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If only my stuff could move itself

POSTED: November 16, 2008 5:00 a.m.

I've moved a few times in my life and quite frankly, I despise it.

I used to travel lightly. One time, I moved from one apartment complex to another one next door. I loaded everything on a twin bed with wheels and just pushed it from one parking lot to the next.

That may rank as the easiest move I ever made.

There was a time in my life when the lure of pizza and hanging out with some friends was enough to get me to help someone move. I was ambitious. I once carried a recliner up three flights of stairs at an apartment complex in Athens, only to find I was at the wrong apartment.

My favorite move was 20 years ago when we came to Gainesville. We went to church on the Sunday before we were to move and the preacher asked what he could do to help us. I told him we were moving in the next Saturday and needed some help.

Sure enough, at 8 a.m., a bunch of cars came rolling in the driveway and a crowd of folks armed with strong backs and a sackful of biscuits came in. That truck was unloaded in about 20 minutes. Many of those folks are still friends of mine today, and it all stemmed from a real act of kindness.

We're going to have to move again. It won't be until December or January, but I'm already getting a little nervous.

I'm not going to do it myself and there is no amount of pizza or biscuits that would bring out any of my contemporaries to help.

Things have changed in 20 years; I'm not quite as strong or agile as I used to be. I've got that furniture disease. My chest has fallen down to my drawers.

For this move, we will hire someone to do the heavy lifting. I've given thought to buying a lawn chair and just sitting outside offering directions to the movers.

Then, I remind myself that we will be moving in the dead of winter and the lawn chair loses its appeal.

My biggest concern between now and then is ridding myself of stuff. If there was a National Association of Stuff, I could be the president for life. I have lots of stuff.

My wife and I married five years ago. I have my stuff, she has her stuff and together we have accumulated our stuff.
On top of that, I have a great portion of my parent's stuff. When my mother died, I couldn't decide what to do with their stuff, so I moved it into my garage.

Mama had lots of little doo-dads. She had little figurines and tea cups and the like. I wanted to get rid of them, but I'd live in constant fear that I would see them on an episode of "Antiques Roadshow" valued at a jillion dollars.

I've also got to sort through the contents of "the drawer." It's the drawer that most everyone has. It has everything from a cheap pair of pliers to a part for a vacuum cleaner that we quit using years ago. It's the drawer of misfit stuff.

I'll move that one myself. Don't tell my wife, but I've already picked out a place for one in the new house.

Harris Blackwood is community editor of The Times. His columns appear Sundays and only in the print edition on Wednesdays.



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