Moved the Mountain, then I Got the Broom

The mountain is moved.* Now begins the dust to settle.

*most arduous move in some 55 moves

Moving from a 1-bedroom mobile home with a backyard storage unit into a rental bedroom in another’s house has been no easy feat!

Once I got 99.2% of my possessions into storage — still that tale of a lifetime to tell! —  once THAT mountain was moved! — the next great challenge was how to artfully and effectively arrange too many furnishings ** and the basics of simple minimalist living into one very small bedroom and closets

** too many furnishings is element of storage unit story yet untold

Mine is a genius mind in spatial reasoning and geometry. Do NOT give me algebra, trigonometry or chemistry! Therein lay my dad’s mathematical genius, my son’s too. Thus if there are many parts to put together, compose, structure, build, assemble, coordinate toward the most effective and efficient use of space, I Am Your Girl!

Yup, I’m extremely good at tetras! (Have been asked many times!)

So if a buncha elements need to be arranged in the best possible order within spatial confines, constraints and parameters AND IF IT CAN BE HUMANELY DONE, I’m the one who can do it.

Four days after intensive labor, of arranging and rearranging shapes and objects, I’ve got my room in working and livable order.

Ditto the closets.

Ditto the kitchen — well, my portion of the refrigerator and cupboards.

I also — get ready — cleaned the floors of the entire house (minus the roommate’s bedroom and office, which is locked)!  Yet another tale waiting to be told. A tale beginning with a nasty 4-letter word: mold.

I am a workhorse from another planet!

I exhaust myself. Yet like that Duracell battery, I keep on ticking. I Get It Done. Whatever NEEDS getting done.

Some 12 years ago I had a boss who told me something I’ve never forgotten. His name was Lance. It was at an utterly Lame Crap shit job (one of dozens) hence the job had no relevance to me true self and Lance’s opinion meant nothing really. Still I remember to this day what he said.

“You’re a work machine.”

Now, most folks, pretending they even shared my work ethic and most don’t, would be offended by that.

I wasn’t. It was a compliment. A backhanded compliment. I do indeed habitually and too often work like a machine. (Unresolved father issues.) But I get the fucking job done! Like no other.

I’m a powerful  force trapped in a petite 5-2 female body!

Not tooting my own horn. Only telling it like it is.

The Force of Work is Within Me. The Force of Work IS Me. I may keel over from it one day! But at least it’ll be while getting something productive and necessary done!!

I can’t rest on my laurels just yet. There’s still stuff to do. Sweeping up the dust kinda stuff. Ain’t the same as pushing a 13,000-foot high mountain on one’s own strength and will!

My little bedroom is mostly in order. I’m relaxing with not one but two beers during the cocktail hour on the front porch of the house of George (my roommate, who happens to be away at the moment).

Ain’t nuthin’ like a good beer or killer cuppa joe after Hard Work into Infinity.

Hard Work: Where every fiber of your being, mind, body, muscle and tendon are engaged in and focused on one task. Or a thousand tasks.

Hard Work — truly Hard Work — requires complete commitment, focus, endurance, fortitude and survival skills.

Hard Work requires: Neutrality. Impersonalness. It requires putting yourself aside and all feelings about yourself aside to accomplish one goal and one goal only: Get The Job Done.

Even if you fucking hate it.

Even if you can’t lift one more muscle.

It was the Germans who said: “Arbeit Macht Frei.” Perhaps it’s partly my genetics that compel me so in my Workhood.

Whatever forces came into play, I Moved A Mountain.

And am enjoying tying up the loose ends and sweeping up the dust.

Because Every Iota of me is present in the work.

And THAT, my dear readers, is a Work Ethic in action!

Gratification unsurpassed.

Satisfaction unparalleled.

(Your mileage may differ; so does the mileage of my national compatriots who wouldn’t know the meaning of work ethics, never mind engage in any, to save their sorry lives!)

 

Advertisements

The Mountain is Moved!

The mountain is moved!

Now’s the tidying up.

Some 24 hours until final exit of mobile home 7. With most everything now in storage or a rental room, what’s left are last-minute loose ends. Bed & bedding … makings for the morning coffee … important files … tool box … cleaning supplies … those things useful until the final moments in a move.

I worked late into the night yesterday organizing chaos into order and cleaning. Every surface, nook and cranny, every knob and underneath knobs … every single surface inside every cupboard, refrigerator, oven, etc. etc. and etc.

