A Moving Experience

I have worked at my agency for 20 years.  The agency has been in the current building  for 50 years.   We are moving to a new building next month.  It will be quite a project.

Our current building is a six story college dorm on the campus of Dickinson State University.  The college is evicting us to make room for the Theodore Roosevelt Digital Presidential Library.  We are moving to a very new building that housed a civil engineering firm.  Our offices, which hardly anyone has seen, are said to be much smaller than our current offices, which are rather large, and which have windows.  Storage and windows in the new building will be minimal, if they even exist. We have been told to throw out everything we aren’t going to move.  Dumpsters and receptacles for shredding are being delivered on a regular basis.

For 50 years, people at my agency have been able to throw things in large cupboards and closets and forget about them.  Today I discovered that we have seven sets of Rorschach Inkblot Cards. We used to have five psychologists. Today I am the only one, and believe me, I don’t need seven sets of inkblots. The first Head of Psychology used to spend any extra money in the budget by purchasing tests, and Husband, when he was the Head of Psychology, did the same thing.  Today I threw out hundreds of out-of-date test forms.  I always knew they were there, but I chose to ignore them since we had the space to store them.  We also have a Christmas tree problem, since every floor had a waiting room that was decorated for the season, and now we are  going to have only two waiting rooms. We don’t need six Christmas trees.  Decisions will need to be made. Since we can’t just put the extra inkblots in the garbage for test security reasons, I think I will be having a Rorschach bonfire in our back yard to dispose of the oldest and grubbiest of the sets. You can’t have dirty or marked up Rorschach cards, you know.

Tell about some of your moving experiences.


42 thoughts on “A Moving Experience”

  1. I’ve helped a lot of people move. Comes with owning a pick up truck.
    A few things I remember are son moving out of a dorm at the end of the school year. Four guys living there and while pretty good, it was four guys. They were nearly done and just cleaning up the kitchen and I heard one young man exclaim, “WHY IS THERE HAIR IN THE REFRIGERATOR!??”

    I’ve helped my friend Jerry move three times. Once, trying to get a washing machine up from the basement of an old house with the narrow open stairway, he lost his grip. I was at the bottom when he said “Ope!”. (You know, that good MN expression that can mean whatever you need it to mean at that moment) and I sort of lept back down the stairs. The machine only fell 3 or 4 steps and wedged itself between the railings. The dust settled and Jerry says “… Ben…?” He thought for sure I was crushed under the machine. We laugh about it.
    The next time he moved, I had recently dropped a big piece of machinery on my head at home and was moving kinda slow. I carried pillows for him.

    Good luck with your move Renee!

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I dunno, I often find the dishwasher filter has accumulated what looks like it might be cat hair. Why is there cat hair in the dishwasher filter? Do the cats take naps in the dishwasher? I can’t explain.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. There is a phrase that is hot at the moment: inflection point. It refers to that moment when a process going one way reaches its nadir and turns in a new direction. For example, people in my community desperately want to believe we just experienced an inflection point in race relations.

    You seem to be at an inflection point. As we grow up, we usually move into increasingly nicer and more commodious quarters. Moving is always bothersome, but we do it in order to get more. The first time we move to get less is strange. Little in life prepares us for that. If you have the grace needed to do this well, it will be your friend when you move into your next home, a place likely to have less storage.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. We’ve moved ourselves a few times and moved friends as well. I no longer have a pickup truck and besides I’m old, so nobody asks to help them anymore. The last move I had any involvement with was my younger daughter’s family’s move to a new house a couple of years ago. I dread our next move, whenever that happens. It’s going to require some serious downsizing.

    A memorable move, not because of the quantity of stuff but because of the logistics, was when my older daughter Was going to school in UW Madison and changing apartments In the housing around UW Madison, all the leases end the same day and new leases don’t start until the next day, which means that overnight your stuff has to be somewhere else. It also means that every rental van and truck for fifty miles around Madison is engaged that weekend. We had reserved a rental van and were confident we had the problem solved but when we showed up to the U-Haul office, we were told they had rented our van out the night before to someone who had “promised” to have it back but—surprise surprise—they hadn’t showed up. We called around and finally located a much too large van with a stick shift in Reedsville.

