Hands-off Moving

I’m not really squeamish.

But as I watch the 23 year-old crater sandwich two marble slabs together and haul them out of the room–his legs shaking, on the verge of buckling–I nearly vomit.

This is the same crater whose foul-mouthed friend has just regaled him, and me, with his latest family drama.

“My brother, he just got busted. Momma and Daddy found everything. So he’s under, uh, house arrest.”

They both disappear, leaving me to the sounds of ripping tape, boxes banging around, and the thump thump thump of the handtruck lumbering down each entry step.


Never did I think such hands-off moving would be this stressful.

Granted, it hasn’t really been hands-off. Having found out only a few days before that a professional moving company was going to be contracted to pack, load, and move everything across the country, we’ve already done a massive amount of packing. And spent the unexpectedly exorbitant amount of money on supplies.

You know, that packing tape and bubble wrap you always convince yourself won’t cost a small fortune? Those boxes that you’ll just “get from the grocery store for free.”


Now, I think it’s only a tad normal to take a little offense to the amount of re-packing that’s happening in the front rooms. I mean, I could’ve sworn I’ve packed everything to withstand a two-story drop.

But with every box I glimpse being assembled, and tape gun running empty, I realize I may have overestimated my abilities. And underestimated the degree to which moving companies have to protect themselves against damaged goods.

Still, I can’t complain. After all, the whole deal has been an unbelievable boon at an incredibly stressful time.

With Andy finishing his last week of work, and me furiously packing the bits and bobs we have to take with us–like, say, the fire extinguisher one of the movers just handed back to me–it’s going to be a sprint to the finish, whether we like it or not.

As we’ve found, moving across the country is a whole other beast than moving to a neighboring city. I mean, sure, we knew that before. But as I’m watching the movers wrap every single painting–without trying to seem like that helicopter owner–I’m realizing how much time has been invested in this new chapter.


Right now, with pallets of boxes on the front porch, and rooms still full of furniture and boxes, it’s hard to believe that in less than four days, Andy and I will be pulling away from the curb for the last time.

That the place we’ve called home will be empty.

That our departure will be another person’s homecoming.

That we won’t get to see the friends and chosen family we’ve made as much as we’d like.

That we will actually be en route to our new life.

Trixxy is ready! Sort of.

A life full of unknowns, save one.

That we will happily make it count.


7 Replies to “Hands-off Moving”

  1. I wish I could go with you, unseen, as just a witness to all the fun, follies and false turns as you make this journey. Of course it’s nerve wracking. Scary, even. But as you lean on each other through this wonderful adventure you’re making your lives fuller and more meaningful. You’re growing. You’re learning more about who you are and what you’re made of. You’re taking a dream into reality and going for the gusto. I’m so excited for both of you and can’t wait to hear reports as you move into your new world. Explore, have fun, make new friends. Oh, and write when you can. Love you !

    1. Oh, you’ll be there 😉 We’ll be sure to keep everyone updated as to our latest follies. Plus, I can’t shut up. I don’t think it’s possible–so y’all will definitely be there right along with us, every step of the way!

  2. It IS stressful – relinquishing control made me feel completely queasy every time we moved. Particularly the move from Germany to NC – Croatian packers that didn’t speak much English (I still call clothes “cloches” – the labels on the boxes were pretty interesting), who I was CERTAIN stole my U of Michigan sweatshirt (really Laura? WHY?), until I met up with my neighbor Suzanne in the UK 5 years later (NSA is incestuous, the same people crop up wherever you get stationed), and she confessed to the theft…I still miss that sweatshirt! Bon voyage my wonderful friend, and I look forward to reading your missives (or future book of essays? Yes? Get to work!!) from sunny SoCal.

    1. HAHAHA! Well, we’ll see what is or isn’t missing, or chipped/scratched. At this point, if everything can get out there, I’ll be happy 😉

  3. I had a hunch Honeywell might take care of your move, I didn’t say anything because of course I wasn’t positive & you had already done so much packing! Professional movers are great,they save you the hassle of schlepping all that heavy stuff & the major nightmare of driving a moving van across country. My only caveat is that make sure you get all of your stuff! We’ve done 5 major moves & each time the moving company has managed to lose something. Usually small stuff like coolers or garden things but on our last move they lost our big ass ladder! They thought maybe they dropped it off at a previous stop( usually those big vans hold a couple of households)but alas we still had to get a new one. Also be sure to document with photos any damage or broken items- keep them,too until you’re reimbursed. We’ve been moved by most of the major companies( Bekins,Mayflower, Allied,etc) and for the most part they’ve been pretty good. We had really young guys pack us last time & they didn’t pack our lamp shades in the right type of boxes & almost every single one was crushed. Thankfully there’s a Resoration Hardware,Pottery Barn etc nearby!
    I suspect you’re on the road now,I hope you guys have a safe trip and that all your things arrive safe & sound!
    P.S. you can make appts for the DMV on line; I highly recommend it. The DMV is always busy & it will save you a lot of time. If your cars are less than 5 yrs old I don’t think you’ll have to have them smogged before you get your licence plates. The actual driver licensing process is easy- eye test & a fairly standard test. The weird thing is that motorcyclists can legally lane split & do it all the time! After 7 yrs here it still startles me!

    1. HA, Mike! Andy and I have been going back and forth about the CA driving exam and prepping for it! We’ll definitely take your advice–for the exam and the whole moving business! Thus far, everything has been going so smoothly we’re worried something’s going to snap! (Hopefully not, though!) 🙂

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