I had what you might call a little adventure in moving from September through February. For those of you just joining us, highlights included a fraudulent contract, a murdered developer, a prolonged battle to get out of that contract and five months living with friends while it all got sorted out.
My family, drunkenly oblivious to what was obviously the first manifestation of a new family curse, is currently undertaking not one but two moves. Simultaneously!
Here’s their adventure in a nutshell: My sister’s family is moving into our childhood home. My displaced folks are downsizing to a very cool, very spacious, newish condo. All of this—namely contracts with my sister’s buyer and my folks’ seller—exploded from vague possibility to holy-shit reality in the last week. Which gives us all about six weeks to sort through 30+ years’ accumulation in a 100+-year-old house and make the move as efficient and painless as possible.
So on Friday, instead of spending the boyfriend’s birthday with him, I deadheaded to Iowa to spend two days filling two dumpsters with a generation of knickknacks, mementos, embarrassing crafts and broken dreams. And getting profoundly filthy in the process. A 100+-year-old-house is not exactly a haven of dry basements and dust-free attics, and our group sorting and throwing efforts made for some very muddy loads of laundry.
While I was there, I also squeezed in an 8-mile training run with my folks’ neighbor, who blew out his IT band in mile five and limped home while I pounded out what I hoped were three more miles in a city devoid of helpful mile markers. I also found some time to hang out with the niece and nephew, who of course contributed some adorable blogworthy stories during my visit: My niece, who tried to dress nicely for my arrival, put together a fashionable little ensemble that included silver sandals, an Aztec-y prairie skirt and what in her mind needed to be a very plain white shirt. Unfortunately, the plainest shirt she could find had two delicate bows sewn into the neck seams. After much consideration, she decided she could get away with wearing the shirt because “Uncle Jake probably won’t notice.” AS IF. And I got to watch my gangly little nephew, whose nascent athletic prowess is slowly eclipsing what little his Uncle Jake has, play in his flag football season closer on Saturday. My brother-in-law and I spent most of the game discussing everything but flag football, but the one time we looked up, my little nephew—who at the moment had been rotated in as a quarterback—decided to forgo that whole passing-the-ball thing that quarterbacks usually do and he actually made a touchdown. And then everyone in the whole league—even the losers who never made any quarterback touchdowns—got trophies. In lieu of a trophy, Uncle Jake got a farmer burn that is making all the farmers he encounters in Chicago shammelessly swoon.
Now I’m home and tired and everything I wore in Iowa—including my shoes—is being boiled in the washing machine. And I get to go back in four weeks for Round II!