Follies, Chainsaws and Garages

You know what garages are like. You keep things there. Things like weird old stuff, old car parts, empty computer boxes, chainsaws, corpses….

Okay. Probably not corpses. Except mouse corpses, which weird out younger son.

We still haven’t found a place to move to. We have found places we might/could but only if we have to. and we’re giving it till the fourth of July for the perfect house to come up before we settle for one of those.

But it’s time to get the h*ll out of Colorado — and good Lord, it hurts to write that. I’ve left a place I loved beyond and beside reason before. It’s not good — and we know it. It’s time to get this house ready to sell.

So far we’ve been going through the areas where things were so piled we couldn’t get into them, partly to clear storage space to put things in them while — emergency plan 5 — we move our essentials to a rental and look for a place to buy from there. (As you guys probably still remember, we’re BAD at buying real-estate, mostly because we’re Odd and live in the houses Oddly, so they have to fit OUR purposes. Strangely, this is fairly normal for writers, who tend to buy bizarre houses. (If I could find one of those poured cement diners, in the shape of turkeys or apples or Shrimp, I’d buy it in a heart beat, if it were weather-tight and cheap, at least. Alas, no one has offered one for sale.))

Anyway…. The garage mostly contains empty boxes, parts for cars we no longer own, tools to fix cars we no longer own. Tools for me to do house remodeling (Younger son: Mom, do you really need forty hammers? And no, they’re not specialized. The movers in the last two moves packed them and– Okay, later.) LOTS of copies of my books, a few of which are water-damaged beyond repair. (Younger son had a good idea for those. Because the last book sale was a mess due to the need to keep track of who ordered what, and different postage and such. So he said we should sell “boxes from Sarah’s Garage”: like three signed books — if you have them, you can use them for gifts — and a signed con program, cover flat or piece of art. And put them at a price about the same as the cover price of the books, including postage. Flat fee.) Look, I don’t do that many cons. Administering a sale is time-expensive and I’d rather be writing, and younger son has more important things to do, also, so– And how many boxes do I have/ Well, enough to take up a 5×5 storage unit. which we’re not going to rent just so we can continue dragging boxes around the country.

So– Sometime in the next month there will be “Boxes from Sarah’s garage.” And we won’t include a mouse corpse. Unless your cats REALLY want them. (We have a 400 acre natural preserve behind us (around that size anyway) so mice are a given.)

But meanwhile, after son, in an heroic effort, had dug and dug and dug, and filled the back of my car with donation stuff….

We found at the very back (near the mouse hole) a stack of oh, probably five by ten boxes, which were apparently stashed in there by our movers, when we weren’t looking.

Here, I’ll interject that I hate moving. I’d done it precisely once by the time I got married, from grandma’s house to mom and dad’s new house (now 52 years old.) We moved in an ox cart (it was about a mile, and the ox cart was a loan from the farmer) and well, that was it.

Mom and dad haven’t moved either.

However in the eighties, and with Dan in computers, it became obvious we were going to move a lot. Before we had kids we moved every two to three years. Then we moved to Colorado when older son was 1, and we’ve moved four times since. That is, if you compress the last move into “one time” which it kind of was, but not.

Because we got it in our deranged minds to buy THIS house which was on a short sale, it took us six months to buy this house.

Since we were renting while getting the other house ready for sale, we ran out of lease waiting for this one to come through and we moved to another interim apartment before moving here. In the meantime, Older Son moved away to school and–

Well, all in all we had five more or less complete moves in a year, which is kind of nightmare scenario for me, since my own particularly “neuro ATYPICAL thing” is that I hate having my cheese moved. I will endure the most bizarre arrangements, just so long as I can keep my daily routine intact. When the routine is in flux, I get grumpy and depressed and out of sorts.

By the time we moved into this house, almost exactly 5 years ago (the short end of the time we expected to stay here, but we didn’t expect the state and the country to go howling insane, honest) I was not only grumpy, but also very ill with a combination of ill-treated thyroid, and sleep apnea. The combination is bad for me, let’s say.

We had once before had things packed for us. Well, once and a half.

When we moved from South Carolina, we packed as much as we could, to save time/money, but we had a week’s notice that Dan was getting the job and, oh, yah, must start in two weeks. So we didn’t sleep for a week, but we still had the movers finishing up packing the kitchen and the bedroom. (Which is why I got to experience Dave Barry’s “They packed a coffee cup with the coffee still in it.” Yep, they did. They also packed the contents of the bedroom TRASHCAN which is why 6 years later, unpacking the last box, we stared in horror at a USED fossilized (more or less) infant diaper….)

Then we had people pack everything in Manitou Springs, when we moved to Colorado Springs. This was needed because it was early-years of Dan’s career, relatively speaking, so he worked 19 hour days, and I had two school children full time, plus a nascent writing career (three books a year, that year.)

So we had someone come and pack, and because they were packing and transporting in increments, I had to go to the new house and leave them to pack.


We were fortunate in the fact that they were really bad at identifying what was actually worth money, but I lost some tools and weirder stuff. (This was the move in which the weaponized umbrella left my life.)

It was however even weirder in the non criminal “What the hell” portion of it.

You see, they had given us an estimate for boxes that I thought was way too high, but they assured us that if the boxes came in under that count, they would — of course — only charge for what they used.

I was somewhat weirded out the boxes were the exact right amount, and I thought “they padded”. But I thought they padded by doing things like extra cushioning on dishes.

Oh, that would be rational and make sense, which is something I’ve found movers just.don’

The china was left half-wrapped, so we could lose irreplaceable parts of our tea sets, of COURSE.

No, in the boxes towards the end of it, what I found was that they had done things like fill entire, large boxes, with ONE SHOE and a lot of padding.

Though perhaps my favorite… You know those plastic lids you buy for cat food cans? The ones you use to cover the can, if you’re only feeding the cat half the contents (a violation of feline rights, but what can I say)? Yeah. Three of those in a large box. And a lot of paper. And the box was marked and delivered to… Master Bedroom.

So, we didn’t want to have movers PACK again, but I was very ill, and most of all very tired for two of those moves in a year. I was also dealing with stuff in my professional life that was taking ALL my attention and creating a shitton of stress.

So, husband convinced me to go with a packing service. This wasn’t part of the moving, but separate, and it has good reviews.


I knew there was trouble, when the lady doing the packing had a “hole” in a box and went looking for things the right size and shape to fill it. Sure. it saves boxes and money, but having kitchen cups in the middle of my office stuff is going to cost me time and aggravation on unpacking. I told her not to do that, but by then it was already too late (I’d been working instead of watching her.)

Then the movers did their thing. And you know movers, right? Regardless of what is marked on the actual box, if you turn your back for fifteen seconds, it will get put in the room or place nearest the truck.

Over the years, as we rearranged the garage, I’d found kitchen appliances, and — mostly, because they’re heaviest — boxes of books marked “library” (which is in the basement.) In fact, the library boxes were amiably distributed all over the house, as though they had no idea what a library was. (It has built-in floor to ceilin– Never mind.)

But we’d never made it to the most distant corner of the garage, partly because we THOUGHT those were all boxes younger son had abandoned with us when he moved. And because over time things that we were using to fix and improve the house (pallets of flooring, for ex) got in the way.

So, son has been making HEROIC efforts and clearing it up. There is still an entire array of shelves for Dan to go through, but yesterday I had fifteen minutes, so I went through and said, let me see anything that’s mine, and let’s see what’s in your boxes and if we can donate some.

…. The boxes clearly marked — by the movers — with son’s name…. well, no wonder he felt he had everything he needed and could leave them behind….

They contain my stuff, Dan’s stuff, some of older son’s stuff. Oh, and cat care stuff. What they don’t actually contain is any of younger son’s stuff.

Though one contained probably my entire “cleaning closet” and the mice had got into that, and… well, I hate to throw away swiffer pads and a hundred rubber gloves, but I’ll be d*mned if I’m going to try to use them with mouse poo and pee on them.

However, the two boxes that — so far, the day is young and we haven’t got to the storage room in the basement yet — take the absolute cake.

One of them says office supplies, and as far as I can tell, having opened it and looked in, it contains a table top water fountain, curlers, some projects in clay the kids did in kindergarten, and a proofread manuscript (which to be fair, is “office” broadly speaking.)

But the one I opened this morning was marked “Younger Son’s Room.”

Inside were… A Rex Stout novel I was re-reading at the time of the move. A portion of my silverware drawer, that I assumed had been stolen (including one thing with sentimental value and no particular value otherwise, but it looks good.) My good table cloths, including the Christmas ones, and the antique, embroidered and lace one that I normally use for Easter and hadn’t been able to find since the move (DUH) though I have all the (12) napkins. Stuff from my art room (art paper, mostly) and a package of printing paper. Some broken pastel crayons. …. Clothes pegs? AND the content of my card box where I kept story ideas, and which arrived empty. There’s a rubber band around the cards, so this was intentionally packed that way. (The box was in another box, natch. I gave up the cards for lost years ago. I glanced through them this morning. This is the Short-story-ideas file, so I might use a bunch.)

AND the entire contents of the “reservoir” of the pencil sharpener (which was not in this box and was unpacked in the first batch) evenly distributed to a one inch depth over the bottom of the box.

Honestly, I don’t even know what to make of that, or why she thought that should be packed. Or, if the pencil sharpener container fell out, why she didn’t just shake that into a trash bag. I mean, it’s jaw-droppingly insane, okay?

Onward towards our destination. I’m going to finish those boxes today, and hopefully start in on the library. And Bowl of Red is getting finished. And Rhodes will be on preorder soon.

And I promise not to send anyone any chain saws or corpses. Though at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if I find some of those in some boxes in the garage!

227 thoughts on “Follies, Chainsaws and Garages

  1. Ah, moving days. The stories that I could tell, of military moves… well, it least having to move every three years or so reduced the amount of krep accumulated, since part of prepping for a move involved donating/selling extraneous but useful stuff, throwing out stuff that wasn’t worth moving, or that couldn’t be moved. I learned early on – put the stuff that wasn’t supposed to be moved into the car, or in the small bathroom with the door closed and a sign on it – don’t pack this! Stories were legion among military families about movers who packed up the kitchen garbage, a purse or briefcase with essential papers in it … and there was one story of a cat who hid in a sofa being shipped with household goods from Germany to CONUS … and emerged at the other end somewhat dehydrated and thinner but still alive.
    Speaking of which, we probably have to clear out the garage again. It’s not really an empty nest until all the offspring’s stuff is out of Mom and Dad’s garage…

    1. Since I left college some 45+ years ago, I’ve moved 6 times. Three times I stayed two years or less (including the Unfortunate Townhouse*), but the last two moves have lasted 17+ years each. It’s still a pain. My biggest problem is that I don’t have shelves for everything, and some things defy being placed on a shelf. (What *do* you do with 10′ lengths of steel tubing that are waiting for the round tuit for a project? Or the random lengths of roughsawn maple?)

      I have books in the back bedroom/office and books in the shop/barn. The latter are somewhat untouchable until I’m confident climbing up and down ladders, but I really want to try to get the relevant (history mostly) books into the office and the most useful technical books either in the office or in an office in the shop. I have a project to identify and index articles in a couple of magazine collections** and scan them, at which point those magazines can go back to the untouchable space.

