I Hate Moving

I’ll say it again. I hated moving…now past tense.  It’s not just the mind boggling act of it all that sends me into anxiety overload. We’ve done it before…three times with a cluster of critters, and that doesn’t count all the moves in between college and THE first move.

The moving crew (3 of them) arrived on May 4th and started packing the house. I learned in the first hour that I had to constantly supervise them. One packed the living room, one packed the third floor (attic) and the other started on the kitchen. I left to check on the horses, came back and found my wallet had been packed. OMG! Really? Fortunately he knew which box it was in…don’t ask me why he put it in a box to begin with. While I went upstairs to pack some clothes, he moved on to the laundry room…and packed all the dog meds. A frantic search and I found them too….and so it went. During the first two days I wondered if it was possible to have PTSD just from having somebody pack your house. I guarded my computer and camera with my life. There are only a few things I would kill for…Linda, any of my animals and those two highly regarded possessions.

Over the weekend I collected my nine barn cats and put them in the tack room. They weren’t happy, but I needed to make sure I wouldn’t inadvertently leave anybody behind. A couple of them get spooky when there are strangers on the property and I was afraid they’d disappear. After a day or so, I didn’t hear any more pleading meows or growling coming from the room. I pushed aside my guilt for taking away their freedom for a couple days. I visited them every day, although it was quite the challenge getting in and out the door without an escapee, and was happy to be met with purrs and leg rubs. I got the feeling I was forgiven…at least I hoped I was.

On Monday the movers returned and began packing the truck. They took the furniture and all the boxes. Our bed went into the truck, so out came the air mattress. The dogs immediately laid claim to it despite the dog beds we had the guys set aside. I worried that Hobbes, my 22 yr. old Siamese would have a hard time, but he took it all in stride and stayed close to me or the dogs. The guys returned on Tuesday and packed the barn, the lawn mower and any miscellaneous items they hadn’t crammed into the 53ft truck the day before. I marveled at the fact they had a little room left, despite our effort to get rid of a ton of stuff beforehand.

We lived out of duffel bags, and I realized I had some separation anxiety from my things. Oy. How accustomed we get to being surrounded by stuff. A few walks on the beach with the dogs and Linda (and several glasses of wine) gave me perspective. They were all I really needed (maybe minus the wine…maybe). Okay, I admit to taking my camera everywhere…with a zip drive containing my manuscripts tucked into the bag. A girl has to have some priorities.

Tuesday night, under the cover of darkness, we raided the coop and put all the chickens into cages. I hooked the horse trailer to my truck, we moved the bunny cages into the dressing room, and called it a night.

Wednesday morning…move day. We got up early, fed the horses and cats and then had a hardy breakfast of donuts and coffee…I think. At this point I’m not sure what we ate. I was running on automatic pilot trying to make sure everything went smoothly. We packed the gooseneck part of the trailer with the essential things left over from the barn and house. After crating all the cats, they were put in next. The chickens took up space in the bed of the truck. The horses calmly walked onto the trailer, happy to have bags of hay hanging in front of them. I opened the truck doors, the dogs piled in, ready for their adventure. I kissed Linda goodbye and on down the road we went. Linda followed me later after work.

The trip was uneventful. All the animals rode quietly, lulled by the sound of the road, and I was happy to be doing something productive. Approximately seven hours later I made the turn into our Ann Arbor farm. The horses were unloaded first, then the dogs, followed by the chickens. The cats had to be put in the shed for a couple of days until things settled a bit. But we were home.

The next day the moving van delivered the household and once again we were surrounded by boxes and stuff we had no idea what to do with. Overwhelming? You bet your ass. I couldn’t find anything. My mind kept flashing back to where the item “used” to be and I tried to make sense of where it should be now…to no avail mind you. In the middle of unpacking a box I suddenly decided I had to go mow the lawn, er, hay field at the time. I needed to feel in control of something and that seemed to be as good a thing to do as any.

It’s June first. Most everything has been put away and life is taking on somewhat of a routine. I’ve hung a few bird feeders, arranged the barn, made a few repairs, and the farm sign is hung out by the road. The dogs love their huge fenced in yard, the horses have more grass than they know what to do with, the cats are mousing and bringing me daily presents and the chickens are laying again.

I’m taking pictures. There is new flora and fauna to explore in the fields, and wide open spaces to run the dogs. It’s a new chapter in our lives and maybe even something to write home about. I’m still waiting for my muse to show up. Word has it she’s been riding the roller coast at Cedar Point in Ohio. I’ve issued an APMB (All Points Muse Bulletin)…I’m sure she’ll drag herself in, a bit disheveled, but ready to work. She hasn’t let me down yet, and I’ve got coffee.

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About laurie salzler

novelist, outdoor enthusiast, animal lover, dog trainer
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5 Responses to I Hate Moving

  1. OMG, we JUST went through this too! It’s as you say and…you were restraining yourself, right? The first night we took showers and dried off with wonderful queen-size sheets because there were no towels to be found. The new, over-sized garage contained nearly ALL the boxes, and though every box was neatly marked with its contents, the movers, trying to please us, stacked them all atop one another so we could get at least one car in the garage. Karyn is still grousing about not having found her must-have kitchen utensils. She packed them herself. She knows the box they are in…but there are hundreds of look-alike boxes in that garage. Net result? She is being a bit of a showoff about how she cooked fried eggs without a spatula–indeed, turned them perfectly with a large spoon! And me? We have this lovely little fully enclosed porch with windows all around…and my new “office” was there when I came home from work within the first three days. I think it was a way to keep me occupied while she forages through the rest of the stuff and tries to conjure up “moving man” logic, as in, where would they have put that? I have no such worries. I’m spoiled. I’m in my office. I have a view of gorgeous trees, beautiful flowers, horses in the fields, birds in the trees, Teddy the Pug at my feet and a hard copy of two works in progress, on which I can now, finally, make some progress. Works for me!

    Glad you guys are enjoying the process…home is where the hearts (and a few dozen animals) are.

  2. natasiarose says:

    Moving blows…I can’t even imagine moving with 9 barn cats!

  3. Mary Buchanan says:

    Laurie, You were lucky. I had my wallet packed during one move, but didn’t realize it until after the movers had left with all the boxes. So it was off to the DMV to get a new drivers license. Oh wait, my license was from Arkansas & I am in Texas. So I had to take not only the written test again but the driving part also. I also have to start my trip from Texas to Washington, DC or I won’t be there in time. So I had to have my credit cards sent to one of my stops along the way. Luckily I was going to stop at my mother’s house on the way & could have them sent there. I was lucky also that I had put extra checks in my briefcase which I had stashed in a bathroom along with all the other stuff I didn’t want the packers to pack. Unfortunately I didn’t put the bag that I was using as a pruse in there also. So three weeks later when the stuff was delivered (I had to buy a house before they could deliver my stuff) there everything was & I was the proud owner of two of everything—two drivers license & several cancelled credit cards. Live & learn.

  4. I swore the last time we moved was the LAST time we’d ever move. By comparison, you did it with such grace. You now live within 30 miles of where I was born and raised (Jackson) and 30 miles of where I went to college (Wayne State). And all that time, I loved Ann Arbor more. May your life there know endless joy.

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