All Moved In (well, almost)

by Lorien E. Menhennett

It’s been a blur, these last couple of weeks. I’m still a little hazy (partially because I have a nasty cold and am sore all over from moving last Thursday), but things are starting to clear. And the moving boxes are slowly starting to disappear.

That apartment in Forest Park I mentioned in my previous post about needing to move out? I didn’t get that place. The landlord gave it to someone else. I was heartbroken, because I loved it – it seemed perfect and nothing else I had seen came close. But I gritted my teeth, and the next day started looking again. And a couple of days later, I found an even better place in Oak Park (a suburb next door). I paid my security deposit and first month’s lease immediately – I didn’t want anyone else getting this place – got my keys the next day and started planning my move.

From the day I got my keys, I had about a week and a half before my moving day to buy everything I needed (which was a lot, considering we only had one set of pots and pans, one knife block, etc.) and to pack everything up. I managed, just barely, literally finishing the packing process 10 minutes before I had to go pick up the U-Haul truck.

As U-Haul’s old slogan says, it was definitely an “Adventure in Moving.” (The DIY moving company apparently no longer uses this slogan … wonder why.) It was cloudy, chilly, and on-and-off rainy – yep, that’s late May in Chicago for you. It wasn’t bad moving things out of my old house; the challenge was moving things into my new apartment, which is on the third floor. (Of course I would get a third-floor apartment.) That’s a lot of stairs to climb with about a zillion boxes and random pieces of furniture. But I had good help – my little sister, my dad, and a fellow post-bac friend all lent their muscle power. I also encountered some good neighborliness (my new first floor neighbor helped us with several things), as well as some maintenance workers who were willing to move the heavy furniture (two couches and a corner hutch) for a small fee. All in all, it worked out. Well, for the most part. My “new” (from Craigslist) couch didn’t fit through my living room doorway, so I’ve had to turn my dining room (which was going to be my office/study) into the living room and vice versa. But that’s OK. I’m flexible. Or at least, learning to be.

I’m still missing a few things – my desk hasn’t arrived yet, and I still need to go buy a toaster. My dresser and wicker furniture for my balcony (yes, I have a little balcony!) are still at my old house. This is an old, OLD building, so there are probably a half-dozen outlets in the place (I’m not exaggerating), which means I need multiple power strips and extension cords, which I don’t have yet. Neither have I made a full grocery run – all I’ve got in my refrigerator are the bare essentials (which include, of course, real half-and-half for my morning coffee).

While some things are lacking, others are in excess. I’m referring to cardboard boxes here, which are still stacked throughout my apartment. I’ve put most of the kitchen together, as well as the living room and bathroom, but the bedroom and my office/study could pretty much qualify for federal disaster relief at this point. I’m working on being patient with myself, and with this process. Doing what I can, and not getting too frustrated with what I can’t.

The biggest adjustment is an emotional one, obviously: not living with another person, specifically with my spouse. It’s odd to be in my apartment, all by myself all the time (well, most of the time). I find myself calling friends and family more frequently than I used to. Thank heavens for rollover minutes.

This has been a difficult, sad transition in many ways. But it’s been a good one, too. And I know it will get easier as time goes on.