      OTOH, I have a lot of SF books that I don’t plan to read any more in my lifetime, so they’ll get culled and sent off to the county library for their rummage sales. Some might make it to rural branch library shelves.

      (*) Later identified as the first neighborhood in the large city to get special enforcement of crack cocaine use, posession and sales.

      (**) The worst offender is a collection 25 years deep. Some of the articles are what I need/want o have handy, but I’m not going to search by hand.

        1. “What *do* you do with 10′ lengths of steel tubing that are waiting for the round tuit for a project? Or the random lengths of roughsawn maple?”

          I built special shelves and racks in my unfinished basement for just this purpose.

    2. I was on the phone today with a young second class petty officer (E-5), who had never done a military move before (spent her first five years in the same place), but who is coming here later this year (meaning I won’t be the only female at my command anymore, as soon as she gets here). She was going to pay for a storage unit while she was in school before coming here, and then try to transport her stuff. Fortunately, I was able to get her the website to set up her move. I need to remember to tell her all those things, too. Pack your stuff and the dog’s stuff in the car, along with electronics and important paperwork. Keep a jacket and some long pants and your dress uniform out. That sort of thing.

    3. Oh yes. I have lost count, but as the kiddo, it was not nearly as hard for me as my mom. I moved a lot getting started, but a futon and a desk/drawing table held together with botls that dissasembled, a computer, clothes and books, and a few art supplies… It all fits in the back of a car, so no biggie.

      Since then I have managed to live the dream and stay in one place for over 2 decades. Sigh.

      Kills me thinking of having to leave. Poor Mrs. Hoyt.

  2. Chainsaws? If you find any, I’ll take ’em! Really.

    And y’all needed to look at northeast Texas for a place to move to. I can recommend a couple realtors to you. 1 in the Dallas area, and one northeast of Dallas.

  3. I dread moving. Some day it *might* happen- single and childless, I don’t need a four bedroom two bath home for any sort of future reason anymore. But in said home and garage are the contents of two dead lives, one living, one child almost grown, one formerly pregnant woman (mother of said child, my godchild), parts of five different vehicles and tools from six different professions. Several filled bookshelves, a couple of regular shelves (yes, there’s a *difference* dammit), and enough dishes to feed approximately one horde or six teenagers, depending, at once.

    I have considered selling “house with stuff” and just taking my books and tools. And running far, far away. Maybe even as far as the next valley over. Or Alaska, or Texas, depending.

    My sympathies. Moving is sometimes necessary, but it sucks when you have to move once you’ve finally got settled.

    1. Use an Estate Selling Agency. Won’t get what you paid. But it’ll be priced reasonable fair to you and to the buyer. That is what my BIL and his wife did when they downsized from 3 bedroom to an RV (Motorhome, now 5th-wheel). Everything sentimental that wouldn’t fit in the RV went into storage, eventually into shop and she-shed at their base (her mother’s backyard).

  4. Wait, wait, can we put in a request for chainsaw?

    Because of course we’re in the market for one. Sorta. Because it’s the sort of thing that involves negotiations.

      1. I have two “working” (they desperately need tuneups), one needing the ignition coil, once I find it, and a couple of specialty saws intended for pole-saw duty (though the electric is usable, sort of. It scares me more than the gas saws because reasons).

        FWIW, if one is in an area where chainsaws are used a lot, find the local/regional chainsaw repair place. The place I had my last repairs done had a few saws for sale that were abandoned by their owners when the repair costs exceeded their wallet contents.

  5. Moving days were always “fun.”

    Since I was one of the few people in my circle of acquaintances that owned a car with a real trunk (and later, a truck), guess who became my friend when they had to move!

    The experience put me in good stead, mind you-when I lost the apartment in Richmond, I had done as much of the prep work as I could around the Crazy Roommate and started to stage stuff in the garage. And, despite making an effort over the years to purge what was in the garage myself…damn I had a lot of stuff there. I think I left three or four boxes of stuff when I did finally get out and (fingers crossed) nothing was critical in them.

    I’m currently in the middle of another purge round, this time of the storage unit, so that I can look into moving into a smaller unit that would cost me less per month. I probably could now, but I want to hold onto what I have for a little longer, just in case Mom wants to do any major housework and we have a place to store the stuff that’s not outside.

    If I have a goal, it is to have everything ready to stuff into a 15′ to 17′ truck with reasonable notice and clear out everything and get out of town with just one truck and tow whatever my current vehicle is. Where is the big question, and I’m hoping it isn’t Texas. Once upon a time, Oregon was an option but not these days.

    Regardless, the purge has been good. Found things I thought I’d lost over the years.

    1. I sorta managed 1 truck and tow my vehicle . . . but I had one load already at the rental I brought with me, but I had enough space I could have taken it all in one trip if I had needed (and almost did because there was and still is no storage openings around here)

      1. Last time I moved, my only operational four-wheeled vehicle was a Triumph Spitfire. Yes, with creative rigging you can move six foot bookcases with a Spitfire…

        Fortunately I wasn’t moving far, since it took a lot of trips.

        1. I moved from NOLA to DFW with a couple of trips in just my 98 Frontier, and one with a U-Haul trailer, This move was from DFW to here in a 29 foot U-haul (biggest thing they rent) with the truck on a trailer behind it. Me, 3 cats, 4 motorcycles, a riding mower, and all my schtuph wedged in.

    2. Heh, Workus interuptus and WPDE as there was more after the parenthetical.
      I did some creative stacking to get everything in the biggest U-Haul they rent, and there was the ability to haul some of what I had brought when looking for living spaces, but it helped to not need to fully move in the first place (temp rental until closing on the house purchase with HUD taking mostly months, and work needed before moving in. Shockingly it was a few weeks for the close so I was able to close not long after moving, and got the floor work and some plumbing and electrical done sooner so by July I was in, but as soon as they handed over the keys and I swapped locks, items were moved the mile and a bit here and I had no need to rush, so I started moving in right after Independence Day and got the last moved and cleaning done of the rental by the end of the month.

  6. Sarah, your rant brings back so many memories! We are preparing for our sixth move since we married and are planning to go with real movers this time so we can enjoy the fun we have been missing by using PODs and U-Hauls.

    Actually, if you are likely to need storage while you find and buy your forever home, PODs and similar services are the way to go. You pack your stuff the way you want it and take all the time you need to decide whether the old aquarium goes or stays. If carrying boxes is a strain, hire neighbors or high school kids to carry and stack the boxes in the POD. Your sealed POD will be stored until you find a place to put your goodies and then they drop the POD on your front lawn for you to unpack and arrange.

  7. Younger daughter really, really wanted to use pods when they moved from Austin to Brooklyn, but for some reason. It didn’t work out. She was disappointed because she’d been looking forward to casually saying things like “The pod people are coming.” (Back then she was relatively sane and had some respect for the classics.)

  8. > poured cement diners, in the shape of turkeys

    There’s also a Wikipedia page on the Gobbler.

    Recreational use of psychoactive substances was popular in the 1960s. It’s the most likely explanation as to how someone came up with the idea of restaurant/hotel/spa shaped like a giant turkey, and got it financed and built…

  9. Sometimes there can be a moment of magic in a move.

    I pray for many of those.

  10. We are currently moving. Getting the hell out of Fort Collins (aka Boulder-lite) & moving to Windsor (which is smaller, prettier in a great mid century house with A/C!!!) Randall’s shop is in 2 storage spaces. One is the size of a single car garage & his shop fills half of it. Another storage space has ALL our household goods (except for most of the books & stuff from oldest daughter & oldest son which are in storage space 1, which also has most of our books & other items.) Last 2 homes had no storage space or place for bookcases. #3 storage space has a 16′ uhaul truck full of lumber (no wonder he couldn’t move in the shop), the rest of the shop, grill, all 3 pieces of lawn furniture. Friday will be 2 (or 3) weeks in a hotel with 2 dogs). Since there is a HUGE softball tournament coming to town on Thursday, we are getting booted from this hotel to another one for hopefully only a week. THEN we get to move into new place we are renting, get the lumber moved & placed for storage & I get the house to figure out & to purge everything so that I can either donate or have a yard sale. But the new place has a/c, which I will live in a hotel for a month before moving in.


    On Tue, Jun 22, 2021 at 11:14 AM According To Hoyt wrote:

    > accordingtohoyt posted: ” You know what garages are like. You keep things > there. Things like weird old stuff, old car parts, empty computer boxes, > chainsaws, corpses…. Okay. Probably not corpses. Except mouse corpses, > which weird out younger son. We still haven’t foun” >

  11. > And I promise not to send anyone any chain saws or corpses. Though at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if I find some of those in some boxes in the garage!

    Sounds like a story seed to me. “How to get rid of a dead body.” If you were lucky it might get lost in transit; at worst, someone else would have to explain it once it started to go bad.

    1. Sounds like an old comic (newspaper?), though have forgotten which one (Frank & Earnest?) “We simply mail the {toxic/radioactive] waste back and forth and a little gets lost each time.”

      1. *grin* And it has the virtue of being scientifically correct. The way I was taught (mumble) years ago was dilution. Concentrated radioactive, bad. Diffuse it enough, its all good.

        1. Until it’s realized all the loss at happened at the same bulk mail facility in Carol Stream, IL. And then you realize where it is and just shrug it off anyway. ♉

  12. One of my parents’ moves, they used a mover instead of doing it themselves. I was eight years old. The mover was Atlas Van Lines.

    None of my stuff showed up. Being eight years old I wasn’t particularly concerned about clothes, but my books and my electronics stuff never got replaced. (by that age, the only “toys” I had were a bicycle and a Batman utility belt) My parents wound up taking some risible amount like $20 as “value” for the missing boxes. Parts I could scrounge from dead radios and TVs like I did before, but without at least an ohmmeter I was dead in the water; resistors and capacitors were color-coded, and I had no way to identify them without test equipment. They bought me another bicycle, which I didn’t want, and had no place to ride anyway. They were upset when I didn’t show proper appreciation for it. Parents can be weird.

    I don’t even know if Atlas Van Lines is still in business, but if they are, they’re still #1 on my shit list. [clickety] Inexplicably, they’re still around, so their position on my list is secure.

    1. It’s hard to find movers with a good reputation. Part of it is that it depends on local talent for packing, loading and unloading. (Depending on the firm, the driver might be an owner/operator or corporate worker bee.) OTOH, there can be outfits to avoid. We tried Starving Students in 2000 when $SPOUSE moved from her apartment to my place. They didn’t show, and I got the FU response when I called. OTOH, later research (not easy to do at that time) indicated that they had a world of complaints, including things like restating the price when the load is already on board, and held for hostage. That and missing pieces… No idea if they are around, and what their current reputation is. Your Mileage May Vary. Contents will settle during transport.

      Anyway, that was a U-haul scramble. When we were leaving San Jose for Oregon, we had to get stuff in storage. Did a trip or two with U-haul, but then rented a Ryder truck for 2 weeks. I’d recommend them for local moves. OTOH, for long distance, they didn’t have an Oregon office nearby, and 180 miles one way to drop off the truck (after an estimated 3 trips) was a nonstarter. So, we did a mix of pros and DIY.