    I’ve always found driving in Madison a little hair-raising under the best of circumstances but with this giant truck it was terrifying. We loaded up the contents of her apartment and then we had to find somewhere we could park the truck overnight. Then, the next day we retrieved the truck, unloaded, and took the truck back to Reedsville.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Some of biggest “character building” moments were driving big trucks in downtown areas.
      And being 17 and driving the neighbors grain truck to the elevator to unload corn. I didn’t know how to raise the box and I to ask the guys there how to do it.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Moving back to the States after living in Canada was an adventure. At least US Customs and Immigration didn’t have the energy to go through our rental truck, and just passed us through.

    The rental truck we moved in was a U Haul truck my father brought to us. He had a small U Haul franchise at the time. The truck he used for us had been mysteriously left at his franchise one night. It had been stolen from some other franchise, and my dad decided this was the perfect opportunity to save some money, so he didn’t report to the U Haul company that the truck had been left at his franchise until after he drove it to Winnipeg, loaded all our earthly possessions in it, drove us to Indiana, and then drove it back to Luverne. I had no idea that the truck was stolen, and dad didn’t tell me about it until after he got back to Luverne with it. I was mortified.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. A memorable move for us was when trout fishing friends asked our help as they moved into their first home. They lived in a tiny apartment, so we concluded this would be a short afternoon. How much could there be to move?

    The move evolved into a tedious marathon that tested the friendship. Our friends had lived in a small space for many years, and they had pack rat tendencies. Worse, they were fly tiers, so they had been collecting little bits of fur or feathers that kept us returning to locate more and more stuff. If they brushed the dog, for example, the loose hair would go into a baggie that could be stored behind a loose wall panel. As all fly tiers know, you never know when you might need a bit of gray or red hair. The only lesson I could draw from the mess was something like: never volunteer to help a fly tier move.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The worst “helping friends move” I can remember was the one where they hadn’t gotten around to packing anything until the day of the move.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I have done one of those. Once all the big stuff had been moved, we still had to pack all the small stuff, like dishes, books, contents of kitchen drawers, etc. and of course, we had neither boxes or paper to wrap things, so had to scurry all over creation to find some. What should have taken a few hours ended up being a whole miserable day’s work.

        Like, Bill, I’m no longer considered a viable helper for a move, and for that I’m grateful.

        Liked by 4 people

  6. I have experienced the following when moving:
    – stuffing everything into two suitcases and flying to San Francisco (1970)
    – stuffing everything into a VW van for a trip across country, twice (well, the second time I dropped all the stuff at my folks’ and just took the cats the rest of the way)..
    – moving in January (1977) from my folks’ to apt., my dad’s best friend driving – got lucky with a January thaw
    – moving 5 times in 5 years (’80-85′)
    – moving in a blizzard on March Fourth (’89)

    And I’ve told the story of this last move, where we ended up with the “right” house only after several changes of mind on the par of various home owners… A shout out to about ten of Joel’s friends who come and helped pack the truck the night before.

    Then there are the four times I’ve moved my mom… I too am glad to be old enough that I’m rarely called upon to move. I like to help people get ready for a move, though…

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I just remembered the worst move of my life. When we were grad students living in a dilapidated building near the U of MN, we were invited to live for a summer in the basement of a fly fishing tackle shop in Brule, Wisconsin. We jumped at the chance to do that, although it meant moving much of our household, including our cat.

    Pippin was–gee, where do I start?–a ferocious, athletic, and intimidating cat. On any scale from one to ten, Pippin was a 13. When we told the vet we worried about the drive to Brule with Pippin, he gave us pills that would knock Pippin out during the trip. (The vet was afraid of Pippin, too.)

    The pills might have worked on an ordinary cat, but they just convinced he was dying. His eyes rolled up into their sockets, which made him a terrifying thing to see. He roared and yowled and fought us like a demon. I’m not afraid of what Hell will sound like now, having heard something much worse during our five-hour drive to Brule.

