"I’ve moved Kat…"
For better or worse, I did most of the actual physical labor. During the past week, I am the one who boxed up most of her books, most of the kitchen, and most of her clothes. Kat came down with a fever on Friday morning, so I loaded up the moving van with boxes while she took a nap (she felt incredibly guilty about that, but shouldn’t. When you’re not feeling well, trying to lift heavy boxes will only make you worse). I loaded as much of the furniture as possible, only asking Kat’s help when absolutely necessary.
Once we got to the apartment, we started unloading, lugging the furniture (including the washer) up 15 steps. 15 steps times about 30 or 40 round-trips will give you quite a workout. We got a few of the heavy items up there together before reinforcements arrived (see below), but I was probably on one end or the other of most of the heavy lifting.
Over the next day and a half, I disassembled her bed, cleaned out her bedroom, shuttled boxes and bags to her apartment, cleaned out her food pantry, and there’s still more to go. While I was doing that, Kat and J were arranging furniture and unpacking boxes. Even after they had sat down on the sofa and snuggled under the blankets, I was moving.
Can I just say how much my forearms, shoulders, and calves ache?
"…into her new apartment,..."
Kat’s name is on the lease, but it really is her and J’s apartment. As we were moving the furniture, she referred to “J’s dresser”, and it’s pretty clear that it’s only a matter of weeks, if not days, before he spends the night there (sleeping, as far as it’s any of my business). When (and it really is a matter of “when” and not “if”) they get married, this will probably be where they first live.
Kat’s probably-future mother-in-law and brother-in-law (call them S and G) arrived unexpectedly as we were unloading the truck (I don’t think J even knew they were coming), and while Kat worked with S to unpack, G, J and I unloaded all the rest of the furniture and boxes. In what was a well-intentioned but probably immature effort, I worked as hard as possible to make sure that I carried as much or more as either of them on a given trip, and tried to make twice as many trips up and down the stairs. They were here to see her, not to have to lug boxes. Once the truck was empty, and after I caught my breath, I tried to make myself scarce. To be honest, I felt a little awkward being there with her boyfriend and her “family.”
It’s a really nice place, I’m very happy for her, and I was more than happy to help her, but if I come over, it’s as an invited guest, not as a come-by-anytime friend. After the moving is done and she is settled in, I don't presume that I'll be more than a once-a-month visit, and maybe not even that. This is her home, her fresh start, and as much as I would like to think differently, there’s no place for me there.
"…more or less."
As much as I’ve moved, there’s still a lot to go. We made two trips with the moving van, and if the kitchen, garage, attic, and bedroom closets had been boxed up, we probably could have made two more. There’s a lot of loose stuff, and the usual papers, knick-knacks and detritus which tends to get moved from place to place but never really gets unpacked or put away. I would conservatively estimate that it will be another month before most of Kat’s belongings are out of the house (some stuff like the piano or large plants won’t get moved until I sell the house and move out myself, and I think there may always be a few odds and ends that never quite make it over there).
At the same time, I’ve got to start making it livable for me. Some of that involved unpacking boxes of her grandmother’s old kitchen (which Kat is graciously letting me use; I really am thankful to her for that, otherwise I’d be living on cold cereal and soup), moving some of my furniture from my bedroom into the living room, rearranging and reorganizing the garage, and establishing a certain level of comfort. As long as some of Kat’s stuff is still here, I’ll have to work around it. That’s not a bad thing, but I’ll still be the caretaker of her property, and I have to remember that.
On top of all of that, I’ve got to get the house ready for sale. Painting nearly all of the walls, some of the ceilings, and the exterior trim, cleaning everything to within an inch of its life (and I still may have to replace the carpets), and anything else the Realtor suggests to increase my chances of getting a nibble. I can’t think about that today, but starting next weekend, I’ve got to hunker down and spend some time every day working to flip this house.
I had to take Friday off in order to help Kat move, and no good deed goes unpunished. As I post this, I am at the office on a Sunday afternoon, missing the Colts game in order to take of stuff I normally would have done two days ago. No rest for the weary.