      We used Mayflower for the household stuff. We had moved some stuff with our vehicles; enough to do necessary fixes and to get by while waiting for the movers. I drove down and Mayflower had a local crew load. That was great. Not as good unloading with an Oregon crew; $SPOUSE had to threaten mayhem before they stopped sticking the couch in a corner–stacked on an end. I got talked out of checking box numbers–pretty sure one box ended up at another destination, though it wasn’t crucial.

      That first trip, I took a machine tool up in the pickup. Later, I took the train down to SJ and rented a Budget truck, since they had offices handy at both locations. Not a fun drive to get up to Oregon, but it got done, and I got it unloaded.

      The last trip was a lathe that wasn’t going on the truck. I’d bought a utility trailer, and there were some things for sale in Cali that we couldn’t find in Oregon, so those got picked up. I got the last bits up no problem.

      We accepted an offer on the SJ house and bought the Oregon house Sep 5th or so. Closing was 15 days later in SJ and the next Monday in Oregon. Oct 5th for the Mayflower load, with the last trip on Halloween. Slept like logs afterwards.

  13. > So, we didn’t want to have movers PACK again,

    My method of packing is “shovel stuff into box until full, tape, unfold next box.”

    For my wife, on the other hand, each individual item must be inspected, fondled, reminesced over, and likely as not, set aside for further trips down Memory Lane instead of being PUT IN THE FREAKING BOX, so at the end of a full day of “packing” there’s one half-full box and a big pile of junk. And inside the box will be… trash; envelopes bills came in, ten-year-old sale papers, things that should never have been kept to start with. WHY ARE YOU SAVING THIS? WHY DO YOU WANT TO TAKE IT WITH YOU? WHERE DO YOU PLAN TO PUT IT?

    Sorry. It’s one of those ‘marital stress’ issues, butting heads with someone whose thought processes are occasionally more alien than those of lizard people.

    1. We’ve moved so often it is a habit. Our preferred method is to start carefully and label as we go. However, no matter how much time we have, how organized we get, we always get down to the “scoop and dump” boxes. We don’t have time to sort it at the old place so we scoop it up and dump it in a box to be sorted at the other end. Unfortunately, we never label those boxes so it takes a lot of time to get back to them. Treasures are unearthed but so is a lot of trash. Hoping, next move, whenever it happens can be much more organized than the last one.

      1. We haven’t moved that often. But the few I have done … let’s just say, stuff kept stored, like Christmas gear. “Tape down the box it is in, for crying out loud!” which isn’t some sturdy cardboard packing box! “That tote is exactly what it says it is, no reason to paw through it or pack it’s contents somewhere else. Tape down lid. It goes in spare room, color coded.” There probably are smaller totes that benefit being stacked in larger packing boxes, but not many.

        The thought of moving again makes me cringe. It was bad enough when we redid all the carpets!

        1. I still haven’t unpacked some stuff that I had to pack in great haste when we had to clear my office for the roof re-framing back in January and February of 2020 (right before the Covidiocy really struck). Last night we had the bulb go out on a night light. I knew I had some more, and they’d been on the top shelf of my desk before — but I couldn’t locate the box into which they’d been packed, so I ended up going to Walmart this afternoon and buying another package.

      2. We bought several packs of bankers boxes from Costco. I painted a fluorescent orange stripe on all the boxes intended for books. When the movers unloaded, all those ended up in the barn.

    2. And identity theft means old bills have to be shredded and if that isn’t done immediately, it piles up something fierce.

  14. I wish you the best in your move, and hope that you soon find that (almost) perfect home wherever you’re planning to head.

    Our last move (and it’s only ever been the two of us,) we had planned / hoped to have some family and friends help out in loading / unloading the truck. We spent months in advance boxing stuff up, moving it to a storage unit near the new house (under construction,) boxing up stuff at home and stashing it, cleaning, the whole nine yards.
    And our help wound up consisting of:
    1. Cousin with a leg in a cast to the hip (we knew about this and had intended her to be a “project manager” at the new house)
    2. Sis-in-Law and one neice
    3. A friend of mine who showed up later in the day
    When we saw the dearth of help, we returned the big U-Haul that could’ve done it in one trip, got a small one to get breakable / expensive / storage unit stuff, and called movers to get the furniture and some of the boxes of stuff.

    Still a bit salty about the lack of help, we’d started asking a month or two in advance, including promising most everything would already be packed up and ready to load. And we’d helped some of the people we asked move not too long before…

    (BTW, if they’re in your area, Two Men and a Truck are decent movers.)

    1. I told my husband that the move from the apartment to the house we are currently in will be the last one without hired help if at all possible. (Otherwise, I would seriously consider the “match” method of moving, as in “light match…”) It was over the course of ten days, during a 100º+ week, with just the two of us and a one-year-old, because we hadn’t realized when we closed on the house that we wouldn’t get the KEYS for three weeks, so put in our notice for moving out of the apartment. And my parents were out of town and thus couldn’t help or watch the toddler.

      I was in rehearsals at the time (with a theatre company geared towards parents and working stiffs, so only a couple of evenings a week) and mentioned my woes, and I will be eternally grateful to Bob, who showed up with a truck and a back brace (lifting assist style) to help move the washer & dryer as well as the few pieces of really large furniture we had, while I watched the little one.

      1. When I moved from Burleson to Alvarado I had no help but plenty of time, but it was July, so almost always 100°+, then I got sick (thinking back, I think that’s the last time I got REALLY sick from the flu or what ever it was and it was an almost two week long stretch of being too weak to do much of anything), so I was forced to pay for another month rent so I could finish, in August, with even more 100° days.

      2. When I moved in 1986, I had several co-workers who weren’t adverse to helping. Bribe time! First part was Friday. I took one delicate mirror to the new house along with a bicycle. Dropped the mirror off and cycled to the U-haul place. Back to the old house. People showed up after work and we moved the first load.

        Pizza and beer on me. I made that perfectly clear–there *would* be bribes!

        Saturday morning; coffee and doughnuts. Pretty much the same crew. Got the rest of the stuff, and I think I bought pizza again. (Is there a better bribe for youngish techies?). Somewhere along the line I reversed the U-haul and bike trip, and spent a long time unpacking.

  15. My inlaws have a solid way to move. They sell pretty much everything they think they aren’t going to need and move pretty light.

    When I was dating my now wife, we were watching TV on the sofa at her place (she was living with her folks at the time) when the folk that bought it showed up to pick it up. I ended up helping them load the sofa and a couple chairs into their truck.

    They were very apologetic about roping the boyfriend in to helping them pack, but I found it pretty funny myself.

    That said, our tension now is she wants to get rid of anything we’re not using right now, while I tend to have my pile of quiencent hobbies laying around driving her nuts.

    I recall should sift out stuff I know I’m not likely to need or use again.

    1. I get that. My wife is freaking out because I’m not packing anything right now, and she’s most of the way through her clothes and working on her dustcatchers. I guess I’m going to have to start before she hits me over the head with a two-foot nutcracker.

  16. Those book sale boxes are a good idea!
    Too many moving stories to recount.
    Who knows what the future brings about home buying, selling and moving. But as long as it’s basically carried on the same as it has been for a while, any next distance move for me would involve minimal movement of “things”. Sell or give away belongings unless essential favorites (I’d enjoy leisurely buying from local shops at the new location). Stage home for sale to get a good price. That’s my two wishes.

  17. I sympathize with anyone moving house. We moved back and forth across the oceans more than once. The movers would come in, pack everything up, take it away for a month or so, then unpack it all, and leave all the stuff in piles. The last one was so stressful that I semi retired and swore I’d never move again. Alas, NJ will make me do it at least once more.

      1. Hate to be that guy, but I rather take all of this as a sign that you shouldn’t move. Instead, you should be pushing for, and then volunteering for a forensic audit of the 2020 election in Colorado, just like the one in Maricopa County, Arizona. Yes, yes, I know, SoS Griswold just forbade that, but what authority has she to forbid anything? She’s not a legislator; she doesn’t make laws. Obviously, the reason she forbade it is that she doesn’t want everything exposed on exactly how she and Polis and a bunch of other corrupt pols have been stealing elections. All the more reason to run a forensic audit anyway! You’ve been complaining about massive election fraud for years; now’s the perfect time to actually do something about it and fix the insanity! Or would you prefer to run away every time your state government goes insane?

          1. Colorado’s loss. Wherever you land, their gain. If Denver wants to become the next Chicago, the ruin that will result will not be survivable for, well, a lot of people, but most especially for the vulnerable who are constitutionally unable to bend the knee. And that latter pretty much identifies many of us here.

            I’m not in favor of surrender. This is our land, dammit! Temporary withdrawals occur in wartime. Or, sometimes you have to let the fire burn itself out then rebuild after. And if the residents willingly vote for the policies that create chaos, lawlessness, and urban warfare… For the moment, they’ll have to stew in their own juices.

            Many of the ones fleeing such places come away much more libertarian than they began. Sure, there are a few that just don’t learn. But by and large, they see what happened there and don’t want it to happen where they are going.

            Those of us still alive have a self imposed duty to make things a little better where we are. The dead get to rest. For us, we got a burden to carry.

            1. The residents who lived here when that bullshit was voted in didn’t vote for it. Vote fraud is NEXT LEVEL.
              BUT OTOH now we’re getting invaded by Californians, New Yorkers and (I swear I’m not making this up) LEFTIST Texans.
              I don’t think this state will be recognizable in a year. My husband says it will be ten years before anyone can hope to get it back.
              And it will be at least that, barring a sudden catastrophic convulsion. (Which I still expect.)

  18. Moving for me has the plus side of forcing myself to get rid of junk I don’t need/never use. My hoarding/depression genes from my dad’s side are at constant war with my neat freak/OCD genes from my mom’s side. It’s a shame I’m stuck in this blue hive of scum and stupidity for the foreseeable future. Best of luck to you and your move.

  19. See whether Ashley & Michael will sell you the “Kettle House” in Galveston, Texas. At the moment they rent if out to vacationers but if you don’t ask …

    There’s a 3 minute YouTube video about the house if you’re curious.

    1. Of course Galveston comes with the “must evacuate because of hurricane several times a year” feature, does it not.

  20. I’m in favor of packing everything myself and then hiring young burly men to actually move it to the new place. I don’t get too bent out of shape about boxes marked “library” not ending up in the library. And although I have the 3D packing gene in spades, I will frequently just dump a drawer into a box. Those usually get rediscovered several years later: “Oh, I did own a tabletop tape dispenser. Guess I didn’t need to buy a new one. Oh well.”

    In other news, I’m closing on the Mason County 5-acre raw land plot on Monday. Yay!

    1. So this was interesting: I just went in to my bank to wire the giant lump of money to escrow, and the conversation went like this:

      Bank guy: So are you buying a house?
      Me: No, just raw land out in Mason County.
      BG: Lots of my clients have been buying property far away from the city lately. You know why? [stage whisper] No homeless!

      This is a bank branch in “Freeattle”, mind you. Although there are lots of right-ish commentators on Seattle Times articles concerning the issue, it was telling that a person would feel empowered to say something like that to a stranger in the course of their white-collar job. (He was a Sino-Vietnamese immigrant from childhood who grew up in Seattle but came over late enough to still have a definite accent. It seems pretty common for non-Anglo immigrants not to have the standard guilt complexes.)

