I just got home from helping some very good friends pack up their house in preparation to move to Missoula, Montana. When I showed up at about six this evening, it did not look like the home of a family preparing to move. There was still no truck, even though the U-Haul had been reserved for several weeks, and they had run out of boxes earlier, so there were piles of random things scattered all throughout the house. (It was with a sigh of relief, then, that I surreptitiously began checking kitchen cabinets and drawers to find them all empty.)
Finally, the truck arrived, along with a half-sister, her husband, and two teenage sons, intended to be the workhorses for the evening. I was a bit alarmed when one of the boys asked for "some kind of painkiller, like an ibuprofen or a Lortab" because of a torn rotator cuff, but things went just fine. The half-sister ordered us all around like a general marshaling her troops, but it soon became clear that what was really needed was a second truck of approximately the same size as the first.
Not being of a manly stature, strength, or gender, I was relegated to the more domestic role of throwing whatever miscellaneous items still sat on counters, shelves, dressers, and other flat surfaces into the nearest empty boxes. Even without my heavy lifting skills, the truck was loaded in about two hours. Unfortunately, there were still piles and piles of stuff--what will amount to an entire garage stacked full, when the last of it finally gets that far--just lying around everywhere.
I stayed for an additional three hours after the departure of the truck-loading team, and I can only guess that there were at least two more hours required to get everything into the garage in preparation for the carpet guys and the painters. Now I'm sore, cranky, and tired, and I no longer have any immediate desire to move ever again. Except as we moved through each of the rooms clearing them out, I couldn't help but imagine what my belongings would look like in the empty spaces, what color I would paint the walls, and how many day laborers I would hire from the gas station parking lot down the street to help me move in.
Because you sure as hell won't catch me moving my own furniture any time soon.