All the right moves

OK, maybe it’s payback.I moved so often in my 20s that my friends began to write my address in pencil. And those were the same friends I always recruited to help me move. They were, no doubt, thoroughly weary of it by the time I settled down.

As of this week, I have had the madness of helping my daughter move three times in the past four years, and the last move was just a year ago. To my great joy, this move really seems like the jackpot.

She is out of apartment complexes (AKA claustrophic rabbit warrens), on the ground floor in a granny flat in a wonderfully nice and quiet neighborhood. You can hear birds chirp. People pick up after their pets. Even her landlord is a wonderfully nice and considerate fellow. Mom is tickled.

At 26, she is out of the loud-party stage, as is her fiancé, so a little peace and quiet was what they were looking for. The fact that he works nights would be reason enough. But in their last two apartments, they were cheek by jowl with their neighbors, sharing paper-thin walls that let them share every nuance of each other’s existence. This included all the midnight screamfests, beer blasts and bumpin’ tunes they could stand.

It might make great fodder for a novel about foolish youth, but unless you are a social worker by nature, having to put up with round-the-clock dysfunction really wears thin after about 10 minutes.

Sadly, I have just gotten my moving skills sharpened.

I am the queen of box finders and, of course, I always have access to newspaper for wrapping. I have graduated from scrounging bug-filled, bottomless banana boxes to knowing just where to find endless supplies of un-squashed cartons. I’m somewhat hesitant to reveal my secrets for fear the source will dry up, but I will just share two words. Wine boxes.

I know how to rent a truck, online and how to hire two-hour movers to help. I know how to load a car for maximum space usage and that you can always squeeze one more thing in if you just move that a little bit this way. It’s a gift.

What I am getting worse at is lifting anything weighing more than five pounds, which is just annoying. Back in the day, I schlepped everything myself, which is probably why I cannot now. Yet I have no regrets. When I wanted this to be over there, by darn, it got moved. I am learning to direct from the sidelines now.

Moving your child may have the same perks as having grandchildren. There was great joy in knowing that once I put those boxes down, they were someone else’s to unpack. I had to get on home for a nap.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer who relishes knowing her baby is safely tucked in. Contact her at




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