The Tale of The Flying Dutch-U-Haul

In every move — and this one will be an epic move, across state lines always is — there are tales that become engraved in an individual’s and a family’s memory. Forever.

Sometimes they’ll be told in a “be grateful you weren’t there way” — you know, be glad you aren’t covered in chicken poo! — sometimes they’re told in a funny way — remember the time we had two u-hauls and three cars break while going from Charlotte to NC? Boy that was a night! “And then, when the wheel feel off” and everyone laughs. And sometimes they’re told in an epic way, and younger members of the family gaze in wonder at the heroes of the tale and regret they weren’t there. In our family this usually involves “And we painted the entire 2k sq feet house attic ceiling to basement floor in 24 hours. We were hallucinating by the time we finished, but by gum it was done.” (And in our family we would add, “and that’s when we found Marshall, who was only eight at the time, had painted the sidewalk in a checkerboard pattern. It made me cry, because it meant I had to come in next day to apply industrial cleaner and hose it off, but he was so proud….”)

And sometimes…. Sometimes those stories become horror tales passed generation to generation, to curdle the blood of those yet unborn when the events occurred.

So, first I’m going to tell you the tale of yesterday’s doings in that way. Then some passing commentary and head scratching.

Sit back my children, and listen to the tale of the U-haul of the damned, or perhaps The Flying Dutch U-Haul.

It was a smoky Colorado Summer, when a young man set out to rent a u-haul, in order to haul about half a house’s worth of furniture to the charity store. Mostly because this was good, solid furniture, and his parents remembered being dirt poor newly weds whose furniture was made of spit, snot, and discarded cardboard (but mom put a nice veneer on it.)

To be fair, there was a curse on the whole thing already. If only big blue hadn’t died, these runs would have been made with no problem at all, since the carvenous maw of the Expedition could fit the furniture for an entire one bedroom apartment.

However, Old Blue died suddenly and horribly just before the cursed lockdowns of two-oh.

It should be said the young man had done this before, many times, for his own moves. And he had no reason to expect anything to go awry.

The u-haul was rented with all possible expediency, no signs were given of the dread fate to come, and the young man — with hired help, since his parents were busy and also tired — filled it to the rafters, half to donate and half to run to the dumpster.

Now we do not know if it was some curse laid on him. Some say he blasphemed the dread Fauci’s name, and others that being asthmatic he refused to wear a mask, but the truth is the gods of postmodern intervened at this point, to make the whole thing sillier and sillier.

At the first charity store, they took the falling-apart-painted white pressboard shelves earmarked for the dumpster. Also the sofas which were in bad shape when his parents got them (for free.) But they refused the good, solid wood armoire, and the beautiful cherry china cabinet (too large to take to another state.)

Our young man scratched his head and pressed on.

In the next five hours, he went to five cities, and countless charity stores, but not one would take the good wood furniture.

The last he hit said they’d have taken it, had he but come earlier.

Bewildered, late for returning the u-haul, the young man made for home, where his father and mother helped unload, and contracted a trash service to come and remove the good furniture that no one wanted.

Then his father joined him to return the u-haul while his mother saved what she could from the wreckage.

But upon returning the dread u-haul, they found every road blocked — Greek Choir — You couldn’t get there from here.

Legend has it they roam still, the wilds of Colorado, from pass to peak, and there is no one that will take the u-haul. There is no port for these lost souls.

IN TRUTH: they finally made it home at 11:30 and we had dinner in the only still open place in the neighborhood. For the second time in my life, I had the situation of being hungry but too tired to eat.

Passing Commentary:

There is a story in Don Camillo of vandals cutting down vines, and Don Camillo, whose father was a vineyard owner grieving for the cut vines.

My grandfather was a carpenter. I know wood, and have what my husband describes as an unnatural fascination with “good wood furniture.” The other day I saw an original, antique Duncan phyfe (I know, because I refinished one once, by hand.) someone was selling, painted white and black, and my heart recoiled at the beautiful, now-extinct red mahogany covered up that way. (Also white is a bitch to get off wood. If you do that, do a favor to your grandkids who will want to remove the paint, and give it a coat of shellac underneath. Otherwise it gets in the pores. I have a tiny, gorgeous, carved-cherry colonial desk, from which even a lot of work never removed the green paint in the pores.)

Imagine how I feel about solid wood, well built armoire and cabinet being taken by a company that literally reduces the to sawdust for transport….

The worst part: If I spray-painted them black or white, the stores would have eaten them with a spoon. I just didn’t have the time.

Yes, I know, tastes and fads. I know. But for a long time the only good thing about the current era is that each year took us further from the seventies.

And now the seventies are rearing their gloomy head, with dark finishes everywhere, and heavy, ridiculous, depressing browns, greys and blacks all over everything.

And I know the tide will turn again, but meanwhile, how many great pieces are destroyed forever.

Never mind me, I just grieve as my grandfather would, who was a carpenter.

Meanwhile we must cut down on furniture, and frankly on everything and lighten our load. One of the things I’ve cut back drastically on is hobby materials and the like.

It’s become very clear to me, over these very busy days, that what I need to do is write, finish, publish, repeat.

Oh, I’ll probably still paint gourds and make flowers and stuff from discarded (not by me, discarded/discarded, as in rescued from a dumpster) books. On the weekend. To relax.

But those days are at least two months in the future.

For now, I’m going to discard some more, and pack some more.

And polish up my tale of the U-Haul of the damned to curdle the grandkids blood (should I have bio grandkids.) I might invent an uncle they never had, so that I can say he’s still driving from town to town in Colorado, with the back of the U-haul full of furniture no one will take.

217 thoughts on “The Tale of The Flying Dutch-U-Haul

  1. I might invent an uncle they never had, so that I can say he’s still driving from town to town in Colorado, with the back of the U-haul full of furniture no one will take.

    You realize you’ve just cursed your alternate-reality-oldest-son to this fate now, don’t you?

    1. Did he ever return?
      No he never returned
      And his fate is still unlearn’d
      He may ride forever
      through the streets of Denver
      He’s the man who never returned.

  2. Oh, blech; painted furniture.

    I gave away a piano my offspring had almost learned to play. It did need some work. I was told it would be stripped for the wood. I would have loved to have transplanted my grandmother’s upright grand (with it’s worn and damaged front case) into that sturdier case (but then again the front legs, were spindly things compared to the sturdy post’s on the piano my grandfather bought second-hand for his bride on their first anniversary, circa 1920); and the soundboard is cracked on my grandmother’s, and my wife hates it; and the bottom, back fundamental beam is warped (or cracked) so the wheels jam; and it won’t stay in tune. Sigh. But I did find someone (maybe with a pickup) who wants a piano, back a few months ago; gotta follow up.

    1. Someone had *two* pipe organs on the local Craigslist; pick up for free. The Voices yammered about converting them to use flaming propane like the Large Hot Pipe Organ and then learning how to play “March of the Warrior Priests”,(*) but I managed to ignore them until the ad went away.

      (*) What Vincent Price’s character played in “The Abominable Doctor Phibes”

        1. If I weren’t 600 miles away, I’da been there in five minutes. If necessary, with a trailer, and if stuff has to live in the barn or the shotgun shack til I figure out a spot, so be it. It hurts me no end to see solid wood furniture go to the knackers.

          [looks at Denver CL free stuff]

          People there must be very wealthy. There’s more shit for free than we have for sale!!

          Oh… I know Habitat for Humanity’s “Restores” have fancy-ass furniture sometimes; friend in Long Beach just paid an arm and a leg there for a solid wood antique hutch thingee.

            1. The Restore here was in a small place, “furniture” ran to grade-C kitchen cabinets. Later, they moved across the street to a former Farm & Ranch store’s place, lasted a few years and shut down.