  21. Looking forward to a move here in about two months. And we’re packing everything ourselves, just as we did last time. Holy crap do I need to throw a lot of stuff away…

    We will have movers, though. Neither of our backs are up to it. And we’re moving from a ranch house to a 2-story townhouse with a switchback staircase. Movers. Always let the three young guys with strong backs and their big truck handle that sort of thing…

  22. ….now that I’ve finally recovered from reading about the fossilized diaper….

    Wait, I need a new chainsaw! Send me the chainsaw!!. You can even include a corpse!!!

    [Actually, I need to break down and replace the age-crunchy plastic innards on my beloved McCullough. I got as far as buying the kit.]

    For the Great Northward Migration, I did all my own packing, having seen the way movers do it… but they still picked up and went with several items that were patently trash, and by the time I realized they’d gone into the truck it was too late. On arrival I did cleverly inform them that any box marked B (books) goes in THIS room, and anything marked C (computer) goes in THAT room, and anything marked B + C can go in either. This more or less worked. Then again, they did approach literate.

    All the stuff I couldn’t be arsed to box, and had shoved into plastic feed bags (deemed good enough for anything cloth that hadn’t been used to wrap something… towels and Tshirts and socks make great packing material) which the movers wouldn’t take… got stacked in the travel trailer, leaving approximately 12 square feet to live in, but hey, it was free.

    Also, you might consider having the movers STORE your stuff, to save one layer of moving shit from A to B. But make sure you know where it’s stored… some ship everything off to Seattle or some other hive of mold and damp. (Pods did that, last I checked.)

  23. We too have disregarded the wise advice of the nice Japanese lady who wrote the book on clutter…But in my old age, I am finally throwing a lot of stuff away…

    1. A lot of it for me is that life took several sharp turns the last few years. Not all of them bad, but all of them unforeseeable, which means things I was prepared for no longer apply and instead ther e are other things that do.
      Mostly I’m getting rid of 90% of my hobby stuff because the answer is always “But I’d rather be writing.”

      1. life is not easy when it goes all ADHD on the details. Sis and Bro-in-law, moving out of Memphis/Bartlett, were nearly to signing on a house in Knoxville TN when his work decided that “No, Move To Atlanta instead! ASAP Please!!” happened.

        1. Yep. Pretty much. In my case, given that the normal SF/F career is 5 to 7 years, and I’d survived that by more than double/four times, by improbable saves at the last minute, I KNEW I was going to be “unemployed” in two or three years. Less, because of some of hte stuff going on between me and the house when we moved here.
          So I figured, since Indie was pottering along at “hobby” level, that I’d retire and do hobbies or–
          Let’s say the last release and the re-releases of the shifters, and–
          Well, then there was Barbarella, and there’s other stuff cooking.
          Which means…. I’m not retiring. And if I can I’d rather write than play with hobbies.
          It is what it is. That was the good turn.
          The others…. some very painful ones. And things are getting rid of, and we’re moving on.

          1. A hobby that makes money… That’s not so bad. No one is going to pay me for playing Elite Dangerous or star gazing 🙂 .

            1. >> “No one is going to pay me for playing Elite Dangerous”

              You might make a few bucks as a Let’s Player if you can make it interesting enough.

              1. I stand corrected. I suppose I could stream or use twitch and gain SOME income from there. However I am Not a charming young ginger woman with a pleasant British accent ( e.g. ) but an grumpy bald overweight white guy with a thick nasal New England accent. I suppose my flailings might draw an occasional viewer (mostly to mock my incompetence), but I doubt it would even even keep me in coffee 🙂 .

                  1. Foxfier do you mean for me or for the game ? You can get a lot more voice Packs for Elite Dangerous on PC ( there’s one with William Shatner I believe). I play on Xbox and the choices are more limited. My usual go to is voiced by Norman Lovett who was the (male) Holly from Red Dwarf. But the responses are very limited. You can also get Marina Sirtis (Troi from Star Trek, TNG) but they made her stop sounding like Troi (as Paramount/CBS is a jealous god), and her voice has a “I smoked 30 packs of Camels before I recorded this” vibe that is rather unapealing, and its the same limited responses. At least they let Norman Lovett be Holly.

                    1. I am now totally hijacked by the idea of downloading a voice mod for your IRL self voice….

                      But yes, my husband bought the Data one. 😀

                    2. >> “I am now totally hijacked by the idea of downloading a voice mod for your IRL self voice….”

                      I don’t know that you could make yourself sound like a specific person with it, but voice change software is a thing. Even if you can’t sound like Data you could probably make yourself sound robotic and call yourself Data’s distant cousin or something…

                1. >> “but an grumpy bald overweight white guy with a thick nasal New England accent.”

                  Keep in mind that you don’t have to show your face in videos. And some of us prefer that the player not do so.

                  Also, there’s written LPs. Record as you play so you can go back later and grab images as needed, but do the actual LP in writing with occasional still images or gifs. You can be whoever or whatever you want when people can’t see or hear you.

        2. Atlanta (shudder). My condolences. Glad to be out of the hive-cities, and I’m never going back, even if I have to starve in the woods.

          1. We moved in 2006 because my wife didn’t and doesn’t drive, and Montgomery, AL had no public transport to speak of.

            We looked at Atlanta and DFW because we were acquainted with people in both.

            In Atlanta, we were told that the only way we would find something with access to MARTA AND affordable would be to move inside the Perimeter (285) and become “urban pioneers skirmishing with the remnants of the native drug gangs in a gentrifying neighborhood” as our realtor so charmingly and accurately put it.


            1. Saw an article recently that one of the wealthier areas of Atlanta is talking about seceding from the rest of the city due to the increasing violence.

          2. Bro-in-law spent his teen years there and his brothers are in the area, plus the family he lived with are like a second set of in-laws for my sis. To s’plain. He is Japanese and his Dad worked for the Consulate there and in SC, and when he hit middle school age his parents moved back to Tokyo and decided to have the boys continue living in the US, graduate High School and go to Auburn, so he and his 2 brothers moved in with close friends and they live in one of the many outlying towns/counties around there. Though his work commute route has had issues from time to time in the last year, he has spent most working from home. So, it isn’t as bad as could be.

  24. For a long time my interior decor and life style were described as “monastic.” Because I moved every 18 months or two years, so why get a lot of stuff that has to be moved? Then along came grad school and . . . Books. I warned the movers that the boxes were heavy. They didn’t believe me. Then they tried to move the boxes. Then they found the weight bench, and became believers. (If the chick who lifts weights and who packed the boxes says that they are heavy, dang, it, they are HEAVY. Small, but heavy.)

    1. When my mom was working at the library, my brothers got the dubious privilege of helping three of her colleagues move in the span of about three months. Interestingly enough, librarians tend to have substantial personal libraries as well. Thankfully, most of them knew to pack books in small boxes, but that was still a lot of heavy boxes to move.

      1. When I moved from Zaragoza, Spain, courtesy of the US Air Force, I had the usual contractors doing the move. Nice crew, the straw-boss spoke English and was entranced by the quantity of books. (He liked the cartoon history of the world, which I think he was reading as the regular laborers packed.) They had a bet going, on how many cartons of books they would have, at the end of pack-out. It topped at 63. I left them with a couple of cases of beer, which I saw them going through, after all was done and dusted.
        When we packed out from our apartment in Greece, my next-door neighbor, Penny (English, but married to a Greek gentleman) came and sat with me to oversee the packing. With much laughter, she translated what the packers were grumbling about.
        “Books, books, books- even books in the kitchen!”
        “Wherever would I keep the cookbooks!” I told her. “And lucky there is, that there isn’t a shelf in the lavatory, otherwise there would be books there, too!”
        (In our place in South Ogden, there was a small shelf in the bathroom — for magazines, I figured.)

        1. When I was in Rota (Spain), and Souda Bay (Greece), I used the bidets in the bathroom to hold books. Just my normal bathroom reading, not as regular bookshelves, of course. And I did bring them out of the bidet and put them away before the movers came. Usually.

    2. Last time I moved, my music collection was all on vinyl. Milk crates full of LPs are… heavy.

      1. old workmate’s former roomy and by coincidence my aunt’s dentist, had to rent a 3 bedroom apartment at a minimum to house his vinyl collection. They lived together in a very large house with 3 others who were in a metal band (Workmate was the manger of said band … 2 others in the band lived elsewhere), Every room was packed to the gills with either vinyl, (my buddy has a sizable collection as well) or instruments and gear. My buddy only needed a 2 bed place for his stuff (and one walk-in closet was about solid as well).

  25. I hope everything works out for you.

    I’ve never been much for moving. I’ve lived in my current house for 30 years. The only reason to move now is I cannot stand what California has become. When I look at 30 years of accumulated “stuff” in the garage and the den, it is downright depressing.

    1. “I cannot stand what California has become”
      Until I moved here, I didn’t understand this sentiment. I thought, yes they’re crazy, but just ignore them and enjoy the weather. But it’s constantly tip-toe tip-toe into every aspect of your life, always with the unintended result of taking away something you enjoy.

      1. Crazy is occasionally annoying but from my home in the suburbs it wasn’t a actual problem. As long as I observed the avoidance rules it was easily tolerable. The problems began as the the government in this state morphed from batty to evil. Now it is poised on the launch pad to a Teflon coated 50% grade going down into insane *and* evil.

        I guess part of it is that I was born here and the insanity snuck up on me in little steps. In hindsight I should have figured it out in 1991 when Aerospace went into the crapper. However, I just lived on my savings for a couple of years, got a BS in Telecommunications, and changed careers. I guess I was hoping that people would come to their senses. They haven’t.

    2. We’ve been here for 33 years …

      Mom has been in her house for 48 years … house isn’t too bad. Garage (it is only a single car one, but damn) OTOH …

      Hey, at least it isn’t my youngest sister’s and BIL’s. He has collections on top of collections. They have storage areas, full ceiling to floor bookcases, and a 3 car garage too full for even one vehicle.

  26. My wife and I presently are downsizing from a 3-bedroom house to a 3-bedroom townhouse, single level living for the knees and arthritis. 3 to 3 = no problem, right? Except you don’t get a basement, or an attic, garage. . . we must discard 2/3 of everthing we own. The ‘decluttering’ websites tell me to examine each object and ask: “Does this bring me joy?” No, it brings me STRESS and takes forever – toss it in the box and we’ll figure it out later. Hope your move goes better than mine.

  27. Free advice, based on my own personal experience, worth every cent you paid for it: Don’t buy 40 acres thinking that’ll give you room for everything, O’Neil’s law; if you have space, you’ll soon, very soon, overfill it.

    & chainsaws? Can’t have too many. I’ve one that lives in my Jeep, much nicer than my 12 inch folding saw when I find an 18 inch deadfall across the trail, another on my Kawasaki Mule for around the property use. I haven’t done this, but some years back had a friend who kept a chainsaw loaded with vegetable oil in the bar oil tank. he used it for quartering moose.

    1. “… chainsaw loaded with vegetable oil in the bar oil tank. he used it for quartering moose.”

      That’s a durn good idea. I wonder what it does for chain life? olive oil is insanely slippery and crawls into everything…

      1. His chain lasted many years, probably well over a decade. He did hot water clean the bar and chain when he got back home after use.

