Sunday, March 12, 2017

On the Move

I move a couple times per year – not myself but other people. Not counting college dorm rooms, I move my own place of residence only about once per decade, and even then only if you include a move from one house to another on the same property: in the 80s I bought a property with two cottages on it and in the 90s moved from the smaller to the larger. This is pretty static by modern standards. Moreover, most of the moves have been local. I live 10 miles from where I was born, 4 from where I went to high school, and 3 from the family cemetery section where there’s a vacancy. (I wasn’t involved in that purchase, but there it is.) Nonetheless, my friends always remember who has a truck and an as yet uninjured back, so rarely does a year go by without putting my GMC and my latissimi dorsi to use in a move: most recently a week ago.

I usually get tagged for the large heavy pieces. I actually prefer these, for even though they are…well…large and heavy they are therefore few in number so the endeavor is over soon. (Friends who have lots of large heavy objects hire professional movers; no one yet has made an utterly unreasonable request for my help.) I invent excuses to avoid the tedious packing and moving of the usual small sundries from water glasses to sweat shirts. The one occasion when I regretted handling only the big items was when a friend (you know who you are) moved into a fourth floor walk-up. We carried up the steps a foldout couch that to account for the weight must have been made of uranium.

The few times I have moved on my own behalf have convinced me not to do it again without necessity. I’ll stay where I am for as many years as I can, but the cost – particularly NJ’s highest-in-the-nation property taxes – of retaining the family home as I presently do is unsustainable in the long run. So, necessity eventually will arrive, assuming John Maynard Keynes’ remark about the long run isn’t applicable first. I’m not looking forward to it – either possibility actually, though one of them is less work. The most daunting task will be disposing in some way of all the stuff that won’t make the move with me. The barn alone, despite my ongoing multiyear effort to diminish its contents, still abounds (my dad was a builder) with such sundries as mismatched trim, shingles, random hardware, window screens that fit no windows, mismatched cabinets, and (yes, really) a kitchen sink.

I had a foretaste of this kind of effort when I closed my business office a couple years ago: the removal of desks, copiers, steel file cabinets, and so on. I MacGyvered a makeshift block and tackle to get the heaviest cabinets down from the second floor. It’s not something I wish to repeat or that I’d recommend for the joy of it.

A track from a George Thorogood cd that was playing on my stereo earlier today not only inspired this blog but might contain good advice for my next home. (The song originally was Hank Williams I believe.) So long as it has wifi, a doghouse might not be so bad. It’s cozy and the move after that would be simple indeed.


  1. Takes me back to my college days when I could fit ALL my earthly belongings in the back seat and trunk of my Chevy Nova. I'm like you, I accumulated way to much junk. I discarded a bunch of things (some I kind of regret) when I moved from West to East Texas. Although it took some effort, it wasn't too bad considering... I don't like moving though. I like growing roots.

    Having said that I'm not all that enthused about East Texas either. The environment wrecks my allergies. I'm thinking about going back to the allergist. The small, rural towns of Texas (really all over) can be full of rubes (no other way to put that, really), which leave big metro areas--which they are there too, just in scattered tribes. I guess it's just a part of Texas--I refuse to change though.

    My only question is: If not here, where? My two main choices were: Colorado somewhere, which would probably be better for my allergies or Austin, Tx, which is about the same, kinda cool, but way over crowded & priced. Both places are experiencing tremendous growth, so expect inflated prices as far as real estate is concerned. So after those two choices, I dunno. Dallas is a bit too big for my taste though you could certainly like somewhere on the border like McKinney or Flower Mound, which will be engulfed soon (already are, really). Or somewhere near Austin, though not as cool as being there. I've thought that Arizona might be nice at times. I just don't know, still thinking...

    1. Yeah, my car – a Maverick, Ford’s competitor for the Nova – was enough for all my chattels when in college. Also, I was quite happy in the 1980s in my spartan 700 s.f. cabin in the woods – not to be confused with Joss Whedon’s “Cabin in the Woods,” which would have been somewhat less comfortable. Now I have three generations of stuff including such things as wine presses from my grandparents (both sets).

      Arizona is nice, especially since I’m less keen on snow than I once was: forecasts call for another foot here on Tuesday. I liked Texas, too, on the occasions I drove through, though living someplace is always a far different proposition than passing through.