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Saturday, October 25, 2014

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In the Suburbs: The travails of putting life in a box -- packing up to move

Published 7:21 am, Sunday, June 29, 2014
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We're selling our house, and this week was moving week. I never realized how much we accumulated in the span of 14 years in one house.

The movers who took the heavy and bulky stuff are long gone, but we're still packing things that we'll transport ourselves to our new digs in north Bridgeport.

I've come to a monumental conclusion: Moving is not for senior citizens or the faint of heart.

While moving odds and ends into the new house on Monday, I sliced my finger on a sharp piece of molding and ended up waiting four hours in the Bridgeport Hospital emergency room to get six stitches.

Exhausted from the stress of our third Fairfield move, my wife took a misstep while packing up her sewing area and fell face first into an open box. I was at work, and our older daughter, who had been helping her, sent me this text: "Don't panic, mom is fine. She fell into a box, and we are at Fairfield Urgent Care. Doctor doesn't think her nose is broken, but they're doing an x-ray."

"Fine," I thought. "What's to panic about anyway? Broken noses can be fixed."

When I arrived home, my wife was covered with black-and-blue marks. She was resting and trying to forget the whole ordeal.

I suppose both of our injuries, albeit minor, were proper punishment for trying to do the move as economically as we could. Over the past two weeks, we've had tons of help and moved probably 200 boxes, enough quilting fabric to open three shops and more books than I had envisioned. I thought I'd set aside more than enough for donations, but alas, I had not.

To further cut our costs, my wife, with lots of help from friends and family, packed tons of breakables -- glassware, china and china-cabinet chotchkes -- and got the entire dining room area packed along with most of the kitchen.

And we filled a dumpster with hundreds of quilting magazines, old clothing, old furniture and boxes from our last move 14 years ago.

Despite all our planning ahead and semi-organization, when the movers arrived and starting grabbing everything in sight, we realized just how much we'd left undone. Our only saving grace was that we will have one day between getting the last of our things out and the closing to clean up all the loose ends.

Meanwhile, my wife, still black-and-blue from the box ordeal and with sore legs and back from overdoing it, worked almost until she dropped. The movers, almost oblivious to her mini-meltdown, continued with their efforts.

And then, just about five hours after they arrived, the movers were finished and pulled away at about 2:30 p.m.

Once they started unloading at our new house, we were in a maze of too much furniture and drowning in a sea of boxes. I thought we'd brought over all the quilting fabric from the old house, but we didn't. There had been more in the lower level, and it just kept coming.

Our daughter and I made a trip back late in the afternoon to grab some clothing and begin straightening up. We couldn't believe how much was still left to pack.

As I walked through the old house, I heard the echoes of voices from holidays past and other big get-togethers. There was always laughter and great conversation.

We loved that house and wished we could have stayed longer. But after so much time and so much disappointment trying to sell it, enough was enough. It's time for new people, the aromas of new foods, new laughter and new energy.

Despite how hard it was to consolidate our lives, yet again, into so many boxes, we look at this move as our first step toward a wonderful new life.

Let the games begin.

Steven Gaynes is a Fairfield writer, and his "In the Suburbs" appears each Friday. He can be reached at stevengaynes44@gmail.com.