For the next few weeks, we’ll be observing an anniversary: 10 years since we left San Francisco and moved to Ann Arbor. I’ll repost articles Frank and I wrote at that time for our Ann Arbor blog, aSquared. Bittersweet, very definitely they will be, bittersweet.
‘[It’s aSquared’s First Birthday … we’re celebrating by looking back at events from a year ago … skip these retro posts if you’re not into sentimentality.]
‘Moving Day. Yegods. Whatta day that was. Exhausting. Near tears. Panic attacks. Loading that big truck. My last night in San Francisco. Facing the wrenching goodbye where Bayley and I had to say goodbye to David after nine years of him putting up with us. Makes me all tired just remembering it. This entry is surprisingly upbeat for me. I hid all the anxiety and exhaustion and frustration pretty well …
‘Moving day came and went … at the time, it seemed as if it would never end. But, all in all, it was a pretty good day.
‘The 15-foot Budget rental truck was ready as promised. After we came back home, a couple of workers from the Two Irish Guys moving firm showed up five minutes early to load the truck. They were smooth, professional and pleasant and it was a very trouble-free experience. They didn’t even complain when they had to move the couch down five flights of stairs because it wouldn’t fit in the elevator. I tipped them nicely and so, if anyone is looking for someone to load/move things for you, I highly recommend them You can usually find a listing for them on Craig’s List.
‘After the truck was loaded, we hit the road, David driving the Jeep behind me. Two unnerving incidents when two people cut in front of me, leaving slamming on the brakes and hoping the thing would stop in time. But fortunately, nothing happened … I haven’t had a wreck in 22 years and I’m certainly not about to notch one up now, especially not on my final full day in San Francisco.
‘Once in Oakland, Frank called me to say that the rental trailer for the cross-country phase had been delivered. Promised between 9 a.m. and noon, it actually arrived around 1:30. But ValueMoves handled things well and have been a pleasure to do business with … so far. We’ll see what happens when we unload it in Ann Arbor.
‘Then the fun began. I feel as if I’ve climbed, oh, what’s the third-highest mountain in the world? And now I’m on the summit … the trailer, from Yellow Lines, is loaded successfully. Now comes the second-highest summit (isn’t that K-2?), which is the road trip, although that will be easier and much more fun. The highest is unloading our stuff in Ann Arbor and distributing it among three floors of townhouse. Ouch.
‘Yet, from the summit of having all of my things loaded for the move, things feel pretty good. I’m very tired, very achy, very exhausted and … not quite as emotional as I usually am. Which is a bit strange. Towards the end of the seemingly endless loading-of-the-trailer, I did have a panic/anxiety attack. Primarily, this was due to a couple of contradictory factors: Seeing the end in sight for having things loaded, yet seeing more stuff that still needed to be loaded. Strange, I know.
‘I inherited, somewhat, the packing gene from my father, who was always a whiz at it. I managed to get all of our stuff into a space 8X9X9. Unfortunately, it was supposed to be 8X9X6, so we’re going to encounter some additional charges. This was not good and an additional source of anxiety.
‘Between us, Frank and I have over 100 boxes of … stuff. Books. CDs. DVDs. Glassware. More books. Stereo and home theatre equipment, including a 46-inch TV. Couch. Dining room table. Four chairs. Another TV. And so on. While regretting that I had to go over the space limit, I am sorta proud of the packing job. But we’ll revisit that issue the morning of Aug. 23rd, and see how I did.
‘The loading took from 2 p.m. until just after 8. Long, grinding hours, punctuated by playing pookie and ball with Rudy Doogle and Gracie Punkin. We’ll miss them terribly.
‘We then went to dinner at Crogan’s in Montclair one last time (best onion rings, ever) and I said final goodbyes to George and Deb, who were gracious enough to come over to the restaurant to give goodbye hugs.
‘After we dropped the Budget truck off, David left me in the Castro to get some prescription refills made. I forgot to bring my script for Xanax, so I’ll have to get it filled later. The Castro, on my final visit, was a bit different. I almost never go there at night, and things were kinda hopping. Gone was its daytime persona of tourista/errands/medical doctors/pharmacy/bookstores and greeting and dining with friends. In its place is the night life, which is decidedly … different. Different crowd, more intense, very interesting.
‘Joel and Scott were then gracious enough to pick me up and drive me home (I sent David on ahead to check in on the beagle, who had been alone for about 10 hours, and in the dark, at this point). And we had a nice final chat and goodbye hugs.
‘Followed by laundry and final packing for the road warrior part and here we are, approaching 4 a.m. and I’ll have about three hours sleep. So it’s off to bed I go, in my sleeping bag on the floor. My last sleep in San Francisco.
‘It’s been a wild, strange seven years, it certainly has.
‘Tomorrow night, we’ll be coming to you from good ol’ Tonopah, NV, which I still haven’t figured out how to pronounce yet. I’ll ask the good people at the Hi Desert Inn to set me straight. But we’re very excited to visit Yosemite on the way. YNP is grand, glorious and wonderful. I love the Sierra.
‘In the meantime, everyone take care. I’m getting some shuteye; I have another mountain (or two or 30) to climb tomorrow.
‘Good night, y’all.
‘—Posted by Steve at 03:51 | 14-Aug-03’