              I don’t think the local economy had much in the way of “we’re going to dump our nice but old stuff in favor of really nice stuff”. After more timber issues; there aren’t that many people going from “we have OK-medium and will upgrade to good”, it’s more like “we have OK-medium and will keep it”, or “we’ll upgrade from pure crap to good”.

              The local custom cabinet place gets a lot of his business from dishwasher disasters (raises hand), and the old stuff is either toxic waste or suitable for the barn. (Raises hand, twice.)

        2. Heart. Breaking.

          Seriously, the furniture earmarked for any possible future moves is the dressers, and most of them are plywood. But not pressboard. (My Nana’s dresser is actual wood, and yes, I did paint it, but that was because large sections of the sides had rotted out and been replaced by plywood. It’s the best furniture paint job I’ve ever done, and it took me months. And it’s MY dresser, not anyone else’s.) Probably won’t bother with the dining room table (Ikea, actual wood, but easily replaceable), but I will move the bench. The bench is nice.

  3. On “inventing an uncle”.

    Many many years ago, my Dad and his brother (Uncle Walter) were getting serious about two sisters and were visiting the sisters in the sisters’ home.

    Well there was a third sister living there and one of sisters commented that it was too bad that there wasn’t a third Howard brother for the third sister.

    Without batting an eye, the Howard brothers started talking about a third Howard brother (fictional) that they never talked about.

    Apparently without planning it, Dad and Uncle Walter played up this fictional third Howard brother. [Crazy Grin]

    Oh, Dad and Uncle Walter did marry the two sisters and the third sister did marry later. 😉

      1. Well, I don’t know the time frame for When Dad and Uncle Walter invented this brother but it had to be before 1952 (that when Mom & Dad got married).

        Now I never heard that they got the idea from a movie but they might have. On the other hand, both of them had “interesting senses of humor”. 😀

  4. And polish up my tale of the U-Haul of the damned to curdle the grandkids blood (should I have bio grandkids.) I might invent an uncle they never had, so that I can say he’s still driving from town to town in Colorado, with the back of the U-haul full of furniture no one will take.

    Maybe it’s just me, but that sounds like the happier ending to the story. I mean, it sucks for the uncle in question, but it leaves hope that someday he’ll run across a couple of young newlyweds with taste who will rejoice that this beautiful furniture just showed up in their driveway. The uncle will unload it, and then fade away, his long quest finally complete. As for the young couple, they will live happy lives, blessed by the beautiful cherry cabinet and the wood armoire that they passed down to their children and then their grandchildren. Legend said that anything stored in those cabinets came out just a little cleaner than when it went in, and always brought joy to anyone who used it.

    I understand grieving for the vines, and I understand grieving for the good wood furniture. I wish I had space in my house so I could run down to your place and save them for you.

  5. Instead of throwing away good solid wood furniture, just leave them with the house? The new owners might appreciate them. Better than taking them where you KNOW they’ll be trashed.

    1. I ran across an antique dealer nearby(ish) that got a writeup in a regional magazine. Liked their stuff and got on the mailing list. They’d have a picker in the UK (possibly also on the Continent–or the Belgian piece came via England) who’d fill up a 40′ ConEx shipping container. They’d send out The Postcard Of Happiness when a shipment came in, and first pick was attractive. Anything still in the container was sold at a discount because of the need to return it quickly.

      I found a 3-bay wide wardrobe, outer walnut, inner mahagony in early 1980, and stripped the varnish with a Watco redo (I’m told I killed the resale price, but it’s one of those “cold, dead, fingers” pieces) and had the beveled mirror resilvered. It cost around $750 Carter Dollars, and it’s been working since it came out of my shop; three houses now.

      The 80s was a good decade for good wood furniture (at least where I was looking), and in Flyover Falls, it’s possible to find some good furniture. OTOH, it needs a fair amount of looking.

  6. Der Fliegende Möbelwagen

    I’ll let a better poet/parodist adapt the lyrics of “M.T.A.”

  7. I’m starting to fear that the closer bit of repeated history might turn out to be the ’30s. In future histories (assuming that the Progs have their way, of course), Trump will be the stand-in for the supposedly “didn’t do anything” Hoover, while subsequent Dem administrations will be Roosevelt, enacting mighty programs to save the country.

    Hopefully the Dems will be out of power before the World War arrives.

      1. I’m listening to The Forgotten Man right now. A few days ago, FDR was picking the dollar value of gold based on lucky numbers.

          1. I am thinking about it. But you don’t have to be very bright to blunder into a war. Quite the opposite, in fact.

  8. Oh, my. I really, REALLY wish we could come pick them up…I really, really wish…because I would love them for the rest of my life.

    I love wood furniture. Especially NOT PAINTED.

      1. one might as well wish for a time machine as for anything else superficially more plausible but impossible

  9. We’re getting ready to move at the end of the month. Downsizing from 1900SF to 1000SF, two car garage and backyard shed to one car garage and no external storage. Luckily, some of the furniture is staying; it belongs to my mother, who owns the house. The furniture we don’t want that is ours is going to friends and the family we chose. What bugs me more than anything else is leaving the 1950’s maple hutch behind (as it was supposed to be mine after my mother passes, but we decided to leave it because there’s no place to put it in our condo).

    It’s just a short move, about three miles west and a mile north, and we have plenty of volunteers with trucks to help us, but yeah, those stories speak to me of a time when I moved to Washington, D.C. (and then a year later, moved back).

  10. *mourns for solid wood furniture that cannot be saved*

    On Hobby materials: Buying crafting supplies and actually using them are two different hobbies.

      1. I understand completely. There are many crafts that once the obsession had run its course I never did it again. Some things I still do from time to time, but there are a lot I have abandoned.

        1. Ditto. Get the project done I wanted to do. Then I am done with that craft.

          I’m not like other people who can put hours and hours and hours into a quilt or afghan and give it away. Unless I have a specific project in mind. Nor can I stand repeated specific projects.

          We only need so many quilts. We only need so many afghans no one uses. Can’t were knits regardless of knitted or crocheted. Only need so many cross stitched or embroidered wall hangings. As far as that goes, have way too many of grandpa’s paintings.

          This doesn’t count the tools I picked up with a “oh, that looks cool to try” … and never did.

          1. The only thing I am patient enough with is fillet crochet. I have embarked on a new set of “I’m making curtains for this house.” I haven’t been able to since the kids got old enough to run everywhere, and of the last set I have one left. (disappeared in a move.) so….

          2. /me looks at the benchtop planer on a home made cart in the garage, patiently waiting for the first boards of summer to be run through it…

            I’d NEVER buy a tool just because I thought it was cool or had a project in mind that I might need it for!

            1. Having fainted at the price of lumber, and having decided if I want bookshelves I’m gonna have to build ’em… I have a huge stack of pallets (well, now it’s two stacks) and most of the thin cross boards are red oak or fir… seems to me a few trips through a planer and a nice finish and they might be fit for use (well, there’s also the step involving a lot of nail pulling and elbow grease, or just cut ’em loose and plan around short shelves). — Lately saw a cabinet someone made from pallet wood that came out nice, and that’s pretty much all he did to it.

              So any suggestions on a *cough* very inexpensive planer?

              1. Well, the one I got (someday, someday as GOD is my witness, I’ll run a board through it!) is this one:

                It’s not too…
                OK, can’t say it with a straight face, it was around $700 because I got the one that included in- and out-feed trays and spare blades…

                It was during the lockdowns, OK?!? I was indulging in retail therapy because I was stuck at home and had a broken wrist and couldn’t go or do anything!

                1. The Dewalt looks like the one I bought. (I don’t think it was *$700* when I bought it 2ish years ago, more like $500ish, but that could be hobby-budget-goggles talking.)

                  1. PS: It does the job – I planed down a lot of chewed up two-by-fours to make the legs and top for a workbench that may be the most rigid thing I’ve built to date. My off-balance grinder stays put on it.

