Opinion » Pique'n Yer Interest

Making lemonade with moving day lemons



I moved to the Manhattan of Squamish last week.

And when I write week, I mean it. It took seven days in a kind of slow-mo nightmare that reminded me of the existence of my biceps and made my feet hurt. A lot. Moving house by Yaris means a lot of trips.

Wilson Crescent is an eclectic mix of tightly packed houses and three-storey apartments a short walk from Howe Sound (and the Howe Sound Brew Pub, yay!), as well as downtown shopping, cafés and a couple of venues where the town's outdoor and indoor gigs and events take place.

Now it's possible for me to hike to the river estuary where it hits the ocean and a little further along to the Stawamus Chief. And it's flat! A bonus for my dodgy knees.

If it were Whistler it would be at the edge of the village. A good place to live in either community.

The crescent is dense by Squish standards, but not too noisy. The dawn chorus of songbirds seems especially sweet here. Life is good, albeit boxy at the moment.

That's the ongoing story. The real (swearwords in this space) challenge was the move.

Who among you likes moving house?

Me, neither.

I had exemplary help from my 15-year-old son and a work colleague who dropped by with a truck. And the moving company operatives who shifted the big stuff were brilliant. Thanks, guys! I really mean it when I say I couldn't have done it without you.

But before all that, decisions had to be made and questions asked: How the heck are we shifting all this stuff? Why the heck do I have so much stuff? I thought I wasn't all that possessions oriented. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

What should we take to the thrift shops? (Several bags and boxes went to Pearl's Place in Squamish and will be sold to benefit the Howe Sound Women's Centre.) Can we live without a six-person dining table? (Yes, sold.) Can we weed through the toys and get rid of some? (Um... son's objections duly noted.) Books? (No. No! But why am I not fully digitized? I got rid of about a dozen. I need to revisit that.) Music? (Similar answer to the book conundrum. I have too many CDs and tapes. TAPES? Do I really need that tape of Synchronicity by The Police, purchased when I was 18? Despite the fact that Sting was so cute in 1983, I'm rid of it.)

Once that was sorted out, it took time to pack carefully but then — suddenly it seemed — there was no time, moving week was upon us, which meant compromises.

Carefully boxing up beloved dinner plates and breakable mementoes (one or two in the heirloom category) in a single, loose layer of bubble wrap becomes less objectionable as the Final Removal Day approached. I made multiple trips with open boxes and light clinking. Smooth sailing, no potholes.

Of course, my 2,200 books had to be moved, but by then the clinking Denbyware and Waterford Crystal was already safely in new cupboards. The books were a heavy, special kind of hell but they are touchstones to me.

Then the hatchback door on my Yaris decided to stop working. It's jammed still. Everything I moved had to fit through the side doors. Luckily, almost everything did.

In the middle of it all the snow started to fall. And fall. And fall. The plus? The parking-to-door distance was pleasingly short. The minus? Still plenty of ice between the two locations.

Slow and steady wins the moving race. A week off work and putting my back into it also played a role. We got there.

With the move now complete, it is Boxing Day and Boxing Week and Boxing Month, until everything gets put away. Door keys are cut, beds are assembled and things are being located as they are needed.

It is good to keep a sense of humour.

Like in terms of eating. Moving creates fusion menu opportunities that would make Gordon Ramsay shriek even more than normal.

The cereals were put some place sensible immediately, thank goodness, so breakfast was safe.

But dinner? On the first night in the house I found English breakfast sausages, a zucchini, chow mein noodles and hoisin sauce — and that was it. We ordered a pizza.

Second night? The sausage and hoisin confection was not as bad as you'd think.

A similar fusion thing happened with clothes. Last into the green garbage bag and first out was that shirt I hate. But, heck, on Thursday it seemed like a great work option. But with those jeans? No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Oh well...

Toothbrushes located. No toothpaste? Go. To. Store. Shifting boxes to create a path from the kitchen to the living room? No problem. I have my own labyrinth.

And now it's done and the dust has literally settled what about the casualties?

Broken hatchback, check. Saving my pennies to take it in now.

Then there was one large Christmas ornament, which smashed into three pieces. There are memories attached to it and it was sad, but coming on the last day of the move, I didn't even blink as I tossed it in the trash.