Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I'm Here but I'm Also Over There

Writing stories takes energy. I know this because I have been working too many hours and I can't string together stories anymore. If I wanted to tell you about this week, it would come out like this.

Last week on Wednesday there was thirty millimetres of rain and the worst guest I have ever encountered. Everything went wrong. It was awful. Then it kind of stayed ok and then everyone got sick and I was scrambling around trying to find enough people to cover for the three sick people that couldn't work. Now I'm running around because we're short on staff because its the end of the Spring and I don't know how to deal with so few people. Everything is a struggle. I can pick out moments but no cohesive story.

I am waking up at 5 AM so I can write part of a letter, read my bible, and exercise.
I am watching my wife leave to stay with her parents until she can be seen at the doctor's office.
I am cutting up Amanda's food so she can eat it. We are laughing and talking about what kinds of things we will have to do if this becomes a permanent thing.
I am sitting in the apartment browsing the internet and watching TV so that I can pet the cat.
I am cleaning up vomit from the cat because I haven't spent enough time with him.

I haven't been writing. It's not for a lack of things happening in my life, its because of a lack of organization in the story-writing part of my brain. I'll let you know when that comes back.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Helping Move

I think I've become an expert on moving over the years. Ok expert is the wrong word because there are professtional movers who would know more than me. Enthusiast is probably the best term. I am a moving enthusiast. I understand things about moving having moved or helped others move enough times to figure some things out. Things like how you end up sending the box spring over the stair railing because it's too stiff to make that turn. Or how you should probably order pizza and drinks once people start looking tired and sad. There are lots of tips.

I learned most of these things from the biggest move I ever did. It was a move out of a 5 bedroom apartment on Princess Street in Kingston. There were five different people moving to four different addresses in two different cities with two different trucks. With that much complexity, some things are bound to go right and some are bound to go wrong. Let me recount them to you.

The first thing I did for this move was book the biggest truck I could order from U-Haul. 26 feet of glorious truck. I also booked it early. I booked the moving truck in October when I knew that we were not moving until April 30th. I had moved the year before and struggled to find a truck so this time I planned ahead.

When I arrived at U-Haul to pick up the truck.....they didn't have one. I don't know exactly how this happened. I had booked early enough to avoid problems but Kingston is a nightmare to move in between April 30th and May 1st because most of the leases in the city are up then. I wasn't surprised there were some hiccups. Luckily I used my normal customer service tactics of being nice and understanding. They got me a truck and they got it for the right amount of time that I was going to need it. They were surprisingly helpful considering the zoo going on behind me. So we got the right truck for this move.

One thing we did wrong was getting help. Somehow the five of us had few friends who were able to help us to move. We were able to borrow one friend for about an hour but no one else came. I don't know if that's a reflection on the kind of people we were or what but it was just impossible. I think it's because we had chosen to live together because we were close friends. Of course we couldn't find anymore friends because all the people we would call lived with us....

Luckily family chipped in. My mom, dad and sister came down to help (my sister was bribed with the opportunity to spend time with me. The awfulness of the move outweighed the value of the bribe but we laugh about it now so I think it's ok...). My one roommates parents also came to help. Everyone worked harder than I've seen a group of random people work. My mom and sister cleaned the whole apartment better than it had been cleaned since we had moved in. Our landlord raved to me about it later. He was so happy at the great job we had done on it. It was a good job because it took forever to do due to our thoroughness but it looked really great when we moved out. Props to my mom for being a super gracious super awesome apartment cleaner.

By the time we got out of the apartment with all the stuff out and everything clean, it was 7 PM. We now had a truck full of stuff and empty stomachs. This was a bad idea. We needed more time. I probably could have done that better. My mom and my sister's eyes were hollow from a days hard work. My roommates looked equally discouraged. We went and got food which gave us the strength to push through the final hours where we unloaded all of our stuff but the end of the day was a struggle.

To make things worse, the last thing we did was drop off my things. I had not checked with my new apartment yet so I did not know if I could move in. When we arrived at 10 pm, the room I was to move into was still occupied. No moving in was gonna happen. I sent a few frantic texts and then we ended up moving everything into the basement and the shed in the backyard. At 11 Pm we were ok.

Except we had nowhere to stay....Ben you were not very good at this planning thing back then. We got a hotel room instead and finished up the final move business the next day. It was awful but I had learned a lot and had some stories to tell. Now I do things differently when I move, and I appreciate how dedicated my family is to moving the worldly possessions of my friends and myself. Thanks family, thanks friends. Anytime you want my help moving, let me know and I'll strongly consider your request.