Long is the list of a deep cleaning! Especially by a meticulous no-stone-left-unturned-type that is moi!

The cleaning ladies will have absolutely ZERO to do after I vacate! But they’ll be paid — and paid handsomely — anyways. They’ll love that.

By the way, I’ve seen the results of their “professional cleaning.” C-R-A-P-P-Y! Sloppy! Just plain gross! Always amazes and irks me that “professional cleaners” get paid so well to do such shitty work whereas I do fantastic work and get bupkis! Anyway.

Moving Time is when my natural Neat Freak lifestyle really come in handy! Keeping a place immaculate or nearly so all the time means less work in the crush and crunch of moving. It’s like pouring money into the bank and bingo! when you relocate, you receive a nice tidy sum of interest!

Today’s the final dismantling of the home I created. Taking down all the uniquely creative curtains (and rods) I crafted by hand. Filling the tiny holes (of push pins or nails) in walls that I painted.

I know my landlord wouldn’t notice or even care about those details. She wouldn’t “ding” me on them. Hell, this place was a ghetto when I took over! The devil may be in the details but it ain’t her devil!

However, I do care. I’m weird that way. In a good way. Spaces and Places. It’s who I am, it’s what I do. No matter how shitty the domestic experience with roommate or landlord, I NEVER take it out on a space! I ALWAYS leave it impeccable and ALWAYS in much better shape than I found it.

The highest road is ALWAYS taken when I vacate, regardless of how bad people are or treat me. My gift to the world, nee universe, is my highest regard and respect and treatment OF a space.

Mobile home number 7 is no different.

High noon. I could easily spring for another cup of coffee and writing time. Alas, tasks beckon. Tonight and tomorrow are long shifts at the job, behooving me to stay on track with tasks and manage my time — what little time I’ve remaining here — well.

A day is all.

Last but certainly not least: Mercury retrogrades today! Already happened, in fact. Another post for another time. Toodles.

To this post. Also to mobile home number 7 imminently …

 

Muscling Up for the Move

Now 24 hours away on the button.

The U-Haul rental. Two guy helpers. The move.

Most of what I have gets moved tomorrow, followed by little moves and cleanup for 5 days until the Aug. 31 final departure.

Insomnia struck again. I slept too little to know how I feel today – except tired. Frayed. Worn out. Tired of moving preparations. Worried about what’ll fit in my (little) rental bedroom.

Grateful for the space. To have been offered it and to George (roommate) to offer it. Fatigued and stressed though I be, knowing I have shelter cuts the worser stress of the potential alternative of homelessness. So I’m grateful in my fatigue. Soldiering onward as I do.

In the Home Stretch

Today, like every day for quite a while, is chockfull of Things to Do. Getting signed on with the storage unit. Carting a stack of pallets — they’re heavy — into storage to protect my things. Rearranging and tidying up stuff strewn around the house to clear the path for furniture moving mañana.

It’s a small mobile home so not a lot of places for stuff to go! Shove stuff to one wall to clear a path for X. Now restack same stuff  to that corner to clear a path for Y. The Dance of Stuff!

Stuff. Boy do I have stuff! Compared to most folks, I have very little. But to me who likes to travel light — ideally with only what my Subbie can hold — the minute I need a truck to move things, I’m overwhelmed and burdened on some level.

Not to suggest I don’t love my things! I do. All the more after a 15-year absence/separation. Furniture crafted by my dad is priceless. Photos of my life in Japan, including the love of my life. High school annuals and bound editions of the high school newspaper that I was on for 3 years. A coupla old laptops with tons of writing. Childhood photos.

I’m no packrat. Neither am I  sentimental for sentimentality’s sake, a common affliction among most Americans.

I am deeply selectively sentimental, however.

Every item I own gets scrutinized with every move — and there have been many! Like I said, this is around Move #55 but who’s counting?!? At 59, recollecting every place I’ve lived would be challenging!

Point is, meticulously sifting and scrutinizing and REALLY weighing the value of every item — it’s who I am, it’s what I do. I’ve also honed the skill through experience. I could teach people how to downsize. Or assist them.

Say It: Short

BTW, I’ll say it upfront: This move is temporary. For the short term. How long I’ll be in this room share and where I’ll go after it, who knows?!

I just know: Don’t get too settled. Stay light on your feet. Change is afoot! No word play intended.

