The worst part of a military move are the actual days that the movers are in our home and packing our belongings. It’s been a long time since we’ve managed a move in a single day, back in the days when my husband was lieutenant, in fact. With two almost fully grown children and a houseful of books and dishes, we rate at minimum a three day pack. What does that mean?
It means we sit and wait for the movers to show up… three days in a row. Starting at around 8am, my ears become tuned to every sound on the street. Here in DC, that’s a lot of sound. Around 9am, I start to get nervous and wonder why they haven’t yet arrived. Every minute delay means a minute longer waiting for the house to be finished and at this point, I just want this job done. It’s especially bad on the very last day and that’s the day they’re usually the latest. Driving a big truck with a load of crates through morning rush hour traffic just takes time. Not here by 9:30… we’re on the phone calling. Yes, it’s happened in the past. Lost trucks. Late starts. Bad traffic. In the meantime, we’re sucking down yet another cup of coffee we don’t need wondering where they’re at.
It means we sit and watch the movers pack… for three days in a row. Okay, so I don’t watch like a hawk. No one wants to be watched for hours on end and honestly, even though I could probably pack most of the boxes myself like a pro (11 moves will do that to you), it’s not my job to tell these guys how to do their jobs. If I see a newbie starting to pack my grandmother’s tea set… well a word to the wise, just ask the supervisor of the crew to have the more experienced of the crew get to work on the delicate stuff. There is no way you’re going to teach a new packer their job. You just end up making folks mad and, trust me, you don’t want mad packers.
It means that the days move at a glacial pace. I’ve finished the majority of my work. The house is as clean as it can be while we’re still all using the toilets and moving furniture around. The amount of dust that starts to fly will drive me crazy, but more only shows up the more things get packed. It’s amazing where the dust can hide.
I really do just wish I could jump in and help. I feel like such a slug moving slowly from room to room, checking on progress, asking if folks want some water or some coffee. What time do you want lunch? What shall we order? Boys, can you move to another room… the packers are getting ready to start in this one. That is about the extent of my day.
We’ve actually been pretty lucky in the move department. We’ve had our share of broken items. A German Shrank comes to mind, it’s top caved in from heavy boxes being placed on top it in the crates. But overall, considering how many times we’ve done this, we’ve done pretty well. Theft has been of the petty kind. My kids once lost a US Quarter Collection when leaving Alabama. I actually felt sorrier for the person who stole the quarters than I did for my kids. At least, I did after I thought about it. You have to be in pretty desperate straights to steal a quarter collection from two military kids. Other items we thought might have been stolen have shown up in the strangest places. A watch of my husband’s was lost for a full assignment until he unpacked a pair of boots he had placed in the back of the closet. The watch had been lovingly wrapped and packed inside the boot. Remember, if you move from a cold location to a warm one and don’t plan on using your winter items, check the pockets and the insides of your boots before putting them in the back of the closet. They may hold something dear.
Well… it’s getting close to that time. My ear is tuned more to the street than my eye is to the computer screen. Time to go. Wish us luck!