Sunday, June 14, 2009

across the way

First, Nancy definitely gets the most seriously funny/embarrassing award for the last set of comments. Wow, getting stuck in your cupboard with your Great Pyrenees beats my story any day of the week! However did you get out of that cupboard? (Oh wait, are you still partially stuck in there?!-- I worried I was never getting out of that dress, believe me.)

Now, packing continues over here, and the most interesting part are the professor's packing activities and observations. This is our 4th move in 11 years of marriage. It's different because we've lived in this house for a longer period than any other house (hence, more stuff accumulated) and because we're moving to another country this time. You can't believe the amount of bureaucracy involved in crossing a border. EVERYTHING has paperwork attached to it.

Every box in the household must have its contents listed, valued, and numbered as we pack so it's declared part of our household and no duty is incurred as we cross the border and go through customs. Both dogs need to have their rabies certification paperwork. (no problem there.) Both cars have to have a special letter from the car company (GM and Ford) indicating there are no outstanding recalls on this automobile. Everything is like this. The "things to do" list goes on...and on. (I'll try not to bore you with that.)

Each night I worry I haven't packed enough boxes that day. I'm averaging 5-10 boxes right now...and it's 27 days until we move. (I'm probably ok, right?!) The professor reassures me that, if anything, I'm more efficient about this now than we used to be. He thinks we have something like 200 or more boxes worth. I get rid of a lot...and the professor packs all his earthly possessions...yesterday, I think he packed 30 long sleeve shirts. (30!) --Stuff reassures him, so he has a lot of it. I have more fiber and yarn than I care to admit.... to anyone.

Anyway, as I pack, I've been watching the neighborhood. It's a quiet time of year. Most of the students are away. However, there was interesting activity across the street. You may remember, if you're a longtime blog reader, my stories in 2006 about the crack house? Well, that house was bought by a concerned neighbor in late 2004 or 2005. He's been renovating it, off and on, ever since. It looks great now, it's been rebuilt from the foundation up, and aside from occasional construction noise, it's been wonderful to live across from this house! It's still empty, but looking very good now. Maybe soon a family will move in.

So, I look out the window last week as I'm packing boxes. I hear noise and see they are tearing off the old gutters. The next day, the gutter repair folks come.

If you live near an Amish or Old Order Mennonite community, you recognize immediately from these people's clothes that it's either an Amish or Mennonite run business. I suspect it's Amish, since the countryside near us has several Amish communities. In fact, one of our Friday night dinner guests wondered if it was "Mr. Shrock's company" as he knows that family does gutter repair! (small city, right?!) Although these religious communities stick to old traditions, they use trucks and other modern things in their business lives.

I was careful not to take any focused photos of their faces--that's considered very bad manners in their religious tradition--to shoot photos of someone's face. However, you can just about see here that one of young men is talking on a cell phone. He's either doing business or he's in that period of an Amish teenager's life called Rumspringa. (literally, "running around")

Anyhow, it's amazing what you can see from one's second story window! After they left, I realized how much I've observed without leaving home here. It's certainly run the gamut from crack house to Amish gutter repair!

Any weird observations from your windows to report? How many boxes did you pack for your last move? Weigh in! Let me know...and Andrea, yes, I too have done drunk packing. It's not generally a good plan for me. Don't drink and pack! For this move, I'm sticking to pie!

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Blogger Willow said...

Oh, I remember the packing lists!

Well, when we moved (the six of us) back to the US from Indonesia we sold everything except our books and what would fit in our suitcases. We chose to fly business class so we were able to take 3 cases: total of 18 bags.

We shipped 53 boxes of books! The local post office saw me come in and said, "Oh you're the woman with all the book boxes!"

Now we two, The Professor and I, need a 24 foot truck to move.

Hang in there, Joanne, you're doing great!

Oh about what I see through my windows. Not so much now, but when I lived in South Los Angeles, I saw thefts, drug deals, drive by shootings...

June 14, 2009 at 8:30 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

It was 7 years ago this August that my husband emigrated with me from Holland to Canada (my home country). We had tons of furniture and even Belgium beer to bring back and just loaded it onto a huge crate. It came across the ocean after we arrived. My Siamese cat has flown several times to and from Holland also. We have even considered moving back to Europe!

June 15, 2009 at 10:26 AM  
Blogger Geek Knitter said...

Life outside my windows looks pretty dull during the school year, but things should get more interesting soon with school being out this week.

My favorite from last summer was the neighbor boy 'hiding' behind a tree which couldn't have been more than three inches around... too cute!

June 15, 2009 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger PghCathy said...

Oh my...your question about window observations brings back a memory! And not necessarily a good one. When I lived in my last house, our neighbor had an 8 ft privacy fence. But what everyone forgot is that while we couldn't see into his yard when we were on the first floor of the house, we could see down into it when we were on our
2nd floor. One day I was in my son's room & glanced out the window. Who would have guessed that my neighbor liked to sun the nude?? OH MY GOODNESS!! All I could think of was: Don't look Ethel!! (Those of you who remember Ray Steven's The Streak will recognize that.)

It was a long time before I could bring myself to look at him when I talked to him. I knew much more than I wanted to!

I much prefer my window view bunnies, groundhogs, beautiful birds, deer & an occasional black snake.

I've put a lot of my moving experiences out of my head, but this last move I had 15 boxes of books. Nothing like Willow, but it was more than the movers were hoping for!

June 15, 2009 at 2:58 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Chuckle....somtimes I think I'm still stuck in that corner cabinet! Nilla, the Great Pyr, was so amazed that she got up first, after licking my ear! Thank goodness! Too bad there wasn't a camera handy for my husband to have taken a picture!

Growing up, the second story bedrooms of the house next door faced our bedrooms, so all kinds of shenanigans were witnessed by all!

June 16, 2009 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger MaƂgorzata said...

The farthest we moved was 70 km within the same province. We did not have much possessions or furniture, but we did have a 7 mo old baby. Nothing significant since then - you ladies here sure are veterans!

June 16, 2009 at 6:52 PM  

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