Notes from the Nest
The storm clouds were gathering just off in the southern distance. Bright flashes of lightening lit up the dusky sky and the smell of rain was in the air, as Ellie and I hastily worked to strap in the last load of her possessions to the pickup truck she’d borrowed for the day from her brother Benny. Perhaps it was the impending storm, the late hour or the fact that this was our third load of the day that left our sensibilities somewhat lacking with a kind of skewed sense of determination and fortitude to pack it all in, avoiding another trip.
This is precisely why after tightening the final strap to secure our rather unwieldy, bloated bundle of goods, we looked to a certain degree like the ‘Hilly Billy Clampetts’ on their way to Beverly Hills. What particularly sealed the deal was the white plastic chaise lounge lashed to the top of the pile, facing in reverse, resting just over the height of the cab, giving the sense of a fairly spectacular seating arrangement.
We never actually saw the rebellious recliner take flight on route, instead with the aid of mirrors we watched with a sense of awe and wonder as our now aeronautical, wayward armchair came in for quite an abrupt landing. shattering into a million little pieces on the backroad we’d thankfully chosen to get to our destination. The good news was that the actual piece of lawn chair we’d strapped down remained firmly fastened.
This notable thrill ride occurred on move number seven for our daughter Ellie, out of the nine moves she’s made, in the quarter century she’s been alive. For Randy and I, the parents of three children, who’ve combined a total of 18 moves amongst them, this has meant an extraordinary amount of lifting, lugging, loading and lurching. We hit the number 18 milestone this past Labour Day weekend, when we drove to Windsor, to help our son Curtis and his bride Sarah move into their new home.
For the DIY types, which makes up 3/4 of all movers, companies like U-Haul are very popular. U-Haul was started by husband and wife Leonard and Anna Shoen, in 1945, after they were unable to secure a trailer to rent, to move their possessions from LA to Oregon. By 1949 most cities in the US had U-Hauls and by 1955 in Canada.
Apparently, the average person moves 11 times in their lifetimes. We’ve always believed Ellie was above average. One third of people in their twenties, move in a given year and 45 per cent of these moves occur between the end of May and Labour day, a fact Randy and I and most parents can strongly concur with. Which is exactly why, as we pass other parents negotiating the highways in big, bright, orange trucks, we always throw out a wave and knowing smile, that says, “Yes. We feel your pain!”