Saturday, November 10, 2012

Recap: Home: Nov. 1, 2012

The Castleton Bridge as seen from the Hudson River.
After the bleary death march of the day before, we awoke in bucolic, misty Oneonta NY after about six hours of sleep on the first of November.

We had about 250 miles in front of us. That seemed like it would be a walk in the park. We refueled, again, and headed east.

It was strange for me to be passing through places I had only thought about previously. Schenectady, for example. That name!

We hit a series of toll roads along the way, and the scenery was breathtaking. One of the coolest was the Castleton Bridge across the Hudson River. Sitting high above the road in the big truck, the view was like flight. A once-in-a-lifetime experience.

We were now in the heart of the Berkshire Mountains. The fall colors were abundant, and the blustery blue-grey backdrop heightened the sensation.

And now the excitement was building a bit. The adrenaline was probably a big player at this point, because there's no doubting we were very tired. The stress and strain of the preparation for a move, the run-up to the move and the in-the-moment execution of it all was a beast to overcome, but the new views and the forced focus required for the big truck helped spur us on. Plus, this part of our plan was working as anticipated: we knew the goal was within proximity.

So we soldiered on. As we neared Boston, the sun even started to shine, and the traffic picked up as we motored east along the Mass Pike. We were in a city again.

Now, Boston roads were NOT laid out by civic planners. They were laid out by farmers and settlers and wanderers almost 400 years ago. There's no grid. That's tough. It's even tougher when you don't know any of the layout and you're delving into a residential section driving a giant truck and dragging a car behind.

But we made it.

I pulled up in front of the house. We were home.


The hardest part was over, but there would still be work to do that Thursday night. The first order of business was to unhook the car from the tow dolly, park it out of the way, detach the dolly and position the truck in a way to begin to unload.

At 4:30 we met the broker and took the keys. M had never been inside the house. There was a little worry there, and a lot of pressure on me to have made a good call. Fortunately she liked what she saw.

Now back to that car. It wouldn't come loose from the right front ratchet strap over the wheel. I wound up having to call Penske's roadside assistance. Within two hours they had dispatched help, and the car was freed.

We had arranged, tentatively, with some movers to show up at 5:30 and unload the truck. But that didn't pan out... they called and asked if they could show at 7 p.m. We got kind of a weird vibe from the whole thing and decided to punt entirely. Tomorrow, M would Yelp some moving services and find someone who'd turn out to be great.

But on our first night, we were on our own.

We aired out the dogs and took a walk around the new neighborhood, and met several neighbors. We'd been told Boston was sort of dog-unfriendly, but that wasn't the case where we were. The neighborhood had many friendly people, many with dogs, and was populated with charming, established homes. We even heard that Mitt Romney had a home nearby. Shout out, Mitt.

We backed the truck into the drive and had one goal: Get the futon out so we could get some sleep. The bed was too far packed to reach; we'd let the professionals handle that tomorrow.

Our apartment is the first floor of a three-story home. It's a very typical arrangement here; many, many homes are built like this. I normally like being on upper floors but for the sake of moving in, I was really glad that we were on the first floor. I could not imagine schlepping stuff up stairs beyond the five in front of the house.

We moved a few light items, then wrestled the futon out. I don't know what time we finally went to sleep, but it wasn't late. Our second floor neighbor, a nice Jamaican woman named Valerie, recommended a nearby Chinese place. We got there not long before they were to close at 9:30. They threw together a to-go order and we came home and ate. Then we decided to call it a day. We had heat and electricity and water, but for some reason I didn't turn the heat up. We instead cuddled together using dog heat and random sheets and blankets we could find. I wound up using two fitted sheets as covers.

And with that, our first night at home in Boston came to a close.

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