Yeah, a truck and two dudes and lots of lifting … 24 hours away. No stopping this move now!

Feel like this space is vomiting me out. Or I’m vomiting it. What weird words to write!  Food for thought. Again, no word play intended.

B is for buddies, bed, beer & blessings

It’s done. I’m in. Well, one foot anyhow.

The studio behind the library on the hill is mine as of 3:30 p.m. yesterday. I wasted no time in beginning the move-in, going straight from their office to the new abode to drop off a small load already in the car (!), then a quick shot to meet my brewery buddy to move the bed.

Bedtime, Bill!

You can tell your friends by who helps you move. As planned, I called Bill, another pub buddy who’d offered to help move the bed, to let him know we’re ready to roll.

Ring ring ring ring ring. No answer. Voice mail. Shit.

So much for help from Bill. He not only bailed on helping as he’d repeatedly promised but he never called back with an explanation or apology. He’s not a bad guy but he’s clearly not to be trusted to keep his word or show up.

Spirit Shows Up

However, Spirit provides. Not only did Justin show up with his truck as promised, he unexpectedly brought along his brother, saying: “Thought we could use another strong young back!”

YES! Thank you, Lord!

The brothers got that heavy dense foam mattress loaded and moved into the new place with nary a blink of an eye!

That’s a load off ! — my only and heaviest piece of furniture cleared out. The rest I can handle myself, carefully and mindful of shoulder-neck-back injuries.

And yes, I absolutely believe that Spirit / God / Universe provided the help required in the form of Justin’s brother when Bill bailed. Thank you thank you thank you helpers above!

Bring on the Beer!

A busy moving day required celebration and chill time. Gotta keep those muscles loaded with the carbs! And what better than dark beer and a loaded baked potato over at the brewery!?

Fueled up, I was ready for one more load up to the new place before calling it a night.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Bugs)

I discovered a few things in the new place through the course of the day.
Beginning with yuck. Like whoever did the cleaning did a less-than-bang-up job.

Now, I don’t expect the identical meticulous attention to details that I give. That’s why upon moving in I always clean a place that’s been allegedly cleaned. Because it never is. I ALWAYS find somethings. So even before I unpack, I get in there on hands and knees and work to the bone scrubbing into every nook, cranny and crevice. Then I keep it that way.

But it’d be nice if they could’ve at least checked the window sills! Lying inside metal tracks is a veritable graveyard of insects! And the dead fly that’s resting, well, dead center on the sill, gross! And totally obvious.

The painted surfaces of drawers and cupboards need attention. I’ll find more as I dig into a deep cleaning.

There’s no drip pan for one stove burner. And the extra oversized one they left resting on the counter, useless. Again, sloppy work. Like cleaning was a hurried or an afterthought.

And the screen on the bedroom window doesn’t fit. Too small. Obviously not the right style. Obviously a on-the-go purchase from a hardware store.

I discovered this when I opened the window to air out the place and returned to a screen half hanging out the window, pushed out by the breezes. That won’t do.

I’ve got cleaning work cut out for me and they their repairs and fixes, definitely.

There were pleasant finds too. Like a good-sized pantry behind the furnace. For a studio, the kitchen storage space is impressive.

And behind the bedroom door lay another happy discovery — cupboards! Which eradicates the need for a dresser or other McGyver makeshift means — read: boxes — of storing my clothes!

Remember, I’ve been without furniture, not even a bed, for 3+ years. Boxes have been my friend! I’m extraordinarily practical and inventive with ’em too. Definitely a think-outside-the-box girl! Or inside-the-box as the situation warrants. 🙂

So I’m looking forward to getting the place clean and at least some belongings outta boxes and into proper cupboards!

All Told …

Well, perhaps not ALL 😉 … but certainly the headline news. I’ve got my new space, the studio behind the library on the hill — officially completing Move #52, give or take.

For the coming five days, I’ll be bouncing between two residences, cleaning there, sleeping here, packing up and lifing boxes here, putting ’em down there a short 1/2 mile away.

In closing, it’s an exciting time, finishing up 2014 with a significant change and fresh start. I just know things’ll only continue improving and that good stuff’s in store in 2015.

I’m blessed and grateful for the good that’s been bestowed upon me in the (short) eight months I’ve lived in this town. A fine time it is too to make this move, on the cusp of Thanksgiving. And lest I don’t forget, thanks and praises to all above who helped this happen! I am grateful.

a new lease on (apartment) life begins today

Well, it’s here. The day: lease-signing. The place: the studio behind the library on the hill.

