Thursday, September 29, 2016

Packing It In

            In order to save money to build our new house, we decided to consolidate our junk stuff.  When we almost sold our Florida house we shipped everything up to Michigan, but our apartment was already full, so we rented three (we have a lot of stuff) storage units. They are all climate controlled, which means they cost us $200 per month – each! Our goal was to move stuff around so we could fit it all into two units, saving us, as I calculate it, about $200 per month.

            We had a lot of talent on our consolidation team. Kim has a natural spatial sense. When I attempt to move leftover soup from the pot into a refrigerator dish, I always choose the wrong size. (I have learned to always use the largest size I can find.) Kim guesses right every time, which makes me think she is not guessing. Kim lets me pack the car for trips, but only after she has given me detailed instructions at breakfast. She is a natural at packing efficiently, and she is careful not to scrape, scratch or drop things when moving them about (unlike the professionals, aka Dumb and Dumber, who unpacked the moving van when it arrived here).

            Kim’s son, Scott, owns a company called Pak-Rite. It specializes, believe it or not, in packing things right. He is an expert at devising ways to load all kinds of stuff, from auto glass to sculpture to medical robots to airplane steering assemblies, into secure and efficiently spaced packages. Scott also lifts weights, so he has no trouble lifting our heaviest boxes and furniture.

            The third member of our team was me. I’m a retired English teacher.

            I enjoyed watching Scott and Kim work together. They each have respect for each other’s talents, and they also have respect for each other’s tendency to take charge in situations like this. Kim backed off and let Scott take the lead, and he was great, though I did see Kim slip in and do a little rearranging after Scott placed some things. I didn’t see all of the interplay between them because I was carrying empty cardboard boxes to the recycling bin, as well as rolling a bulky office chair to the car because it disrupted the system of boxes and tables that Kim and Scott were developing.

            The operation was a success. Everything pretty much fit. We gave Scott some wicker porch furniture because we thought he might want it, and he accepted it because it didn’t fit into the storage units. Scott was happy because he helped his mom. Kim was happy because we were done, and at 8 p.m. she could go home and start to rest from her radiation therapy. She was also happy because two storage units of junk stuff does not sound like as much as three storage units of junk stuff. Both of them were happy because they had solved a complex solid geometry problem – and not the easy way using a computer. And I was happy because we saved $200 per month – money that we will be spending soon – and I was happy to have such a stepson and such a wife.


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