We’re In the Dollhouse Now!

I don’t think anyone really likes to move house, least of all me, but I do like getting things done. For good or ill we moved last weekend. Things didn’t go exactly as planned, but what needed to got done, so in that respect all’s well that ends well, right?

Not that I’m going to leave it there, of course!

Early last week we reserved a 26′ truck through UHaul.com with the understanding that we’d get a confirmation call Friday for the when and where (you pick a preferred location, but they can’t guarantee it). On Thursday I went by one of the local UHaul stores to pick up some more boxes and the guy in front of me in line was not happy about dispatch telling him he was going to have to drive to Monticello to pick up his truck tomorrow.

I don’t blame him.

I’d also opted to take Friday off to get more packing and organizing done. I managed it, but not quite as much as I would have hoped.

I called UHaul at 4:30 to follow-up on our reservation and our order hadn’t been assigned anywhere yet. I was told that usually the scheduling was done by 6pm, so they were probably working on it.

Sure they were.

At 8:30pm, Friday night, I still had not heard from UHaul so I called the regional “traffic” number I’d been given earlier to see what was up. A sweet, sympathetic lady named Cindy in Mobile, AL, apologized seven ways from Sunday but could not produce a truck any closer than (wait for it) Monticello. Now, for those not familiar with this area, Monticello is a good hour away, so travelling 2 hours round trip before we can even start to load the truck wasn’t really what we were going for. Still, Cindy said, something could “land” overnight and get checked in closer and that her office (on Central time) opened at 6am and to call back then.

So I set my alarm for the inhumane hour of 6:45am on that Saturday morning so that I could be at least coherent at 7am Eastern to find out our plan.

No one answered at that number for a solid hour. I tried, twice, to get tranferred to the National dispatch/traffic office but kept ending up at the corporate HQ in Phoenix, AZ (where it was 4 in the morning–I don’t envy that shift!). Still no one could find me a truck.

At 8am the recording on the regional traffic line changed and I got into the hold queue. I was still pretty calm but we were really running out of options as our helpers (Mom, Jason, and Kara) were originally planning to show up at 9am to help us load the truck. They were now waiting to hear what the new plan was, and we were seriously considering moving boxes all weekend in our cars and having to hire movers the following week to move the furniture. We’d checked Budget rentals but they only had a 10′ truck available and if we only used 99 miles (a trip and a half, basically) it was going to be almost $350!

Still on hold, Google pointed me to Penske’s website so I grabbed Todd’s cell phone and tried them. They had a 16′ truck, so still not big enough, but at least it was available right then and UHaul still hadn’t picked up. We booked the Penske truck, I hopped in the shower and then sent Jason a text that we were on track to start at 10am–only an hour later than planned.

The rest of the day was something of a blur. Todd and Jason moved most of the furniture while Mom, Kara, and I concentrated on little things to fill the gaps and putting boxes into cars, etc. It only took a little over an hour to load up the first truck-full so while they headed to the Dollhouse, I went straight to Publix to pick up lunch. We made one more trip the 5 of us which took care of all but a few shelving units before our helpers had to leave: Mom had to pick up Molly from doggie daycare and Kara has a reunion to get ready for.

Our plan was to do a final trip with the truck just Todd and I. We’d get the rest of the shelving units and the bulk of what we had boxed, then head back to Tallahassee to return the truck, pick up Todd’s car, and then grab clothes and fridge stuff for the final carloads. That would have worked great if it didn’t take us until almost 10pm to unload that last trip and I refused to do another round trip that would put us after midnight getting home.

It wasn’t until 7:53pm on Saturday that someone from UHaul actually called me about the reservation, saying there wasn’t anything available on Saturday but that they had a truck come in for Sunday! It was at that point I informed her that we were effectively done moving and that I wouldn’t be needing a truck from them any time soon.

I’ve learned an important lesson, folks: I’m good for 13 hours of constant activity. At hour 14 I start to get whiny and at hour 15 my body starts to shut down. Todd pointed out that this wasn’t surprising considering the 16 hours awake/8 hours asleep ideal. I think I was more impressed that I lasted that long before collapsing.

On Sunday we did that final run, I got the pantry and fridge unpacked and pushed things around in my office (which is also acting as a dressing room since the downstairs bath is the only one with a shower). Then the a/c stopped being at all effective and we sweltered through the next few nights, depending on an oscillating fan a piece to keep us from melting.

There’s still a lot of flotsam and jetsam at the Tallahassee house to pack up and move up here but at least the bulk is done. Not much unpacking has happened, but we’ll get there eventually. But, hey, we’re officially in the Dollhouse now!

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