Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Toppling Dominoes

I finally see the dawn arriving
I see beyond the road I'm driving
Far away and left behind, left behind

Oh, the sun is shining
And I'm on that road

Don't look back
A new day is breaking
It's been so long since I felt this way
I don't mind where I get taken
The road is calling, today is the day

—Don't Look Back, Tom Scholz
The dominoes are falling.

The first was yesterday, when a nice lady driving a large truck dropped a 20-foot shipping container on our driveway.

Dropped is the wrong word, considering how gently and quietly she set it down. "You're awesome!" I said with sincere admiration. She seemed taken aback by the compliment. "Thanks, hon!"

Then, off she rolled, leaving me to circle the container in all its actual and figurative enormity. It took me a minute to figure out how to open the doors. Turns out it wasn't because I was doing it wrong—it was because the latches were like the hinges on an ancient crypt. Squealing, corroded, and barely functional. Life at sea takes a toll, I guess.

After some effort the doors swung open, and I was surprised by the cavernous interior. "This thing will hold a lot," I thought (probably incorrectly). This assumes we can overcome the fact that the floor of the container is nearly five feet off the ground. It may seem like there are several obvious solutions for lifting heavy objects to that height, but so far we're stuck on an electric "stair-climbing dolly" and a 14-foot ramp.
Day 2

The electric dolly—specifically recommended by an equipment rental company for loading a shipping container—was useless. It weighed a metric ton and didn't extend high enough to reach the floor of the container.
"The old-fashioned way"

We used it the old-fashioned way to load three heavy pieces and then set it aside for the day.

The non-electric ramp, on the other hand, was simple and humble and effective. At 14 feet it created a steep climb into the container, but that just meant we got a better workout.
Day 3

So many trips up and down stairs. Carrying so many heavy things. The ramp, while indispensable, mocked us with its indifferent steepness. 

Sidebar: what kind of people allow their home to be overrun with so many things they don't need? Clothes, shoes, furniture, electronics, outdoor gear, cookware...

Us—we're those kind of people. So embarrassing.

Also, dust. Dear god, the dust.
Day 4

Woke up with a very stiff neck. Decided to take a couple naproxen and go back to bed for a couple hours.

Hahaha! "Go back to bed for a couple hours." Good one. All kinds of time for THAT today. 

Rolled out at 5:30 a.m., walked and fed the dogs, put some peanuts out for the crows, brewed up a quadruple espresso, drank it while on coyote patrol with the hens. Came back in, cleaned the cat box, took out trash and recyclables. Cleaned up last night's dishes, heated up some leftovers for breakfast, cleaned up breakfast dishes.
It actually does hold a lot.

Wrested open container doors, noted there was room for more stuff. Too much room. The thing about a seagoing container, we feared, is that waves would toss our belongings from one end of the space to the other. We eyeballed every unfilled cranny and obsessively stuffed it with stuff (some of which hadn't seen the light of day for years).

Late in the day, we suffered our first furniture fatality. An ornately carved wooden bar stool that had survived multiple moves fell from the container to the driveway below. 

Okay, it didn't just fall, it was bumped by someone. Okay, it was me. I bumped it. The sound it made on impact will stay with me forever. You can't un-hear something like that. I am grateful, though, that it was the bar stool making that sound and not one of us.
Day 5

The container is full. 

It now holds much of the chaos that casually overtook our home for the past several months.

The house is still a disaster...but it's a much less cluttered disaster. That stands to be a key selling point when the time comes to put it on the market. "Lots of space for your own clutter once the current owners clear out all their junk!"

In a couple hours the nice lady will be back to retrieve our container and deliver it to Tacoma. On Saturday it'll be loaded on a big boat and set sail for Hilo. Ten days after that I'll fly over to meet it and repeat the process in reverse. Because learning from mistakes is not something we do.


dpc said...

So cool that you are doing this. I thought it was just a bluff, idle talk against the PNW winters. Guess not!
You and I managed to hang with elite trail runners on those Wed nights. Barely.
Good memories. Health and happiness to you.

spaceneedl said...

Thanks, Doug. It's been a pleasure sharing miles with you over the past few years. I hope you'll come visit us for more of the same. Lots of scenic running to be done here! Cheers, friend!