Ah, moving day—that joyous equivalent of hell on Earth.
I actually enjoy apartment living. It’s nice to have a crew of illegal immigrants mow the lawn regularly, not to mention the amenities such as a treadmill that you can look at daily and know you never have to use. However, greed has invaded the apartment market. The landlord always wants more money, which he blames on the county tax board, the utility companies and market prices. The latter being what he can get away with in concert with all of the other greedy landlords
in the area.
Okay, I’m whining, but I’m also trying to conserve some of my income for me.
Then, a windfall came my way. I was offered a lovely, two-bedroom house that had been sitting vacant for over a year. Granted, it was an older house that needed a little work, but it offered more room and was significantly less expensive than paying for my landlord to send his kids to Harvard.
Packing My Stuff
When you really need one, cardboard boxes become more valuable to people than their children.
I briefly considered shelling out three to four dollars per box for new, single-use cardboard that I was going to recycle in a matter of days. While I don’t march on Earth Day, somehow such obvious waste nettled my conscience and promised karmic retribution. So, I collected free, used boxes from local businesses, and thanked the business owners profusely for their generosity. Unfortunately for the planet, I was unable to locate used tape.
Filling the boxes goes faster if you don’t bother to clean anything…Nah! At the very least, I dusted everything that went into a box, and avoided Styrofoam peanuts by cushioning fragile items with extra cardboard, old t-shirts and towels that I needed to pack anyway. Let me tell you, my environment-friendly karma was looking good! However, as I probed deeper into the dark, hidden recesses of my closets and drawers, I discovered a most unsettling fact of life. Frankly, I don’t have a problem storing things that I only use once a year or so—punch bowls, lockjaw pliers, first-date cologne, etc. However, moving day also uncovered items I couldn’t imagine using—ever. What was I thinking when I bought a doggie backscratcher and a battery-powered melon baller? Idiot!
The actual move is simple if you stick to basics:
- Load truck.
- Take ibuprofen.
- Drive to destination.
- Unload truck.
- Take more ibuprofen.
This Old House
Hardwood floors! Room for all my stuff! A shed in the backyard!
I was seriously impressed with my excellent decision until the hot water in my morning shower turned into the runoff from an Artic glacier. (That old joke about cold temperatures and the size of male genitalia is no joke.) I also learned that sudden shocks will make you rip down your shower curtain while escaping.
Two days! I had hot water for only two freakin’ days before…
I’m sorry, but your electric is not up to code for me to install a new hot water heater. You need to call an electrician first, so for this service call, I’ll only charge you one arm, two legs and maybe a kidney.
Fortunately, the electrician was able to diagnose the problem with the hot water heater as a fault in the wiring and not the heater itself. However, the age of the wiring and many, many years of jury-rigged circuitry made this old house a fire trap and, plainly, a bit dangerous for daily living.
Remind me, how did the previous owner die?
While the electricians upgraded my wiring and breaker panel, I busied myself with painting the house, interior and exterior. Admittedly, the electricians were fast and professional, and I was unbelievably grateful to have new, safe, ground-faulted wiring in the house when the toilet overflowed and I discovered that standing in raw sewage is a memorable experience for all the wrong reasons.
- Using a plunger is a dirty business.
- People who buy liquid drain cleaner always use the store’s restroom.
- Plumbers who work weekends require you to pay for their new Mercedes.
I’m fairly certain that he drives the same model as my old landlord.
– Judy Gold