Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Always Coming Home

      It's pre-moving day #3, and I am already worn out. Yesterday, after writing my blog in record time, I commenced with the final stages of packing. It is amazing how much stuff Spartacus and I have accumulated. First, I started with my side of the bedroom, emptying out the night stand drawers, sorting through old receipts, spent gift cards, makeup samples from magazines, and a dizzying collection of green Floyd Medical Center pens. I went through my closet, and was dismayed to find two boxes of I-couldn't-remember-what from our last move. Plowing through those, I discovered old photos of me and my parents, a travel jewelry box that I've been searching for since we moved here, a crashed Mac laptop, two old cell phones, a brand new cake plate and server, and assorted Victoria's Secret push-up strips and gel petals. The gel petals keep my nipples from showing in my favorite knit halter top, and over the last 10 months, I've had to resort to using the old standby, Band-Aids. After getting all that stuff sorted out, I proceeded to the dining area, where all of our artwork stood ready to be packaged. Packing sculptures, especially the delicate ones my father made from soap or wax, is an exercise in anal-retentiveness, and I almost considered calling an art store to see if there was someone who could help me. I ended up creating special boxes out of regular boxes for these pieces, wrapped in double or triple bubble wrap, and bolstered by styrofoam. The last time we moved, I wasn't as careful, and somehow, each piece survived intact. Today, I will be on a quest to find a large roll of brown postal paper in which to wrap the large paintings, including the 36x48 portrait of Nick, Rory, and their friends, Willie and Chad, that I still have to complete. Thank goodness I have a Honda Fit; the cargo space in that little car is incredible! I moved my entire kitchen in it in one fell swoop back in April; I anticipate it will serve me just as well this go-around.  I am desperately trying to avoid the last minute frenzy we experienced last time, where we randomly threw stuff into boxes while the movers were loading the truck. This move has been a bit more organized, mainly because I'm not working right now. Every box that Spartacus and I have packed is labelled with all of its contents, a "K" for kitchen or "D" for dining room, and any fragile items, like the sculptures, are in their own separate pile to be placed directly in my car.
     Although we hired a moving company, we are still going to have to pack a 17 foot truck ourselves on Thursday night. Had we elected to pay the movers to pack and move everything, we'd have been looking at close to $10,000, and even if we packed everything ourselves and just had them move furniture, it still would have been around $4,000. Spartacus and I decided to move the furniture from the downstairs apartment, as well as all of the boxes we've packed by ourselves, bringing this move down to a manageable $1577.00. I am envisioning being completely finished with all the important packing by Thursday afternoon, so we can quickly load the truck. Good thing I've increased my upper body resistance training from using 8 lb to 10 lb dumbbells; I'm going to need all the strength I can possibly get! For a man of 50, Spartacus is freakishly strong, and is capable of lifting armchairs and other unwieldy objects, unassisted.
     Because our new place has a washer and dryer, we are leaving our old ones here, sold for $225 to our landlord. Hopefully, that will be a selling point for his next tenants. I bought them new when I purchased my house in Atlanta, back in October of 2005, along with a stainless steel GE Profile side-by-side custom refrigerator. The idiot that renovated the kitchen didn't allow adequate space for the refrigerator door to open all the way. In order to keep the refrigerator door from being dented by the pantry doorknob, you had to open that door first. Getting the refrigerator to fit in that cramped space was an even bigger challenge, requiring removal of the baseboard on the right hand side. One time, the water dispenser quit working, so I researched how to fix it myself. Our home warranty didn't cover the dispenser, and I figured it would be very expensive to have a service technician come out. I determined that it was a bad motherboard, and ordered a new one from Amazon.com. In order to replace the motherboard, we had to move the refrigerator from its enclosure to unplug it; while we had it out, I'd also be able to clean all the shelves and bins. It took 4 men and a couple of hours to maneuver the fridge from its tight quarters. After replacing the motherboard, the water dispenser still didn't work, so my son, Nick, got online with a FixYa guy, while the rest of us attempted to discern what else could be wrong. I got down on the floor, and noticed a badly corroded electrical wire coming from the very bottom of the freezer door. I spliced out the damaged section, reconnected the wires with an appropriately sized crimp, and voila, the problem was solved. Obviously, it wasn't the motherboard after all. My research had revealed that motherboards are prone to dysfunction, so it was nice to know we had a brand new one, with a back up tucked away, just in case.
