Not surprisingly, I haven’t had the time to blog lately! But, I’ve “written” several posts in my head, as well as “edited” existing posts (also, in my head) and I thought before we step on a plane tomorrow morning, I should at least try to get some of what’s been going on put into words.
The first post we meant to write was about was moving. Moving is hard. This move was excruciating. To celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary, we decided to go backpacking…and get back 2 days before we had to be out of the apartment. Maybe not the best planning, but at the time I thought we were well-enough prepared. (For pictures of the trip, see here). However, the backpacking was spectacular: fantastic weather, lots of great fishing, crystal clear water, almost no other people around, a full moon so bright it seemed like a spotlight, and breathtaking views (both the views and the getting there). It was a fantastic way to say goodbye to what I think is my favorite thing about Washington and to simply relax together in God’s glorious creation.
However, upon our return, instead of packing…I decided I also wanted to say goodbye to a few friends at Vertical World. So, after a quick change I was off for a few final climbs in an attempt to finish off that punch-card. It was a fantastic night of seeing friends…but an absolutely terrible night of climbing for me. (Note to self: don’t rock climb after an 18-mile backpacking hike). But, at least I tried to push my endurance and got to see some great friends.
And then…after all our excuses had run out, we found ourselves alone with our demons: a half-packed, half-cleaned (if even half…) apartment, an adorable kitten I would soon have to give to a kitten au pair, and no one to help us. I tried to stay positive, repeatedly saying, as if to convince myself, “We have a lot done. There’s not that much more to do…”. Tyler became overwhelmed and dizzied by the task before us, and at points curled up in the fetal position on the floor. There were numerous tears, sobs, and snappy arguments. Two nights of less than five hours of sleep, with every minute of time and energy spent on packing, loading u-hauls, and cleaning, and still, no help (or even offers) from a soul.
Then, the dreaded moment came: when, even after all our talk of getting rid of so many possessions (apparently we had more than we thought): it wasn’t all going to fit. Not in the u-haul, not in the car, not in the passenger’s seat. And not only would it not all fit, there was no time to dig out the things we’d much rather give away. Some of the lesser-quality furniture we demolished in the alley; kicking apart shelves of faux wood, gathering nails and compacted, flat pieces discreetly in the building’s dumpsters. I lined the alley with things we didn’t have the time or means to drop off at Goodwill: furniture, stilts, laundry organizers, bookshelves, chairs, and…the bike my Mom had given me, that I made my Dad drive all the way from California so I could use it. I had almost got hit by a bus in that bike. The epic Lake Washington ride with Haley to Red Mango…so many hopes and dreams…left on the curbside. In a move to not anger our landlord by leaving the alley and dumpster full of our belongings, I typed up an ad on Craigslist hoping our goods would be picked up and loved by future owners, and continued on our moving rampage. To my immense surprise, every single item was gone within an hour. Not only that, the bike was taken by a very excited owner who I know will get plenty of use out of it, so I can have some peace about it all.
And then, the cleaning. Oh, the cleaning! Three years in an apartment 100 years old…we gathered enough dusty bunnies to make at least two spare kittens. Cleaning brought more breakdowns, more hunger (and fume) headaches, and more tasks to do than time would allow. Needing to be at the storage place in Portland by a certain time, I had to leave Tyler to finish cleaning while I raced the u-haul southward. I left him with gifts of sodas and snacks, and off I went, alone again, with no CD player, no iPod…nothing but the good-old radio. Luckily, traffic was nearly non-existent, I discovered I have a hidden talent for driving u-hauls both in big cities and on the freeway, and, my uncontrollable tears didn’t cause an accident. I had made it, just in time, and friends and in-laws were on the way!
This is where things started going well in the moving story. Our dear friends showed up with impeccable timing, and the energy and attitude we weren’t capable of having. Our storage unit looked bigger than expected, and was certainly in a nicer, more secure building than expected. These friends are master-packers and Tetris champions, and helped me squirrel away all our goods with room to spare. My mother-in-law drove up so we could load her mini-van with food to give away, toiletries, wedding dresses, suits, and all the other random things we thought we might use in the next few weeks. Tyler even made it, saying he had successfully finished cleaning the entire apartment. After an epic drive to a u-haul address that didn’t exist, we were finally, finally, done with the worst of it. A few days later we were at our new “home,” settled in, things sorted and organized, laundry finished, sleep caught-up-on, well fed and hydrated, and utterly free.