I really have a love-hate relationship with moving. As exciting as it is to start a new chapter, it’s also gut-wrenching to close one. As much fun as looking forward to a new house is, leaving your current one is so sad. Long days and late nights prepping for a move, watching the movers pack your stuff while your heart is in your throat, and arguing with them about how they are poorly packing your stuff all leads (God-willing) to a sense of victory on the other end when you are settling into your new home and finally putting the stuff away.
This is my first move as an Army wife, since we were reassigned to Fort Hood after Richard’s previous assignment. While I am having some deja vu about moving as a child, doing this as the mom/wife is SO much harder than doing this as a child. Kids look to Mom and Dad as their comfort and stability. So, while moving is still sad, they are taking with them their security. Not so much with the grown ups. My home is my comfort. And this week, the packers tore that apart. As I stood in the kitchen watching them pack my china, plates, cookware and watched them box up the Nursery, I kept telling myself to breathe. That it would all make it in one piece. That it was just stuff. It didn’t work. But, it was worth a shot.
The next day, as they suddenly went from slow-as-molasses to speedy-gonzales (because they double-booked themselves for the week, of course), I watched in horror as they started shoving and pushing items in boxes that didn’t fit. Trying to convince them of this was next to impossible, and I truly felt a stroke coming on. My cranium was preparing to launch. The baby swing was being crushed, a giant concrete St. Francis was shoved down on top of collectible doll items. I was trying to communicate with my husband via eye signals, which weren’t going through because of poor signal strength. By the time they left, I truly thought the day couldn’t get more stressful. I was wrong.
For several years, I had a plunger lying in the back most recess of my trunk. I had put it there when I had moved out of my apartment the week of my wedding. Since I could not reach it without crawling into the trunk and thereby damaging my pride, there is sat. People would mock me. Oh, yes. But, my constant response was, “You never know when you might need a plunger.” I had no idea how right I would be. Two weeks ago, after more teasing from my husband, I finally waited until our street was devoid of people and crawled in after my plunger.
After the umpteenth argument with the movers about the aforementioned box, one of them asked if they could use our bathroom. I had no problem with this. She returned and they continued packing and we continued requesting boxes get repacked. The box with the doll desk was never repacked.
After they left that night, we realized that the mover had clogged the toilet. We inspected boxes in the garage to see which one they could possibly have packed the plunger in. There was no way to tell with their contents descriptions; they had marked Christmas Decorations “Totes and clothes.” Makes sense. I was relieved immediately when I had a sudden thought: my plunger! I turned to get the car keys…and then remembered. It, too, was in a box somewhere. Oh, if only everyone had listened. So, out went the husband to buy a plunger…which we realized after he returned home and started plunging, was broken. Naturally.
The next morning, my parents brought their plunger…and to no avail, we plunged again. By now, there was disgusting water all over the bathroom floor. It was tracked into the hallway, and had successfully shut down total use of that bathroom. Until my toddler somehow got in there, slipped and fell into the water. Yes. Ew.
Finally the moving company sent out a plumber. He fixed it within ten minutes. And for five hours that day, I was mopping up foul water off my floor. When I thought I was done, I stood up only to realize that it had seeped underneath the tiles. I was so angry, and again felt a stroke coming on. After a few hours with a fan, the water seems to have dried.
As we moved through this week of chaos, I survived. The movers and packers, our life loaded onto a truck, arguments about boxes, a plumber. Two HARD days of cleaning. But, I survived. My first move-out as an Army Wife is done. We even have a funny story. And, on a positive note, the pride that I lost climbing into the trunk of my Taurus to retrieve a plunger was restored when I was able to look at my husband and say, “See? I told you: You never know when you are going to need a plunger.” If only more people appreciated my genius.