2018 OMW’s I-95 MOVING Adventures, Vol. IX
This… was a nightmare. But since I actually made it through (as did Craig), I can actually breathe, exhale and actually laugh at some of the things which took place as a result.
First of all, this was a culmination of a myriad of things that I saw coming down the pike as early as the first week of June of this year, and only my logistics experience and wise planning prevented this from becoming an out and out MESS in the end.
Back in June, I had begun looking at real estate options, so that I could get back into the game, and knew that with our townhouse lease expiring at the end of October, that I needed to begin planning what the next move would be.
I actually like my job and what I do, and had no intentions of leaving the company, so I advised my boss of what was likely going to happen in the subsequent three months (after I notified her around the first of August), so that there wouldn’t be any of the rushing and chaos that still ended up occurring in the end.
By the time I took a two week vacation at the end of August and went back to Jersey for a family gathering, I knew it was time to give my then-landlord a 60-day notice and start figuring out what we could work out. I knew I was NOT going above $2K to pay rent anymore, and said years ago when it got to that point that it was time to buy a house; even if that meant moving down south again. I am all but done with New York — the overrated morass that it has become — other than business. I’ll always love Harlem and always gonna be a Harlem cat, even if I never move back, but New York ain’t NEW YORK no more… really hasn’t been in years.
Add to the confusion was the fact that both Craig and I were both locked into ridiculous commutes, which limited social living, and the lack of anything below $2K rent-wise without remaining 25-30+ miles away from both our jobs, a very close relative having a recurrence of a previous illness — and the need for us to be closer — and the timing of it all, and it made for a dicey situation. I had to wait weeks before my company gave me the okay to relocate to Charlotte, where those who know me know I once lived — and loved it here — and that ended up being nearly two months from the point when I initially gave notice.
September goes by, nothing.
October goes by, nothing… until the 27th.
Our lease expired on the 31st.
I get the green light to relocate on November 1. I literally had to find a place in Charlotte, pack up my workstation and set it up later upon arrival in Charlotte myself, while packing a full, three story townhouse loaded with furniture and personal effects, all in three days’ time… while still having to work on November 2.
This wasn’t even the most annoying part.
Having been a broker for years, finding a place is easy, getting a deal done is easy (provided the other parties involved are on their game; or I have to put the hot poker to their asses to GET them on their game). I was able to do that in two days — though the place where I ended up moving to had an owner who treated every step of the process like a military extraction during wartime.
No, the biggest hurdle was packing, loading and hauling. And even though we were foolish enough to think that we had done enough by reserving a huge truck and a tow dolly for Craig’s car — since he was moving to another part of the state — of course, after spending Saturday arranging and packing up what we could, we show up at the rental location at 8 am thinking we would just pick up the truck and towing material and be on our way.
And then the cost jumped another $50 for them inconveniencing US. The tow dolly that we reserved and were TOLD would be on site of our reserved pickup location was in Alexandria — a good 20 miles away — and took five hours to be transported to our location in Waldorf. We then went down to get the dolly and got home around 2 pm.
We literally packed, packed, packed and packed some more, while loading the heaviest stuff as we went along. We spent the rest of the literal day packing and loading. After Sunday Night Football concluded, I checked out for an hour and a half to get a nap and go right back up at 1 am to finish what was left.
Then the rain began. Copious, monsoonal, annoying ass SHEETS OF RAIN began. Of course this slowed down everything. Not only did I end up throwing out things (ranging from clothes to furniture, to equipment and random things) that I had spent THOUSANDS on over the years, much of my stuff got soaked, requiring me to do the wash for four straight days (and counting still, as I type this). Some things were broken. Some things were lost that were intended to be loaded onto the truck. Don’t know how, but it happens every time. Some of it important stuff that I now have to buy again, as if moving isn’t costly enough — to the tune of $5,000 and counting until I am settled in HOPEFULLY by the end of this week — but then we had issues in securing the tow dolly and Craig’s car onto the back of the truck.
We had originally intended to leave around 2 am in order to avoid traffic.
We left at 6:30 am.
And it rained. Oh it rained. For most of the 250 miles of the first leg of the trip (Waldorf to Durham). The traffic was at a dead standstill from the time we left the house. It took two hours to even GET TO the Beltway. If this were not a portend of things to come, and a confirmation of things that had occurred to that point, then nothing would be.
