Tuesday, April 28, 2009

the empty nest

scooter moved out. i guess he's entitled. he's nearly 22 years old. and it's probably admirable that he wants to be on his own. moved into an apartment about twenty minutes from home.

in the month since he made this decision he's been accumulating things. a couch he found on craigslist. a dining table and chairs he bought at hon's favorite antique store. (not that he paid an antique type price, it was really a pretty good buy.) boxes and bags of things he bought at walmart and target. dishes. coffee maker. toaster. towels. kitchen utensils. then he found a nearly new entertainment center at the local goodwill thrift store. he was set to go. nearly a month before the apartment was available.

scooter's moved out before. into the dorms at college. that was easy to take. it wasn't far away. and even though he was away from home, it wasn't like he'd gone out on his own. he was still a college student. coming home for a meal. coming home to do laundry. and he was still legally a dependant.

this time it's different. likely this is the permanent deal. he's gone for good. hon and i must accept the fact that we're done with kids. they're all gone. likely. and now we have to learn to talk to just each other again. and entertain each other again. that could be tough. but we'll manage.

and based on what i read and what those we know seem to be expecting, scooter's departure is supposed to leave us depressed. maybe a little. not so much for hon. she's already claimed scooter's room for her crafting room. and he's been gone just a few days and she's already moved in and stocked up. she was anxious for that. yeah, she's had her moments. but overall i think we're doing just fine with him leaving. sad, but acceptable.

the physical part of the move? well, that's an entirely different matter.

scooter goes about things differently than i would. in fact, differently than most would. he's known for a month now that saturday was his move in date. on thursday i asked if he'd reserved the y'all haul truck yet. "no, i'll do that today." fortunately, they weren't all booked. then i asked if he'd confirmed with his buddies that they were gonna help him move. "i'll do that this afternoon." thursday nite he told me only one of his friends was able to help. great. third floor apartment with me and him and one other guy. i envisioned myself getting really tired and really sore and really hurting afterward.

we picked up the truck at 10. with his mom's coaxing, he'd gotten almost all of his stuff, like the furniture he'd been accumulating, out in the garage. we simply backed up the truck and the two of us loaded it up rather easily. only heavy or bulky things were his couch, his bed, the entertainment center thing he'd bought, and his tv. not so bad.

scooter's not 25, so he can't rent a vehicle. so i had to handle the responsibility and the driving. don't mind that. i've driven lots of big,heavy things, so a small truck doesn't bother me. we drove over to the complex. i found a place close to the door (the apartments are set in hallways (they call them breezeways, but i was hard pressed to feel any breeze in there.), so we parked near the outside door. then up the twisting stairs to the third floor.

we carried small stuff first. boxes. bags. pillows. then we had to consider two things. the cable fella was due to arrive any minute, and he'd need the tv; and, the tv needed something to sit on. we needed to get to the heavier stuff.

and right about then we were forced to consider yet one more thing. his one friend, the one that WAS gonna show up, hadn't. and he's sent scooter a text message saying he was about to get off work and would be over as soon as he went home, showered and changed. not so encouraging news.

so, undaunted, we off-loaded the entertainment center from the truck. not so heavy, but bulky. cumbersome. one of those particle board/laminate things like you'd buy from walmart. looks good, but not real substantial. flimsy, in fact, when it's not stable on a floor. but we got it off the truck and onto the dollie. have i told you about dollie yet? well, you know dollie. she's sometimes called a hand truck. sure helpful in moving heavy stuff. unless you have to carry it upstairs.

and, if the stairs aren't too narrow and don't have twists and turns.

in this case, we had both. and while that thing was light, remember i mentioned it was cumbersome? it's probably four feet tall and 6 feet wide. and the four feet tall is about all those stairs would accommodate. but in the other direction. so we finally ended up taking it off miss dollie and turned it on end and just carried up from the half-landing between floors one and two. that done - time for the tv.

that's a totally different issue. the tv isn't particularly large. and it certainly isn't flimsy. but it is cumbersome. and it's just the right size to be too big and heavy for one person and too small, not bulky enough really for two people. particularly when you're stair climbing. but we managed.

now we needed to place the tv into the new entertainment center. this is something we just assumed would be easy. there's a big opening for the tv, and small openings for things like dvd players, gaming platforms, dvd storage, cable boxes. all that rot. in this case, however, as we cautiously wrestled the tv into the big opening that's designed to accommodate the tv, well, it wouldn't fit. as maxwell smart would say, "missed it by that much".

thinking this through, we reasoned that we could pull off a facia plate off the top of the tv square area and then it would maybe fit. then i got a great idea. let's walk around behind the unit, tv in arms, and slide that puppy in from the back side where we wouldn't have that trim piece. and that almost worked. it was a tight fit, but top to bottom, vertically, that is, the tv barely fit.

but did you ever notice that tv's, especially the pre-widescreen tv's, are larger in the front than they are in the back? this one sure was. now we've solved the vertical fit matter, but we're about an eighth of an inch shy of having the tv clear side-to-side.

fortunately, as i mentioned previously, the unit was somewhat flimsy. with a little brute force, we were able to sort of "warp" the vertical piece just enough to get the tv started. then with aid of a quasi shoe horn we somehow managed to force the tv in. and then we moved the entertainment center back in place. actually, it looked like the tv and unit were made for one another. another successful case of jerry-rigging.

now back to the move. we continued. in with the dining room table. the one he'd bought at the antique store on sale for thirty five dollars. complete with three chairs. really a good buy. then we brought up the rest of the items. mostly soft, light stuff that doubled as packing around the breakable things.

and now we're down to mister couch.

mister couch isn't terribly heavy. it's not a hide-a-bed or anything. but it's in excess of seven feet. i'm pretty certain it's gonna be real hard to make the turns at the between floor landings. and i'm completely certain that i really don't want to be on the hauling end of this thing. so i do what any manly-man, any father helping a son, would do. i stalled. and finally it was blatantly obvious that we needed to act. so i suggested to scooter that we haul up the couch cushions.

and just as we topped the stairs with them his friend called him to tell him he'd arrived. groovy. we raced downstairs to great this guy. and i was sure happy to see him. a big, strapping, football player type guy. probably weighs 250. and obviously strong. he got on the business end of that couch with scooter on the lead end, and i think he carried both the couch and scooter up the stairs with ease. mission accomplished. whew.

so it wasn't bad. until sunday morning when i tried to get up. my legs felt like they'd been run thru a shredder. nails driven into them during the night. i was walking pretty much like frankenstein does in the movies. stiff legged. awkward. and monday was no better. climbing three flights of stairs eighty-three trips is not a chore for the weak at heart. nor the weak at calf. and mine are still mooing.


  1. Dumb question which I probably don't wanna know the answer to but... If the Entertainment Center was new, why was it already assembled when you knew you'd be moving? Those things don't do well in moves (personal experience) and if it was already assembled, why wasn't it already known that putting the TV in place would be an issue? Just asking. ;)

  2. ahh, good question. new to scooter. not totally new. already assembled, but with a bit of near hidden damage on the rear of the left panel. and it said it would accomodate a 27 inch tv. only now do i realize that 27 inch tv's can have lots of different overall measurements.