Real Friends Help You Move

August 12, 2007

Yesterday, with the help of an old college friend, Ted, his son Adam, and a former student of Sibylle's, John, we moved the bulk of our stuff from the apartment to the townhouse. It was a long, hot day, but one that was ultimately successful. Along the way my car was backed into by a careless driver, there were tears, laughter, simple food that was made better for sharing it and the experience around it, and a sense of accomplishment.

Moving Pianos The triumph of the say was the successful moving of two pianos. We used the first trip with the truck as a dry run, to see if I could back close enough to the front door to drop the truck's pull-out ramp onto the threshold of the townhouse. If I could then we could wheel the pianos on the furniture dolly from the truck to the living room. I was able to ease the truck back and over the curb with out disturbing the contents in the dry run so we all agreed that we would attempt the pianos on the second trip.

With Ted and John doing the majority of the lifting, and Sibylle and I guiding from the sides we were able to position the pianos onto the dolly and then maneuver the dolly up the ramp and into the truck. Once both were in place and strapped down we wedged a couple large, heavy-duty cardboard boxes in on the sides to prevent side-to-side shifting during the 7 mile journey to the townhouse. Because the truck listed its clearance as 11 feet, I avoided the lone railway underpass, which lists its height at 11 feet 4 inches. I didn't want to take a chance that either measurement was optimistic.

With only a little maneuvering I was able to line the truck up on the doorway and drop the ramp perfectly on the threshold. We were successful in moving both pianos to their new home. The rest of the move seemed, to me, to be almost anticlimactic in comparison, except to say the Tad and John were invaluable help all day and well into the night.

Look Before You Back Midway through the unloading of the first load of furniture and boxes, I happened to be coming back outside in time to see someone visiting the neighbor back his mini-van into the side of my Lexus. Fortunately he only "lightly" bumped the car, but there is still some damage to the passenger-side rear quarter panel and the bumper wrap around on that side. The bumper is plastic and seems to have retained its original shape, although it is scuffed now. There maybe some of the outer layer of paint missing as well. The body panel is also slightly marred but again appears to by finish damage only.

Since the bumper is molded plastic the same color as the car I expect it'll be several hundred dollars, perhaps a thousand, to replace it. The driver of the van was apologetic and readily allowed me to copy the information on his license and insurance card. He'd like to handle it without involving his insurance, which is fine with me as long as I am reimbursed for my bumper. I'll have to take time out this week and visit the body shop for an estimate.

Tears and Laughter Early on in the loading process, with people going in and out of the door, one of the cats, Taz, disappeared. I couldn't find her anywhere I looked. My heart stopped and I had this incredible sense of loss that nearly overwhelmed me. After several minutes of increasingly frantic searching she was located, safe and sound, inside the apartment. The sense of relief was incredible and left me in tears for a few minutes. I think the tears helped me to shed some of the anxiety and stress Sibylle and I have felt for the past several weeks as we prepared for the move. After I was done crying I felt better and more able to face the day.

When we dropped the ramp perfectly on the doorstep of the townhouse and knew we were going to get the pianos inside safely, there were smiles and laughter from all of us.

Friends Sibylle and I have been fortunate this summer in that we had the help of her friends and students when we her from Manhattan to the apartment here. And yesterday we were again fortunate to have help from one of my oldest friends, his son, and one of her former students. We absolutely could not have accomplished this move without their help. That they were cheerful, helpful, and willing the entire day was icing on an already delicious cake. That it was over 100 degrees the entire time we moved, and still past 90 degrees at 11:00 pm when we were finished for the day, puts their contribution to our lives in perspective. They are true friends, and we are indebted to them.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.