On the one hand, the time and wait between the first viewing the place, what, a couple weeks ago and today’s signing have moved quickly.

On the other hand, the time between when I was informed by the landlord around Halloween that my current lease wouldn’t be renewed and the search for a new place thus undertaken seems long and weighty. Looking for a new place to live is always hard work, especially in a town renewed for housing challenges and rents generally far outside my budget.

So I did well. I walked the walk. I kept my eye on the ball. I was clear about what I wanted and didn’t want. I was realistic about my budget and key needs at this time. I was willing to make certain compromises but not concede to a slum place or place of desperate. And swear to God, I REALLY DID NOT want to return to roommates!!! Been battered and bruised much too much to want any of that crap continued in my life.

I like living alone. Flying solo. It’s healthy and necessary for me. Even though my current apartment complex is toxic and oppressive and best to leave behind in the category of Learning Experiences Not to be Repeated, I wasn’t deterred in efforts to continue solo living.

In a few hours, I’ll sit down with the property management lady and go over a lease approximately 10 pages long.

As mentioned in a prior post, the lease spells out in no uncertain terms the rules, conditions and terms of occupancy. Every i’s dotted and t crossed, that’s for certain! I’ve read it from cover to cover; there’s certainly no harm in going over it item by item in the office today, in no small part because the $ penalty for a violation is steep. These folks don’t mess around! Going in with eyes open is the way to go.

Once keys are in my hand, it’s move’s on! This evening, two buddies from the pubs have kindly volunteered a pickup truck and muscles to move a queen-sized dense memory foam mattress. A bed that weighs some 100+ pounds!

The bed (no box springs or frame) is my sole item that I can’t move on my own. It requires 2-3 people to move, it’s just that danged dead-weighty!
I’m sooooo soooo grateful for their offers to help. People normally don’t do that for me!

It’s location location location. Finally, after a lifetime of nomadic travel and homelessness, I’ve found the right town and community and state! They resonate with me and I them. I feel so blessed and grateful to live in a place I love and that loves me back! (I’ve lived in places of unrequited love and know of what I write.)

Once the bed’s out tonight, the rest becomes an arduous solo task of incremental moves with my car over the next five days or so. It’ll be work. It’s not the hard labor I fear (wtf, I grew up hard-laboring as a slave!), it’s the tremendous strain and risk to my injured shoulder, neck & back. We’ll see how it goes. I intend to go gingerly and gently into that good move.

All told and all still to do, today marks the beginning of the next chapter.

I’m so grateful to have found a place that I can afford that’s still within walking distance of historic downtown AND behind the library — jackpot!

I’m grateful that I can continue living alone. I was grateful for it in August when I returned to solo living after years of roommates (and traumas) and I’m grateful for it now.

I’m grateful that the place is clean and maintained and managed by not-slumlords.

I’m grateful for the offers of help from two buddies to move the bed. I need the help. I could’ve found a couple dudes with a truck on craigslist, sure.

But there’s something special, personal and comforting about someone you know offering to assist. This is new for me. Offers of help. And learning to accept help. HUGE lifetime lesson and theme. I truly seek and want to grow in that capacity and put the cruelty of EXTREME and death-defying self-reliance & independence that were shoved down my throat behind me. I’m excited and grateful to be changing and growing.

I’m grateful that I HAVE a bed to move! Truly. My bed’s a mere few months old. For three years, I had no bed so having one to move is a big deal! Even though it is friggin’ heavy. 🙂

I’m grateful to have secured a place before winter’s onset. And I’m grateful to have secured a place in this season of Thanksgiving (officially Thursday). I’ve much to be thankful for and I am.

Now, let the let the lease be signed, the keys exchanged, the truck’s engine turn and the moving begin!

from outta the blue another space to view!

Goes to show, ya just never know. And things can change just like that {finger snap}!

My search for new housing has been full-speed ahead in the past couple weeks.

One place I was keen on viewing based on the ad got rented before I had a chance to see it.

I remember it well since the rental lady and I played phone tag and by the time we did speak, the apartment was taken.

Some 10 minutes ago I get a call. It’s that rental lady. Am I still looking and interested in seeing the space? The person who was gonna take it fell through.

Oh my. Am I interested in seeing it? Yes.

Am I still looking for a place however? Dunno.

