Thursday, June 3, 2010

moving day

I am in the wrong frame of mind this evening. I want to throw my husband and son into their respective beds and tuck their covers in REAL GOOD and shut their doors. And enjoy some peace n quiet.

But no. My husband is listening to Screamin' Jay Hawkins singing "Constipation Blues" and "I Put A Spell On You," and somehow this makes me feel as though I live with a teenager. My kid is in the tub complaining about having to wash his hair, and there's a pile of laundry in the basement. And honestly, I wish everyone would just hush up and go to bed. I'm a little more serious, and a little more tired out, than I want to be. Came home early after the Big Move, footsore and sweaty, and would best have taken a nap after my shower, if I'd been smart. Instead I had a beer and a tuna sandwich, yum. But now it's time for "Alligator Wine," and I find I am just not in the mood.

We moved 126 years worth of church history out of the church building today, into three semi-trailers, with the help of professional movers. My job was to, you know, do my job -- answer the phone, stay in constant touch with the elevator tech (since the elevator broke down every half-dozen trips), break up fights between our volunteers and the volunteers hanging around on behalf of the church about to buy our building; catch up on correspondance with our utility companies and service providers, carry a load of boxes to my temporary office, answer a couple hundred incidental questions, retrieve lost keys, try to keep folks calm, etc.... Sitting on a step-stool, with my computer on a tupperware bin, mousing on my pantleg and grabbing the phone from time to time. Yeah baby!

I didn't do much of the heavy lifting, but was as tired and sweaty as could be by 3pm. Part of the fun had to do with our arrangements with the building's buyers -- sort of a you-scratch-my-back, I give yours a chemical peel and a massage and a chiropractic adjustment-type of relationship. At baseline it seemed simple: they allow our food shelf and two of our building users to stay in the space three extra weeks, and in exchange, we allow them to hold two weekend events in the next two weeks, in the sanctuary; even though we haven't yet closed on the sale. Seemed simple that is until they ripped out the altarpiece and tried to sell it to a local antiques dealer. And then chased our movers around the building today with a hired cleaning crew, telling the movers to hurry up and get out of their way because they are trying to prep the building for Sunday. They are painting, cleaning carpets and shoving our furniture into the hallways even as we're carrying the church records out the door. They dropped a dumpster behind the building this morning, and had our dumpster moved half way into the alley, where the neighbors immediately spotted it and raised a cry of protest. And on, and on.

And the move required twice the personnel and a fourth again the time anticipated, so with the extra attention from the elevator guy, I expect us to come in over budget on this effort. Dammit.

And now I'm just exhausted. So are a number of other people. And as my pastor and I watched the last semi-truck turn the corner and drive away, I almost felt I could cry. And a second later, I wondered how much it would cost to have the movers dispose of it all -- every last box and stick of furniture. In a month, when we close on our new building, we bring it all back and try to sort it all out -- 126 years worth of church history dropped into a forty-year-old elementary school building. 15,000 square feet of church stuff, which might fill the gymnasium in the 52,000 square foot school.

The future.

After a bath and a snack, my boy is finally asleep. His father is quietly watching the news and I will have one more drink before turning in myself. Another day tomorrow, of food shelf and temporary office set-up and phone guys coming and kindergarten graduation and an art opening that I have to attend. Sounds like FUN, huh? And parts of it undoubtedly will be, as well as tearful and stressful and wonderful.

The future.

1 comment:

Danny said...

Jennifer,
It's good to hear your version of how it went with the movers. Too bad to hear of the elevator troubles and with volunteers.
Hope you are feeling rested after last night!
Dan