SO, the last blog was all about my last week in the US. It was mostly filled with packing, contacting people (and businesses) and saying faretheewells. As mentioned, and as you can probably imagine, it was a long, long, exhausting week. I did not sleep much. At first because I would wake up with a list of things that needed doing on my brain. Often I would take advantage of having awakened by checking in with David, who had quite the list of prep work going on on his end, as well. This week he got registered at city (and town) halls, got his official work visa, filled out company paperwork, got a bank account, looked into buying a car, rented a car to pick us up, and basically continued to work hard at getting us established. He even found soft toilet paper!
As it got closer to moving day, though, I started losing sleep simply because there weren’t enough hours to do everything that I needed to do. By the final night before moving, I was up until 2 AM and then up again before 7 AM. I would have stayed up later, but I was falling over and I needed to be standing the next day! As it turned out, I was only barely standing, but luckily I had enough help that I could reasonably share the burden and be OK. Thanks again Connie, Mark, Dad and Mom!!!!
Moving day itself was long. As mentioned, I got up around 7 and got in a shower before breakfast. Next we packed up my computer, stripped the beds, and finished packing the last couple of boxes with our last minute items. Also, we completed packing our luggage with toiletries etc. Mom and Mark arrived first and started right in on clearing out all the stuff in the kitchen that we would not be taking with us. Soon after, the moving truck arrived with Daniel and Louis.
The first thing they told me was that they didn’t think all my stuff would fit. Yipes! But, I was still pretty confident it would and there really wasn’t anything for it but to get right in and see! So, Louis, the burlier of the two deceptively small gentlemen started right in on disassembling the beds, while Daniel set about making an inventory of our stuff. As it happened, he did not have to open *every* box- just the ones with computer equipment. Otherwise, he took our word for it that everything on the labels was correct. I assured him there were no flammables, and he commenced writing. Every once in a while, Louis would need help, so Daniel would go assist. They put each mattress in a box. And everything that was not in a box (a couple small filing cabinets, framed art, etc.) was wrapped in stiff paper. The computers were pulled out, inventoried, wrapped in paper and repackaged. These guys had obviously done this a few times (Daniel said 17 years for him), and were extremely efficient. They were probably 2/3 done by the time Dad and Connie arrived, a couple hours in. We had been told it would take 5 hours, but I am pretty sure they had it all done in 3!
As it turned out, all the boxes and the beds fit, but there was almost no room left over after that. We fit one chest, a folding table and 4 folding chairs in the remaining space. That was it for furniture. Once they were done, I signed a big pile of paperwork and off they toodled. Buh-bye stuff! See some of you in 5 weeks… we sincerely hope!
Dad and Connie jumped right in with helping me clear out all the remaining stuff in the upstairs. Our bedroom/my workroom was the place in the house with the most crappola. We spent most of the day sorting through stuff that would either get stored, given away or trashed. Dad shuttled a couple more truckloads of stuff to the Salvation Army. And folks claimed any items that might be useful to them or people they knew. As we did not have anywhere close to enough space in our trashcan, a large pile of trash bags were left beside the house to be cleared by the clean-out company the bank hires.*
Mark, Dad and I rented a truck at U-haul to carry items to our storage place and things for my grandma’s new care facility. Everyone summoned their remaining strength and loaded up that truck. Interestingly, the kids each created their own moving rituals. DS wandered around the house saying good-bye to each room, DD set up an odd shrine in her bedroom with a drawing and a couple photos of tigers, etc. that she wanted someone to find. Sort of evidence of herself left behind, I guess. Next, we said our goodbyes to Dad and Connie. Then, it was to Riverside!
Traffic wasn’t great, but it wasn’t *too* bad. Took us about 2 hours. Unfortunately, when we got out there we discovered that the storage place had closed! So, time for plan B. We unloaded everything into Mom & Mark’s garage and grabbed dinner at a very nice Japanese restaurant. I had been warned Asian food is less common in Germany (and Mexican is tough to find at all). It was about 10:30 before we finished all the unloading. That was a LONG day, but the longest day was yet to come.
(again, photos to come)
*Many folks have asked, so I will go ahead and put it on the record: Yes, we are giving the house back to the bank. Yes, were are largely OK with it at this stage. Yes, it was a hard decision. Actually, like much of this trip it was more of a difficult thought adjustment than a difficult decision, since there really were no other viable options! Our neighborhood fared especially badly in the crash. The house is under water about 200k, couldn’t rent it out for enough to cover mortgage, bank wouldn’t modify the loan and they wouldn’t authorize a short sale- at least, not until we told them we were moving the next day (boggle)! No, in CA you do not have to bankrupt to walk away from a house. The bank just gets a house worth far less than the loan, and we get a nasty blot on our credit. Not an uncommon tale these days, I guess, but not one I really every expected. In any case, that would probably be a whole blog in and of itself and I have more fun things to write about today!