And to confirm, yes, it was a portend of things to come even after we arrived in North Carolina.
We were bumper to bumper, barely moving from Waldorf all the way to Springfield (that’s 30 miles for those who are counting). The constant starting and stopping, and only getting an hour’s nap — you know as a strategist and a planner, my mind was racing so much that I couldn’t sleep anyway — that we both ended up pulling over at separate spots just to avoid falling asleep on the road. That lasted for about an hour, and by then, the rain was dissipating and we were on our way. The traffic wasn’t bad for the rest of the way, so there’s a silver lining for your ass.
We FINALLY get to Durham around 2:30 PM, unloaded and had to go up three flights of stairs. Of course my meniscus injury from years ago flares up after 48 hours of heavy duty, back-breaking work. My knees and feet hurt for a full three days after all this.
By 4:30 PM, we were finished, went to get food and latched up everything to finish the next leg of the trip. All this time, the owner was dragging her feet about approval, when there are the same number of red flags about me as you’ll find on Grape Street in Los Angeles.
For those who don’t get that reference: that means ABSOLUTELY NONE.
We find out at 6:30 PM that I was approved, about 30 minutes short of reaching Greensboro in order to stop by my parents’ house and they could ride down with us.
I had to pull over, docusign a plethora of documents and then find out on some Easter Egg hunt wave that I needed to scramble to get a money order in order to take care of first month’s and security, since it was after business hours. AND the truck had issues. Craig could have lost his car on the highway due to a malfunction in the tow dolly. Just unreal how fortunate we were despite all my complaining.
By 9:30 PM on Monday, 11/5, I had everything in hand, and had to race to get to the broker’s office. It only took me 45 minutes, of course. And this is from Lexington to downtownuptowndowntown Charlotte. Just my luck, I show up and she is fine as hell… and I’m soaked, looking like I just ran off from the gas station with 10 cartons of smokes and several cases of beer in hand, and can’t even TRY to say anything to her outside of getting this deal done.
We’re 90% complete by now, but still a lot of work to go. Thankfully, my parents came, or else it would have taken eight hours to unload the remainder of the truck. As it were, it still took us from about 11 PM until 1:30 PM to finish, AND I needed to check in at the office here, while Craig had to drive back to Durham, then Henderson, then back to Durham, then back to Henderson and THEN back to northern Virginia to work. I was up for another 46 of 48 hours myself during that same timeframe. It began to slow down by Thursday and by Friday, I decided to work from home, because I would be looking like a tornado hit my condo (and it still does) if I didn’t stay home all weekend.
I don’t plan on spending many weekends at home, now that I am in an area where there is something to DO again, and it doesn’t take an hour minimum to get everywhere like it did in the “DMV” (hate that term, and never use it, BTW).
I hate moving. But the owner accepted my terms to just do nine months here. Nine months of preparing everything so that I can buy a house. A new house. On the South Carolina side of the border, just across from where I am now (which is right on the line anyway). With lower prices. Lower property taxes. Easy appraisal and inspection, and fewer hurdles to cross.
And I’d be paying half of what I paid back in New York and even in suburban DC for a brand new $400K house here, versus a 1 bedroom BOX at $2K back in NYC. I am tired of renting. I hate that I passed up on the two houses that I would have had free and clear when I was 19. A homeowner. With no liens. No mortgage. No real costs. And I passed it up.
“I was young. I was naive. I was stupid.” (To Justin Piazza, notice Alex didn’t do the “sssschhh” back then like he does now?
All in all, it worked out. It was a headache, and it took a whole week to even become livable again, but the office here is quiet, accommodating, and easily got set up, so the job portion of the relocation was plug and play. It was having to uproot my whole life with three days’ notice and moving two states away that was the trouble.
Crisis averted and another growing experience as a result. I can do anything. With what I’ve endured over the past decade — and most of you have no idea, and the rest don’t even know the HALF, because I did most of it in solitude; which means you really don’t know anything about my path without my telling you. You can’t tell anything about me by just looking at my countenance. It belies my spirit and mindset. Get to know me or move along.
Another adventure in the books. Alive and sound, and $5K poorer.
For those who are truly in my circle, if you want the address in order to visit, or want to send gift cards (PLEASE LOL) in lieu of such, let me know. I obviously will not be posting that here; lest someone gets shot for showing up on my stoop unannounced.