Archive for March, 2013

Just Don’t Lick the Baby

March 14, 2013

So I can just hand you things?

Family and friends might say that “Jeff Spain” moves aren’t always the quickest or smoothest.  This is due various factors and reasons that are best shared over a beer most likely bought by me feeling guilt for the moving experience.

But what has been the common link between these moves has always been family and friends.  People who thankfully give of their time, effort, and sanity on the day and days leading up to the big packing event.

I knew going into this move that I wanted it to be different.  I had planned things ahead of time.  Did my best to pack ahead of time.  Got boxes and supplies ahead of time.  And broke down a lot ahead of time.

But then, as all best laid plans are, my body said, “Nay nay” and gave me a sinus infection from hell.  Oh and Mother Nature also threw in the coldest day of the season for good measure.

But family and friends came out.  From the ones who arrived early and helped load the heavy stuff, to the ones at the end who helped find a place for the random last minute items, it all got loaded in.


I have to give a major shout out to one of the Quincy RDs, Sarah.  The day I was actually leaving, she thankfully showed up.  My sinus infection had only gotten worse and, like all men, I was extremely powerful, decisive, and secure with where things stood.

And back to reality…

I was a mess.  Sarah though was a workhorse.  I remember we were standing looking at a pile of stuff that still needed to be loaded.  I turned to her, feeling defeated and like I had nothing left and said, “I don’t think it’s going to fit…”.  She laughed it off and said, “We’ll make it happen!” and took off with some little thing.  I continued to stand there literally on the verge of tears not knowing what I was going to do.  Amazingly, she didn’t come back with the item.  I handed her something else.  She then marched outside and didn’t come back with it.  I then remember, again on the verge of weeping like a damn child, asking her, “So it’s cool if I just hand you things and you find a place for them?”.  She said without hesitation, “Yep!”.  I couldn’t have appreciated that “Yep!” more.

Lo and behold, the stuff that needed to get packed all fit.  And even some things that I never thought would make it, Sarah found a way.

Everyone did an amazing job helping me out.  From the ones in the trailer playing Tetris with my items, to the folks backing the trailer around,  to the folks who showed up just to shake my hand.  I really can’t thank you all enough for that packing experience.

The Drive Begins

I show up to the office to say my final goodbyes.  Tears, hugs, bro hugs, high fives, more tears… and a CD?  A few of the staff hand me a CD saying, “Jeff, do me a favor and play the first track heading out of town”.  I finish some last minute work items, one final hug to a few people, then out to the car.

Thanks guys for the running sendoff down 18th St. to the 20th Century Fox theme.  Track 2 comes into play a little later in the blog.  But I wanted to mention this sendoff of a few grown men jumping down the street like they just won the state championship.

Driving- Day 1

Still sick.  Cornfields.  Trailer has mind of it’s own.  Gas is expensive.

Yep, that about sums it up.

Driving- Day 2

I had been texting back and forth with a good friend about passing through Pittsburgh to see him (Joe), his wife (Jennifer), and their new baby.  I told him I was pretty sick and that I didn’t want to pass this nastiness to anyone including the new addition to their family.  His response was that I should still come but…

“Don’t lick the baby”

I think the people in the car next to me could hear me laughing followed by horrendous coughing.  I agreed to stop by in the afternoon.  With some time to kill, I texted another friend, Jim, to see if he wanted to have lunch.  We made some plans and he sent me the address.

I was all like, “Today is going to be a (cough cough hack) good day”.

Little did I know, Jim worked in the heart of Pittsburgh.  And this is what I’m working with:

IMG_2165Yes, the trailer is bigger than my 4Runner.  And it’s got a mind of it’s own.  But, I thought, dagnabit, I survived driving around NYC, I can do anything!  Well anything except see behind me… or back up the whole thing… or turn easily… but I survived NYC!

It wasn’t until a few blocks before meeting him that I started thinking, “So the driving is going well.  You’re taking the turns well.  Good job.  But, um, yea, where you going to park this thing?”  Closer and closer I thought that they wouldn’t really ticket a car from out of town.  Plus, I could be moving in?  They wouldn’t want to start if off badly?  I call Jim and I think this is how it went:

Me: Jim! Hey, yea, this lunch is going to be good.  Yep.  Yep.  Well, hey, here’s a fun fact.  I’m pulling a trailer.
Jim:  Haahahahaha that’s awesome
Me: Oh, yea, I’m thinking this wasn’t the smartest ide… Holy mother of God.  Got to call you back

As soon as I said that, it was as if the parking gods had planned this all out.  A whole block of parking was open.  In Pittsburgh.  On a college campus.   I park the car and trailer.  Get out.  Start running up and down the block.  Nope, no “No Parking” signs.  No restrictions.  Heel kick!  But there is a meter.  Do I pay more?

I throw a few bucks in the machine.  Probably paid for 8 hours but got on the phone and had a good lunch with Jim.

Good luck to you Jim and Gabe as y’all deal with that med school craziness!  Good to check in!

Joe’s House

I was starting to feel better as the day went on.  I got out of Pittsburgh successfully and headed towards their part of town.

Met Joe at his office and then headed to pick up his daughter.

Now I realized that I had worked right next to a day care.  But I had never been inside it.  I quickly realized this was the first day care I had been in for a very long time.

Sensory overload.  Music, crying, singing, weeping, bells, screaming, toys, watch your step, Hi I’m Jeff, you’re looking at me funny, no running head first into the wall.   I don’t know how day cares do it.  I give them a ton of credit because the kids looked like they were having a blast.  But wow, I wanted to goto a quiet place just from being there for 10 minutes.

It was so good to see these two.  Joe is doing awesome at Shell.  Jennifer is doing great and it sounds like it might even get better for her.  But their darn kid.  Cutest kid.

Joe and Jennifer- Thank you for letting me stay the night!  Good to see you all and I will be back!

Driving- Day 3

Nothing special about this leg other than I knew I wanted to do something special crossing the NY border.  I was happy to be home but sad to leave some good people.  Kept trying to think of different cool things I could do.  Do I stop and take a picture?  Nope.  Hadn’t shaved in a few days.  Hmmm…  So I came up with this:

What you’re hearing is the first two tracks on the CD the student’s made me.  Although I kept hitting the wrong button at the start!  Thanks again guys for the CD!

I ended up making it to Troy safe and sound.  Thanks to the people who helped move me into my new apartment!  It’s good to be back in Troy!!

Thanks for reading…