Thursday, May 31, 2012

on moving

There's a C.S. Lewis quote somewhere that I can't find right now, but he said something like this:

The new home is quite tiresome until its new ways become as habitual as the old home.
Things like, say, knowing which light switches turn on the light in the hallway, how far to close the bathroom door before the hall door will open wide enough, how firmly to turn the handle, finding a light for above the sink, discovering the best times to open/close blinds, where to go running, how to get to the grocery store, finding a church to be a part of, getting used to the smells, the sounds, the sights, the neighbors...

We've relocated three times in our four years of marriage - the first to a just-outside-of-town, small apartment near Hubby's grad school (exciting, tiring, uneventful), the second to a rural 2-bedroom house near my grad school (terribly difficult, exhausting), and the third, just now, to an unfamiliar city (both a relief and overwhelming, but mostly uneventful).

The process is long and tiring. From packing up boxes and finding enough bubble wrap and tape, to cleaning the old (after packing) and the new place (before unpacking), carrying heavy loads more times than we thought we could, to the actual adjusting and unpacking and adventurous discovering, I really have a very emotional time getting through this moving thing.

Maybe it's being pregnant, but packing things away was both cathartic (textbooks, dishes I don't use, off-season clothes, thrift store pile) and emotional (the beautiful clay pot from our church, the photos, the hubby's shoes). I had some help from my mom and my in-laws, and I was thankful for that. At the same time, it was hard to accept help! We all have our ideas about how things should be done and where they should go, and it's hard to just let things be. For a while, I couldn't find the boxes for my everyday china, and it distressed me. The china was packed away in other boxes, while I ran out of boxes for other things!

And on the "having help" thing - people keep asking where I want things, how to put things away. Hubby asks questions to which I thought he should have already known the answers. The swiffer and the box of candles are in the attic instead of downstairs. The table linens were packed with the rugs. Some power strips were packed with a Pyrex dish.

I love having family and friends that care and help and ask and offer and just do things for us. At the same time, after I've been packing, cleaning, lifting, driving, lifting, and unpacking, it's so hard to be patient. I hope that I handled most things gracefully. I sure know when I didn't, and I hope my family will understand.

So, I'm sure you're wondering about this move, right? Well, we got the moving truck, on time, and with our discount applied from the last (terrible) moving experience. I didn't post about that one because I was so upset and afraid I would say something regrettable online. Anyway, we were loaded up and ready for pizza by about 12:45pm. We ate, took last minute pictures of the interior condition, and left.

Mom and I arrived first at the apartment at about 3pm, with the kitties in tow. We brought them inside and put them in our new office space so that they would be out of the way for all the craziness. I gave Mom a mini-tour of the place: office, hall, living room, bedroom, walk-in closet/baby's room, kitchen, bathroom, deck, and...the attic.

Just as I began to open the attic door, there were footsteps! Then scratching. And banging on the door, and more scratching. We got pretty nervous - what if it was a rabid raccoon, or a really big squirrel, or.... So I called the landlord, and asked for an exterminator. This was a holiday weekend, on a Saturday, so response was kinda slow. We moved in boxes anyway, filling the deck with the things to go to the attic once the animal was removed.

Our friends, Meg and Bob, showed up to help us unload. Thanks, guys! My parents, my in-laws, my brothers and their wives, and my sister were all there to help us, too. We couldn't have done it without you all!

By about 5pm, the animal exterminator had come - and removed the poor animal: a very dehydrated, very sad black kitty. The cat had belonged to the previous tenants, who had moved out over a month and a half ago. They claim that they couldn't find the cat when they moved, and he was just left behind! The poor thing had been living in the attic for the entire time. Very sad, indeed. We hope that he has a new family to take care of him.

The rest of the move-in was mostly fine. There are some areas of the house that have been badly stained and stink-ified from the poor kitty's bathroom needs, and we're having those addressed by the landlord. I've cleaned my best, but the scent seems to have sunk into the wood.

Our new neighbors downstairs seem friendly, and we're getting things put in their new places! Tomorrow, my family will be driving through on their way to a wedding, and we'll have them over for dinner. We're hoping they'll see a huge improvement in the place!

We're thankful for the ways that God has provided for us - financially, physically, emotionally. We're grateful to have a decent place to live, a landlord that seems to care about his rental units, and nice neighbors. We're hoping for a great stay here, and that God leads us clearly to our next steps in our life together.

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