Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Moving Uncle C & Aunt C

Well, we moved Uncle C & Aunt C. The following Monday I woke up with a sore shoulder but that subsided after a few hours. My arm pains were sort of amusing. I couldn’t lower my arms or raise them without discomfort. I had to keep my arms bent at the elbows all day. It was so worth it. We had so many laughs together. Even Aunt C and I. That is especially good news. We haven’t always got along. She has had this crazy idea that my life is so special and I have everything so easy. I think she finally got the hint that my life was no piece of cake. I might go into all of that another time but I their moving weekend made me so happy don’t want to go into all the pettiness that went on for years.

This weekend I made Aunt C laugh so hard she almost couldn’t walk! We got along SO well I just had to blog about it. The Christmas of 2006 was especially wonderful due to Aunt C. She was wonderful and full of cheer the entire time! It made that Christmas the most memorable as well.

Growing up moves where always handled by the military. Those colored stickers with the numbers hold fond memories. I wish I had kept a few over the years but I was a kid so what did I know about keepsakes. I can only recall one time the military actually messed up a bit on moving us. Sure, sometimes our furniture and other belongings were delayed but we did receive them. During our last military move, when my father retired…”Oh this is not your stuff? That’s ok, fill out this form. Keep the stuff, the others will be compensated. Oh? You are missing some items? Fill out this form and you will be reimbursed.” My parents were not happy with this “Why should the other family be without their belongings? Why should we be without ours? Who is paying for all of this? Oh, that’s right, we are…tax payers exist in the military too.” They tried and tried to convince the movers who were subcontracted by the military. Usually we had actual military move us so this was a first for us to have a subcontractor.

The military moved us each time but anyone who has moved knows there is a lot of work to be done once the items arrive at the new home. I suppose due to all of our moving about while we were growing up we grew use to the regimen of moving. This along with the last military move led us to rely on ourselves when someone in our family moved. It usually turns out to be a real family and friends event.

The weekend was full of hard work and laced with laughter.

When I arrived at their new McMansion style house I pulled up into the empty driveway. I was a little surprised the driveway was empty and the garage doors were open. As soon as I had the rabbit cage halfway out of the back of my van …here comes Uncle C leading a caravan of trucks filled with furniture and other household items. We rushed to get the rabbit inside and I moved my van out of the way. Uncle C had gathered a crew of friends to help with the move.

We made quick work moving the large pieces of furniture and such. My brother’s friends were all gentlemen. They believe women should not have to lift such have heavy things. I was given couch pillows, paintings and similarly small items. ManSon helped with the large furniture items with ease. As I watched him lift one large item after another I couldn’t believe this Man was once a helpless, tiny baby I held in my arms.

As he waited for an item to be passed down to him at the ramp of the truck he shook hands with each of the other men and introduced himself. This was hilarious to me since everyone already knew who he was. This was not the first time they met. They have known him since he was a toddler. When he introduced himself to Aunt C’s stepfather I couldn’t help but laugh! “Don’t be silly. I know who you are”, he laughed too. ManSon couldn’t figure out how everyone already knew him but he really had no idea who they were. Then it dawned on me. He had not seen any of these people for at least 8 years. He is only 19 so that is half of his life ago. Just over 8 years ago Aunt C treated me so badly at a family function I never wanted to set foot in her house afterwards. The Christmas of 2006 plus all the fun we were having on their moving day really made me believe all of that was behind us.

After unloading the trucks everyone was invited to partake of Aunt C’s wonderful buffet set up on the island in the kitchen. She really out did herself! The food was wonderful! Her mother even brought her homemade rum cake and pumpkin bread. De-Lish-Ous!

After everyone had time to recuperate and refresh all but one of Uncle C’s friends headed off to the many other things they had to do that day. I was actually surprised since I knew there was a storage unit which still required attention. Uncle C, his friend, ManSon and I headed out to pick up the many items in the storage unit. There was only one moving truck left but I had my van. I asked Aunt C if Snow White could stay at the house so there would be more room to load in my van. She agreed. I went upstairs to J’s room where Snow White was playing on her DS to let her know the plans for the next hour or so. I didn’t want her to suddenly discover her brother and Mommy had left. J was playing with her and keeping her company so I asked her if it was ok if Snow White stayed with her. I thought J would like to feel in charge. I also knew Snow White had been so engrossed with her DS that she barley noticed anything going on around her all day. She was content to have a place to sit on the floor and just play her DS. At most she might ask for a glass of water or to use the bathroom.

With that Uncle C and his friend lead the way in the moving truck while ManSon and I followed in my van. We reached the storage unit in about 30 minutes and started the grueling task of moving the items in the packed to the gills storage unit.

