Moving Meets the Murphys

I’m firmly convinced that we should change our last name to Murphy. If something can go wrong, we will without a doubt be right there in the middle of it when it does! Moving to our new apartment on Saturday was no exception.

Outside our new apartment
Outside our new apartment

The day started off well. We walked to Best Do-nuts, the Chinese-owned bakery across the street from our old apartment, and treated ourselves to a bag of doughnut holes (a very rare treat, I might add) before heading to the new apartment for our walk-through. Our leasing agent was busy with another couple so she gave us the keys and our checklist and sent us on our way. We oohed and aahed over our new place, making notes of where to put things; basically dilly-dallying, all the while thinking we had plenty of time. We weren’t scheduled to pick-up our U-Haul until noon and the moving helpers weren’t scheduled to arrive until 1 PM.

Midway through our daydream the phone rang. It was U-Haul letting us know they would be closing in 15 minutes. Luckily the rental counter was only a few miles away so we headed over to pick up the truck. When we moved from Colorado to Florida and then again from Florida to Tennessee, we towed a 8′ x 12′ trailer. This time, I thought a 10′ truck should do the trick for our 2  mile move. Though we have a little amount of stuff, the stuff we do have is definitely not little. The couch, loveseat, and bed took up almost the entire truck!

Speaking of those large, bulky, heavy-as-a-ton-of-bricks items…

Our moving helpers were a no-show!! After confirming and reconfirming, the guys from Craigslist must have decided they had better things to do than carry a couch down a flight of stairs. Thankfully, we had started loading the U-Haul early and by 1 PM (when they were supposed to show up) all we had left to load was the big stuff. At 1:30, I officially called them flakes and yelled down to the crowd of neighbors that had gathered to watch us move, “Anyone want to make a little extra cash loading a couch and loveseat into the truck?” We were met by a chorus of, “Oh, I would but I have a bad back.” and “My chiropractor would kill me.”

Our "monster" loveseat
Our “monster” loveseat

Finally, Larry, our stalker neighbor stepped up. He and another football-player-sized neighbor loaded the couch and loveseat. Neither accepted payment, though I offered each what I would have paid Carlos and his brother. (All stalking incidents are now forgiven, though I can’t say that I’ll be sending Larry a thank-you note from our new address anytime soon).

At our new apartment (also on the 2nd floor), we reversed the process and started with the heavy stuff first. Angie and I successfully unloaded the mattress and loveseat and were halfway up the stairs with the couch when our new neighbor, Anna, jumped in to assist. She’s a bubbly young woman with 2 dogs who works at an animal shelter. I think we’re going to like her just fine. I should also mention here that our unloading was interrupted by a little storm – okay, a pretty substantial storm with lightning. At one point, the high winds caught Angie carrying a section of the platform bed and spun her around. The rain delay lasted about an hour.

We spent all day Sunday unpacking and watching a little preseason football. On the positive side, FOX and NBC both come in really clear here. With the exception of wall decor, we’re officially moved in. Every box is unpacked and everything has a home. Having less stuff definitely makes that part of the process a lot easier!

View from patio
Trees! We have trees again!!

Despite the unintended workout on Saturday, I have to say that our move has been a positive experience. Just waking up in a home filled with sunshine or looking out at an actual tree (instead of a truck filled with garbage) has been a real boost – the kind of boost that was long overdue!

Yesterday, I worked a bit from my “new” office in the bedroom before we headed down to the pool. We were the only ones there, which was really nice. We haven’t yet walked our new complex but I foresee many evening strolls beneath the trees and we’re especially eager to check out the picnic area, which has a gas grill, a gas fire pit, and lots of umbrella-covered tables. To round out our day, we went to ALDI for our weekly grocery run. Instead of piling into the car and driving across town, we simply walked next door. Yep, we live right beside ALDI! (We’re super excited about that, if you can’t tell.)

Garden Gleaning

For a few weeks now we’ve been watching the neighbor’s garden with extreme interest. As parts of our garden slowly died off, theirs seemed to be thriving; despite the fact that no one seemed to be tending it. One evening we noticed the tomato plants were loaded with red ripe fruit in all sizes. A few days later we noticed the same tomatoes were still hanging. Weeds were overtaking the okra and the cabbage were long past needing to be harvested.

Tuesday afternoon when my mom was outside pulling weeds, she struck up a conversation with the neighbors and asked about the untended garden. “I just lost interest,” he said.

Lost interest in eating? That was my first thought.

At this point, I could launch into a soapbox speech on food waste. But I’m not going to do that. The neighbors are good people. When he started the garden, he was laid off from his job. He may have thought it was a way to feed his family or maybe something to occupy his time in the meanwhile. Regardless, it was a good thought at the time. Now that he has been called back to work, the demands of life have taken over, as they usually do for most Americans. And when there are too many demands on one’s time, something has to give. In this case it was the garden.

Rather than get upset about it, we did what any good neighbor would do. We offered to pick the garden. We had intended to do it for them but they insisted we take it all. So yesterday afternoon, we gleaned the neighbor’s garden, taking home 1/2 of a 5 gallon bucket filled with cherry tomatoes, 3 dozen carrots, and 2 dozen okra. Some of the okra is too hard to eat so we’re saving the seeds for our own garden next year. Last night, we peeled and cooked a gallon of tomatoes for the freezer.