      1. Um, Grow food. When the stupid collapses the ‘Just in Time’ supply chain to the point that the shelves stay empty a Quarter acre of potatoes will save your ass. People whinge about the Zombie attacks in the movies all the time but, They don’t have to be dead and they sure as hell won’t walk at a shuffle. Man without food = Maneater.

        1. We need to go back to the days when every wide spot in the road had a slaughterhouse and a feed mill (which also milled flour). Centralization plus just-in-time is disaster-in-waiting, which we’ve only avoided because until Recent Events, everything has remained civilized enough to continue working.

        2. Yeah, but growing food is complex, and I have the opposite of a green thumb. Or rather, I don’t, I just head off to write, and forget to water or prune, or whatever.

          1. So you sharecrop it with someone who does have a green thumb, but lacks the space. Rent out pasture in exchange for (initially if necessary for building a fence) a couple lambs or a steer. All kinds of ways to get fed off your own land that don’t require your own labor.

      2. Plant trees? Sell 30 acres? Rent out the cleared land to farmer; rent out house trailer lots. Contact the local crop service office and see what the government is paying for hardwood tree growing (not much per acre but over 30 acres or so it adds up, it’s time limited) / bird conservation / not growing wheat.

        Contact the county tax office and try to get property taxes assessed based on present use.

        All of the above?

        1. Okay, so, given my tastes in neighborhoods, and that I don’t feel safe that far away from civilization, it’s always unlikely.
          BUT even if we could get land — and we’ve looked at places with 5 acres — ALL OF IT will be work that’s not writing. Right now, at this age, that’s a problem for me.
          Kindly remember I’m the only one in this house that deals with the real world. The men do stuff, but only when pointed at it.

  28. LOL

    Not counting first time college, we’ve moved 4 times.

    1. To our first rental – 5 pickup loads
    2. To our first home – 7 pickup loads
    3. To Eugene rental – don’t ask.*
    4. To our current purchased home – again don’t ask – while we used a moving truck, we didn’t use a moving company. Just easier to load more furniture, without packing it in, in one trip. Didn’t move that far, maybe 3 miles. It is now worse, because we have the contents of FIL garage, which had stuff from HIS FIL … that we’ll never ever use … grrrrr.

    * This is the one the movers were used. Forced transfer and then the company paid for the move. But packing, except “breakables” and framed pictures, were done by us. We were given boxes. I marked them and color dot coded them (in theory suppose to help on the other end … waggles hand). Thus we made sure the “packed coffee cup with coffee in it” or packed the contents of the garbage or cat box, didn’t happen. Also what didn’t happen was they didn’t pack any electronics – stereo equipment, computer equipment (mid ’80s so NOT laptops), or SLR camera equipment. They also didn’t pack firearms. Electronics they’d had gladly packed. Legally they said they couldn’t pack firearms (then we only had hubby’s old hunting rifle). Oh, they wouldn’t take the firewood either … the philistines. We had to move 4 chord of wood!

    While I too was in computers, moving around the country was not an option. When job ended, I had to take my chances locally. Hubby’s job type only happens in N. California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska, and not near the large cities.

    1. first move can’t recall, was 1, moved next door, second move at 5 and moved a miledidn’t do much work then (~_^).
      Moved at 18 1247 miles (had few possessions to move), then a year later 15 miles, then a few years later a block, then at 38 moved 600 miles, then forget exactly when 2009 or so, moved 10 miles, then 1270 miles back near home, then across town to the house I am in now.

      1. Deliberately didn’t count childhood or college “moves”.

        Folks moved 5 times before moving into the house they built, and their last move, where mom still resides. I was 7. I barely remember the last move in ’63 (we, sibs and I, were parked at grandma’s, and went home to the new house from there).

        College, I moved, 12 or 13 times. To college, home, to work, home, to college, repeat x 3 seasons, Jr year commuted to college from home. Last seasonal work commuted from college to district (different district). Never changed primary address for drivers license, vehicle insurance, or voting. Does it “count” as moving, if everything that is being moved, fits in one sedan, including the German Shepard, and never leave the I-5 corridor, let alone Oregon? It was big sedan (’66 Chevy Impala). 🙂

  29. It only took moving across the country once (and back the next year, because it was so much fun the first time) to teach my mother and I that unless it’s an heirloom, you never ever move furniture.

    Sell the stuff you have at the point of origin, buy replacements at the destination. It’s about the same amount of money, and a lot less headache.

    1. Honestly, it would depend on the level of wood involved. For some reason, almost all of the furniture out here is crap construction, so I’d save my refinished plywood dressers and shelves. (And probably the IKEA patio furniture, too, because it’s super-nice and I take good care of it.)

      But couches? Gone. Anything easily replaceable? Gone. Even that loft bed I built for my daughter would be gone, though I’d make sure it either stayed with the house or went to a loving new home because that thing was a PITA to build but turned out really cool.

    2. We’re mostly taking things that are sentimental value, or easy to move.
      Most of our stuff is used, so… But where we’re not moving there’s not as much “good” stuff. However we’re discarding everything I dislike or that is heavy and stupid.
      Including beds.
      But yeah, buying on the other end will be expensive, and right now in Denver we can’t give stuff away for free. We’ve tried.

    3. I kept my furniture because it’s all fairly old and solid wood construction. Furniture is easy to come by for free (in fact, ALL of mine was free); furniture that I *like* not so much. The damned ugly floor hog computer chair… I’ve been trying to replace that thing for 20 years, and have not succeeded, just can’t beat it for comfort. (It started life as a rattan deck chair.)

  30. I’ve had way too many “staggered” moves. These are moves across vast distances that didn’t happen all at once for whatever reason. Such as Spokane to Eugene (400+ miles.) Drive down with car or truck load on Wednesday. Unload. Return early Friday morning for an evening shift. Repeat every week for six weeks in a row. At least once end up with car overheating multiple times (radiator issue; that was the Posmobile and yes, that was its name.) Why? Because the concept of driving a panel van down the Columbia River Gorge scared the crap out of us. (I’d worry about it less now, with decades of driving experience under my belt, but that would still be one hell of a white-knuckle drive.)

    Amusingly enough, there was one day when the relatives (in Eugene) told us it was a good thing we weren’t returning on Thursday, because I-84 was closed “due to smoke.” Smoke, hell. That Thursday, a massive grass fire ripped through the area so fiercely that it jumped the Columbia River and burned into Washington. I looked it up when I got to work (news radio), and it was something absurdly large, like 60,000 acres, but since there weren’t any structures to speak of at the time, it sank without a trace.

    1. I-5 north of Redding crosses over a portion of Lake Shasta at Turntable Bay. I’m sure the bridge is safe, but it always looks damned narrow. I’d get nervous towing the tent trailer. (The first few times we did it, the tow vehicle was a Ranger and not much of an anchor if it got windy.) When I did the Budget truck, I had to take the same route. No the driver’s seat didn’t have a hole in it because my arse tried to snatch the padding, but the stress level was impressive.

      1. That bridge used to freak me out. Since we take it so often to visit the kids’ grandma, I’m fairly used to it now.

        Still haven’t done the Foresthill Bridge in Auburn, though. Highest bridge in the country, because they designed it when there was going to be a reservoir under it, and then the lake didn’t happen.

  31. My last move was three years ago. I got married and gave my house to my adult son. While on honeymoon, said son and his now wife then fiancee, packed up my house and moved everything to my new husband’s basement. This house had been built by my grandparents in 1959. I had moved into it with my kids in 1997. Son and daughter in law boxed up three generations of collections, several entire lives worth of living…and labelled none of it. They added it to the crowded basement of my hoarding husband. There are many boxes of mystery still sitting down there periodically I go open a few and find individual shoes, half an outfit, or bits of my Barbie collection. They meant well, Lord love them.

      1. I traveled through Pennsylvania last fall. went up through Tennessee and Virginia, came back through Ohio and Kentuck. Met some nice folks, but the laws were ridiculous. The northeast is dead to me.

      2. Sigh…
        I don’t know if we are ahead of CO but VA seems determined to make it a race which is why I’m looking to get out. We live a little close to my projected fracture line.

    1. VA needs to somehow jettison NOVA and Richmond. I love the west side of the state.

      1. Pretty much everything north of I64 and east of the Shenandoah River. Won’t happen though.

      2. They need to join W VA. of course that kind of change requires consent of BOTH state legislatures and Congress. VERY unlikely to happen.

  32. Another round of good luck from me and the kitties! My own decluttering has been delayed and I’ll admit to getting increasingly worried and pessimistic about my own move prospects these days. Not sure if I’m going to be able to get anything even passable with whatever my house ends up being worth without a company outbidding me on it for a rental property. Still, better not drag things down further so I hope it goes well.

      1. Pity, the boy lives up there and I was stationed in Butte. Loved it even tho the ex was from there. I had bar tabs running at six different bars.

  33. I used to own a pickup truck so I have participated in any number of moves, and as a result I really dread mine getting across the DMZ from the Golden Crispy Dry Bear Flag Peoples Republic back into the real US.

    Three stories:

    Most innovative was BIL when he moved down here from the great wet northwest – he used one of those module thingees that they drop off in your driveway, but his apartment here had no driveway so he had them put it in mine. The one he used was wood framed internally, so he built supports and platforms and dividers and partitions inside screwed into the structure and had that thing packed and stacked with amazing efficiency. He moved a bunch of heavy crap that I ended up having to unload by myself, but it was packed well.

    Second to worst was a friend moving out of state. Supposedly people had been helping him pack, and some was packed up when we all got there, but a fair amount of stuff was not. OK, not a big deal – then we opened the garage door and he had stuff solidly piled filling the entire garage from one end to the door at the other, floor to just under where the door swung up, all of it undifferentiated accumulated stuff. One team ended up making five runs to donation, and four or five more runs to a newly rented storage unit, plus we completely filled the entire length of the load-it-yourself-and-pay-by-how-many-linear-feet-your-stuff-occupies truck where he thought was going to buy under a third. That one was a very long day.

    Absolute worst was not a move, but helping a friend clean out his family place when both parents had to move into memory care, where his Dad had ended up acquiring a lot of odd stuff. I’d get into an area, go “What the heck?” laughing, then sober quickly thinking about what some poor shmuck who had to go through my garage would think of me. On that one we completely filled up a rented dumpster.

    Both of his folks were interned by FDR, with the families losing absolutely everything, and for his Dad as he declined that triggered the keeping-stuff thing.

    I don’t have that excuse.

    1. My MIL as she was losing her mind subscribed to a bunch of the Danbury Mint ornament collections.
      Dan went through the house last and those were earmarked for donation. He brought the “baby animals sets” home, simply because the non bio grandkids will love them and if a miracle occurs and we get bio grandkids, they’ll probably love them too.
      BUT we were both looking at it and going “uh” because you know, his mom probably had no idea how much she was spending or WHAT she was buying by that point. That was after she stopped recognizing us or the kids….

    2. Pa bought an old beater pickup fro one move – and sold it immediately after. A year later, due the …loveliness… of the new neighborhood, we reversed things and moved back. Not sure what all was done then, though I suspect a friend’s pickup & trailer was borrowed, or a few things were “Those go with that house now. It’s time we got new anyway.”

    3. Helping dad and his siblings clear out his mom’s place. She was a quilter, old style, and crocheted/knitted Afghans. She had material, old clothing, and yarn, stuffed and stacked, everywhere. I do mean everywhere.

