In the summer of 2010 I celebrated the 1st of July in the tradition of Montrealers by moving. That year estimated 91,000 people in Quebec took part in the tradition. Pure madness erupts in the middle of the Jazz festival, where moving trucks can be rented for only 1/4 of a day (with at least a $100/hr late return fee). Boxes are rarer than hen’s teeth, and movers can safely charge two legs and a left ear.
The waste is piled high at every corner, and the garbage gets picked up by the wind and blown out of the crow-shredded bag that once held it. Some corners hold gems (until it rains) — nice tables, decent upholstery, occasionally good chairs or bureaus; things that were forgotten or wouldn’t fit in the truck. Others hold splintered wood, rusted metal, and sodden masses that were once mattresses.
My camera remained firmly packed during the move — I only thought to take it out once, and then put it back before I could snap a single shot. I didn’t want to snap a pic mostly because I was too stressed and too busy; but also because, as much as I’d now love pictures of the event — at the time I just wanted it all to end.
We moved boxes daily from Saturday, June 27th through June 31st; some days with the help of a few friends and an extra car–other days alone. We filled two rooms with boxes & odds and sods; and this is after much culling of books (297 of 707), VHS tapes (dupes), DVDs (dupes), glassware (about 1/2), cookware, furniture (an old sectional couch), and clothes (3 bags full). Each day there was something new to do. Last minute packing of things I was still using, cleaning the new place, finding something I’d already packed, …
Moving day dawned early and NHA went to get the truck at 6AM. By 645AM three friends had already arrived. The truck arrived soon after and we started moving stuff. I tried to organize things, while NHA kept an eye on the truck and its packing.
We moved everything that was left in the house in two runs of a 12-foot truck, and two runs in a bunch of cars (for the electronics, a few very breakable things, and the last minute crap you just can’t leave without).
In between the runs I was at the old place, sitting guard over 1/2 my furniture that lay on the sidewalk and the landlord’s lawn. A few friends busied themselves around me, while the rest had gone with the truck to unload it (and had not returned). At the new place, not only did my friends move washer, dryer, fridge, and stove — but they had to move an old fridge and stove out of the apartment and into the nearby garage.
When it was over, the new place was jammed with furniture and boxes. My friends were leaning up against walls or sitting in the few places available. I took the lot of them out to Chez Cora for a thank-you meal around 1:30PM. The move was done and the idea of ordering the traditional meal (beer & pizza) and trying to eat it where there was no place to sit — just wasn’t going to work. The meal was slow and the group was scattered across the restaurant; but everyone seemed happy. NHA and I could at last start to relax. One friend remained behind to help us with last minute stuff.
When we handed over the keys to the old place, we were asked to discard the barbecue sitting at the edge of the driveway. We promised to come back the next day to deal with it. We then made a final run to the eco-center with a box full of recycle.
The friends had kindly helped us set up the bed and make it up — so at least we had a place to sleep. We started slowly sorting stuff that night; just enough to make certain we could live in the place for a few days.
The next 3 days were spent sorting, moving furniture, unpacking, and cleaning. As of Monday – the kitchen is set-up and functional, the masterbedroom is functional (not quite unpacked, but good enough), as is the living room and the office computer (if not the office itself). There are curtains up on 2 of the 5 rooms, and I think we have everything we need for the rest (less 1 rod).
We did a lot of shopping (seeking a kitchen table to replace the one that died in the move); and a lot of running around for necessities (light bulbs, shower head, shower curtain, curtain stuff, cleaning stuff, groceries, …). And we have a lot more to do. But we have moved successfully again.
And with the move, I figure it’s time to start blogging for real –life updates, reviews, etc.