Within a month of discovering a restored farmhouse for rent, signing a lease, and packing up everything we owned, our moving day finally arrived. We wanted to come back from our annual Ocean City vacation to our new home, which meant we had to hurry. We recruited some of our family members and friends and dedicated the bulk of a (thankfully) pleasant Sunday in July to transporting eleven years’ worth of six people’s belongings to their new homes. From family, to lifelong friends, to people who have only recently worked their way into their lives by the divine hand of God, we had a dream team who had graciously chosen to dedicate their day (and their pick-up trucks) to helping us move. Our 12-person crew operated with the precision, strength, and perseverance of an ant colony. Everyone had an integral role. Everyone was appreciated.
When I looked around the old house at the various curated collections of our belongings, I was overwhelmed. There were the kinds of things we used every day – the coffee pot, toiletries, favorite toys. There were the things we used occasionally – board games, kitchen appliances, certain tools. There were the things we rotated out like holiday decorations and seasonal clothing. There was a pile for donations, a pile for a yard sale, and a pile of stuff we just couldn’t let go of, like our Little Lamb baby swing. Everything was organized in different corners of several rooms so that our moving team would know where the plethora of boxes, bags, and bins were headed. I looked around at the thousands of pieces of plastic, metal, wood, and fabric that have brought us joy and comfort (and frustration) as they’ve entered our lives and wondered how we were going to transport so many things, where would we put them, and just how long it would take for us to unpack.
Fortunately, I wasn’t alone. I had my crew, most of whom have been in our predicament at least once in their lives. They offered solid advice like, “Pack your pantry in reusable grocery bags. You’ll lose your food if it’s in boxes” and “Bring the most important things over last” and “Put your bed together first. You’ll sleep well tonight.” We divided ourselves into four teams: Team Old House, Team New House, Team Storage, and the Crisis Team. Team Old House was responsible for preparing furniture for transit with foam, plastic wrap and blankets. They were also the Jenga and Tetris masters systematically loading up trucks and trailers. Team New House received packages of the kinds of things we used every day and, because they are far more organized with me, found new homes for kitchen utensils and towels. They were also the guardians of our most valuable (and incidentally most breakable) possessions. My Aunt Audrie kept Team New House as home base as she prepared a smorgasbord of delicious Italian food for us to indulge in when our fatigue set in. Sharing a meal with our loved ones would be a symbolic blessing for our new home. Team Storage took on the daunting task of moving seasonal items, cold-weather clothing, and, yes, I admit it, the “junk” that remained after I purged our belongings, into a shipping container we inherited from a friend. And you can only imagine what Team Crisis was for…like the moment when Patrick realized that we hadn’t cleaned out the attic!
Despite the heaving and hoing, there was plenty of laughter to go around as we dragged and dropped our way into our new lives. So many changes were happening, but we knew two things would stick would last for sure, the bonds we had with the friends and family we could count on to help our dreams come true and the mountain of boxes that had settled in next to the fireplace.
So, I’d like to offer a tremendous thanks to my everyone who played a part in the opening page of our new chapter. Without you, we’d still be moving boxes and maybe sleeping in our cars! Our home is your home and we’re looking forward to celebrating here with you in the coming years.
Tune in next time to find out the ups and downs of our settling-in process.