Thursday, November 5, 2009


Friday has come and gone and still more boxes need to be packed and moved. The list of “to-do’s” far out weighs the big black check marks indicating things completed. You want to do it all but time says, “Sorry we’re only giving out twenty-four hours today.”
On Friday my sisters, my brother-in-law and my twin nephews all showed up to help lift and tote. We accomplished the major tasks of getting the big furniture out of my mother’s house and into the new apartment. We still have forgotten laundry, hidden toiletries and Emmy’s ever-disappearing homework to collect and then there’s the unpacking. Every new box, cut open and untethered of its plastic bonds seems to explode like fireworks throughout each room. It’s truly amazing how a one cubic foot box when opened can form a ten cubic foot pile of stuff I barely recognize and now have to find a place to store until we have to pack it up again for the next move. All of this detritus and I still can’t find the can-opener or the toilet plunger. What possessed me to pack the lamps in one box but put the harps in an unmarked container with Barry Manilow CD’s we’ll never listen too is something I’m still trying to understand. The whole process can get so out of hand.
We had explained over and over again to my mom that we had finally found our own place but every time we showed up at her backdoor for an additional load of bits and pieces she continued to ask where we were going and what we were doing. The questions became so persistent that we finally packed her into the backseat of the ford escort between the wicker laundry basket and the box marked 2007 tax receipts and took her over to the new pile of debris we are going to call home. After prying her out of the car we let her crawl up the first flight of stairs the rest of us following behind our arms filled with wrinkled clothes. Having broken her ankle on three separate occasions had now fused her foot at a permanent ninety degree angle to her leg making going up and down stairs very difficult but comical, one hand on the railing the other on a stair tread, the good leg bent and the bad foot sticking straight out hitting two steps below the good one pushing her butt out to a level with her head. This bug-like crawl got her up to the main floor. It was clearly too soon for a real tour but her constant queries of “what are you doing with all of this stuff” left us no choice. We pushed and twisted her through the maze of boxes and mom immediately honored us with her verbal blessing, “What the heck, this is a real mess”. I didn’t have time for any additional insults so we rushed her through the living room and deposited her on the deck, the one place not stacked sky high with boxes. We felt there wasn’t much she could get into out there except for the adjoining storage closet, the deck railing was too high for her to climb over or fall off of. We let her stay out there with Buddy while we went about looking for the missing can opener and plunger. When we finally managed to clear enough space on the sofa for her to sit we brought her back in and deposited her down while we continued on our merry moving way. About thirty minutes went by before mom became too antsy to sit anymore. She began voicing her fears she hadn’t locked the doors at her house and worried the mice might get in which was my signal it was time to take her back. I got her coat on and started calling for Buddy to ride along.
“Come on Buddy, let’s go,” but no Buddy. I called up to Emmy, but no Buddy. Rick jumped in and now all of us were going around shouting out, “Buddy!” Buddy seemed to always be under foot and when we got no response we all began to worry.
Let’s step back.
Clue one – disoriented octogenarian with the ability to get lost on a six foot by ten foot balcony.
Clue two – a co-dependant dog in constant need of being the center of attention always at the heels of my mom hoping for a handout or fallout of uneaten or unwanted food.
Clue three – a balcony with a storage closet.
Where there’s smoke there’s fire. I guess mom thought the closet was a room fit for a dog. She opened the closet door when we weren’t around and stashed the dog inside thinking she had just let him into another room. There he was crouched in the corner of his lightless prison. Even a dog can show anger.

Moving not only affects the human element but it wares on the domestic animal kingdom as well. It's tough to dig up all your old bones, sort out the ones not worth moving and then to have to make sure no human drops a box on you, steps on your tail or locks you in a closet. It can be rough being a dog.

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