There’s a certain senseless joy that comes unexpectedly sometimes.  A sense that everything is ridiculously OK.  Better than OK.  Good.

Better than good – but precise words escape you.

Recently, this happened during what would have been an otherwise stressful time.

Mind you, part of the catalyst for this was planned.

Years ago, when I first moved from my parents place to an apartment for my bride and I, we didn’t deviate from the norm for youngsters who think they’re striking out on their own.  We called our friends, and someone had a truck, and between the lot of us, we moved our junk into the new place.

At that time, we didn’t have much, so it was pretty easy to do.  I remember the cardboard side table.  We didn’t have a coffee table – just this stupid wobbly table that had cardboard tabs that you stuck together.

I remember going down to Bell Canada to get a phone.  We opted for the most ostentatious piece of pretentious telephones in existence.  It was an enclosed within a wooden case.  And we so we brought it home and stuck it on the cardboard side table.  The ridiculous poor man’s placeholder.  A diamond carefully place on a platform of smelly dung.

Fortunately, the irony wasn’t lost on us, and we looked at it, sitting there in all its Miss Piggy glamour, and we laughed.

Years went by and we moved at least two more times.  Each time we prevailed on our friends, and each time they accommodated us, though with less and less fervour.  The last time was a nightmare, as a few who had promised to show up, didn’t.  Maybe the reward wasn’t all that great.  Being ultra-religious, we did not believe in The Drink.  Alcohol was Satan’s elixir, and so we eschewed it, as all Good Christians should.

Too bad.  Some of that elixir might have twisted our friends’ alcoholic arms.

When it came time to divorce, I was a pauper.  Even Gandhi would have shaken his head in horrified sympathy.  Yet, I had learned from history.  So, after weighing the options, between eating a good meal and moving, I chose to leave the steak uneaten.  Instead, the money was spent on movers.

In the midst of that agonizing time, the beauty of having someone paid to haul the junk was a pleasure that was too immoral to miss.  I watched them haul that crap up a long flight of stairs (being poor again meant that there was no elevator in my little apartment above the storefront).   I paid them gladly, and dreamt of peanut butter sandwiches.

A few years later, circumstances changed in my favour, and it came time to move to a proper apartment.  There was no question of calling on friends. I scouted around at a few grocery stores and accumulated a collection of empty boxes.  After filling them, I once again employed some movers to cart it 30 miles to my new place.

It was a wonderfully large, bright airy place.   I paid them gladly.  With thankfulness.

Sadly, the building management elected to relax some rules, and slowly some of the tenants to choose to tax the plumbing system beyond its designed capacity.  They brought in dishwashers and washing machines.  This served to suck the hot water away from my morning shower.  And then shoot it back again.  The evidence was a daily ritual of torture, where a five-minute shower turned into a 20 minute ordeal, with variations of extremely cold water trading places with scalding hot, all within 30 seconds, back and forth.  Entirely unpredictable.  Add to that the variance of the water pressure, from normal to elderly incontinent flows, and you have the seeds of madness.

Every single morning, I tried out new swear words.

Every single morning.

So, despite the beauty and spaciousness of the place (along with several impotent complaints to the uncaring superintendent), I realized it was time once again to move.

Past experience once again provoked some thought.  This time, it seemed a good idea to shoot for the least stress possible.

What would it take?

How about this?  How about – instead of trolling around town for cardboard storage boxes…..someone else was employed to do it?  And instead of just getting boxes, why not get them to also pack it all?  And hey – why not get them to move it all afterward AND unpack it?  How cool would that be?

Several months later, I can tell you, it’s *very* cool.  It fucking rocks, to be frank.

They came, they packed, they moved, they unpacked.

My stress involved watching them do it, and resisting the urge to lift a finger.

They were great.  I tipped them accordingly.

“So” you’re thinking ” this is why you’re joyful?”

That’s part of the picture, for sure.  Not all of it though.

As I was moving in, an elderly lady showed up at my open door, and timidly knocked.

“Hi – hope you don’t mind my being a nosy neighbour, but I thought i’d drop by and introduce myself.  My name is Pearl.”


Oh man.  How awesome is that?

I smiled and quickly crossed the living room.

“Pearl, I’m so glad you dropped by.  So good to meet you.”  And I shook her hand.

After a few pleasantries, the white-haired woman with the stooped shoulders shuffled slowly away.

I looked out the floor to ceiling living room windows at the trees outside, and basked in the climate controlled flow of air, and took a deep breath.

And realized that this – this was good.

  1. Carmen says:


    I just moved myself — not into a bigger place, actually a smaller cozier one and I had friends move some stuff and “professional” movers the rest – heavy items. Never have tried them packing and unpacking though — Hmmm…. now there’s a great thought! Hopefully, though I’m not moving for a while… because no matter how you slice it, I kinda hate moving in general!

    Happy new digs Wolfie!



    • wolfshades says:

      Carmen!!! So glad you stopped by!

