Thursday, August 4, 2011


Have I got stories.

"Ma'am, we are here to help."  And instantly, 7 men spread out among the rooms in no organized fashion.   To my amazement, one of the first rooms they dove into was the kitchen and pantry.  It was 100 degrees outside and close to that indoors with all the doors open.  Yet less than 1/2 hour into a very, very long three days all the bottled water, soft drinks, wine, snacks, FOOD was packed up and on the blistering hot truck.  No silverware, glasses, paper cups in the house.  I kept forgetting and got disappointed all over again every time I went to grab something to eat or drink.
No matter how many guys I told "Do Not Pack The Computer Modem, it has to be returned."  They packed the modem.  "Do Not Pack The Baskets in the shelving units..they stay with the house."  "Ma'am, do we pack these baskets?"  "No, they stay with the house."  I counted at least 4 times I repeated those words.  Walked past my office and said, "Where are the baskets?" "I was told to pack them up ma'am". 
Second day new faces appear so I get to repeat everything all over again.  Within the first couple hours one of the guys goes and gets himself fired.  Apparently it took all the guys an hour to work on that little situation outside.  When they finally came in they said they were going to lunch!!!  Between the 2 hrs and multiple smoke breaks and them leaving at 3:30 we were ready to break into the truck to find the wine.

Third day, new faces, new stresses and one very late night because the next day was Sunday and we weren't letting them wait and come back Monday.  I was told, "Ma'am, Do Not Pack Candles or Matches in this heat".  All I can think of is what's going to happen when the multiple cans of Pepsi and Mountain Dew explode?  But I sadly set my gazillion candles and matches in a box to take over to Jennifer's.  "Do Not Touch These Boxes of Candles and Matches".  "Where are the boxes of candles".  "Oh, I was told to pack them ma'am."
Now, when they say pack, that's a very loose term, as we found out on the other end of the move.  For instance, you gotta commend the Kitchen Dude for carefully wrapping up this empty roll of packing tape and almost empty can of Mountain Dew, right?  

On the other hand, the Bathroom Dude decided he'd save some paper and time by wrapping all the tooth brushes, toilet bowl brushes and bathroom scrub sponges together, all tight up against each other.  No photo; I was too mad to go find the camera.  And there must be a rule that they CANNOT pack two alike things from the same room in the same box.  We are still trying to find lamps, or rather, all the pieces to the same lamp.  So Tim comes to me and says, "Honey I found the shop light.  And look, the bulb isn't broken".  

This shop light looks like I feel, twisted, but still working.  There are some broken things that are not so funny, so I won't be going there today.   I did unpack enough that by yesterday I was able to make a little vignette of sorts.  Not that any of it will stay together or that the wall color won't change, but I just had to have one little spot that looked "put-together" in my upside down world. 

Speaking of upside down, just one of the weird things the moving dudes would do is empty the boxes we already neatly packed.  I had my Demdaco products organized along with the packing slips checked off for inventory.  One night Tim remembered that he wanted to give the new owners of our house the Christmas wreaths that we hung on the windows for the holidays.  He went to the basement and discovered they unpacked all my products and shoved them in with the Christmas ornaments and decorations.  They took a handmade Charlie Brown type Christmas tree out of a box Tim made especially to protect the tree and crushed it into one of their boxes, because it didn't fit.  Needless to say, the Christmas boxes are in storage and I can't do my giveaway until I find them.  I am so sorry.  I am trying to find the bolts and screws and knobs to our furniture.  The Head Mover Dude asked ME if I knew where HE put them.  Seriously?  Wait, maybe they're with the pillows and Christmas decorations.  
My car was just delivered; an older BMW, that ironically came to IN from an old lady in CA that hardly put any miles on it.  Funny thing, cause now I could be that lady.  See, when God was handing out Sense Of Direction I got lost and never found that line.  To this day I can barely find my way out of the Ladies Room, so I won't be taking off anytime soon.  Plus I have to take an exam to drive here.  Be scared, very scared.  

origimage_1_2391024.jpgI am so thankful to finally have internet.  No TV hookup yet.  Just as well.  Dr. Oz will just confirm my fears that I will die from how filthy this house we just moved into actually is.  I can just see them pulling up here in hazmat suits and petri dishes.  I have a habit, not necessarily a bad one, of seeing "the good bones", The Potential, of a house and overlooking the scanky carpet and cabinets with way too many coats of paint that unsuccessfully hide all the flaws.  (that comment will keep out of towners at bay for awhile).  While I wish the work were easier, I realize I am drawn to the transformation process.  It's that belief that even the worst can be made beautifully whole, and oftentimes even better than before.  That's what draws me in; that hope for what's possible, looking past the flaws.  Kinda like God does with us.

