On Moving…a LOT of stuff

I guess I just never envisioned someday I would: grow up, get married, have 2.5 boys, live in Calgary….and push a lawnmower, along a sidewalk, in the rain, from my ‘old’ house to my ‘new’ house. While nearly 27 weeks pregnant.

Granted it’s not a particularly lengthy distance between the two homes, but I had to cross one of Calgary’s major thoroughfares along the way. And, frankly, one doesn’t see a lot of people pushing lawnmowers around town; probably even fewer pregnant women pushing lawnmowers…

Lest anyone should think poorly of Herr Johnson for allowing his nearly-in-her-third-trimester wife to push a lawnmower around the city…..well, I offered. He has, after all, done the lion’s share of lifting and moving boxes. So I swallowed my pride and pushed the mower-we-haven’t-used-for-nine-months so he wouldn’t have to lift it into the car. I’m a regular Good Samaritan.

In addition to all the ideal, no-expense-spared moving services I mentioned in my previous post, I should have added another: hire someone to gather all the remnants that didn’t make it into any other boxes and move them to your new house.

It never ceases to amaze me how much crap gets left over at the end – stuff that doesn’t get packed for one reason or another, because we’re apparently thinking: ‘oh, let’s just stick that in the car.’ Well, after the movers left us on Friday night, we had enough stuff remaining in the ‘old’ house to warrant renting a second truck and set of movers.

A friend who’d helped me pack up the kitchen (in the old house) stopped by to help clean said kitchen. Two days after we’d moved. ‘You still have a LOT of stuff in here,’ she remarked. She was right. It looked like we hadn’t actually moved yet.

The movers were a delightful pair of Russian men who arrived at the end of their workday to earn some extra cash. They pulled up in a (used-to-be) electronics truck with faded lettering. The ‘main’ guy walked in the house and surveyed the scene. I was so proud of the way we’d stacked all the boxes into the downstairs area to expedite the move as much as possible. I imagined how impressed they would be with our efficiency and organization – how they might think we have this moving thing down pat.

‘Oh, this is a LOT of stuff’ he remarked in his heavy accent. ‘This will take much more than two hours,’ he shook his head. He probably saw his Friday night disappear before his eyes. And I saw my moving budget smashed to smithereens before mine.

His sidekick was about 60 years old with white hair. I’d imagined Jason would leave the loading to the movers, but he really couldn’t stand by and watch while someone his father’s age carried all our junk. So, in an effort to ease his conscience and speed things along, he carried about as much as they did. I say ‘about’, because he conveniently disappeared as the particularly heavy things were being moved. And I caught him tapping boxes to assess their weight; strategically steering clear of the back-breaking ones.

‘How many kids do you have?’ the main man asked him. Jason told him we have 2 boys. ‘Oh, I thought you had (a lot) more because of all the boxes of toys,’ he mentioned judged. And to think I actually thought our kids had less toys than (American) kids their age. Guess not.

As we waded through boxes in the new house, we used a multi-tiered approach to keep the kids occupied. The first strategy was setting up a playroom in the basement. But of course, they had little interest in playing in a room that we weren’t in. The next strategy was to let them watch a movie on the laptop. But, since the other movies had been packed in a box, that meant they had to watch Madagascar roughly three times in one day. A terrific little movie that features such choice lines as: ‘of COURSE we’re going to throw poop at them‘ which I didn’t realize until I heard Mr. G repeating it to his brother during some outside playtime.

Charmed, I’m sure.

Despite our best efforts, it was painfully obvious that the move sucked as much for the little people as it did for us. It didn’t help that G missed church on Sunday (too tired, no clothes to wear) and preschool on Monday (yet another Canadian holiday). His only social interaction for 5 days straight would be with us. Quelle horreur.

‘Maybe we can go over to meet our new neighbors’, he suggested one evening. Clearly bored. Clearly not our child.

By day three we hadn’t made much progress in the unpacking of the thousand boxes that littered our new domicile. Jason was walking around in boxer shorts and a zip-up cardigan. Because he could find nothing else to wear. Our oldest had to wear a pair of his brother’s sweatpants and a hooded sweatshirt. I’d taken to wearing a pair of pajamas – apparently for several days in a row – because G looked at me one morning and said: ‘are those your favorite pair of jammies?’

As we seemed to take one step forward, and twenty back with regards to getting settled, my limited patience evaporated. ‘You’re kind of crabby’ my oldest remarked. Another one of my phrases coming back to bite me. Earlier we had walked back from the old house to the new so Jason could use all available cargo space in the station wagon. G looked at me and said: ‘I don’t get you….and I don’t get daddy or Henners either.’

Perhaps if I stopped speaking altogether, my family wouldn’t be able to recycle my clever phrases to my detriment.

6 thoughts on “On Moving…a LOT of stuff

  1. I was hoping to read that someone stopped his/her car in the middle of the street and helped you push that lawnmower home.

  2. boxers and a cardigan? priceless!
    but seriously, hope you guys get settled soon and can start wearing your own clothes again 🙂

  3. Yes, for the record Jason also had a t-shirt, it was just quite chilly in the house hence the need for a cardigan. Of course the Labor Survey people also chose this weekend to stop by and ‘survey’ our deplorable living conditions and underemployment!


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