                  2. NOT spending that much for tools. I’m talking about exchangeable set of loop knitting needles, or full set of crochet hooks. I have more embroidery thread than reasonable … but used all those. Nope, talking about some more specialty crafts (woodburning pen … still not a $500 piece of machinery). OTOH hubby was always going to do photo development enlargement … might have tried to help him get started. Um, equipment never got used. I don’t know how many copies/updates of photo editing software we’ve purchased over the last many years. FINALLY this year he is starting to use one and we’ve gotten pictures printed. Even had 4 printed on metal …

                2. When I get done with all the plywood cabinetry in my project list and move on to making things from solid wood, that’s probably the one I’m going to get.

                3. Oy. Dewalt makes great tools, but that’s definitely not in my tool budget, especially with my lack of quality woodworking experience. Was thinking more like the $200 planer… well, I’ll keep an eye out for a used one… hate to resort to Harbor Freight. That’s like pressboard for tools!!

                  1. On a car site in the comments, any time someone brings up Harbor Freight, someone always points out that they’re great for the tool you need JUST THIS ONCE and don’t care if it breaks when you’re done or not.

                    Cheap enough to buy for a one-off project and not care if it breaks. If it doesn’t, you chuck it in your tool box and maybe someday use it again (or find it in 5yrs and wonder where it came from.)

                    1. That’s a (very good) defense from the folks who go “You need this tool– YOU MUST BUY THE BEST MONEY CAN FIND! Or you’re a wasteful fool!”

                      My mom spent a lot of time dragging folks back up to try stuff after they got hit by too many of that sort. Didn’t make up for the way she got some really nice tools because they’d spend a ton of money, try the hobby, and get bored.

                      “I only need this once” is exactly the mindset, and Harbor Freight is great for just TRYING things. Sometimes, the tool is amazingly good, too. I’ve got a couple of small-item safes from them that have outlasted the vehicles I bought them for. Not bad for $5.

                    2. Just so. When my company was really tiny and lean with little revenue, I bought a laser level + tripod kit from HF to help set up an outdoor RF test range. Worked great, and I’m about to use it for that purpose again.

                    3. I did say pressboard… tho having been quite selective about little what I’ve bought there… the bolt cutter has had 25 years of hard use and still works fine (it’s way outlived expectations). Actually, I think that’s the compete list.

                      Well, to be fair, apparently they do sell a pretty decent light-duty wood lathe.

              2. I planed all the boards to build my house in Ecuador by hand. You just buy the blade and holder, and build a huge wooden base as your first project. Need a good workbench for this.

                  1. Any place to get good wood-planes like that? My hand plane is really really dull, and my attempts to sharpen the blade haven’t been working.

                    1. I think you can buy replacement blades?? I remember seeing somewhere that the angle has to be just right, so sharpening ’em is a bit of an art.

                    2. Buy a honing guide. They’re not expensive.

                      A new blade isn’t sharp, you have to flatten the back and hone the bevel. It’s not hard, there’s lots of good advice on the tubes of you. Pick one and go with it. I use Diamond stones and a strop.

                1. A bit too much skill for me (I have no physical memory, so I’m always having to relearn the motions) and when it’s by the hundreds, way too much expenditure of my limited supply of elbow grease. But that is a beautiful tool in your picture… if I see one somewhere, it might come home with me if only for little jobs.

              3. Check your local Habitat for Humanity store.

                Sometimes they have decent tools come through

                1. I’ll have to look there… they used to be up somewhere back of the warehouse district, but I see they’ve got a new facility a couple blocks from Costco, way more convenient.

                  The one near me in SoCal had prices higher than for new stuff!!

                1. Have been to a couple in the distant past but no bargains to be seen. Tend to be far and few between around here, or 200 miles away.

                  Tho I have accumulated more than the necessary amount of yard machines via Craigslist, including a swap, a “how much you got in your pocket? $32”, two zucchini, several freebies, and one found under a tree. Did you know there are people who collect lawn mowers? Apparently, I are one. I have nine….

                  The swap was hilarious. My worn-out favorite was upsidedown awaiting a new belt and the grass was eating small children, so I went off and found another cheap one… ran fine, but “personal pace” DOES NOT WORK on lumpy ground, it’s worse than no self-propel at all. So went looking for another, found one for sale more to my taste (identical to the $32 model, which was awaiting new wheels), muttered to the guy something about why I was interested, and joked, “Wanna trade?” He says maybe, so I brought the unloved one along… turns out it was identical to his that he liked and was keeping. So we swapped and everybody happy. But very weird to chance on two identical pairs like that.

          3. I do crafts and hobbies to keep myself out of trouble. The repetitive hand motions of weaving, crocheting, knitting, etc. are soothing and quiet the ADHD enough for me to concentrate on other things or just plain relax, so I always have something in my hands.

            The downside to that is if I didn’t give stuff away I’d be up to my eyeballs in it. So I do crochet baby blankets for the local NICU. Every baby born at the office or my church gets their own blankie. All my brothers and my nephews get hats for Christmas (last year it was double-knitted hats with the MHI logo on them). My mother and my sister and the various SILs all get shawls. The other fidgeters I know get custom made strings of fidget beads. My sister wants to make a custom Sith outfit for halloween this year, and I’m already planning the tablet woven, black and red trim I’m going to make for her. I’m just finishing a batch of paracord voodoo dolls for all my co-workers to use in our next frantically busy season. Next it’s likely to be polishing, shaping, and carving my own stone beads…

            Yes, I’m aware I’m a crazy person. I just try to make it a marginally useful crazy whenever I can.

            1. OH!
              Okay, you just solved a mystery. As as a kid I could only watch something on tv without wandering off if I was doing cross-stitch also. And as an adult, I crochet on long road trips. AND I often wish I could crochet in panels, so I wouldn’t space out.
              I didn’t know that’s ADD.

              1. Oh, yeah!
                It’s why I paint miniatures or make chainmail armor while I watch tv. I can actually concentrate on the story better if my hands are busy.
                Totally ADD.

              1. From that Gunga Din film:

                Sgt. Archibald Cutter (Cary Grant): You’re mad!

                Guru (Eduardo Ciannelli) : Mad? Mad. Hannibal was mad, Caesar was mad, and Napoleon surely was the maddest of the lot. Ever since time began, they’ve called mad all the great soldiers in this world. Mad? We shall see what wisdom lies within my madness. For this is but the spring that precedes the flood. From here we roll on. From village to town. From town to mighty city. Ever mounting, ever widening, until at last my wave engulfs all India!

            2. Humans evolved as persistence predators. ADHD is what happens when normal predator behavior has no outlet (all too common in modern life). Giving it an outlet is the sane-making thing to do.

              1. Yes, the “hunter in a farmer’s world” metaphor. (Also the title of the book where I learned the metaphor). Hunters, especially if there are dangerous predators around as well as the prey you’re hunting, need to have every little thing grab their attention briefly. A rustling sound from behind me: quick, identify it. Is it a deer, or a tiger, or a small animal I can ignore? Okay, it’s a squirrel. Ignore, go back to scanning for deer tracks. Then you go back to what you were doing.

                I’ve noticed that when I’m out for a walk with my wife (who does not have ADHD), I’m often pointing out animals to her that she hasn’t noticed yet. The movement immediately grabs my attention briefly, I look over and identify a cat, or a bird, or an interesting lizard, and then once I’ve identified the movement I can go back to the conversation.

                1. Squirrel! 😀

                  I saw a big cream-colored hawk perched on the overhead wires behind my house this morning. One of my cats stared and stared. “Oh, if only I could jump high enough to get that bird…”

                2. Definitely a sliding scale, and it’s definitely a trainable skill — my parents are *obnoxious* about seeing three fly-specks on a mountain ten miles away and correctly identifying “a pair and a cow,” which we find out fifteen minutes later– so maybe the “scan for pattern” and multitasking thing also work with the “see movement” thing?