      If I’ve instigated a thought about your next move, my job here is done. I’m thinking maybe that next time, I should get them to do it without my needing to be there. I’ll just give them to keys to both places and say “have at it.”.

      Congrats on your new place Carmen! And thanks.

      P.S. I’ve got the blinds guy to come in next week to install them all. Forgot to mention that in my post. He came in with a catalogue; I picked what I wanted, and he’s coming into install it all.

      So….sweet. :)


  2. Renee Davies says:

    It’s great that you had genuine appreciation for Pearl’s visit. Sweet. This is a lovely story. I can relate to the climb from young and poor to mature and comfortable.


    • wolfshades says:

      Too bad we didn’t have that wisdom when we were younger huh? I mean, many of us had the money but it the avoidance of stress just never occurred to us. The young are sometimes weird and stupid. :)

      As for Pearl – she’s a treasure. Left out from the story was the fact that I heard her voice long before she introduced herself. I heard her tearing the moving guys a new one – complaining about items stuck in the hall, “where someone can break their neck”. When she met me she was all sweetness and light. *grin*

      It made me smile. I like interesting people.

      Thanks for commenting, Renee!


  3. Abe's Blog says:

    Congrats on the digs! I hope Pearl doesn’t eat you.
    Have fun with your hot water. Now you can get an electric piano, right?


    • wolfshades says:

      If Pearl asks if I have some fava beans and a nice Chianti, I’m going to straight out tell I taste bad.

      The piano is still on the horizon. Got some bills to pay off first, plus a visit to my kids on the west coast. After that …man I can’t wait!


  4. I’m kinda sad that you no longer have a slightly clueless but goodhearted gay neighbor with a crush on you, but I am glad you have a lovely Pearl. :))

    I’ve moved more times than I can count. At first, I happily traveled the world with a duffel bag. Then, with a trunk and suitcase. Later, I globe trotted with a trunk and suitcase, adding a slow-moving cargo container that always arrived months after the move, via cargo ship. Opening those cargo containers always reminded me of Christmas, as I invariably forget the contents (usually books)!

    Back in the USA, we relied on church folk until they grew rather quickly tired of helping. I remember heaving boxes – a couple moves back – from U-Haul to house and back again as our new neighbor sat on a lawn chair directing the crew that quickly and efficiently unloaded and packed his family into their brand-spanking new house. I was seriously jealous but told myself that they were lazy, throwing money away, even as one of our helpful church-friends dropped a 100-year old framed family photograph and broke the (irreplaceable) glass with nothing more than a, Sorry ’bout that. By the end of the day, our brand-spanking new house had dings in the drywall and molding but we had beds to sleep in and aching backs to lie in them.

    Thankfully, our completely rested neighbors took pity on us and invited us over for a BBQ. Their house was all put together as if they’d been there for ages.

    The funny thing is, as I write about it I find myself smiling. It was hard work but we had fun. I’m glad we did it by ourselves, as hard as it was with so many small children and far too many accumulated possessions. That being said, do I want to do it again anytime soon? I do not.

    When next we move, we’ll have movers, thank you very much. :)

    I’m glad you’re happy, Wolf. Now, please go get a cat! Make it a big, fluffy calico or orange and send me lots of photos. :)


    • wolfshades says:

      I can feel the stress of the moves you went through – you write it so well. Some author somewhere has probably said he prefers to see writing where there’s blood on the page, instead of technically correct verbiage. If he hasn’t, then I’m saying it now. :)

      I do not have found memories of those horrific stressful moves, but then – there were other factors (I think you know what I’m talking about) at play, which didn’t help things at all. I remember being sweaty, and out of sorts, despite best efforts to be a calming influence. Ah well. Those days are done – and this move was as close to a “treat” as it gets. My place is roomy, and clean, and I like it.

      The bonus feature is that I’m meeting more and more neighbours and for the most part, they are amazingly friendly and actually *want* to talk. Such a switch from the place where I used to live, just last week. Oh, over the years, I got to be on a friendly sort of basis with a few people there but for the most part, it was a Big City Get-Out-Of-My-Way mentality.

      I’ll let you know (with pictures) when the Cat makes his or her first appearance. :)


      • It sounds like the perfect place for you and your soon-to-be kitty. Kitty has to be a girl, doesn’t she? I can’t imagine you with a boy kitty. Maybe that’s why I said Calico, because Calicos are girls. There’s that and the fact that I absolutely love the appearance of Calicos. They’re the prettiest of all pretty kitties, in my ever-so-humble opinion. :o)

        I’m looking forward to hearing more about your new diggs and the surrounding area. I have such a vivid picture of you at your old place, walking around the city and all that. Born, of course, from the many early conversations we had and your beautifully written descriptions.

        When I get a chance, maybe tomorrow, I’m going to write you a letter. If I’m lucky, you’ll beat me to it! :D


        • wolfshades says:

          I don’t know if I want a male or female. I like having a male kitty – generally they love to playfight – and that’s a bonus.

          Looking forward to that letter, BFG! :)


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