Here’s the thing, I tell her. I’ve got an application in for a rental behind the library. I see no reason why it won’t go through but ya never know. Ain’t a done deal until the fat lady sings.

Soonest I could get the green light on it is today. Just depends on how fast that property management company does its thing.

This new place I’ve been invited to see is too available for immediate occupancy (following of course approval of the application).

It’d be a hoot if I like this curve ball of a place as much as the space behind the library — and with that one days if not hours away from final approval! I’m all packed up and ready to roll soon as a lease is signed. I’m talkin’ like a move in 5 days!

Whose lease will it be?!

Obviously I can’t know whether it’ll come down to a choice between two spaces until I see this new offering . I may love it. Or go belch. I’ll know in an hour.

However, does go to prove that ya just never know and how things can change on a dime!

And thus the wild ride in Adventures in Moving #52 (give or take) continues …

W is for wheeee! and waiting

Wheeee! Just like that {finger snap}, things can change.

In seven days, I may not be indulging my ritual of morning coffee and laptop, browsing the Internet, blogging.

I could be heaving boxes into my Subaru. For like the gazillionth time and that’s a whooooooool other novel!

My application for little apartment behind the library’s in. It had to be in by 11 a.m. yesterday. Know that sounds terribly late to most folks but that’s my arising time!

So delivering it to their offices across town by the deadline was a “special occasion” that involved an alarm clock and, unexpectedly, insomnia — not unusual when something special’s underway.

So I got it in with 45 minutes to spare. Now I wait.

Wait for the property management to do their checking. “Should be done by Monday” she said.

Wheee! An all-clear means it’s on — and swiftly!  The current tenant may be out Monday, then 4-5 days for turning the apartment around. If all flows smoothly, I could be making this move exactly one week from today.

I’m ready. Boy am I ready! Not strictly in the practical sense of having cleared out what I’m not gonna take. Plus packing’s super easy, quick and relatively painless because I live out of boxes — and have for years. I truly do.

Being a minimalist helps. As does having absolutely no home and making moves approximately every 4 months or so! Why bother unpacking if you know you’re just gonna pick up and go again in a few weeks or months?!

Not bemoaning hardships of a nomadic life — and an unstable life most often caused by other people and their issues and crap. Not today.

I’m excited for this move and have been since my landlord, in consortium with a half-handful of tenants / chronic complainers, booted me out.

I’m excited because each move — as arduous and “hassle-y” and a lot of work as it is — I mean, how many times have I loaded up that Subaru?!? — lands me in a spot better than the one behind. Even if by 1/10th of a degree, an upswing is an upswing and oh so welcomed!!

Wheeee! If I get this new place — FANTASTIC! I’m so pumped to relocate … to leave this current environment and unjustness, the condemnations and other issues … and to move forward into a place that feels more settled. Just six months at a place with peace, no roommates, no tenants who feel like roommates because they’re in my “home” and dictating my quarters according to their needs and whims would be a huge gain!

This move’s not just about leaving behind a bad untenable situation. It’s mostly about moving on and upward. Of having a space (even if small) for my self — not merely in town but on this planet. I’m into my golden years and never had that.

Wherever the next place, it’s not forever. Like I wrote, six months of peace and freedom from bad roommates / bad tenants and related conflicts would be a huuuuuuuuuge achievement!

Wheeeee! I like my odds of securing this new space. I also looooooooove looooooove looooooooooooove the possibility of both living on a hill AND behind the library!! That’s soooo me on both counts!

That bird’s-eye view of all is a great comfort to me. As a child, my safe place was waaaaaaay up in a tree, to the highest branch that could hold me. Since I’m petite and lightweight, plus very agile (“monkey” was one nickname), I could climb up pretty high!

The possibility of living atop a hill with view of sky and trees and the town that I looooove — and increasingly call home as I tentatively test the land and community for stability and longevity — excites me!

And living behind a library?! For this writer and reader and lifelong passionate lover of the written word and books and libraries, so cool!

So while these next few days of waiting have a nail-biter (now there’s a lifelong habit I still struggle to break!) quality, I’m optimistic and excited about the lil’ place on the hill behind the library.

While in departing I’ll certainly leave my current studio #9 meticulously clean, forgiving the landlord, the tenants, the situation and myself is the highest clean I can give this space. Better things are ahead. I can feel it in my high-spaces-and-library-lovin’ bones. 🙂