                  Between training and different base level abilities, there’s a lot of room for things to become a disfunction, and it would explain why some people just can’t multitask because they don’t have the “scanning” ability high enough, and people who have to scan and then finish the job or they’ll forget until the trigger is hit again…..

                3. Light Bulb. I never thought about it that way. My wife always says “you see things that I don’t see.” That it could be part of the ADD never occurred to me.

              1. Avoiding pink and blue may make their lives easier, because then they can put anything on any child.

            3. For folks who look at this and think it sounds great, but can’t knit/crochet– my nephew still has several pillow cases that were made for when he was in Shriner’s, getting his club feet worked on.

              The idea is that you check in, and you get your own pillow case, which doesn’t smell like the hospital and is pretty, then you get to take it home. When his mom slept in the room, she got one, too. (Blue water-stain pattern with a really nice lilac paisley, she gave it to me because it didn’t match her bedroom, the girls fight over it.)

              So check with your local hospital, see if they would be interested in something like that. Most people can see three straight lines. 😀

            4. When I was in high school, I used to visit two great-aunts in the nursing home. They both tatted. I thought that was interesting topologically (all that is one piece of thread). I asked them to teach me…which didn’t work out, because they were FAST. It was a blur: “Did you get that?” “Nope…” Zip-zip-zip. So I checked a book out of the library and got a piece of rope (big enough to see), and taught myself. Now I make some of the patterns they made. Sadly, I think I’m the only one in the family who still does that. I make bookmarks, crosses, Christmas trees, snowflakes (to hang on the big Christmas tree)…made a butterfly or two. Not large items usually, because tatting is slow (even if you’re going fast, ha!). Older folks used to make pillowcase edging and so forth. When I went to undergrad/grad, I would tat to relax and take a break from tensors, dyads, integral equations, etc. Nice thing is, just a roll of thread, with a shuttle and maybe a crochet hook to make pulling through picots easier. All the needed paraphernalia fit inside the thread, so it’s a very compact hobby in terms of space and material; I tend to stick to about four colors. Everything fits in a shoebox.

              It was always a great ice-breaker too. If I were in a doc’s waiting area, or on a plane, people would ALWAYS ask me what I was doing, especially women, because seeing tatting in public is rare…but seeing a MAN tatting in public is…well, REALLY rare. I’ve had folks come over to me, scrutinize my work, and demand to know what I’m doing, in quite imperious tones! 🙂

              One fine day, I’ll learn to crochet, but I’m only interested in using thread, not yarn (I DETEST wearing yarn), and even then only to increase the production rate of similar items made with tatting. And to give people something to talk about 🙂

              1. Before changes to what could be carried on planes, a lot of people used to take hand sewing crafts on planes. For some reason having sharp and semi sharp things, like knitting needles, weren’t appreciated by TPTB.

                We learned how to crochet bells and snowflakes for Christmas trees. I just haven’t been able to get back into doing crafts again. Stopped when I got into programming. For some reason that took up all my creative ability and focus. Now that I’m not doing programming anymore, I should be able to make the swing back. Haven’t.

                1. I could probably still take tatting. I can do almost all of it with a plastic shuttle and a roll of thread.

                  1. Cutting items definitely banned still. But don’t think they banned crochet hooks (not sharp), regardless of material.

                    Mom’s current project would be banned, because she is using knitting needles. She is making scrubs for kitchen and bath. But she could just as easily use crochet pattern with the yarn she is using.

                1. I would like to learn bruges, because that seems to be what my great-grandmother and one or two of my great-aunts did. We have several pieces that are probably ~80-120 years old. Fillet would probably be an easier place to start, though. Many of the scarves (for furniture, not necks) were done with a relatively coarse thread and are probably ~18 inches by 3 or 4 feet. I can’t imagine how long they took. Lots of edging, too.

                  Sometimes I catch grief, e.g., “You’re a guy; why do you mess with that ‘frilly’ stuff?” My reply is, “Dude, for me it’s the MATH [no need to even trot out the word ‘topology’]. If you can’t see the fascination there, well, I can’t help you. And I like making useful STUFF. So bugger off.”

                  I guess it’s partly my textile heritage, too. That great-grandmother worked in a small town plant making men’s shirts and underwear. Her daughter (my grandmother) and son-in-law both worked in a Burlington “cotton mill” until they shut it down, though they didn’t do any textile crafts at home. So when I was at their house I had loom shuttles and such as toys…

              2. Not so rare in my high school… back around 1971, tatting went around like a contagious disease. For a while everyone who tended to get done with homework too fast was doing it. I never got good at it, but somewhere I still have the shuttle (or whatever it’s properly called). Rope seems like a better material… with thread, tatting grows far too slowly. And isn’t this basically making a mini fishnet??

                My grandmother taught me to crochet… IMO it’s easier than knitting. I can’t follow a pattern, but I can make to fit. (Tho it’s been years since I’ve done any.) You can use thread, string, dental floss, baling twine…. doesn’t matter so long as it’s tolerably flexible and the hook is the right diameter. I suppose you could even use very fine wire.

                I sort of taught myself to knit, but initially was doing it in reverse! In my defense, I was 12, and it hadn’t occurred to me that it was directional…

          4. During cold-weather months, $SPOUSE will knit baby blankets for the Hope Pregnancy center. It’s compatible with watching TV, and the people there are thrilled to get ’em. (Too warm during the summer.) We’re no longer active in the local church, and this is a way of giving to the community. I was dropping them off during the Great Masquerade; normally $SPOUSE does the dropoff.

            Despicable Kate Brown is reinstituting indoor face diapers because of increasing hospitalization, she says. She’s not trying the flatten the curve BS, but is trying “the new mask requirement will not last forever, but…” line of crap.

            I have to go into town today. We’ll see if any body gives a damn.

    1. *On Hobby materials: Buying crafting supplies and actually using them are two different hobbies.*

      I resemble that remark! And a corollary among woodturners is: accumulating interesting wood and actually turning it are two completely different hobbies.

        1. I’m thinking now the floodgates will open and all sorts of nasty stuff will come to life. Especially if one purpose ofmthis,is to make absolutely sure the man doesn’t offer a 2024 challenge to whoever.

          1. That was the only purpose of this. Everyone has known about this forever. We’re he not a primary threat they wouldn’t have touched him. I know people who knew him back in the day. let’s just say they didn’t need invent new stories to accuse Kavanaugh with. They could just ask Andy for his memories.

            True story, I punched him in the jaw for goosing a girl I was with back in 84/85 ish. Didn’t even like the girl. A group of us were in a bar in New Rochelle when one of the girls screamed. Someone had goosed her. I turned around, saw the guy, said WTF, he pushed me, I hit him. The bouncers threw me out of the bar, but not him, and one of them said, “dude, do you know who you just hit? That was the governor’s kid” New Rochelle PD came down one way, NY State Police came down the other way, and I went up the third way and stayed away from New Rochelle for a good long while.

            The girl was upset …. With me. That’s another story

                1. I actually hit him right on the button, alas, there is no blow hard enough to get through that kind of stupid.

                  I’m fairly sure that’s the last time I hit anyone, went out with a bang as it were.

                  1. I’m passing this along to my mom, she was figuring it was the usual “frame and dump” thing.

                    Not sure how she’ll feel about the “nah, the guy was a well known perv, they just covered it up before now. Same as Clinton.”

                    1. His being at Fordham was prior to his father being governor. Thinking on it, I know people who knew him at Molloy, he’s about five years older than me. He’s a sleeze and a lech, It’s his nature. Everyone knew, we all knew.

      1. Probably, but sometimes you just have to throw one of the bums out for good measure. And the sheer pleasure of watching a Cuomo’s (metaphorical) head roll down the street.

    1. Watch him join Garcetti as ambassador to some 3rd world shithole (G. is going to India) so he can enjoy the endpoint of his policies up close and personal.