      Helping mom and her siblings clean out her parents place after they went into assisted living care, and then died. We had multiple piles. Stuff people were keeping, burn pile, dump pile, Goodwill pile (some of which then went to dump because neither Goodwill nor St Vincent would take it), and garage sale. They threw nothing away. Nothing. Plus we had to go through every file, every envelope, every box, because we never knew where we’d find money. Unlike hubby’s maternal grandfather, we didn’t find a huge, undiscovered fortune (a few hundred). Inlaws found thousands of dollars hidden here, there, and everywhere, when they cleaned out her dad’s house after her step-mother passed away and they moved him in with them.

      Inlaws weren’t quite as bad, when we helped MIL move after FIL died. No money squirreled away. But they had backups for backups (one indoor cat with four cat leashes) … Not one, but Two double car garages of tools and machines.

      The common between all four? All were adults during the depression and WWII, three of them raising families (Inlaws weren’t a lot younger than my grandparents).

      What this resulted in, is we, at least after helping my folks deal with each grandparents, and after helping with inlaws, was some self purging of our own stuff. Don’t get me wrong. We both have stuff that the other suggest needs to go, that the one keeping it, just growls … Got rid of the Barbies, sent the homemade doll cloths to daughter of aunt who made them for her granddaughter. But he’ll pry my box of model horses (worth more than paid for, but not a fortune) out of my dead cold hands (I’m outliving him!) Yes, if we ever downsize, the box will fit in my side of the closet! He keeps saying that he’s going to take the model trains to local specialist to see if worth putting on eBay or other collector sites, but hasn’t. Ditto with his grandfathers and fathers tools and machines. Most the spare bedroom stuff is camping gear and fishing poles. The former we still use, the latter came from his dad and very little has been used. Our poor child. We too do not have the excuses of our grandparents or parents.

  34. I haven’t moved for 36 years now. And the very idea of packing up this house is enough to make me want to stay here until I die.

    Well, that and the fact that I love the house and I’d hate to have the new owners raze it and put up a huge thing, which is probably what would happen.

    1. I can not wishing to move if at all avoidable just by that. I have started a re-claiming of a lower level and… it’s vaguely archaeological. I knew the “tabletop” charcoal grill had to be somewhere, but the box of Beta videotapes was a bit of a surprise.

  35. After moving 12 times in my long life (I’m 77 now), my last and final move was in 2006 for retirement back to my old rural hometown to live in my Mom’s old house…………It’s a lovely little (emphasis on “little”) house perfect for a retired old widow (no stairs to climb and an extra bedroom for Grandson if he gets the urge to visit). I absolutely abhor moving! The only way I will move out of this final house is in a lovely polished pine box with a gardenia nicely placed on my quiet chest! I can already hear my daughter’s whines and comments when she has to empty out my leftovers: “What in hell did she use that wrench for….why is this huge box of a standing fan from Amazon never been opened?” (sorry, I was too damn lazy to try to send it back!) Knowing my wonderful daughter well, she’ll just hire a bunch of hefty guys to come in with a big garbage truck, load it all up and take it to the dump! That’s fine with me!! Please just keep the gardenia plant alive!

  36. Moving is horrible. Actually, I think the root of it for me is not being settled in a place I want to stay forever was horrible. I think I’m finally where I want to stay for good. (Back in my old hometown, near my extended family.)

    Not much of a nomad: The instinctive program in my head wants me to claim some land, dig in, and start building things. Park a castle somewhere. Develop the space. Our society isn’t set up to allow you to do that, unless you’ve inherited a farm, or are one of the political aristocrats that is actually allowed to use his land instead of stare forlornly at it.

    Instead, we’re expected to move and move and move, never to where we want to go, always to somewhere awful where $company decided to park their operations, never building a life that doesn’t fit in a moving van, always on the other side of the world from family. It’s one of the more twisted things about our civilization. I hope the working-from-home situation can be made to stick and people can use it to beat this paradigm.

  37. Spouse just added a comment: if you have firearms packed away make sure they’re on the movers’ manifest…he lost one that way.
    Also, I’d add keep ’em locked away if you have them with you, keep your permit handy and watch out for New Jersey cops if you have to go there.

  38. Since college I’ve moved 12 times (military and then a general restlessness) but settled into current house 22 years ago with no plans to leave any time soon. A few thoughts:

    1) I’ve never used a packing service and never will. Other commitments be damned, no one cares about my stuff more than me and packing doesn’t actually take that long if you start early. And if you are a bit ruthless when it comes to the “this is actually trash” decisions. Also, I also then know exactly where all my stuff is.

    1a) My sister, OTOH, is emotionally attached to everything and we went through the “Can I throw this moldy, mouse pooped, single, baby sock from the floor of the shed away?” “No, that’s the sock my oldest baby did something memorable in and the other one is around somewhere” about a million times. Good Lord! Rule 2: Never help someone else pack

    2) I’ve only used a mover once and they broke the kickstand off my motorcycle which was my only transportation. For three months, while the new kickstand was ordered, I had to carry a towel for padding and lean my relatively brand new CBR against a handy telephone pole everywhere I went.

    3) Last time I moved between states (California to Washington) I took four full pickup truck loads to the dump while packing.

    4) My mother, when they sold the big “6 bedroom family raising” house, started sorting for Goodwill. She emptied my old bedroom and then would lay out anything that she didn’t want anymore on the floor, then send us a picture of the room. If we wanted it, we claimed it. If we didn’t, on Friday she bagged it all up, went to Goodwill, and started again. We had a time limit to come pick up our claimed items and if we didn’t, off they went to Goodwill.

    5) I will never have another garage sale in my life unless I am on the verge of homelessness. I spent all day sitting out by my garage once with a large assortment of useful stuff that I didn’t want to throw away and netted about 25 bucks.

    Bonus comment) Given 22 years and counting, even though I have made a significant effort to routinely minimize and get rid of things, I am not looking forward to the eventual move when it happens. The routine culling is designed to help make that transition easier when it comes since I know it will eventually.

    1. Our neighborhood sucks for garage sales, and our local lists are crowded with FREE stuff.
      When we moved last, we culled half of our stuff (I swear.) Every week, Robert and I filled the Expedition to the roof, with all but the front seats down, and dropped it off at goodwill.
      And we’re getting ready to do it again. It’s mostly “life took right turns” and what I had been saving and accumulating to do things with (because I’m a long term planner and I buy cheeeep.) Others are abandoned projects (mostly furniture) because the last five years have been cray cray.

    2. 5) I will never have another garage sale in my life unless I am on the verge of homelessness. I spent all day sitting out by my garage once with a large assortment of useful stuff that I didn’t want to throw away and netted about 25 bucks.

      Preaching to the Choir!!!

      Never put on a garage sale myself. Never will. OTOH had to participate in 3 others.

      1) MIL insisted on a garage sale for all the garage stuff, furniture she wasn’t taking already was going to the daughters. Then she wouldn’t budge on prices … sigh. Leftovers are in our garage, because BIL was a mechanic and didn’t “need” tools, didn’t “work with wood”. Good news. Since by then we had a newborn, I really was left out of everything except for being there and having to listen to hubby grumble. Don’t know how much was netted. Not enough to make it worth the hassle based on MIL grumblings.

      2) Mom’s sister insisted on a garage sale of what was left of their parents stuff. Then too, she didn’t have to put it on! Tried to talk mom out of it. Might have netted around $100.

      3) Grange “neighborhood” sale. Since Grange was the Troop Charter, troop participated as a troop. Not worth it. OTOH everything we donated did sell, which is something, I guess.

      If I ever participate in a garage sale again, please know that I had absolutely no choice. Thank goodness hubby agrees. My sisters are on the same page, since the only reason to have a garage sale, now, will be to clean out mom’s house.

      Posting somethings on Facebook Sales, or Nextdoor, OTOH, that we’ll do for some bigger items, maybe, eventually … Band Saw anyone? Then there is the large drill saw. Disclosure, they are very solid, work, and each are over 70 years old … No, not shipping either anywhere. Cash. Pickup only. Further disclosure – I don’t get to make this offer so no reply needed.

  39. For those considering a move into a California address (hah!), lifelong public servant DiFi’s getaway property on the shores of Lake Tahoe is for sale, listed at just $41m:

    “A striking, intimate gated estate on Lake Tahoe’s stunning West Shore with a 278′ white sand beach along with a 172’ pier, 12k# boat lift and 4 buoys. Three homes with grand entertainment capability offer extended privacy with meandering paths to each. The first thing you see on entry to the main home is our beautiful Lake Tahoe. Built for lifestyle, this residence envelops you in the warmth of beautiful woods, evoking dreams of family gatherings in this open living/dining/kitchen and family room beyond.”

    1. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. What that motherless bastard, Polis, is doing to this state is unconscionable. I’m just glad New Yorkers and Californians and lefty flakes love the state and are RETIRING here. Or we’d lose our shirt on the house.

  40. When I was going to college out of state, I was essentially moving twice a year. While a lot of my stuff stayed home, and after a while some stayed in storage at college over the summer, I had a policy that if something made it through 3 moves without being used it was time to toss it unless it had extreme sentimental value. I got out of that habit after graduation and when my folks saw the writing on the wall and moved out of California, I used it as an excuse to go with them. Unless you want to do it in a cardboard box, you can’t live on a single income in Cali anymore. And I’d done Roommate Roulette, and homie don’t play that no more.

    Packing for that move was crazy. I purged and purged and purged. And then, a year and a half later, I moved again, this time into my very own home for the first time in my life. And I purged again.

    I’ve still got unpacked boxes. We decided to clean and organize the garage the other weekend, so that we’d actually have room for the cars… and part of that was opening boxes and ditching stuff that we just didn’t need or want. And part of it was rediscovering things we’d thought had been lost because someone tossed something that hadn’t fit in the box for the room it belonged in into another box/tub.

    It’s crazy even when you’re doing it yourself.

  41. And may you write so many stories for us to read that in ten years people will be telling the tall tale “I was one of a group of writers that wrote under the pen name Sarah Hoyt.”*

    *Yes, I stole that from an old Analog story.

  42. Moving. My ancient nemesis.

    Once upon a time when I was a young man [and dinosaurs roamed the Earth] I lived in the basement of a martial arts club. All my crap including bedroll fit in a little dank closet. Most of it was tools and books. Looking back, it sucked. At the time, it was okay.

    I’ve probably moved 30 times or more since those days. At one point all I owned was knock-down and fold-up furniture. Time to move: go to the LCBO for free boxes, load up the books and comics, knock down all the furniture, throw it in a box van and hiyo Silver! Away! It’s gotten to be a science, really.

    Of course as time has gone on I’ve accumulated some big iron. Vehicles, woodworking machines, appliances, that sort of thing. Furniture that does not conveniently knock down. Next move will be a bitch.

    But, having said that, for one reason or another I ended up moving offices and three households during WuFlu. It’s gotten so that the Denizens of Chez Phantom and I don’t even discuss how to do things. We automatically swarm the problem and move all the crap the easiest possible way. Turns out the easiest possible way is to pack it yourself and hire the movers to do all the lifting and carrying of heavy shit. The one time I let the movers pack it years ago, I stood over them while they did it. That was pretty weird, I didn’t like it. And it was -expensive-. Holy crap so expensive. Somebody else was paying, but still.

