31:30

That’s how long it took me to walk to work this morning. The early morning air was nice and cool, if rather humid. This weekend I spent more like 30 hours moving. In the prior week I spoke with the manager of the apartments and determined that the office would be open for me to get the key at 10 a.m. on Saturday. I spent the morning taking boxes from our house and putting them into the Prius to take over there and put into the apartment at 10 a.m. sharp. However Alice told me that she had to go to covenant group at her church at 10 a.m. so I would need to take her there and then go to the apartment complex later. So, I thought I would be going to the apartment complex and moving in at 10:30. I stopped by Goodwill to drop things off but my GPS took me to a parking lot that had no Goodwill. eventually I figured out where the Goodwill was, and arrived at the apartment complex at 11. There was only one person on duty and she was out showing someone else an apartment.  What’s more, I wasn’t even the first person to be waiting for her. Two more people we’re in line ahead of me. no problem. I had already prepaid all my bills, so when she got back I would just grab the key and go. No one would mind.

At 11:30, the apartment manager said she didn’t mind at all, but she wasn’t going to give me the key until Alice and I both signed the lease.She also mentioned that she had really been expecting me to show up at 10:00 AM sharp. I gritted my teeth and told her I had been expecting that too. At that point it was clear I would have to yield to the people in the line ahead of me. I drove the car, full of belongings I’d hoped to leave in my apartment, 30 minutes back to Raleigh to pick Alice up from covenant group. At 1:00 in the afternoon, Alice and I returned and signed the document. This process was so complex that it took an hour while two more people were forced to wait for us in the lobby. At 2 o’clock we went to a nearby picnic that had started at noon. 30 minutes later the picnic ended, and we returned to our apartment at 3 o’clock to, for the first time, begin to move things in.

The next day, we had friends help us to move things into a U-Haul. There was the expected challenge of moving the big fancy desk and the couch bed that was, as I learned, not almost as old as me but in fact older than me, but it was a bit of a surprise when we realize that the bed frame that Alice had built in her room could not be removed without taking it apart again. Alice also unwisely left her purse among the objects to be packed. Soon it was locked in the cab of the U-Haul, the keys inside.  Alice drove to get a spare key from the U-Haul provider, but they didn’t have one, so she ordered AAA.

IMG_20160605_114813802_HDR
This mattress used to reside inside my couch-bed. It was manufactured in March of 1988, 7 months before I was born. We threw it out, but the couch is still good.

As we waited, two of my friends carefully organized the U-Haul such that we would be able to  get the rest of what we needed over to Cary in only one more trip. Eventually AAA arrived, and we got all of our stuff into our new place. We have a lot of stuff, as it turns out, and every room is currently so full that we can barely move around in it, let alone rearrange.

As thanks to our friends, I bought them supper at Burger Fi. I would have expected to take them somewhere fancier, but the only person who expressed an opinion asked for Burger Fi. It’s reasonably fancy.

Alice and I have a fourteen month lease, and she’s worried they’ll raise the rent on us dramatically as soon as it’s time to renew and we’ll have to flee. I hope they don’t. When I joked and told my friends that we wouldn’t ask for help again for at least another fourteen months, I was met with icy stares. I don’t blame them. If we’re going to go apartment hopping, we’ll have to give up some furniture. Plus I really don’t want to give up this walk, so I hope we can stay a while.

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