    We pulled over for gas in Yellow Lake, Wisconsin. Since it was a stinking hot day, we had one window open a tiny bit. Pippin managed to squirt through that opening, darting under a shed filled with used tires. And he would not come out. There wasn’t enough room under the shed for us to go after him, which reduced us to trying to persuade him to come out on his own. I don’t remember what we finally said that caused him to leave the shed and go back into that car.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. This is a sore point for me so it’s taken me all day to decide how to answer.

    When I was in ninth grade my family moved from one suburb to another in St. Louis. Different school districts. We actually moved in March but my folks thought that it would be better for me if I started the new school in January so that I would know some people the following fall when I went to high school. So for 2 1/2 months my folks drove me to the new school each day. I hated the new school and was not looking forward to actually moving either. The day of the move I was very sick. And the follow up to that is that every day I have moved since then (from school to my first apartment from one apartment to the next from apartment to a house and even from the last house to this house) all moves that I was excited to make, I have been ill. I am absolutely sure this is psychosomatic. I didn’t actually recognize this pattern until the last move to this house. I’ve made peace with my folks about the ninth grade move so I’m hoping that when it’s time to move from here I can break this habit.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Moves are so disruptive for children. Husband moved often as a child, and it was really important to him that our children didn’t have to move once they started school. They didn’t have to move until they went to college.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My experience in ninth grade is the number one reason that I worked so hard to keep this house during the early days of my single parenthood. Because I never wanted to have to do that to my child. I know my parents did what they thought was right but even with decades of hindsight I still don’t think it was right.


    2. I meant to mention this the other day when we were talking about friends.
      There was a few years in elementary school that every time I made a new best friend they moved away. Mom says she felt bad for me.
      First it was Mike, Then Ricky, then Joe.
      I’ve found Rick on FB. Never have found Mike but I did find his older brother a few years ago.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. And I was the friend who moved away. We moved many many many times when I was a kid and so I don’t have any friends in my life from prior to college. Of course the friends that I have made since then have more than made up for that.

        Liked by 3 people

  9. I an embarrassed to say that my new office will have a window and is one of the largest in the new building. Our regional director sent me floor plan late this afternoon. I feel very Lutheran and undeserving right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wind Down. Time for Bed Baboons,

    Life has been a merry chase today. It started early with an online class and went from there.

    My sister moved With her family from Western South Dakota to Boone Iowa in 1984 or 85 where she got a teaching job. They lived in a horrid little apartment above a store for several months while they found a house to purchase. By Thanksgiving they were ready to move in. Jo rounded up my cousin Gail, my brother, me, and my mother to assist.

    We all arrived to unpack the truck as a blizzard moved in—as in very cold, lots of snow, howling wind kind of blizzard. We worked hard carrying boxes and furniture from the truck into the house, but no one worked harder than my brother John and brother-in-law Hiram. Those two young men moved all the heavy furniture themselves, through the snow, over the ice forming on the sidewalk, into the house. They had already moved all this stuff OUT of the second floor apartment. I focused on providing lunch for everyone and getting all the beds made so everyone had a bed for the night, while I intermittently unpacked vital boxes.

    My brother, Gail, my son and I all slept in the living room that night on air mattresses or anything soft we could find. My brother, a snorer, was so exhausted he Immediately fell asleep and started sawing logs. We all soon floated off, until we all awoke to a strange sound. “Woooooooo, oooooooooo, wooooooooo.” My cousin Gail woke up and started giggling, as did I. Soon my sister came downstairs to the living room.

    “What is it?” She asked. “I thought it was the wind outside, but it can’t be. Why are you laughing.”

    The sound came back. It was my brother, dreaming about something and “Wooing” into the night. He never woke up as we giggled and shineD flashlights in his face to see the sight. When we get together and tell that story, we all still dissolve into helpless giggles.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. Moving a workplace is a difficult thing. I can relate to the throwing things in closets – one office where I worked had shelves and shelves of audio tapes, with no filing system, and no plan for what to do with the spent fuel rods. There was no particular person in charge of them, so everyone expected someone else to know what to do with them.

    Liked by 1 person

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