Here's a photo looking out the bathroom window onto our side patio.  Just wanted you to know it's not all skanky carpet here, especially if I look up every once in awhile.

Now off to unpack more stories; I mean, boxes.


  1. Oh, friend, I am laughing, crying and ranting with you. Sorry the move did not go more smoothly, Paula. I hope there are no more unpleasant surprises to be found in your boxes.

  2. This should have been a movie...a la "The Money Pit." I laughed, I cried, etc. Your creativity extends to writing...I love your style there as well! I hope it will all come together in a fabulous new place for you to live!

  3. Paula,
    I feel for you, I really do. With the military and the "professional" movers that have so "carefully" packed up my belongings every couple of years, I have those exact stories, and the ones you didn't share! I have learned through these experiences what kinds of things to do - give the movers labeled ziploc bags for the furniture screws and parts and pieces, and you pack one box to be opened first in your new home (in it is toilet paper, wine, paper plates and cups, light bulbs, paper and pen to make a zillion notes on). I wish I had remembered to give you that advice before your move!! I'm sorry!
    Hang in there! We have all had a stomach bug this week, under the weather. Can I come help you next week?

  4. Oh my! I have only had one experience with movers packing my household and that was enough. I'd rather pack my own stuff thank you very much!

    It should be required that those same packers come and unpack and put it all back the way they found it. ;) hahaha

    Best wishes with the unpacking!

  5. Oh Paula I am laughing too just because I have been there. Many years ago when we made a long distance move we had packers in and never again I said. I thought when they packed ,they had to unpack LOL. I learn fast. Anyway we too had lots of laughs as we unpacked and that kept us sane. Wish I lived nearby I am an experienced mover. Blessings Sandra

  6. Oh. My. Goodness.!What weird movers!Paula, Paula, you are such a funny, loveable, creative, positive person! Hugs to you and Tim

  7. Bless your heart! Who did your move? We've done 2 corporate moves and they were both good experiences. I'm sorry yours was not. I totally understand about overlooking the realities of your new home. I did the same. However, 3 months later I have survived and even flourished. I hope the same for you on your new adventure!

  8. Thank you! We debated as to whether we should use professional movers or do it ourselves for our very sudden move south. You've just made me feel a whole lot better about doing it ourselves even though it's been an awful experience. Mix major PMS (me), an injured partner (Hans messed up his knee during his last hockey game here in our Big City), and a sick Pit Bull (Wilbur started passing bloody stools at 1 AM last night), and somehow I just don't see us all living happily ever after. Hang in there! At least you have a beautiful view!

  9. Oh, so sorry! Looks like you found the world's worst movers! Hope it's smooth sailing from here. Some day you'll be laughing as much as the rest of us reading this are.

  10. yikes, what a nightmare...and these were "professional" movers?!

    In any case, Welcome to California!! We sure are having some nice weather here in San Diego (and your view is so beautiful).

  11. Oh Paula! I am laughing and crying at the same time for you. I am happy you're on my coast now... somehow maybe we'll run into each other even though I'm WAY up here and you're WAY down there. Maybe we can meet in the middle at Kathy's :)

  12. Paula, Bless your heart! I've used professional movers twice for cross country. One set did a wonderful job. The second set- not so well - they packed all their empty packing tape rolls AND the trash from the trash can.
    You'll feel better in a few days and have lots of good stories to tell.

  13. I understand your packing pain. My husband is in the Army and we pack and unpack every 2-3 years. The joy of the move is that we have learned to not place value on material things (or to try) and to simplify. We moved a month ago and I am just getting my creativity up and going again.

  14. Oh Paula, I hope that you haven't found anymore disappointments in moving boxes. I can't even imagine why a moving company would unpack boxes you had already lovingly packed but it actually made me mad reading about it. I hope things are settling down.



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