QUOTE OF THE DAY (OR MORE): "No, no. You don't understand. This is an '89 Calico. I'm pretty sure that exceeds the Kelly Blue Book value. The cat's totaled." --A comedian whose name I forget talking about a vet who presents a $3,000 bill for a 12-year-old cat

Sunday, February 28, 2010

How to move with style and panache

We did it! We've moved. We're in the new house. I'm unpacked. I thought I'd put together a little guide as to how to move with style, just the way we did. Here we go...
1. Make sure and settle/sell your old house before your new house is ready. This will ensure a period of time during which you are homeless. It helps to have 2 kids, a big German Shepherd, and a cat.
2. While you're homeless, choose to live in a hotel that takes dogs, cats and kids. This way you can all be miserable together, one big happy family. Make sure that, just before you're scheduled to check in to the hotel, the management changes and the suite with the adjoining room that you reserved is not available. This way your 11 1/2-year-old and 13-year old boys will have their own separate room, complete with their own separate room keys of which they need to keep track. The adults also need to keep track of their own keys and the kids' room keys.
3. Ask God for lots of cold weather and snow so that your kids' school gets canceled and they are stuck, without their video games, in the hotel room with you all day long for days at a time.
4. Count down the days you have left in the hotel where you've tried to cook without an oven or your usual seasonings. Crock pots, sautees... be creative. One day before you're supposed to settle on the new house, have the bank providing your mortgage call you and tell you that they're just not ready yet. yeah. Just not ready. When purple smoke starts coming out of your and your husband's ears and you demand to know why, the bank should say: "well, um... one of our underwriters was sick for a couple of days..." Once you get over the denial that you really are not going to settle tomorrow, ask the bank when you might settle. Have the bank reply: "I don't know."
I don't know.
You don't know?
Um. I don't know. sorry, ma'am.
Wait to postpone the moving company, carpet cleaners, cleaning company, Verizon (telephone, tv, and internet) and painters until you know when the settlment will be...
5. Once the bank finally calls you to let you know when the new settlement date will be, re-arrange the dates for the moving company, carpet cleaners, cleaning company, Verizon and painters. Try and squeeze in your previously planned ski trip 3 hours west of you by car.
6. Have settlement take 2 1/2 hours (rather than the usual one) because the bank still has not wired the money the seller needs.
7. Schedule a historic snow storm the afternoon of settlement which dumps an unprecedented 29 inches of snow around your new house and then drive west for the ski trip, thinking they know how to handle snow out in western Maryland. Postpone the movers until after the weekend since one cannot move in during a blizzard. Decide you may as well head out to the ski trip, then.
8. While driving out to the ski trip after settlement, enjoy the white-knuckled experience of no visibility whatsoever on the interstate. Go off road every so often to go around tractor trailers which are stuck going uphill. Make sure there are myriad plows going in the opposite direction, but none in the direction in which you desire to go.
9. Also while driving out to the ski trip, it's great if your wipers keep icing up so that you can't see a damn thing. Every so often, stop where you are (there is no place to pull off without the roads being plowed), make sure no one is coming behind you who can't see you to stop, jump out of the car into the 70-mph 30-degree winds, and try to de-ice the wiper blades. Jump back into the car as quickly as you can when a car is coming behind you. Thank your lucky stars you are bringing the lasagnas, cookies, paper towels and toilet paper to the ski house for the group. These may have to sustain you if you get stuck in the middle of nowhere.
10. As a really fun diversion, have the engine cut out as you're heading downhill on the interstate. Ask the husband to say: "oh my God. I've lost...." He doesn't finish his sentence. "Brakes?!" state. You've lost the brakes?!! "No," have him respond, "I don't have any power." Yes. Have the engine completely cut off. Have the smart husband re-start the engine while you're going downhill and breathe a sigh of relief. Somehow, make your way through non-visibility toward the ski house. Arrive and have several large glasses of cabernet.
11. Get home early from the ski trip to find that the plow you had scheduled to have plowed your new house's driveway for your arrival home not have arrived yet. Call the plow guy to ascertain that, because of the record snowfall, he is not only running way behind, but his equipment is breaking down left or right. He does not know if/when he'll get to you. Arrange that the road on which your new house sits has only one lane plowed so that there is no place for you to park your truck and unload (with your unplowed driveway) except for the street blocking traffic. Spend an hour and half hand shoveling 30 inches of snow off of the end of your driveway just to have a place to park the truck. Shovel a walkway to the house to unload the truck and boys.
12. Arrange for the plow never to come. Make sure the other plows servicing the street don't have time to do your driveway. Call the cavalry (your brother). Have him and your mom bring 2 small snowblowers to try and clear the way for the moving van the next day. Make the snow SO high that the snowblower can't handle it without someone first chopping into the snowdrifts to cut down the height of the snow. Spend 6 hours getting the driveway clear enough for the moving men; make sure you snowblow a walkway to the front door for another 2 hours.
13. The next morning, have the moving company call you to tell you that there is no way they can come that scheduled day. They have to dig out their truck. Pay someone with a front-end loader to widen the street in front your house so that there is a place for the moving truck to sit all the next day without blocking the road.
14. Schedule another blizzard with snow totals approaching 28 inches (the 2nd one in a week) to start the afternoon that the moving van was rescheduled to arrive.
15. Have the moving van get stuck in 3 hours of traffic due to a overturned tractor trailer so that they can't get there early enough to get the entire truck unloaded before the blizzard starts.
16. Make sure the husband is out of town for move-in day and 3 days afterward.
17. It's really a bonus if all of your best furniture and antiques get unloaded last out of the van as the snow has already begun to accumulate and make the walkway into the house and up the stairs extraordinarily slippery.
18. Breathe a sigh of relief that you finally have settled, are in your new house and have your stuff. Get snowed in with 27 more inches of snow and no plow (thank God for your brother who twice snow blows you during the storm).
19. Have Verizon not show up the day they are supposed to show up (moving in day) and then have them not be able to reschedule until 2 weeks after the move (no tv, telephone, or internet access).
20. Make sure the oil supply is drastically low so that you have to turn the heat WAY down to ensure you have enough oil until you can set up an account with the oil company and schedule an oil delivery.
21. After all the aforementioned stresses of moving in, make sure there is no red wine in the house to be found. Start shaking.
22. Swear never ever to move again.