Every once in awhile Uncle C would pick up something and say “I haven’t used this in 9 months so I really don’t need it. Do you want it ManSon?” After a few of these statements I half jokingly said “Hey, I know what you are up to. You want to load up my house with all this stuff huh?” ManSon did really want most of what Uncle C had offered and I never rebutted. Uncle C was actually offering him good things such as a tool box, car mats and things.

Uncle C’s friend joked about a few items in the storage unit. “I think this would catch a good price on the Antiques Road Show! Two kites, brand new, in the box, never used, mint condition. What about this, a 1980’s bathroom sink. In mint condition. And this 1970’s washroom vanity.” His friend was funny and yes these things were in the storage unit. My brother does toss things he thinks he will never use. He usually has no problem purging items from his house. These were mostly things our parents bestowed upon him during their move after 20 years in the same house.

Every once in awhile Uncle C would pick up a box and say “This box is SO heavy! What could be in here?” After a few of these proclamations I said, in a matter of fact tone “Oh, that’s your porn.” I couldn’t believe I kept a straight face! I couldn’t believe I said the word Porn! Out Loud! My brother almost dropped the box! He also turned several shades of red. (he.he.he.) He was over come with embarrassment. He couldn’t believe I said it either. My brother. The super all time Daddy of the Year. The ultimate Family Man. How could I have said that?!

His friend laughed with such might he almost fell to the ground. When ManSon recovered from the fact that I said the word Porn he burst into laughter. I laughed until I cried! I brought three men to their knees, laughing, just by saying one word out loud.

There was one bad incident. While ManSon, the friend and Uncle C were carefully picking up a computer desk with an attached hutch….it broke in half. Uncle C quickly said he could repair it and it was no big deal but I could see the doubtful, apologetic looks on the friend’s and ManSon’s faces. A few minutes later Uncle C picked up a heavy box and….you guessed it “This box is so heavy! What’s in it?” I couldn’t resist! There was another burst of laughter from all!

Soon we were on our way back to the house to unload everything. While taking things out of the moving van and moving them to the basement Aunt C picked up a box. “This box is so heavy! What’s in it?” You know I HAD to say it! Okay, I didn’t say it but I explained the whole situation back at the storage unit. She laughed so hard she could hardly walk! She laughed heartedly for a good 15 minutes! As she walked past ManSon he said “Obviously I missed something. Something really good. What made her laugh?” He had never seen Aunt C so jovial. I explained but he was over that joke after like the 5th time. I still laugh today about it! Porn! As if! he.he.he!

After we finished unloading the sun had gone down. Aunt C told everyone to stay put because we just had to try the fabulous Pizzeria down the street. She called ahead and left to pick it up. Snow White came down stairs to join in our conversations. Well, she pretty much staid glued to her cousin J’s side. She didn’t look up from her game but she made sure she was sitting next to J on the couch when she came downstairs. She was so engrossed in her game that she didn’t notice when J moved from the living room to morning room with the rest of us. She could have seen us if she would only look up from that silly game. Oh well, she was content and I didn’t feel guilty for not spending time with her during the move.

That day I only witnessed one account of my nieces in battle. They have been at each other since the day the youngest could walk. They actually have knock out drag down fist fights with each other. It started innocently enough with the girls giving each other high-fives. Gradually the slapping of hands grew harder and harder until they were punching each other and eventually one of them went crashing into a wall in the kitchen.

Before I could lift up the one who fell the other was already upstairs behind her locked bedroom door. Uncle C came in to hug the one who fell and look her over for damages. Uncle C talked to the girls and they made up shortly there after. This type of behavior has always shocked me. I have seen them at family functions and thought maybe they had outgrown it by now. As I said, I only saw them fight once the entire time we were there. This is at least progress from the constant physical fighting of years ago.

We all joked and chatted for awhile then Aunt C came with the pizza. A few minutes into our pizza Grandma and Grandpa called to say “Hey, you are just around the corner how about stopping by our house.” Pretty much it was a test to see how long it would take me to drive to their house from Uncle C’s new house. We really wanted to get back home after a long day but I couldn’t refuse.

We said our goodbyes and drove another hour and a half to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. After an enjoyable hour visit we took the three hour drive home. Poor ManSon was so done in by the move he slept in the van while Snow White and visited with Grandma and Grandpa. I felt sorry for him but knew if he really wanted to he would have come inside. We left our house at the crack of dawn and arrived home to our beds around midnight.

It was grueling work but I want to remember this day.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Tired, Stressed, Ill Children..

I didn't completely forget about my blog. I will post my latest happenings once I have more than 5 minutes to myself.