      There are a couple maybe-decent potential candidates, but getting ’em elected is another story, and they’re still Democrats.

  11. My story is about The Flying Dutch 20-foot U-Haul, the mythical vehicle seen on the internet but not in real life. I signed a purchase agreement to sell my home June 16 with closing set for Monday August 9. I immediately used the U-Haul on-line tool to determine the 20-foot truck was the right size for me. I reserved the truck for Saturday August 7, received a confirmation email, did the early check-in, set up the account for cell-phone checkout, scheduled two dozen friends and relatives to show up to help, ordered food to feed the crowd and received a voicemail message June 5th saying there was no truck. I called in a panic. The lady explained there isn’t a 20-foot truck to be had anywhere in the state of Minnesota. People are renting them one-way and not returning them. She kindly suggested I reschedule my move. Not happening, lady. Where’s my confirmed-reservation truck? She can give me a 15-foot truck. Too small, where’s my confirmed-reservation truck? Well, the closest 20-footer is in Wisconsin if I want to drive there to pick it up, and the closest 26-footer is halfway to Duluth, but I’d pay mileage picking up and returning the truck, so basically it’s 15-foot or nothing. Okay, but I’ll have to make two trips in the smaller truck to move all of my belongings and that’s double the mileage which shouldn’t be my cost since I had a confirmed reservation for a 20-footer. Sorry, she can’t do anything about it: take it or leave it.

    If you see a 20-foot U-Haul truck on the road somewhere, snap a photo. Otherwise, it’s like claiming you saw Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster – nobody will believe you.

      1. Or yet another reason why I’m not gonna sell the stock trailer (or for that matter, the Ugly Alaska Trailer). It’s paid for, it doesn’t eat much, and with the F350 it can substitute for a 20-foot box truck.

        But if you’ve got a tow rig, or can rent a guy with one (they’re around)… something like that might be an alternative, depending on relative cost.

          1. Used truck… if you don’t need it This Instant (I can’t live without one) is the sort of thing you can wait til the right deal… an older F150 makes a good all-around light truck, and specimens in good shape can be had starting at about $4000. (Might have a lot of miles, but that doesn’t much matter.)

          2. I thought about getting a pickup truck, and wound up getting a Ford E250 work van instead. Pretty much a big metal box on wheels with 2 seats. One advantage is, you can lock up whatever’s inside instead of leaving it out in the open. Keeps water off your stuff, too.

            1. I *really* like the old Ford vans, too– they are easy to get parts for, the mechanics say they’re easy to work on, and if you want to drive a tank 2013 or older still has steel frames.

              1. I understand those older Ford vans were built on their truck chassis, which makes a huge difference. Know someone who fell asleep on the Alaska highway and rolled hers… did it very little mechanical damage, tho it was technically totaled. Drove it home to Montana.

                Unibody can go die in a fire.

      2. A friend found a deal on a milling machine in Colorado Springs. I drove there to check it out, purchased it, and went to get a U-Haul. They wanted something insane, like $750, one-way to Little Rock. That was in 1993-ish.

        I saw a likely-looking trailer sitting in a field in Falcon, beat on the nearest door, and wound up buying it for $100. I put four new tires and a new set of lights on it for another $150-ish, had Pikes Peak Machine forklift the mill on top, and towed it 1100 miles back to Little Rock.

    1. After our experience moving my brother and his wife back to a sane town (we picked the truck up near us, drove it the 6 hours to their place, then drove it the other 6 hours to their destination, and then yet another two hours to return it to the point of origin) we have determined that UHaul is Not Worth It.

      Their local stores don’t talk to their call center, and vice versa, their internet doesn’t update into the local systems, and they will absolutely nickel and dime you to death.

      You’re better off going with any other truck rental company.

        1. We did Enterprise. Was supposed to be just a van (Sprinter size) but they ran out and gave us a delivery truck type thing. Whee! Barely small enough to not need a commercial license. 😀

  12. I am expecting a fair amount of heirloom furniture to disappear forever when the time comes to clean out Dad’a place. All four of us kids have full houses already., so a bunch of hardwood furniture that belonged to grandparents and great-grandparents will likely end up hauled off for scrap.

    1. If you have a china cabinet in that mess, advertise it as “convert to kitchen cabinets.” Preferably with a Pinterest post attached. You’ll get all the hopeful DIYers interested, even if their goals are bigger than their abilities. (I’ve seen it done—hutch split off for uppers and bottom left for lower. Particularly striking when it has a bow front.)

  13. Years ago I bought a headboard that had been painted Wedgewood blue with white highlights. Ech. So I patiently stripped the paint from what I knew must be mahogany or something amazing, and right in the center of the piece was a demon’s face. Oh, not really, it was just the swirl of the wood pattern that made the pointed chin, the slitted eyes, the horns…

    So I painted it black and sold it at a garage sale. Didn’t want to burn it. Read too many books about that sort of thing.

  14. Yarns ago, I had to rent a truck to move home after flunking out of grad school (insert Josie Wales quote here*) mostly just to move a six foot tall, eight foot long (1.8 m x 2.4 m), nicely spaced shelf. They upgraded me to the big one because they didn’t have the small one. So I paid a couple of hundred bucks to move the free shelf. Moved shelf out when I got married; moved shelf back when we moved back; moved shelf down the hall when my office got move; there to stay, mayhap.

    *Something like “If my words of death be true, then my words of life be true.” Good movie, if you can catch the television (censored version).

  15. *pats her VERY solid, 1920s desk where you can only find the /14 inch holes in the top if you know where to look*

    The oil company guy who decided the desk NEEDED to be bright orange formica type stuff was kind enough to just bolt it to the top, instead of sticking it to the wood that was already there.

      1. The color did handle the grime that goes with an oil business very well without looking gross.

        Those little wooden slide-out boards that are used for writing on, that always break early, were also replaced with the formica stuff and the inside ends hadn’t been cleaned since at best guess he sold the company to the guys he trained up in it and retired to a lake-side resort, where he lived for at LEAST 20 years before he passed away, and his wife piled stuff in his office for something like another 5 before realizing the only folks who came to visit for the lake-fun her late siblings’ grandkids. Her grandkids were old enough it wasn’t a thing to play at the lake, but young enough she didn’t expect to have the great-grands show up while she was still able to manage the house. The Baron and the Contessa were very, very charming to her. 😀

        I found a LOT of cool stuff stuck in corners and between drawers and the inside walls when I pulled it apart to clean and wood-oil it, and in some of the “oh my goodness do you want this, too?” offerings we got when I 1) talked to her, and 2) refused to let her cut the price we’d agreed on.
        (Seriously, what IS it with widows and trying to give away stuff worth far more than what they sold it for?)

        But, yes, *orange*, like this:

    1. About 40 years ago, when I was a (relatively) young man looking to furnish my first apartment after leaving the Navy, I came across a bedroom set in a thrift store that was painted hot pink. Enough of the paint had worn away or otherwise been removed that I could tell that the set was inlaid and intarsia’d mahogany. I passed on it, because I wasn’t interested in that kind of restoration job. Sometimes, I wish I hadn’t.

      I’m also cleaning out my girlfriend’s house – she has some very nice wooden furniture, both modern and heirloom, but the estate sales agent I engaged said the only furniture that sells well these days are Ikea pieces and teak furniture.

  16. I’ve been making my own furniture this week. (A less-particle-board more-rigid replacement for an over-the-desk drawer thingy) and a 24x24x30 table (not finished yet – I’ve since added a shelf underneath for my 3d printer).

    Menards has good pine panels and boards. Also, you can fix a lot of mistakes with wood-filler. Woooood glue.

    I have a lot of old real wood (oak, cherry, mahogany) from my grandparents’ house, but I’m not really ready to use it. Need to be a lot better at woodworking and have something it would really look nice in. (Cue Kung-Fu-Master: “You are not ready!”) Until then, I pretend with woodstain.