  1. Speechless...yep that's me.

    What a sucky way to start off in your new house. I'm sorry just seems silly so send me your new address and I will mail you some red wine (totally illegal I know) but I do believe you deserve it and red wine is never silly!

  2. Well, I was going to bitch and moan about no posts from you for 30 days, but I guess you get a pass...
    (You should consider switching to tequila.)
    Welcome home.

  3. Anytime I've moved it's been the hottest day of the year, the coldest day of the year, or rain/sleet has started to fall just as we opened the door on the truck.

    Still, it's never been as bad as you had it. I hope you'll all be settled soon and that you've moved to a place with a wine-delivery service.

  4. WOW!

    First, I'm glad everyone is sound and safe. I can't believe the winter you have had up there.

    Just think. If you had moved during the summer, it would be record-breaking heat and no A/C right?

    I can't believe you went skiing.

    I hope you have more wine now.

    I'm exhausted just reading this post. I think I need a nap.

  5. Whoa. That was a long How-To list. I invaded a friend's garage and couch-surfed for a month when pulled a similar trick between apartments. I imagine it's a bit different with a family and a houseful of items. Congrats on the move. Cheers!

  6. OMG!!! What a nightmare! No red wine?

    Im glad you are finally in. :)

  7. Wouldn't it be even better to have the moving truck overturn and catch fire en route to the new house?
    Wow, that'd be so cool.

    If this is moving with style and panache I'm moving with my usual crap and junk.


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