A woman knows a move is at the bitter end when her purse contains random what-to-I-do-with-this items like a pair of shoe liners, a letter opener, one pearl earring, a book of 37-cent stamps, a plastic wine stopper and three keys that don’t work anywhere in the house. This is how it goes when a move of global proportions with many destinations for hundreds of belongings in multiple categories must be coordinated. Then the empty house and large garden must be left in pristine condition for the happy new owners.
Daughter Robin devoted her Friday to helping us with the last minute pains of moving…the random items that multiply in the night after you’ve shut the door on a packing session…the hangers, shoe boxes, random photos, pesos and pennies, bits of games needing to be reunited with their friends, all that junk that remains after the movers haul away the big stuff. She even took on the horrid spackling job and did it all with a happy attitude.
Just as we were gathering our things to depart, Tim went down to close the playhouse door. He stomped up the steps to the deck growling, “You are NOT going to believe this! We forgot about the playhouse stuff.” Groaning, we trooped down into the lower lawn for one last push.
We had converted a cute little wooden building tucked below some gorgeous old oaks from a chicken coop to a playhouse when we moved in. The grandchildren played house, created restaurants with waitress service for indulgent adults, and chased one another in and out of it in endless games of cowboys and Indians and cops and robbers. Moving day the shack yielded unwanted treasures which would have made us nostalgic and sad if we hadn’t been so damned tired: a tiny chair and table set now too small for any of them, assorted yard furniture cushions, dozens of plastic food items, a small Christmas tree, and a well-used archery target. We hated every one of them as we toted them up the stairs and poor tired Tim made one more giant pile to be dragged to the AmVet folks. The attendants knew us by name and they had started rubbing their palms when one of our cars rounded the corner toward their truck.
It was well into the cocktail hour when our caravan arrived at the beach house in Cambria and we collapsed while saluting the sunset over the Pacific. One more day to go. Thank God the views are great, the beds wonderful and the weather unseasonably benign this year.
Saturday we closed the door at 740 Oxen Court for the last time. Our stalwart Theresa, who has cleaned up our messy joint for three years, was there until the bitter end helping us dispose of the lingering, multiplying detritus that drives everyone mad long after the movers have toted away the big stuff.
We finished the last touches by noon and treated ourselves to a sumptuous luncheon – two sweaty, hollow-eyed, badly dressed refuges looking out of place among the casually chic weekend merrymakers from LA and Fresno posing as wine experts, sniffing and swirling their Cabernet Sauvignon as they exclaimed over their gourmet treats.