Misadventures in Moving


As many may know, my husband and I just moved about a month ago.  We do this quite often, as we’re pretty much gypsies at heart.  This time, the move was less than two miles.  Considering the many things that have (humorously) gone wrong, I shudder to imagine moving across the country.  I would probably be a blubbering, mumbling mess right now.  If you’d like to sit back with a bit of popcorn or your favorite movie snack, I’ll go ahead and detail the amazing, head-shaking, (sometimes) laugh-out-loud misadventures of our latest move.

Getting into the house was easy enough.  Our new landlords are attentive and thorough, and they made sure we had everything we needed well before our move date.  As the previous tenants had never mentioned any problems with the house, save for a “funny noise coming from the dryer,” they assured us that everything should go smoothly.  We helped the moving company load and unload, sent them on their way, and then set to work unpacking in our new home.  (For those who are curious, it’s a Victorian built somewhere around the turn of the century with a complete remodel inside that did nothing to threaten the history of most of the fixtures.  We love it.)

A few days passed, and we were cruising along.  Then Liam started sweating.  If you know Liam, you know he just can’t handle the summer months.  His delicate Irish constitution just doesn’t allow it.  I told him to stop being a wimp and went on about my business.  He checked the thermostat.  It was almost eighty degrees in the house.  Whoops.  Quick call to the landlords, and an hour later cool air was once again surging forth through the vents.  Liam didn’t pass out, so all was good.

The first time I did laundry, the washing machine worked just fine.  Then I moved everything to the dryer, ready to hear this “funny noise” so that we could decide if it was something we could live with.  Let me tell you; this dryer emitted a wailing, screeching, ear-splitting shriek that would make a banshee sound like she was singing a sweet lullaby.  Funny noise?  FUNNY NOISE?  We laughed so hard we cried, and then called the landlords to play the “funny noise” for them.  These beautiful people had our dryer fixed within twenty-four hours.

While all of this was happening, I was engaged in the battle to end all battles with Comcast, the cable company.  The first guy arrived the day we moved in and promptly told us he couldn’t do anything to the historic home without permission from our landlords.  Of course, because our landlords are amazing, they handed it over right away.  The second guy came out and said he couldn’t do anything to our historic home period.  Furious, I called Comcast to ask them to send someone else out, only to find that the job had been marked complete.  They took a few days to get something or someone organized and then sent a “special team” out to take a look at our hundred-plus-year-old Victorian.  The “special team” said nothing could be done.  I tried one more time while Liam was threatening to start packing again to move somewhere else.  Finally, the company managed to find one employee there who wanted to actually do his job.  Two weeks after moving in, we finally had cable and Internet installed.

We went on vacation, probably just to get away from the craziness for a few days.  We came back to 83-degree temperatures inside the house.  You got it!  The air conditioner broke again.  About this time, we’re wondering why none of these things ever happened to the tenants before us.  Was it just time for things to start breaking?  Or is it really just my luck?  My husband says yes to the latter.  I do leave a trail of destruction behind me.  I’m writing a book about that, actually.

A/C fixed and on we go, right?  Right.

Then things just get weird.  These are a few moving pains that might happen to anyone, I guess.  Maybe.  Perhaps.  Where it moves beyond the normal is when the electric company showed up and cut our power for non-payment, insisting that we owed over six hundred dollars in past bills.  I couldn’t convince the guy that we hadn’t lived here long enough to rack up six hundred dollars’ worth of electricity usage, so I had to convince the electric company instead.  Has this ever happened to anyone else?  Anyone at all?  I didn’t think so.  It has to be just me.

On the very same day, after the electricity was turned back on, the washing machine punked out right in the middle of its cycle.  At this point, I’m starting to feel really sorry for our landlords.  They’re sweet people who really want to provide us with a great house, and my bad mojo is shutting everything down left and right.  Within a few hours, they had a new washing machine and dryer purchased (they figured they might as well, since we’d already had some trouble with it) and delivered.  We waved them off, threw in some laundry, hit the start button, and nothing happened.

Since I’m the technical genius in the house (hah), I checked the breaker box and noticed that one of the switches was flipped.  Hmmmm…  Seemed I just needed to flip it back into place and we’d be in business.  Only, when I did, every light in the house went out.  Truly.  I can’t make this up.  I blew every fuse in the house, and then Liam blew his.

This brings you up to speed on our moving adventures, but I can pretty much guarantee there will be more.  I might have to make the Adventures in Moving a regular feature, even though we’ve now lived here for about six weeks.  I can happily report that I finally found the shower curtains tonight, as well as the box of The Kingdom books and iPod dock I’d been missing.  I think that might be everything broken and then fixed again, and everything lost now found.  Knock on wood.  And then again.

What are some of your most outrageous moving adventures?  Or just outrageous adventures, period?  Do you ever feel like the things happening to you just couldn’t possibly happen to other people?  Let’s hear it!

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4 thoughts on “Misadventures in Moving

  1. Here is a story of moving into the first (and only) house we’ve ever owned:

    We moved into our house on a Sunday, after a week or so of painting, cleaning, and unpacking some of the stuff we brought in our cars. The movers delivered everything else on a Sunday afternoon, and we spent the evening setting up bedroom furniture and whatnot.

    Monday morning, I could not find anything to wear. Literally. I could find shirts but no pants or skirts. My dresses were missing. Tired, stressed, and irritable, I called in for a personal day. I threw on some ratty sweats and decided to unpack enough to find my wardrobe.

    But I hate unpacking clothes, so I decided to unpack the library instead! Books are more fun than hangers. Our house has a library off of our bedroom, a former screened-in porch that is now a sunroom with tons of built-in bookshelves. So I grabbed a box of books and headed to the library.

    Which was covered in scary bugs.

    Ants with wings.

    Jesus Christ.

    I didn’t know what to do, so I called my realtor. She looked over our paperwork, and saw that the previous owners had noticed carpenter ants on the outside of the house, so they had the exterior treated right before they sold it to us. The treatment must not have worked. So she helped me arrange for an exterminator.

    Meanwhile, I was trapped in the oh-my-God,-I-can’t-believe-we’re-signing-our-life-away house with these super creepy ants swarming in our library.

    The exterminator got the ants under control, and I sweeped up the carcasses, and I was able to unpack enough clothes to wear to work for the week and set up the library. So, disaster averted, right?

    It was only a couple of weeks until my husband fell through the ceiling trying to fix our hot water heater’s pilot light.

    We are also cursed.

    1. I did leave out the ant portion of our story. We had those, too. But they’re gross, and I didn’t want to give them any press. I’m glad (in a “let’s commiserate” kind of way) that we aren’t the only ones who fought bugs!

      It’s so wrong to giggle at others’ misfortunes, but I did it anyway.

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