      1. Congratulations! I’ve been craving a workshop for years. Finally got one when I settled back in my hometown in Ohio and bought a house. The ability and space to make things should be recognized as a psychological NEED.

        Good luck with your move. Moving is crazily stressful. Hopefully you’re going somewhere where you’ll be at home.

          1. Oh, a custom built Library…. The old house in Cali, little brother suggested we rip out the built-in bookshelves under the stairs and board up the area and make it a closet. I gave him a look that said he was a special kind of crazy and that blasphemy against books or their shelves would not be permitted in my house. He looked at me like -I- was the crazy one and patiently tried to explain how it would increase the sale value and how no one has bookshelves anymore…. I stared him down and said, if that was the case, why the hell does every office supply store in existence sell bookshelves. He took his crazy ideas away and left me in peace to finish repainting and repairing the way I wanted to.

            1. Indeed. I’m pretty sure the Billy bookshelf is the most popular thing Ikea sells. (And one of these days I’m going to replace my 12 feet of them with mahogany built-ins.)

              On the other hand, I don’t think most people have a lot of books, so one bookshelf each might do for them.

              1. I had to move to the pro version of the libib app because i had more than 5,000. It doesn’t seem many to me.

                1. I’m around 1300, so yeah.

                  On the other hand, there’s an OKCupid question on “how many books do you own”, and the categories are

                  – Less than 5
                  – 5-25
                  – 25-50
                  – 50+

                  Absurd as that sounds, OKCupid is definitely pitched to the average person, so maybe we bibliophiles just don’t notice the unbooked.

              2. Oh heavens, one of the kids had a lesson that wanted them to chart the number of books in a room.

                It topped out at ten.

                The bathroom had more than that.

  17. Also, since I tried to attach images of my furniture projects, WordPress ate the comment.

  18. I sagely advised my son to buy a used U-Haul truck when he gave up porn directing in L.A. & was heading back to Alaska. Parenthetical aside:(One of things I learned from Marty Lang, NYC sewerage commissioner, was never let the truth get in the way of a good story.) My logic they were well maintained, and came with a listed service and repair history.

    Well the run through Canada was interesting; bumper fell off during customs stop, spending 3 days in Watson Lake awaiting a new transmission, etc., etc., etc.

    Later or later he, we (I was following, driving his Mercedes), the U-Haul rig made it up here.

    He was pretty sure anything that could go wrong with it already had and had been repaired or replaced and gave it to his sister who was running down to Montana, -a trip she’ll never speak of and doesn’t want anyone else to either.

    1. Some years ago, I read an article about U-Haul that would have been a cautionary tale for you. Apparently, only some of the U-Haul vehicles are properly maintained, specifically, those that are actually U-Haul property.

      Many of their vehicles are owned by private individuals and leased to U-Haul. If something goes wrong with one of them, U-Haul can’t fix them until they contact the owner and get authorization to repair them, and they can only perform the maintenance and repairs that the owner allows. This can be problematic if you’re in the middle of transporting something when a failure occurs.

  19. *Shudders in horror at the loss of good wood furniture*

    Once again I am very grateful that hubby and I decided to forgo the bright lights and big city life to stay in our little forest town and raise a family and that the area where Stately Gnome Manor resides has not succumbed to Blue Madness. Yet.

    Hopefully, my grandkids will be smarter than their parents and head for the hills instead of putting up with the rat race in the cities their parents dragged them to.

    May angels speed you on your journey to your new home and may any inconveniences become fodder for a best seller that makes it all worthwhile AND makes for entertaining “how this book came to be” workshops at your next Con.

  20. My mahogany breakfront was commercially shipped from Grandmother’s in TX (it was originally Great-Grandmother’s) and that wasn’t exhorbatant.

    Suggest any Huns looking to get rid of good wood furniture post it in the Hun Haunts and see if any takers manifest. I refuse to buy pressboard, so if anyone’s looking to offload twin bed frames . . .

    1. That’s a durn good idea.

      I hate pressboard. Come to it, I’ll set up a board across milk crates or cinder blocks before I’ll buy pressboard (tho some has fell on my head, like this ugly, wobbly, but functional computer desk that some year I’ll replace with a real desk… the keyboard shelf is missing and I replaced it with a thick piece of cardboard, which should tell you how much respect it gets).

      1. That one in Durham (NC, not UK) was upgraded to a laser sensor a couple of years ago; back when it was 11 foot, 8 inches; if the sign is flashing, you’re over-height! A year or so back, the powers that be checked and one of the neighboring railroad crossings was already 12′-4″ so the tracks on only one side would have to be re-graded. A good crew, some hydraulic jacks, a week or two, and a nice eight inches of height were gained. You’ll notice the above truck almost made it; with slightly less air in the tires (a cooler day, perhaps), it might have cleared; but it could have diverted—it just needed to turn.

        1. The guy who does those 11foot8 vids once mentioned that the bridge is actually about four inches higher than the sign says, precisely for idiots who think equal height means clearance.

          1. There are *hours* of video showing 11’8 scraping off roof air units, sleeper cab tops, trailer roofs…

            1. Yeah, I’ve watched ’em all, from way way back. It’s just head-shakingly stupid when the sensor bloody TELLS you you’re overheight… The ones with no space relations maybe have an excuse (and new to driving a truck often ain’t going to see that overhead sign), however sad and lame. It’s the ones who clearly think they’re gonna sneak one over on it that get what they deserve.

      2. I’ve had several different people tell me New York State measures bridge height from the center axle of a truck for some stupid reas… On yeah, it’s New York, never mind.

    1. In these parts we have a name for that. It’s called “Getting Storrowed”. For those unfamiliar with Boston one of the main access routes is called Storrow Drive (I think it is state rout 28 through most of it’s length). It is the most obvious way to get to MANY of the local Colleges/universities (MIT, Harvard, Boston University, Boston College). It has several footbridges that cross it that are LOW (9′ 6″ or so) so all but the smallest U-Haul will catch on them. Each fall the number of U-Haul and other box trucks getting stuck as students move in can sometimes move into the low teens. It is marked NO trucks and LOW Bridges but people unfamiliar with the area get stuck regularly.

        1. Yes indeed. Boston College isn’t in Boston proper at all (It’s mostly in Newton, little bit of Brookline) A Catholic college run by the Jesuits. Boston University used to be associated with the Methodists, Is down near Museum of Fine Arts and sort of sprawls towards the Fenway.

        2. note: do not ever assume that “east”, “west”, “north”, or “south” have any obvious meaning in relation to Boston geography.

          That is, some places are “direction-something” because that’s where they were when they got the name, three hundred years ago. Meanwhile, the rest of the city grew off in a different direction.

      1. And even some commercial trucks. The worst that I heard of when I lived in the Boston area was a truckload of scissors that got ripped open, scattering scissors all over the road. They ended up with about 30 cars disabled with flat tires, some with all four flat. It took a while to clear that up.

        1. Dang I’ve never hear of that one, that sounds like a REALLY bad day. Storrow is a pretty critical thoroughfare so when crap like this happens to it the whole of Boston comes to a screeching halt.

          1. Sad part is they have (well, they did before I left fifteen years ago) signs hanging down on chains that are just about at windshield height on a truck, above the road. Yes, you have to literally hit a warning sign at eye level telling you not to go on the road or you will get stuck to go and get stuck.

