The One-Year Mark: Part 6

Let’s see…where was I? Ah, yes. To catch you up, if you haven’t read the rest of the series, you’ve missed a lot…


I’ll wait.

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5

So the weeks pass, and we wait for Mom’s moving truck to arrive from Chicago. The new apartment building leaves the moving blankets up on the sides of the elevator almost the entire time. There’s a welcome sign on her door weeks before she ever gets to see it. I stop over to stock the place with some groceries and supplies, and people stop me in the hallway, asking if I’m Chiquita’s daughter.

And then they ask if the moving truck got lost.

That was funny the first time, but by the time 37 silver-haired jokesters quit asking two months later, I was TOTALLY over it.

Finally, in mid-December, we get the call.

It’ll pull in tomorrow.

So bright and early the next morning, I drag my butt over to Mom’s new place. The moving truck arrives. I go over to greet the driver, and he tells me that the movers (sent over from the local moving company) are on their way. So we sit in our vehicles a while longer.

Eventually they turn up, and I go inside to let the front office know that we’re about to get started. The truck drives around to the loading dock, and I meet them there. It seems that the building’s bus is parked right in the way of the 18-wheeler trying to back into the loading dock.

I’m dispatched to the front office to find someone to move the bus. Of course, it’s a Saturday, so the receptionist is the weekend one, and no one is scheduled to drive it that day. But after being assured that they’re working on it, I head back to the dock…..

…To find the 18-wheeler about to try to back in the loading dock WITHOUT hitting the bus. I have time to wonder if Mom would be charged for the repairs to the nearly-totalled bus.

It’s tight, and that driver did some FANCY drivin’, but he got in there. Whew…it was CLOSE!

The guys start offloading Mom’s stuff. From the loading dock, to get to Mom’s apartment (almost directly overhead), there’s a looooong hallway, an elevator up one floor, and back down the same looooong hallway. And there’s only one hand truck in the building, though the movers have a couple other small ones (after they leave to go get them, of course).

Mom had paid for unpacking at the new place, so I mention it to the guys.

“Oh, you don’t want us to do that,” one of them tells me.

“I don’t?” I asked, sure that someone was trying to rip someone off.

“Nah. It just means that we take everything out of the boxes, unwrap it, and leave it sitting on the floor.”

After doing some visualizing, I agree with him. So I grab a knife and start slicing boxes open to unpack them. They haul it up, I unpack it. I’m going as fast as I can, because they’ll take all the empty boxes & packing material with them…which means that I won’t have to.

Eventually, everything is in, and I’ve unpacked all I can for now. But the truck has one more stop to make: my house.

You see, since the truck was coming to Pittsburgh anyway, my sister put her unwanted elliptical machine and a leather sectional sofa on to be dropped off at my place. So I lead the procession (my car, two cars full of movers, and the 18-wheeler) across town to my house. The drive was uneventful, if you don’t count the part where the 18-wheeler couldn’t QUITE make it around that tight corner and dug up some poor guy’s side yard. (Oops. I felt bad about that…maybe because we had to look at it until spring!)

The guys unload the sofa and the elliptical, thanking me for not wanting them up a flight of stairs (our basement is next to the garage at ground level). I distribute tips.

Next comes the hard part: Kicking Chiquita out.


About Kathleen

Kathleen Heuer is a serial arts advocate and volunteer. She is the mom of two beautiful girls, wife to a brilliant nuclear engineer, and referee between her golden retriever and her hissy 18-year-old cat. For more, go to
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