(Written May 28, 2010)
I’ve dropped hints over the past few months here in my blog about changes in my life and that of my beloved M.
One of the changes was a new place to live. Since I am no longer connected with my former church (see Where I Used to Work), M and I have to say goodbye to the parsonage the church had provided. After months of searching for a good house, we moved into our new residence on the afternoon of last Sunday, the 23rd.
The whole process, from packing to moving to unpacking, has been nerve-racking to say the least. One reason why I resent moving around so much is that there are so many things to do that are connected to moving. It’s not as simple as taking your things and huffing over to your new address. There’s more, like the sorting, when you hold something in your hands and wrestle with yourself whether to a) keep it because you will continue to use it, b) keep it in case you might someday use it, or c) throw it away permanently, even though you know there’s a good chance you will need it again someday.
After you sort everything out, and finding out the hard way that there’s no end to it, you start the packing, trying to get everything into neat little bundles so that they would fit the boxes. We borrowed boxes from friends and family, and even “stole” a few. At the end, we realized that even though we initially thought we had more than enough boxes, we still ended up with lots of items needing boxes. On second thought, M thought we didn’t have enough but yours truly insisted that we did. She was right.
Even though M and I already decided to have everything packed and ready to move Saturday (May 22nd) night, come Sunday afternoon we were still knee-deep in unpacked furniture, equipment, and personal items. One question we kept asking ourselves was, “Where did we get all this stuff?” I had to remind myself that most of our “stuff” was the accumulation from nearly seventy years of collective living. Others were wedding gifts, while still others were things borrowed and never returned (Oops!). In the end, we just threw all our remaining “stuff” into any and all available containers. By then we were so tired and flustered that we just threw up our hands and told ourselves we’d worry about the loose ends when we got to our new place.
The major appliances and furniture have been unloaded and some of them are still sitting untouched in what is supposed to be our living room. M has gotten a lot of the stuff out of the boxes. (I think back on instances like this, where my beloved M shows herself as being so down-to-earth, and a lump forms in my throat.)
Although I had given indication otherwise, I was really happy that we had our family worship in our new home that Sunday afternoon. M and I truly had a lot of things to thank God for.
First, the delivery/cargo truck which M’s cousin lent to us. The truck is one of those complicated cargo carriers that open at the sides and not just the back. Someone remarked that it resembled the space shuttle on wheels.
Second, for people who helped. In addition to the truck, M’s cousin also lent us four workers to carry our things. Then there were several church friends, in addition to Oscar, the church driver, and Ronald, the church janitor. All in all there were over a dozen people helping my beloved and me haul our things from the ground floor driveway to the third floor of the apartment building where our unit was.
Third, and apropos the second reason for thanksgiving, the workers managed to haul our king-sized mattress three floors to our unit. Wish I had a video of the whole thing. They couldn’t bring it up through the stairs, which were too narrow, nor could they bring it up the fire escape and eventually through a window. They secured the mattress with ropes and pulled it vertically along the façade of the building, over the roof and into the courtyard fronting our unit. The presence of high tension wires (electrocution should anything go wrong) and the strong winds made it difficult, but they did it. Bonuses for all of them!
Apropos to the third reason, never ever buy a king-sized bed. You will be sorry.
Fourth, the unit itself is quite small, but very livable. There is strong running water, and the maintenance guy said that there have been no power outages for months. One downside is the presence of cockroaches under the sink and in the shower drain. Bug spray to the rescue!
Right now we share the floor with a family of three, and a security agency. Everything is relatively quiet.
Fifth, my in-laws. They couldn’t really carry heavy stuff, but my mother-in-law helped pack our personals, while my father-in-law helped supervise. They were even willing to lend us money in case we needed it. Some other small but important things they provided: wiring, the doorbell, and bits and pieces of much needed hardware.