See “The Big Move”
Friday we finished packing the trailer. Amanda got the cats ready and loaded into her car (left running with the air conditioning on). I told her I needed her help get the trailer hooked up to the truck. She guided me as I backed up. I got out of the truck and started lowering the trailer onto the hitch. Lower…lower…lower…until it bottomed out on the piece of lumber on which it had been resting. I cranked it back up a few turns and put a the scissor jack from the car under the tongue and then removed the lumber. I started to lower the trailer again…lower…lower…lower. I let the hitch get to about 3 inches from the pavement and still could not remove the jack. If the front tires of the truck were still on the pavement, they were only barely there! I jacked the trailer back off the hitch, completely discouraged. I had so thoroughly crammed the front part of the trailer with our stuff that it was too front-heavy.
Defeated, I sent Amanda on her way, took care of a few last-minute things and then drove to the new house with most of our stuff left in the trailer in the driveway in Potsdam. After all, there was nowhere else to sleep but the couch, and certainly nothing to eat and no clothes to change into. On the way to the new house I did a lot of thinking. I was down. I stopped in Malone and had 3 slices of pizza from Stewart’s for “dinner.” I drank Mountain Dew for the first time in years. I listened to Barry Manilow. Yes, folks, it was bad. I had initially thought that a bigger truck might be the key and started wondering where I might rent one if I couldn’t borrow one. Then I thought if I need to rent a truck why not just rent a moving truck and transfer everything from the trailer to the truck and not have the hassle of towing a trailer? I eventually realized that unless I found someone with a dump truck, the trailer was not safe to pull. I committed to returning to Potsdam Saturday morning to unload and re-load the trailer.
I arrived at about 10:30 Saturday morning. Brady was waiting for me. Two things made the looming endeavor easier than it otherwise might have been: 1) Most of the stuff in the front of the trailer was in small boxes (Lowe’s sells boxes in Small, Medium, and Large); and 2) the trailer has a front-side door. Opening that door revealed that we could extract the boxes, which were piled on top of furniture. And so that’s what we did. We started by moving as many boxes as would fit into the back of the truck and into Brady’s car. Then we took the awkwardly-shaped stuff out of the back of the trailer where there was otherwise still a good deal of room and began removing boxes from up front and piling them in the back. After about an hour and a half of this I determined that the trailer might be more properly balanced. We hooked it up to the truck and I was right! In retrospect I think it could have been just a little lighter in the front, as I could tell my steering was affected; but we made it to Keeseville just fine. (Well, the truck and trailer were fine. Brady, however, blew a tire just outside of Champlain and we changed it in the rain. Did I mention it was raining? Yeah…it was raining.)
We unloaded most of the boxes and committed to doing the rest in the morning. Sunday (today) was supposed to be a much nicer day. And it was/is. Mom, Kelly, and Dean came over and we all made quick work of the furniture and emptied the trailer.
For 7 months we have been coming here, to the new house, to move a few things and to spend time here. But each weekend ends knowing that we must head home to Potsdam. But not this time. As I type this on a Sunday afternoon I am still somewhat in shock and denial about the fact that I am not leaving this time. This is now Home. Again. I am here and I am staying. I can go down to Camp tonight if I want to. I can go there tomorrow night too! I can see my Mom in the middle of the week instead of FaceTime or a phone call. And I will.
But Potsdam has also been my Home. My boys grew up in that house. That house has seen divorce, loneliness, hope, and much, much happiness. Many memories have been made there. But a house is just a house. Home is where your heart is, and this new house is now our Home. Moving doesn’t erase the memories. And we haven’t 100% moved yet anyhow. The house in Potsdam is still ours and will be until we completely empty it, prepare it for sale, and eventually sell it. Until then, there will be the occasional weekends spent in Potsdam maintaining the property and finishing up the packing, doing some painting, and taking care of the place.
But I’ll feel more than a little sad when I pull out of that driveway for what I know will be the last time, knowing that from now on I will only be a visitor to Potsdam. It is no longer my Home. But then I’ll smile because I know I’m heading Home. Again. This time to stay.
(As far as I know! 🙂 )