    2. My own adventure with a U-Haul was slightly better, but not great. Basically we had gotten our first home and were getting a variety of pieces from my wife’s family (in the Matawan NJ area) and pick up familial things in Shoreline CT near the mouth of the Connecticut River to finally arrive in North Andover Ma. The plan was to get a 1 way U-haul from NJ to MA. We went down to Jersey Via Amtrak and got the truck in Rahway. They only one they had was a modified van with a diesel engine and was WAY bigger than we really needed but the price was good. Going north there are two roads, The Garden State Parkway and
      US 95. The parkway was our usual route but because we were a truck we were forbidden. So up 95 went. This meant we got to cross the Brooklyn bridge at mid morning on a weekday. This nearly gave me a nervous breakdown as I was used to driving a 1984 accord :-). We made it though and then
      Stopped at my familial home. But first I stopped a local Dunkin’ Donuts. Luckily I knew we weren’t going to fit in the drive through. However, in parking the vehicle I did manage to drag it (lightly) along a dumpster, only paint scratches (and I’d bought insurance). Loaded up at my Mom’s and headed for MA.
      Got there and it was raining buckets so my wife and I were moving furniture in slippery mud at about 40 degrees. The final fun was the next morning. It was early November and COLD. Starting a diesel in 35 degree Farenheit is a real challenge. Our next move we had done by movers :-).

  21. Hubby has an interview in about 20 minutes. Destination would not be our first or even second choice, but we’re now down to the beggars can’t be choosers end of things. Send up a prayer for an offer for this job and we will be able to get the hell out of Dodge very soon.

    1. This one wasn’t even our third choice. But we were going there, to see friends, and there were three houses we wanted to see. One we eliminated. This one was our second choice.

  22. Our move from New Jersey to Alabama back when our boy was a toddler turned out to be a bit of a cautionary tale. We rented a Ryder truck and our friends helped us pack, then spouse drove the Ryder truck with my Corsica in tow while I drove the pickup. Among the lessons learned:
    In 1994 the Garden State Parking Lot did not allow trucks towing vehicles. This lead to our separation because we didn’t know the area and of course it was pre-cell phone.
    Driving a pickup with manual transmission through Philadelphia during Monday rush hour is a bit of a challenge.
    Select a rendezvous spot in case you get separated.
    And above all, make sure you put the kid’s diaper bag in the same vehicle as the kid. I had the diaper bag. And a cat, but Sadie was no problem.

  23. My only mildly interesting UHaul story was driving a 26ft UHaul almost 300 miles in one day. We were moving my Grandparents from their home up north to a condo closer to family (and hospitals and such,) and I was tapped to drive the truck as I was working as a delivery driver for a small company at the time.

    Bloody truck wouldn’t get over about 55mph, but thankfully it wasn’t a holiday weekend, so it was mostly set the cruise control and try to find a country station on the radio, seeing as my Dad was driving his car, the uncle that came along was driving his car, and Grandma and Grandpa were in their car…

    That was a LONG drive, and then we unloaded the truck at the condo (thankfully, with about a dozen or so various relatives to help.)

    1. Not a U-Haul story. But a moving someone story. SIL had transferred to Portland from Bend, so her company paid to move her and the girls. Which meant most the MIL stuff went too. Just not the items (bedroom, mostly) she had in the senor living apartment she had insisted on originally (lasted 8 weeks?). So, 2 pickups and one utility trailer to move MIL from Bend to Portland and her daughter’s apartment. With a 10 week old, who wasn’t nursing well. FOUR or six(?, it took forever) hours from Eugene to Bend … nope not traffic. It takes extra time when one must stop to feed newborn every 30 to 45 minutes!!!! Would nurse 15 to 30 minutes. Then we had to travel from Bend to Portland. By the time we got to Portland, baby was in full blown meltdown, I was damn near there. No. Did not have formula (why? He’d been doing fine, until that day.) Did before we headed home. Sister and BIL lived in Portland too. She came and got me and baby, and got us setup to get us home back to Eugene; adopted niece is 6 months older. It wasn’t that he wasn’t getting any food, it was my system wasn’t adjusting to the amount he needed to be full. I don’t do well on long drives my self anyway, never have. Dang near 32 years ago now. Will never, ever, forget those drives. FWIW got out of the move MIL from Portland nursing home to Seattle area nursing home when SIL got transferred again not quite 3 years later … MIL passed away before SIL got the new nursing home selected.

  24. Oh, to anyone making a move soon that want’s to splurge on the white-glove full-service move option: I’ve moved twice with the help of a company called Joyce Van Lines, and they did what they were supposed to each time. (Once to California, once from California.) At the time it cost me on the order of $8000, including packing, loading, and unloading.

    Made things *far* easier than with my brothers’ self-moves in the army (in which our family usually ends up taking an impromptu cross-country vacation to manhandle 13000 lbs of stuff into and out of his houses.)

  25. The longest move we did, Denver to Sacramento, had one point which I like to call “Don’t Forget to Check the Weather Report.”

    My husband would NOT get out of the car at Donner Pass to take a picture of me in the snow in my shorts, darn it. September 19th, Talk Like a Pirate Day.

  26. Reads like Outer Limits or Twilight Zone episode 🙂 If you are on a foggy road one night and see a U-Haul truck coming toward s you looking to find a place to donate old furniture to, you have a taken a turn into.,….The Twilight Zone.

  27. As far as having a company move you, that can also be a nightmare.

    Son was transferred from rural South Dakota to Sparks NN with his wife and 3 kids. His company paid big money for movers to move them. The time of moving came but the company had not been able to get his replacement hired and the plant he was going to be COO of in NV had not started construction yet. So they decided that mom and the 2 girls would go to Sparks because school was starting and the movers said it would be a year before they could reschedule. Dad and the oldest son would stay and work on getting his replacement.

    It took 3 MONTHS for the movers to get their furniture from SD to NV. So mom and girls had no clothes, no furniture or any personal items for quite a while.

    The moving company ended up buying them new clothes after a month. After 2 months they got some furniture. And finally 3 months later their own stuff. The menfolk joined up about 2 weeks after the stuff came. He told me later that he might have been able to get there a little sooner but he was afraid. He said that it was preferable to let her tell at him over the phone.

  28. Sounds like a fun time and that’s a shame about the furniture as well… Hopefully everything else goes smoothly from here on out, though, with no ghost U-Hauls!

  29. Okay, I have to add my U-haul tale of woe. Mid-December in the Northwest, and I was moving about six miles from newly-sold house to a rental property. Rented a small(?) truck, got it loaded, drove it the back way over rural hilly roads because it was the shortest route, got it unloaded. I had noticed the automatic transmission felt a bit off, so I decided to take the longer but flatter route back, five miles out to the freeway, down one exit, and then six miles to the house.

    I was slowing down for my exit when a car pulled up on my left and shouted “Smoke!” and pointed under the truck. So I took the exit and pulled into the back lot of the gas-station/convenience store right there. Climbed down, looked under the truck. No smoke at that point, but liquid was dripping steadily into a widening puddle on the asphalt.

    I called the U-haul people and said “Something is leaking under the truck I rented. I need you to come and check it out.” Woman says, “What is it?” I said, “I have no idea.” Woman says, “Can you stick a finger in it and see what color it is?” I replied with just a bit of irritation in my voice, “There is no way I am crawling under your truck to see what color the puddle is. It is in shadow and it is a big dark puddle and you need to send someone out here NOW.”

    It took about 1 1/2 hours (they were 15 miles down the freeway) for a guy to arrive with a tow-truck to haul the U-haul, and me, back to the lot. By that time it was getting dark. They gave me another truck to finish my move with, and did not charge me for the extra day when I pointed out I would have been able to complete my move on schedule if their truck had not broken down, and I had been severely inconvenienced as a result of THEIR faulty equipment.

    When I returned the second truck the next day, I learned that the first one had had some maintenance work done a couple days earlier, and the mechanic had neglected to secure the transmission fluid hose back wherever it belonged. The loose-hanging hose had gotten sliced by something, and the fluid dripping on a hot manifold was the cause of the smoke. I was very lucky there was no actual fire and that the motorist had caught my attention and alerted me.

