This Side Up

1 Sep

It’s been almost 2 weeks since my last post. It feels like 2 years. Since then I got married (more on that later), moved my house into a truck, rode 15 hours with new husband + cat, then moved everything into a 1 bedroom apt in South Florida. Happy honeymoon!

Because of the marriage referenced above, people started calling me Mrs. DIFFERENT LAST NAME. They text it, they write it on cards; my own father called me my first morning as a married woman and I thought to myself does he think he’s calling my mother-in-law? All you married ladies who changed your name: you feel me.

I haven’t legally changed my name yet, just on Facebook. It’s my baby step into stranger-in-a-strange land: Kara, the Florida years.

Back to moving: the one thing I can actually remember from the past week and a half. All of you know what a punch in the face moving is: I will not bore you with this news. What I might be able to offer insight into is the jarring reality of hauling mattresses and other unwieldy items coupled with 15 hours of interstate  immediately following your wedding.

Things got off to a rocky start when my husband sliced into his hand with a pocket knife while trying to open packing supplies (at this point we had loaded one thing onto the truck). He is normally quite skilled with said knife, so this was starting off to be one of those days.

Husband (calmly): Kara?

Me (upstairs boxing up the bedroom): Yes?

Husband (still calmly): I think we need to ….(muffled by music playing)

Me (heading to top of stairs): We need to what?

Husband (calmness slowly dissipating): Go to the emergency room. I cut my hand. I think it’s really bad.

Me (frantically runs downstairs to find husband’s arm/hand covered in blood): Oh, you are not kidding.

In the mad dash out of the house, we didn’t notice the something went terribly wrong at this residence trail of blood left outside and on the door of my house. My brave friend later cleaned this up when she went over to help with packing while we waited for three hours in the emergency room for my husband to get stitched up; don’t worry, he’s projected to heal up nicely.

Think about how helpful it is to have two full-functioning hands when moving. Now picture me with my one-good-handed-husband trying to load furniture onto a truck, already at a 3-hour defecit. It was disheartening to say the least but we took it one box/table/bookshelf at a time. Thank goodness Aaron once conceived of a Lady Gaga Halloween costume for me; as a result, we had a GIANT roll of bubble wrap.

Finally during the desperate last hours, we called more friends in (who called more friends in) and we got the house packed and truck loaded. We got by with a little help from our friends.

The last thing we packed was Ramona, the brave cat. She was already stirred up from being banished to a room after too many sneaking outside to snack on plants escapades while the door was propped open. Even after we released her from her carrier into the cab, we heard long periods of meow, meow, meow, meow, meooooooooooooooow,  MEEEEE OOOOOOWWWWW!

Translation: Why ON EARTH are we moving into a truck?

Eventually she settled in and made herself right at home in a southern North Carolina hotel room that night. The rest of the trip she seemed to trust us, but occasionally she sought refuge beneath the seat during the heavy downpour we drove through. Ramona says safety first:

Here is Aaron driving our Budget truck: he drove the entire trip (my hero!). Please note the bandage covering his moving day wound.

After getting a few winks at the Super 8, we were on the road ALL DAY Friday. I wanted to get excited once we crossed the Florida line, but it’s like running a marathon and celebrating at mile 14. Despite the long haul, we were in fairly good spirits: we were newlyweds after all.

We arrived at our new apartment around midnight. We agreed to unload the truck in the morning and sleep on the sofa bed; we were reveling in how we’d made it through the week still speaking to each other. Still smiling, even.

And then after days of exhaustion, we got into a fight over toilet paper.

I climbed into the precariously packed truck to get towels and sheets (not fast enough for my I just hit the wall husband though). Once I realized the toilet paper was still in the truck, I wanted to go back for that too. He disagreed. I headed out for the truck. He followed me (aka his princess wife who’d like some TP) and jumped in to find it. Because he was better at everything than me.

I felt like he was making me look stupid.

He was convinced I was purposely getting in his way.

I was upset to spend our first night here under such duress.

He was tired.

I took a bath (because we couldn’t find the shower curtain) and afterward we discussed our first real fight. We blamed sleep-deprivation, made peace, and promptly fell asleep on the sofa bed he had moved in before the wedding.

The next morning starting at 8:30 we began unloading the truck with the help of Aaron’s very French colleague and fellow termite researcher (thank heavens for him!). After two hours of sweating, grunting, and stairs, our living room looked like this:

It was too much for Ramona so she covered her eyes:

I was suffocating a bit from the chaos so I cleared a tiny bit of living space:

The rest of the apartment felt like this:

And it looked like this:

At this moment my new husband returned from the grocery store (he was getting us lunch). He asked me to come outside and re-enter the apartment with him. He handed me a dozen roses and lilies and a bottle of wine (and he doesn’t even drink). He looked at me and said  “Kara, this is our first real day in our new home.” I got tears in my eyes and this is what I now look at when I walk into the living room:

After pausing briefly to acknowledge the moment, we celebrated our 1 week anniversary by taking a 4-hour nap on the sofa bed. It was perfect.

Later that night after rearranging furniture and unpacking essentials like the coffee maker (and the coffee), we assembled the bed and slept on our wedding gifted, 500-thread count, Egyptian cotton sheets. Movin’ on up, indeed.


7 Responses to “This Side Up”

  1. Joe September 2, 2010 at 12:41 am #

    First off…Congratulations!! Other than the whole slicing-of-the-hand-with-a-pocketknife incident, glad your made it though the move relatively unscathed. Best wishes on your new married, relocated life – and your new last name!!

  2. Dan September 2, 2010 at 1:25 am #

    Congrats, Kara! What a harrowing journey–I’m glad you and Aaron made it safely and mostly soundly. I walked past your old classroom today and thought to myself, “I wonder if Kara’s in”. . . and of course you weren’t 😦

  3. Lee September 2, 2010 at 1:26 am #

    This post makes me miss you even more. Love the pictures of Ramona. Keep writing – reading this was seriously the highlight of my day…my teacher workday…ugh.

  4. Catherine September 2, 2010 at 2:10 am #

    What a great story! (and post!) I filled up a little at the end, gasped at the knife wound, and empathized with the first married fight. So you hit basically every possible emotion. Nicely done.

    I’m thrilled for you and Aaron! You’re going to be so happy!

    PS I was feeling kind of guilty that I haven’t gotten you a wedding present yet, but after looking at all those C&B boxes, I feel a little better knowing you didn’t have to move it across five states.

  5. Sharla September 2, 2010 at 2:32 am #

    Enjoyed your post Kara – very relatable. (If I had known you needed help, I would have come to help you load the truck. )
    Miss you, Sharla


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