     My plan for today is to get the downstairs area shored up and ready to go. It is about 90% packed. All that really remains for me to do is to remove a couple of framed prints from the walls, and spackle and paint over the nail holes. I need to sort through the toiletries in the bathroom down there, and figure out which items to keep. For years, I've saved soaps, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and sewing kits from the various hotels in which I've stayed, and I'm thinking those would be appropriate for donating to a homeless shelter. The towels and linens should fit nicely inside the lidded crates which serve as end tables in the living area. All of the lamps have been disassembled. The flat panel TV will need to be unplugged and wrapped in blankets, and all three of our TVs will travel to Atlanta by car. I still need to unload our upright freezer. Boris, our 16 year old kitty, will remain in the laundry room until we return to Rome on Monday; he'll be happier in there than at the vet. Our dogs, Simon and Lilly, will be boarded on Thursday afternoon. All three pets will come back with us to Atlanta on Monday. I'm sure that afternoon is going to be a real treat. We'll have to figure out how to disconnect Boris's cat box from the water source and prepare it for transport, without it leaking poo water everywhere. Since we'll have about 20 new neighbors in our complex, we are anticipating that Simon and Lilly will now have some canine playmates. They are exceptionally well-behaved around other dogs, and for the most part, are a pleasure to walk. Even in  the midst of all this packing, I've been trying to make time to take them on  good long walks; it really wears them out and calms them down.  I need to use up my hour long massage gift certificate, so I will do that today or tomorrow. The hours of packing really strain my back and neck, and a massage will be therapeutic and relaxing.
     All in all, this move is coming together. It is 7:48 a.m., and I am going to proof-read what I've just written, brush my teeth, and let my breakfast digest while I pack up some canned goods and utensils. Then, I will do a 50 minute run on the treadmill. After that, I'll shower, and go out in search of brown paper and more boxes. Steve, the guy who runs the nutrition store in our building, has been saving all his boxes for me, and that's been a huge help, not to mention a real money-saver. I will then make a run to the liquor store for partitioned boxes in which to pack the remaining dishes and glassware. We're running perilously low on bubble wrap and shipping tape, so a visit to Home Depot is also in order. Looks like I've got another full day ahead. In the meantime, our new place is being painted, the red walls replaced by a fresh coat of white, a transformation which will make that space seem much lighter. I can't wait to see it when we arrive Friday afternoon. I'm already thinking about what we'll have for dinner Friday night, back in our new-old town of Atlanta, the city I've been trying to escape from since I was in my 20s, but to which I always seem to return. The hardest part about moving to Rome was living so far away from my 21 year old sons, Nick and Rory. It was the first time we'd been separated by more than just a couple of miles, and before we moved last April, I cried every day on the commute home from my job here in Rome. I've missed them and their friends so much. Spartacus and I both have family in the metro Atlanta area, and hopefully, we'll get to see more of them now. It's funny because I've actually seen more of my mom in the last 3 months than I have in the last 3 or 4 years; she lives north of Atlanta, and Rome is only a 45 minute drive. It's been great spending time with her and my 4 year old niece, Jerney. In a way, I guess my heart has never really left Atlanta. It is where I met my first husband, the father of my children. It is where Nick and Rory were born, and where they graduated from high school. It is where they live, work, and love. It is where I had my first job as an anesthesiologist, fresh out of residency, and where I met some of my best friends. It is where Spartacus and I met and married. I've lived in Macon and Rome, both unique towns with their own personality and charm. Although it's been nice to be out of the big city pollution and traffic, Atlanta's skyline has a way of reminding me that I'm always coming home.
A photo I found while packing: Mom, me, & Dad, early 1960s

6 comments:

  1. As retired Air Force, home is always nice to come back to.

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    1. Indeed,it is. Home really does seem to be where the heart is.

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  2. Good luck with the move, Kris! It seems Atlanta calls out to a special part in you :) I have moved across continents, countries, and cities - as a result of my dad having a transferrable job, as well as, later for my own career. Going back to my childhood home in India, has its special place for me. Apart from that, home is anywhere we make a decent living and the kids happy :)

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    1. thanks, ananya! i wish i had traveled more in my life, but i guess it's never too late!

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  3. I've never enjoyed moving and I know there will be one more in a couple of years when our home is built north of Jasper. I admire your energy and focus and I shall be glad to have you back in Atlanta. Side note: what's wrong with your nipples showing?

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    1. i'll be back before you know it! re: my nipples, i personally don't care, but it seems to attract the wrong kind of attention! ;-)

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