    Oh, and the reason the woman wanted to know what color the puddle was? Because if it was oil, the repair would have been charged to me. Said so in the contract. Maintaining an adequate oil level was the truck renter’s responsibility.

    That was my third strike against U-haul. I despise that company. 😉

  30. (rolls eyes) Particle board and such crap! but destroy WOOD? I despair. Oh well, they won’t be able to give our furniture away. All wood. Heavy. large. Some of it back to 1780 and still in use.

  31. Sigh… we sold our house of 35+ years last year into the frothy market of Flu-Fleeing Folks…. the downsizing was epic, but still insufficient. My modest 6,000 (more or less) volume library accumulated over 60+ years had already been downsized to about 3,000, but SWMBO decreed even that too much and I downsized to about 1,000 or so (but, of course still have another 2000 on a combination of Kindle and PDFs viewable on most any device). Still in storage as there is no room in the Florida condo….

    The most depressing part was what makes me relate to Sarah’s tale: you simply can’t give antique furniture away. Apparently known as “brown goods” it is completely out of fashion. We managed to give away most of what we wanted to get rid of to friends and folks who’d helped us clean out, but there were still some serious antiques (including stuff brought round the horn from Europe during the Gold Rush, complete with provenance), but no sale.

    1. My sister and BIL have a huge house full of antique furniture from *4 different sources from his side of the family (not much survived our side between the Oregon Trail and fire) all because none of his siblings wanted any of it. Think of fighting over the inheritance in reverse “You take it”, “I don’t want it, You take it.” This includes at least 3 large dinning sets. They have 6, full sets of China … Luckily their house has lots of storage. BIL is a bit of a collector …

      * Maternal, Paternal, and 2 step parents.

  32. I feel your pain, on the good wood furniture… But take heart, we rescued a gorgeous antique buffet last weekend at the auction for $25. It’s in nice shape, the mirror is intact, and only one door pull seems to be missing. We should be able to make a suitable replacement.

  33. That story makes my heart hurt.
    Fortunately, our local thrift store is run by Mennonites, and they know good furniture when they see it.
    Which means you won’t find crap falling apart at the joints being offered in the store.

  34. This isn’t furniture, but it feels like it…

    My dad passed away two years ago. My sister and I are the only heirs, and we’ve been doing a LOT of estate clean-out. I mean a LOT…he was born in 1937, and his dad, and his dad etc all farmed there. Saved EVERYTHING. Plus, the estate is around 445 acres, and has (counts in head…) about 12 outbuildings, some of which are ~100 years old. One is an old inn that dates to the late 1800s. All of these are going to have to come down before they fall down, and we need the space they sit on. The inn is a special case; it was used for grain and equipment storage, and has deteriorated because it received no maintenance. It will break my heart to finish bringing it down, because my dad was born in that building. It has the most ornate woodwork covered up by grain dust, cow spit, and poison ivy. Three stories! There is a tiny spiral staircase that goes up to the attic. If you go up there (without dying – it’s gotten really unsafe to be in the past 20 years), you can see that the roof trusses are hand-hewn (with a draw knife) oak, held together with wooden pegs. There is another building – a three-room shack, essentially – that I spent the first year of my life in, after my folks got married, while their current house was being built in 1965. It’s partly fallen down. I took a piece of wood from the door, and put one of my dad’s childhood pictures on it, with a mule shoe (he used to plow the fields with a mule and plow as a boy), a hand-forged door handle (by his dad), and a piece of nylon bailer twine (he ALWAYS had bailer twine in his pocket to tie things with on the farm). Most of the other outbuildings have hardware (hinges, hasps, nails even) that his dad hand-forged. We will of course get most of that off and save it.

    My intent (you know what they say about intentions, though) is to deconstruct these buildings and reuse/sell the wood and the tin. Some of it is really gone – some of the walls have rotted, some of the floors are totally gone, etc. Since I’m not retired yet and currently live/work 280 miles away, I’m going to have to hire some local labor. I’ve been in touch with folks on my local gun board and have some lines. Some folks would be happy to just torch the lot and have vacant ground, but I grew up working this farm, and I can’t do it. I just can’t. Most of that wood is heart pine or oak, and you just don’t find that kind of wood these days. I look at those buildings and the volume of memories they bring welling up is incredible. We can’t fix them all – heck, we probably can’t fix any of them and have them be good and safe and secure – but I’ll be danged if I’ll just toss it all out. It’s my, and my sister’s, heritage. A lot of the wood is directly reusable if planed. Shoot, there’s MORE UNUSED wood stored under/in some of these buildings! Might be an internet store in my future – come here for wood. Of course, covered storage is not free either – that will be a prerequisite.

    1. Shows like Home Town, and Ben’s workshop, constantly are going to locations where recovered wood is being stored. Not to mention the wood they have stored because whatever project they took on required the removal but the project itself did not lend to reusing it on that project. Not the only show seen it with. To watch these people … Candy Store time!!!

    2. I wish I had saved some 2x4s from the house my mother grew up in; they were actually two inches by four inches. Then again, the house her father grew up in, parts of which were a hundred plus years old, had two by fours that were two stories!

      1. Those must be some long sticks 🙂

        My folks house, built in 1965, is a small brick house. Bricks came from the old brick works (no longer there) in Columbia, SC. The wood for the house was all cut on the property and milled locally. Except for the bathroom (sheet rock) and living room (paneling), all the rooms have walls of tongue-and-groove knotty pine. I was in college before I found out that wooden walls were not the norm…

        My mother’s parents’ house is similar, except there are no visible grooves between the wood. That house is far enough gone (and is small enough) that it needs to be torn down, but we’ll save some of that wood and re-use it. Though it will be almost a hazmat issue, what with likely asbestos in the vinyl flooring, and the mold in the kitchen wood (my mother rented that house to some truly awful renters – I will not speak to them).

        1. My house, built in 1930 and redone in at least the ’60s and the ’80s, has knotty pine tongue-and-groove walls and ceilings of unknown vintage. I hate it and can’t wait to rip it down and replace with drywall. All the boards have shrunk, so the grooves are very visible, all the knots in the ceiling boards have fallen out, and no matter that the boards are very dry, the oils still penetrate and stain through several layers of white paint that I’ve put up.

      2. That’s called “balloon framing”. It was the first version of framing a house with 2x4s instead of timbers, and was possible because very long sticks were easy to come by. Floors were “hung” off ledger boards nailed across the multi-story walls.

        The problem, discovered later, was that it was very easy for fire to travel up the voids to upper floors and the roof. The switch to “platform framing” (frame up one floor’s worth of walls with 2x4s, build a floor on top, frame up another floor’s worth of walls on that, etc.) not only reduced the need for very long 2x stock but also improved fire resistance.

    3. Consider something like putting out an ad to allow people to salvage the wood themselves, for them taking the liability and you’ll charge $200 a pickup load.

      Look out for the predators that’ll offer to take it down for a mere $500 a building and they’ll “dispose” of the wood for you.

    4. Oooh, D reminded me– see if there’s a “reclaimed wood” place in your area, they might buy the buildings from you, and do the take-down.

      1. I haven’t found anything local but possible demo offers, because we are so rural…but like I said, I’ve gotten some leads from the local gun board because there are a lot of like-minded individuals there.

        Who knows – there might be an internet storefront in my future 🙂 Either way, I’ll NOT let it be wasted.

  35. I might invent an uncle they never had, so that I can say he’s still driving from town to town in Colorado, with the back of the U-haul full of furniture no one will take.

    It’d be the (conveniently undocumented, and unfalsifiable) 39-year-old Dream Uncle, probably named for your (or Dan’s) grandfather, and on foggy, moonless (or is it full-moon) nights, when the veil is thin, you can see that orange-striped truck and hear the (n+1) heavy pieces shudder and shift as it comes ’round the bend on the mountain road…

    (To calculate n, add (Current Year – 2021) to the number of indispensable pieces you actually remember.)

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