by six or seven that night they were gone, and we were in.

The seven day period I took off was hell physically. Up at 6, work until it was dark, sometimes long after it was dark, then grab a few hours of relaxation before collapsing into bed and waking up early the next day to do it all over again. Going back to work felt like going on vacation.

The part I forgot about was not how tedious and cumbersome the packing and moving part is, it was how much the unpacking part sucks. About how spent you become just getting from point A to Point B, only to be faced with taking out and moving everything you packed into their new location in the new home, particularly when one is downsizing and there is more stuff than there is space.

Every day since the 21st, the laborious process of opening the boxes and placing the items in the areas we think we want them has been in full roar. We’ve cleaned out about half of the garage and could probably fit one car in there if we wanted, but the basement still remains a disaster. I lost count of the number of trips to the dump we have made with the SUV filled with broken down cardboard moving boxes.

Slowly but surely we are getting there, but it has been a physical and mental grind because for the last few months we have been either packing, unpacking, cleaning or moving. It has been relentless.

I have pushed myself harder than I can remember since MS raised its ugly head, and I am feeling it. Imagine carrying and moving boxes and other assorted things on one good leg for hours, day after day after day. Often it felt like I was walking on a balance beam, especially near the end of the day. At the risk of sounding over-dramatic, the term Dead Man Walking kept coming up in my mind because at times it felt like that.

My leg feels like it is hanging by a thread. My knee aches most of the time because it doesn’t bend the way it should, and walking is more cumbersome than ever. I persevere, but am hoping I didn’t overdo it, and that with a period of rest (whenever that might happen) I will be able to walk with a profound limp compared to whatever it looks like now. I can’t really describe what that is, but what I can tell you is it probably looks like one leg is a lot shorter than the other. My body noticeably dips lower and to the right with every step I take. I try to keep my knee bent because if I don’t, I hear a lot of grinding bone, and the leg feels like it will bend backwards before snapping in half at the knee. Instead it kind of buckles to one side. Swell.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I’m a bit concerned, but I made this bed. There really wasn’t a choice.

We are thrilled with the new place. It is wonderful to be on one floor, the shower is massive, with two shower heads, plenty of grab bars, and a place where I can easily sit. There are wood floors throughout so it is easy to slide my feet as long as I am wearing socks. It is clean, comfortable, could easily handle a wheelchair, and represents the culmination of a lot of sweat and gnashing teeth. K did herself proud with this one.

She still spends a lot of her days picking through the garage and culling stuff, and I lend a hand when I get home from work in whatever way I can, but that is when I notice how bad the leg is because I feel like I am on the verge of falling all the time if I’m not careful.

The stress of worrying about moving and all that goes with it is over, thankfully, but one little nagging issue remains unresolved and is becoming more worrisome with each passing day: we still have to sell the old place, and the holiday season is rapidly approaching.

Nonetheless we plod forward, and continue to place or dispose of the rest of the stuff that is in the garage and basement before the first snow flies. Slowly but surely, we’ll get there.

The inside isn’t ready for prime-time exposure, but here are some views from the outside. If it appears there are two stories when I said I love one-floor living, that is because in addition to the basement, the downstairs has a fully furnished apartment for Nidan and K’s Mom, who lives with us.

Once everything is in place I’ll share some pics of the inside, but have no idea when that will  be.

House1

House2

House3

House4

House5

House6

The Day is Finally Here

closed

You may not see another post from me until November, and the reason for that is moving day is FINALLY here. After a little more than a year from the day we broke ground, the house is move-in ready, and the fun starts on Saturday.

That is the day we will be unloading all the boxes that currently fill my garage (remember this picture?)  packing2and fill the garage in the new place. On Sunday we will begin to unload those boxes, and the movers come on Monday to move all the furniture and heavy stuff.  From there the slow and methodical process of getting completely unpacked and settled begins. Hopefully nothing important breaks during the process

It would be nice if we are done and everything is in place by the end of next week, but I doubt it. I am sure it will take longer than seven days to get everything done without any clutter. Then I’ll need to figure out to do with all of those boxes. We aren’t going to keep them all, but it makes sense to save a few for some future use.