    When purging, I find 95% of what gets tossed out is stuff I was keeping “in case something might happen.” Old clothing, old shoes, old computers, half finished projects. That can account for a lot of space. You get rid of all that, suddenly the moving part isn’t that bad.

    I participated in the clearing out of my parent’s place a couple weeks ago. (Both moved to a very nice seniors residence, yay!) The family manse where they’ve been for 65 years. There was stuff in there. Lots of really old stuff.

    Siblings, in their infinite wisdom, decided we all needed to do it ourselves. I argued for calling the junk man, but was over-ruled. I ended up taking home the five or six tools my old man had saved up over the years, a couple of little tables with heirloom value and some of my stuff from the dinosaur era I found in a corner. Due to everything being shut from WuFlu, we couldn’t even donate most of it. It all got tossed. We filled one of the -large- dumpsters, the 20+ foot long ones. That was all the stuff my parents were keeping “in case something might happen.” No monetary value, no sentimental value, just old worn out stuff past its due date. Stuff that even the Salvation Army won’t take. Pretty sad.

    But, on the bright side, they didn’t care a damn about any of it, so I am absolved of any guilty feelings I would otherwise have been plagued with. [insert two thumbs up emoji here.]

    Moving sucks! 😡

  43. A good review from me for a company called Joyce Van Lines. They moved me twice, and both moves were relatively painless. The packers packed things competently. The truck showed up on time. Nothing was missing from the shipment.

  44. My wife is currently working on clearing out my MiL’s house. MiL lived there for the past 50 years, until a sequence of mini-strokes left her unable to live on her own. She’s in a nice continuing care home now, and Libby is left with a house full of a half-century of stuff.

    The *things* aren’t the problem — most of them will be relatively easy to deal with. Nearly all will be either donate or trash; only a few will go to various family. The big challenge is all the blasted paper! Tons of undifferentiated piles, each of which must be gone through carefully…. because you never know where you’ll find money. Or (literal) pearls. Or the statements you need to establish the tax basis of that investment that will be sold (sooner or later) to help cover the cost of continuting care. Or the original contract with the long-term-care insurance company, that you need so you can prove that they’re trying to pay only 40% of what’s due. Or…

    Nearly all of that paper is trash. But ALL of it must be looked at before disposal. *sigh*

    Meanwhile, Libby must attend *every one* of her Mom’s medical appointments. MiL is neither with it enough to stay on topic with the Dr. nor able to remember and understand the resulting instructions.

    Between the house and the medical appointments, we’re a long-distance couple at the moment…

    1. The paperwork was what we had to deal with for maternal grandparents. Keeping mom on track and not just shoveling all of the “garbage” into the burn pile was a PIA. Not that there was any type of insurance coverage other than the required medicare. Missed a lot as it was, if it was even there, based on some of the calls the lawyer got, and mom got (although they were suppose to call the lawyer).

      Understand where mom was coming from. All this hit. Grandparents ended up in forced assisted living care, grandpa in hospice, in Lane County. Important because Douglas County came down saying it was “elder abuse” if they were to be forced in to assisted living. Heaven forbid that grandma would collapse on the floor, and grandpa call Live Alert because she wasn’t responding. Only to have Life Alert find them both in medical distress, transfer them to hospitals in Lane County, upon Lane senor services gets involved. Who then call mom to ream her out about not getting them into appropriate care (cue water works). Mom had a letter from Douglas County threatening legal action, but she still bawled. We understand that there were some interesting conversations between Lane and Douglas County Senor Services, but we weren’t privileged to listen in. Although since it was the state the forced the assisted care, they got to pay for it (because grandma and grandpa sure couldn’t, neither could any of their senor aged children without bankrupting themselves). On top of all this, mom is dealing with dad’s severe critical medical issues. Although he wasn’t on hospice, yet, they were working on keeping him out of hospice. It’s not like mom and dad were spring chickens, either. They were over 70!!!

      Praying for you and your wife. What your wife has to deal with isn’t fun.

      1. Mom had a letter from Douglas County threatening legal action, but she still bawled. We understand that there were some interesting conversations between Lane and Douglas County Senor Services, but we weren’t privileged to listen in.

        I am VERY GLAD to hear this.

        Exporting the treatment of the known-violent insane on to the elderly probably worked nice for their bottom line, but the price is pretty obvious.

        1. What was frustrating was the extended family weren’t trying to force them into assisted living. For one, they couldn’t afford it. Not even selling their home. What extended family was trying to do, was encourage them to move closer to family. Sell their place and rent a place a few doors down from mom. Where they still could have their dogs, and one cat. VS being 50 miles away where family couldn’t check on them. They did have friends taking turns “visiting” daily, plus running grandma to the store. As it was they were feeding the meals on wheels meals to the dogs, or most of each meal. They had dog food. What they expected was either one of the non-working (none) grandchildren, or great-grand (us grandchildren put our feet collectively down, loud “NO”) to commute daily, or move in (Oh, H3LL NO) to take care of them, just because … The one grandchild who, if could have been found, might have stepped in (another Oh H3LL NO, didn’t work with other grandfather, not risking that) wasn’t searched for.

          None of this is counting that their house, had been for at least 10 years, a trash heap. Have I mentioned the dead rats, mice, and snakes, found as furniture was emptied, and moved? (I have. It was horrible.) Family also tried to get a housekeeper, that the family paid for, … that went over well (not a chance, grandma either ran them off, or wouldn’t let them do anything, when neighbor friend was the housekeeper, so couldn’t run them off).

          Note. This being stubborn about not moving away from homestead, is not uncommon. BUT, cousin having had to move anyway, has moved closer to her folks in Baker. Mom is just a mile away from two of us. Mom’s younger brother, his middle child lives fairly close (used to live with them until recently, funny when child support payments ended he could afford to move out …). Not like there wasn’t understanding, but NO One was moving closer to them.

          1. What they expected was either one of the non-working (none) grandchildren, or great-grand (us grandchildren put our feet collectively down, loud “NO”) to commute daily, or move in (Oh, H3LL NO) to take care of them, just because … The one grandchild who, if could have been found, might have stepped in (another Oh H3LL NO, didn’t work with other grandfather, not risking that) wasn’t searched for.

            Ugh, I know that setup– my dad was supposed to be the one that had a life until they got old, then lived with his parents until they died. But they didn’t do all the encouragement stuff that’s associated with it. (like “that kid gets the land”)

            WWII generation, or older?

            I think I’ve mentioned we’re trying to get my folks to move closer, and it’s Not Working. *grumble* *worry* *fuss*

            1. Older than WWII. Born 1913, and 1915, respectively. What is ironic is the story about how grandpa’s older sisters intervened to get him through HS and off the homestead. As the youngest, he was expected to stay and work the homestead, not go to “higher learning” (past 8th grade local school). Early years just be hired hand, later years take care of the old folk, never marry. Grandma OTOH wasn’t raised on a homestead and was “rather spoiled”, her words.

              trying to get my folks to move closer, and it’s Not Working. *grumble* *worry* *fuss*

              Good. Luck. I don’t have any advice. Everything we tried, pleading and bribery, didn’t work.

              FWIW. BIL and his sister had the same problem with their mother. Between her health and dementia she belonged in assisted living. She had the financial resources and assisted living insurance that paid. They convinced her to go, she stayed the first 6 weeks, and left, went home. She lost the spot in that place. The next emergency hospital commitment doctor told her she wasn’t going home, period. The next place they found, still top quality, but not the quality of the first, plus it didn’t have the ability to care for her at the same place, when care requirement went from assisted to full memory care (the other location did). Guess when that requirement happened … yep, right smack in the middle of the pandemic. Where she was didn’t have the correct resources to fully care for her, and they couldn’t move her!!!!

              While I have no advice. Be assured. You aren’t the only one. Doesn’t make it easier. But take a breath. Know you aren’t alone.

              1. They were the grown-ups for WWII, that’s what I “count” as the generation, like I’m 9/11/GWOT/OpEnduFree generation.

                I am… vaguely getting the idea…that part of the break in culture was that the generation there, ate the seed corn.

                It’s based on looking at some of the issues with 60s-to-80s Asian immigrants, from knowing the kids, where there’s mad conflict between obligations of the kids and the parents/grandparents not actually doing their part for the obligations. A lot of my messed up geek buddies didn’t get any of the benefits that are REQUIRED (like “get the land”) for the obligation of “thus you’ll take care of us in the style we’re accustomed to” thing.

                1. Well we all know that the Younger Generation(tm) are worthless good for nothing trash. So why do they deserve any benefits for what has been decreed they ought to do anyway?

                2. That couldn’t possibly have to do with the fact that as an immigrant there was no “land” to get? Soil (and several other forms of wealth) doesn’t immigrate.

                  The other thing is that by the 80s the government was stepping into the role of “parent” as well as “husband”. Cut ties with your family and the government will provide the funds for an education “without obligation”.

                  Part of the reason you took care of your parents is that they helped you get started, whether by inheritance or dowry or etc. If one is “self-made” that’s weakened.

                  1. That couldn’t possibly have to do with the fact that as an immigrant there was no “land” to get?

                    *blank stare*


                    My great grandfather was one of the biggest land owners in the county.

                    He donated a crap ton to the state on his death.

                    What the ever loving crud are you ranting about?

                    1. I read Nelson’s comment as those immigrating, in general, had nothing in the old country. Either tenants who for whatever had lost their lease, or second and third sons, with no hope of inheriting, or other options. That doesn’t count entire towns who all immigrated.

                    2. Even in that reading, it makes no sense, because it doesn’t apply to the situation. It is two generations late, even if it DID import the assumptions in– the folks that far back DID give the “take care of parents” kids all they had.

                      The problem is exactly that folks expected absolute care, but didn’t set up things to provide even the “you got our stuff” level inheritance. The guy expected to give everything got exactly the same as the rest of the kids.

                    3. I see what you mean.

                      Maybe I’m missing something. That posts might be crossed?

                      You appear to be replying on the whole “someone had to take care of the elderly parents but the person who gets that task has to do it altruistically without expectation of special favor.” If there is an inheritance they get no extra acknowledgement, and sometimes nothing, depending …

                      Where as Nelson is talking about those who emigrated?

                      OTOH what do I know? 🙂

                    4. In response to my observation of a cultural WWII eat the seed corn observation, Nelson said:
                      That couldn’t possibly have to do with the fact that as an immigrant there was no “land” to get? Soil (and several other forms of wealth) doesn’t immigrate.

                      Which 1) didn’t have anything to do with the statement and 2) in context was way late.

                      Then lept to the 80s.

              2. You are definitely not alone.

                The lies revealed after my Dad died destroyed the family. It remains destroyed today, after Mom tried to commit suicide then did the slow suicide after getting a stroke.

                My sister and I were to serve the mama master until she died. At which time we were free to commit suicide (my planned direction) or to suffer childless as my sister and her husband are.

                Imagine that was all unspoken, enforced by bullying and lies. And now imagine trying to get that mama into assisted living.

                It’s hard, and ugly. You have my blessing and all grace to do ANYTHING you need to do.

                1. We’re past this. Well past it. Grandparents passed away in 2006.

                  My parents generation, and us grandchildren, because we were adults (heck some of the g-grands were young adults, or close; first gg-grand was born early 2006) broke that cycle, HARD.

