Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Unexpected moves

Sunday afternoon, I was traveling down the peaceful ribbon of highway, returning from a festive breakfast with friends at Ketchum’s Kneadery, when suddenly I spied a super-long moving van, parked on the wrong side of the road. “Gee, I wonder what kind of operation is happening there,” I said to myself.

My first instinct was to stop off to see if they might need any help, since as of late, I had been having some lean workdays, in this land of feast or famine. However, since I had vast plans to cleanse my house in preparation for Angel’s climbing down to help me with my new spring – to – godliness - credo, I did not follow first instinct.

I had barely switched on the ceremonious cleansing music, when Wiley called to invite me to get in on a chance for the moving and shaking action, precisely where the curious van was. In medium haste, I appeared, parking the reliable Tacoma, in a secret pullout, adjacent to the canal way, near Buttercup. From there, I moseyed over to introduce myself to my new work teammates, Jim & Bob –a couple of hardy looking fellows, hoisting large washers and dryers out of their big rig.

As they pointed out the remaining possessions, we sized up that it would be 3 to 4 hours -at most. We borrowed Wiley’s rig to portage the household goods on the muddy driveway between the behemoth van and the mid-valley house. It was slow going, but I found the pace acceptable. Turns out the Jim & Bob hail from a Pennsylvania region, not far from my folks. We talked about bugling elk and about how Pennsylvanian hunters sometimes drive out here, eager for a big chance. I tried to point out the nearby snowy pinnacle, below where elk often range rich, but the elusive mountains kept misting in above 10,000 feet.

Two months ago, their Pennsylvania groundhog had predicted another six weeks of winter. However, now it was so cold and blustery that the old March ‘going out like a lamb’ cliché had turned into an April Fools joke. Meanwhile, Bob received an excited call from his niece, who had just opened her new cell phone as a birthday present and decided to make him the first call of her eighth year. At least we found this to be warming.

Mid-way through our move, I made the usual crack about juggling pianos, to which they fessed up about having a grand one aboard. - A $40,000 baby, which we hoisted onto a dilapidated hundred-dollar trailer for transport. With four alert spotters, crouched for any irregularity, we gently cantered the piano over ‘warshboards’ to the grand house. As we tilted the swayback trailer down, we suddenly realized that it wanted to buck off the hitch, but we were able to slide the piano gingerly down onto its riding board, like a Sunday miracle.

After we shuffled the piano about to help it discover its new harmonic spot, we keyed in on some lively conversations with the returning homeowners. The dry canal though their backyard sage would soon be filled as a lifeline for the Cottonwood and its spring birds. We imagined ourselves basking in their company to enjoy the birdlife tweetering around a backyard barbeque in the upcoming warmth.

We allied without any ‘oops’ to pull some larger pieces over the indoor railing, then returned for our last load. There I found that the hitch-pin had come off the trailer, so we really were lucky that nothing had gone amiss, to make the piano shoot up off its grand board. Twilight soon approached and I realized that my vast plan of cleansing my house would have to wait, as this energetic move had consumed the full afternoon.

I stumbled home with sore muscles, but paradoxically was too stimulated from the move, to be able to drift off to an easy sleep. When Angel arrived the next morning to assist me in my own ceremonious cleansing project, I was thankful that she did not fly right off again, skittish from seeing the obvious frazzledness manifest, in my disheveled appearance from having forced my body into too much short-notice overdrive.

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