Regardless, it will be an evolving process that will take some time, which means there will be little time for this. Don’t be surprised if the next post shows you a little of the new place and the tale of how all this unfolded.

Wish me luck!

Moving Daze

packing 1

I have spent a lot of time in this space over the last year talking about the new house. In fact, when I wrote last week’s post , my intention was that it would be the final one on the subject until the moving trucks had come and gone. But there is another aspect to this ordeal I haven’t spent a lot of time venting about, and it is coming to a head.

If you remember, I mentioned last week how I hate feeling unsettled because I have flags planted in two different locations, but neither of them feel like home. The new place doesn’t feel like home for obvious reasons, we don’t live there yet. My current home of 19 years doesn’t feel like home because….well, all you have to do is look at the above picture to understand.

As you can see, there is shit all over the place. Moving boxes in various stages of completeness are strewn throughout the house. I have no idea how many boxes we (K and her Mom mostly) have actually packed, but I’m guessing it is getting close to one hundred. I  made a Staples trip last weekend to purchase more of them because we were running out, and when K told me we should get at least 30 I rolled my eyes thinking she was nuts. Well, we have maybe ten left less than a week later.

Clutter and disarray generally doesn’t bother me, which is probably a guy thing. K is fond of saying there could be a steaming pile of cow shit in the middle of our living room and I wouldn’t notice it. Not this time, however. First of all, it has been like this for a couple of weeks, so after that long even someone like me can’t not feel it. Secondly,  negotiating the suddenly limited floor space is like navigating a treacherous obstacle course for someone who has no balance, a drooping foot, and leg with no strength.

My role in this endeavor has been to carry the stuff out of the house and into the garage, but, as you can see from this pic, our garage is getting full.

packing2

The cars have been evicted from our garage for a month now, and there isn’t a lot of available space. Negotiating the garage is even more difficult than negotiating the house space, but at least we have a place for everything. Having said that, there isn’t much room left, and we’re at the point were I will soon have to start restacking the boxes to create more space. A number of boxes marked fragile exist, and we don’t store anything on top of those boxes to prevent anything from getting crushed or broken. So in order to create more space to accommodate the additional boxes I know are forthcoming, I’ll need to segregate the fragile stuff from the pack, and start stacking the other boxes higher. But not so high that they will become top-heavy and fall over. That would be a disaster!

Most of the painting is done, so our next step is to start the deep clean, which I love to do more than anything else (NOT!) That endeavor begins next week, primarily with the windows (there are a lot of them), and the floors, which need to be steam cleaned and waxed.

K is of the opinion that we need to get this house spic and span, and that the Home and Garden channel has made it harder to sell houses because buyers expect a lot more from prospective houses they want to buy, assume things should be a certain way, and have become very finicky and entitled. Guess we will find out if all this extra TLC will make a difference. I certainly hope it does. If we can get the price we want, they can be as finicky as they want.

We did this a lot in the late 1990’s (moving four times in five years), but we are far removed from that era. Although I thought I remembered what a tedious grind it was and is, this feels much harder. Perhaps that is because back then we were young, didn’t know any better, hadn’t accumulated nearly the amount of stuff we have now, and I didn’t have MS. As bad as the garage looks, it could be worse, as we have discarded or given away a bunch of stuff we no longer need and didn’t want to pack. That is one slice of wisdom learned from previous experience.

We are preparing to mobilize the troops to help us move the stuff in our garage in advance the movers coming in and taking all the big stuff. Compared to where we started, there is not a lot left to do, but there is still enough. Especially if we want to be out in three to four weeks. Then comes the task of removing everything we packed and placing them their new locations. While it will be wonderful to be in that position, this endeavor is almost as bad as getting the stuff packed. Plus we will have a ton of empty boxes to discard. On and on it goes. Will we be completely settled by Thanksgiving? Christmas?  I’d like to think the former, but who the hell knows?

Like I said last week, it can’t happen soon enough.