Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Operation Eagle Eye AAR, Part 2

Day 2
After the apparently smooth sailing from the day before, I am hoping for another day without bumps as all of our stuff gets loaded on to the truck.

The day begins with another set of fresh bagels and coffee. The day before, I talked to my neighbors to make arrangements for no cars to be in front of the three houses this morning. That means I spoke to one of my neighbors for the second time in six years.

I arrive back at the house in time to sit out on my front steps and enjoy the cool morning air and wonderful caramel latte. As I sip to my content, I wonder about the what the man in charge the day before said about an 18 wheeler begin able to make it down this street. Now, I don't recall ever seeing one. The biggest vehicle I can think of ever coming through here is the fire department's ladder trucks. And about as soon as I these thoughts clear my head, I see an 18 wheeler turn on my street going the other way.

"See, 18 wheelers come through here. Oh, wait, I bet if they did they wouldn't have brushed up against the trees like that. Hmmm. I wonder ... Yep, I bet that's MY truck."

Five minutes later, the same truck pulls up in front of my house.


Hmmm. So sending my stuff on this truck is a gamble??? Do I really want to put my precious fiestaware, Waterford crystal, and 42" Sony on this craps table of a van line? I wonder what the Vegas odds are on my household goods arriving safely. I swear that is the real name on the truck. At least they had the "dice" showing 7s. I mean, that's something.

I greet today's operatives as eagerily and cheerily as I did yesterday. The reception is a little cool, but that is OK, right? The driver-mover-man-in-charge and his wife (yeah! a woman!) and two men from a moving company "across the river." All my prejudices about that need to fly out the window. Right now. I am sure my house will be just fine even though they know where it is and that it is empty. Just because people are going into empty houses on that side of the river and ripping out the copper piping, I am sure that won't happen to me.

Just like yesterday, the operatives get to work promptly. Knowing that my things were well packed the day before, I am reasonably comfortable with the way they handle the boxes as though nothing were in them. Besides, they don't drop any of them. Which is good.

Everything that can be disassembled is done quickly and the parts are placed in ziploc bags. This includes things I had never taken apart to move, like my grandmother's 65-year-old kitchen table. I sure hope, like I was told as these things were removed of their legs and slides, that someone is there to put it all back together. What do you think the chance of that happening are?

So really. The day goes pretty smoothly. That is, right up until it was time for my 42" Sony to be wrapped up and carted off. As I watched these strangers carefully place blankets around it and then cardboard, I was overwhelmed with emotion. They were boxing up my battle buddy. Don't they know how precious my battle buddies are to me? (Did I know that my TV was one of them until that exact moment? Uh, no.) The tears well up in my eyes and I have to leave the room, lest I become a balling mess on the floor clinging to my TV, dragging behind it, as they carry it out the front door and onto the truck. And that would be just too embarrassing for me to handle.

Shortly after lunch, which they mostly ate on their own, hardly touching the pizza I ordered, a third mover from across the river arrives.

Woman-in-charge (to me): We hired only two workers.

BW: Well, I have no trouble telling him to leave my house. Just let me know what you want me to do.

WIC: Let me check with my husband.

A few minutes later, she returned. Apparently, they have run into this before in other locales. They call a local moving company they've worked with before and had good results with, requesting one or two movers to help load. Then when they arrive, there are three or four movers there for the job. If they put up too much of a stink about taking only the number requested, they run the risk of having no workers. Nice. Good business practices. At least if there is a problem later on, this third guy was a dead-ringer for Cuba Gooding, Jr.

The day winds down and I sit down on the floor with the WIC and we go over the paperwork. Apparently all of my goods are soiled, stained, and/or badly worn. Living with dogs is hard.

Camp Toenges is on a narrow street in an old neighborhood built before the days of 53' tractor-trailors. They have to back out the same way they came in. And as I see them pull away from my house, I get emotional for the second time. I mean, that is all my stuff that helped me get through some really tough times the last three years.

After they leave, I go through the house cleaning one last time. Magic Easer is good at getting most of the rub marks off of the bright white paint in the stairwell. Still looks freshly painted. I don't see any new scratches or gauges in the hardwood floors. Until I get to the entryway. They had some trouble getting my sleeper sofa out of the living room and into the entryway (brainiacs) and some of the plaster was chipped off the corner of the arch. Now since this was one of the first things out of the house and I walked past this corner in this condition at least a dozen times, I am hoping that it will be hard to notice.

I lock up and leave. My house is empty.