                  I know you got trapped. I still don’t understand how that can happen, in this century, in this country.

                  OTOH I agree with the comment. No one owns>/b> someone, just because they gave them life (birth). Gratitude, yes, beyond that, No.

                  1. See something, say something.

                    I know you do that, I know I do that– folks– look, notice the dumb stuff, and SAY something.

                    This is evil.

                    Be the guy who does something to fix the evil.

                  2. I know you got trapped. I still don’t understand how that can happen, in this century, in this country.

                    Because emotion.

                    Especially POLITE emotion.

                    Before he died, I got a-hole uncle to respect me….by dishing it back.

                    A-hole great-uncle died hating me…but he hated like everybody so what’s the cost? (that was 100% on accident but good)

                    Do the right thing, and be LOUD about saying why it’s right.

                    It’ll repair the damage.

                    1. Right now I’m the one who must remain silent–the intensity of my emotions scares people to the extent they won’t talk to me. Which, right now, is fine.

                      And I’m not silent. Not anymore.

                  3. “I know you got trapped. I still don’t understand how that can happen, in this century, in this country.”

                    Shite, I was there and I’m working with a great therapist to uncover how it happened and breaking all the agreements I made when I was a wee baby just to survive. My biggest challenge as I work through things and craft a new life is avoiding the trap of envy, bitterness, and resentment–they come easy, and lead straight to “I’m a victim.”

                    It’s heavy. But I believe it all leads to gold, somehow. I really do.

                    Big thing I learned yesterday: Hard times are not an indicator that I’m “doing things wrong.”

              3. Older than WWII. Born 1913, and 1915, respectively. What is ironic is the story about how grandpa’s older sisters intervened to get him through HS and off the homestead. As the youngest, he was expected to stay and work the homestead, not go to “higher learning” (past 8th grade local school). Early years just be hired hand, later years take care of the old folk, never marry.

                That’s… quite the set of expectations. o_O

                Cultural, or just family? I ask because all four of my grandparents were born in the decade 1895-1905 — one set dirt poor in Arkansas and the other well-off in New Hampshire — and I never heard a whiff of anything even remotely like that. And my mother was the baby of the family, so if something like that was going to fall on anyone it would have been her.

                1. And my paternal grandfather of the dirt-poor Arkansans was the youngest of 13 (9 surviving childhood), so it would have been him too.

                2. Remember the US has a ton of cultures– my dad’s mom was first-in-US from Scottish (likely source of expectation….grandma was SCARY), and his dad was…uh… complicated.
                  (that’s where we get the Indian blood, and the other side was culturally WORSE than “die giving birth in a dirt-floored hut” but she snagged a preacher that saw that was Bad and it worked)
                  (He’s the one that went to KKK meetings for the food, with his brother. As a half/quarter Indian. Yes, they were GORGIOUS.)

                  1. Remember the US has a ton of cultures

                    Yes, of course I’m aware. Which is why I specifically mentioned my family’s origins: or more explicitly, Scotch-Irish on my dad’s side, New England Yankee on my mom’s. So I’m wondering if that particular set of expectations is from some other European-extracted culture like Scandinavian or German (being the two I can think of who would have been homesteaders instead of urban immigrants), or more-recent-than-the-1740s Scottish or something.

                    In my first wife’s Catholic Odessa German maternal family, it was the oldest child (my MIL) who got stuck with taking care of the aged relative, not the youngest (who was a flake anyway).

                    1. That was always confusing to us. Generally it is the oldest, or oldest male, because they typically are the ones inheriting the property, thus generational houses. Culturally, US, has changed because often the property isn’t being passed down but sold. Now families either warehoused (not considered abuse) assisted living, or inlaw/parental suite and integrate into younger household. Generally the oldest, but not always.

                    2. I’m the oldest of two but when Mom started her down-hill slide, it was my job to help out because (for reasons) I was living with Mom and my sister lived an hour’s drive away.

                      I thank G*d that Mom seemed to realize that she was having problems and didn’t argue.

                      After a certain trip where she got lost (even with written directions) Mom didn’t argue when her Doctor “decreed” that Mom shouldn’t drive any more.

                      We did have to send her to a local nursing home (poor recovery after a heart attack) but she apparently enjoyed the company of the nursing staff.

                      Final note, one thing about Mom during that time was she was often “too agreeable” so I enjoyed it when I saw (or heard about) her stubborn streak coming out. 😀

                    3. What was weird was Grandma was always going on, on how as Eastern Star they could utilize the Eastern Star/Masonic Elderly Home. Cost was their estate when they both passed. ONLY came to it, they couldn’t take the cat and dog. … went downhill from there … I think that is when their attitude changed.

                      Note, as a Job’s Daughter, we visited said home. Then? Oh H3ll No.

                    4. Cultures where it’s the youngest generally expected him to marry. It has to be the youngest because the farm can’t support the father’s family and the son’s at once.

                    5. Yes, of course I’m aware.

                      ::waving hands around like a maniac::

                      No, no, not knowing– but REMEMBERING. I’m not trying to insult you, I’m trying to explain something that doesn’t make sense.

                      Gotta figure out how to slot the stuff that makes no sense in where it makes sense to THEM.

                      I still can’t get how “hey, yeah, make sure someone has no kids and becomes dependent on Random Family in THEIR old age, even if they have the land” works.

                      Same way I can kinda see how “force into nursing home is elder abuse” because of Batman.

                      Yes, that was totally an excuse to tell a family story based on happenstance name.

                      Sit back for story time, or walk away. 😀

                      Bill Batman was the guy who hired my mom ONLY because her brothers had been awesome help, and afterwards bragged on her as better than them.

                      His kids got greedy, got his wife and himself committed to elder care in the 90s. Different places by many miles. (which is why I know the kids are evil)

                      He escaped, and when they came to catch him at “the kid’s” house months later (“the kid” was the 70 year old unmarried guy who did the thing my dad didn’t)– he was “accidentally” gored by a bull 2 hours prior and died.

                      Imagine someone who knew what being gored to death by a bull was like– non farm folks, you’re jabbed to death by baseball bats with half points– and then think of what the elder care was like.

                      One of our not-a-cousins is the professional a-hole I’ve mentioned here before, he’s Batman’s …. uh, some kind of grandkid…but I think he helped the escape.

                    6. In my first wife’s Catholic Odessa German maternal family, it was the oldest child (my MIL) who got stuck with taking care of the aged relative, not the youngest (who was a flake anyway).

                      Mom’s Irish catholic family had a soft expectation that the eldest would take care of mom….but mom and grandma were NOT compatible, so second daughter got mom, and my mom blew stuff up nuclear style so sis got as much of the house as possible.


                      And then it’s in Oregon. -.-

                      *rude gesture*

                    7. Oh, that’s right, you’re in Oregon. The Odessa German Catholics were all from the community around Mt. Angel but the MIL’s family ended up in Portland after Grandpa came back from WW2.

                    8. Oh, that’s right, you’re in Oregon.

                      I seriously debate if Oregon might be the source of “Saint Andrew, use your fault and save us” impulses. Their stuff on home school…..

                    9. Sounds like hubby’s sister. Oldest, so when the assisted living MIL picked out didn’t work, she took her household items with her. No one else saw the items again. Some nice stuff. House was already sold. Oldest got the piece of unbuilt on property, just because. Everyone else just took whatever she said was how it was to be divided up. Also Oregon. She took a couple of years …

                      Grandparents … well … nothing TO fight over. Not that there would have been a fight. Well his paintings. Weren’t worth anything monetarily, just decent oil painting done by him. Not like children, and most us older grandchildren didn’t already have a few, dozen … (I have 3 or 4 that aren’t framed, somewhere).

                      Maternal grandmother. Oldest took care of the estate. Kept everyone informed.

                      BIL and his sister? Had everything handled within months, except house, and only because the child that had been residing had to find a house, buy and close on it, then move out, before it went on the market. Which BIL sister was perfectly happy to go along with.

                      Then there are my cousins (dad’s older sister’s children) … OMG. That estate, trust, I’ve mentioned before. Popcorn anyone? At least Oregon can’t get involved, except their interests in the estate tax; but not the courts.

                      I know. I’m blessed. Spoiled. Or both.

                    10. I am… very salty… about the habit of WWII and Boomer folks to expect the benefits of things they never paid into.

                      I know it’s a human thing.

                      But I’m human, too.

                      And man, am I human sometimes…..

                    11. “habit of WWII and Boomer folks to expect the benefits of things they never paid into.”

                      And I think back on my WWII grandfather dying of asbestosis acquired while welding Liberty ships and think that your definition of “paid into” is as inadequate as the rest of your grasp on reality.

                    12. Yes, some random guy dying of poorly managed work hazards mean my father should die childless and alone with no property because He Owes the entire generation.

                      Note that my uncles going to Vietnam don’t get the same thing, nor does my mother sacrificing her desires to fulfill those same ancestor’s desires for a girl in college.

                      But my mother and father must die, childless and alone, after caring for their parents without any support, without the property that was implicit in teh agreement, because Snelson134 is salty about World War 2 being nasty.

                3. Really don’t know if it was cultural or family tradition. That has never been explained. Whatever. It broke with our parents generation. Thought it broke with grandparents generation, but then as they aged they reversed 180. It didn’t come up until 2004. Probably form of dementia.

                  One does see a form of “please take me in, do not want to go to old folk warehouse assisted living”, as evidenced by inlaw/parental suites. We (sisters & I) are prepared for a form of that. Heck, BIL has had his kids rotate through keeping his mother’s house occupied, after she was forced medically into assisted living, but wouldn’t sell the house. Didn’t stop each girl from getting married, eventually buying their own homes, and starting families, next kid in line moved in (mother died before he ran out of kids to provide free rent, or near enough). Household is expected to carry on, not drop their own life. While mom and dad didn’t want to do that (mom didn’t want their pets), essentially the inlaw/parental suite, would be, the rental a couple of houses down the street … We kids actually discussed going together and buying the house, then gutting and flipping it when the time came … didn’t have to.

                  1. Really don’t know if it was cultural or family tradition. That has never been explained.

                    ::musing:: Is there a difference?

                    Family Tradition is a small culture.

                    1. Well, if you want to be Sophist-icated about it. 🙂

                      What I’m trying to get at is: is it generally expected for, say, Swedish-Americans of a certain generation to expect this sort of thing, or is it an artifact of N generations of borderline/narcissist mothers?

  45. So. All this conversations about taking care of parents. This just happened today. Well the injury didn’t.

    Mom went with younger sister and family to Sunriver for Father’s Day weekend as her Mother’s Day gift. At the rental she was coming down stairs and slipped, turned her ankle. Long weekend almost done. Gets home puts on support boot from the last time she twisted/turned it. This is Tuesday. Wednesday I took her to dermatologist to have a sore on her head looked at. They remove it. Fast forward lab report says it is cancer but doctor hasn’t gotten back with their recommendations. This morning her leg is swollen and very bruised. Told her to go to Urgent Care (left leg so she can drive). It is a Spiral Fracture of the lower shin bone … I’m staying with her tonight and tomorrow night, with sister taking day shift. Monday she’ll start spending nights at same sister’s home. Once she sees the specialist and her knee scooter is here, it’ll be easier, we’ll see.

    Long term. We’ll see what happens.

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