Am I Really Living Like a Gypsy? And Why Moving Blows.

Yard Sale

Moving sucks. Period. Hence why I have not been able to write or post anything. I’ve been in the weeds man.

The amount of crazy and stress that accompanies moving your crap-ola from one location to the next is quite remarkable. I feel as though I’ve been working in an Armenian sweat shop while all of the trainers from the Biggest Loser yell at me. Also, I have a random amount of paper cuts all over my body.

If the world were to hand out trophies for most transitions in a short period of time, my family would clearly win the grand prize.

Let me lay it out for you: Within the last eight months, we moved from one state, to another; stayed with family and put our possessions in storage; then we took some of that crap out of storage and lived in a grody apartment so my daughter could finish school; then we packed up the grody apartment belongings and put them back into storage; then we moved in with my in-laws while our house is being gutted; the final phase will be when we move all of our stuff, and ourselves, into the shiny new house once it is completed. At this time I hope you will all come visit me at the Betty Ford clinic.

I think we are done.

My daughter asked me the other day, “Why are we moving again? When are we going to be done?” I informed her that people move frequently all the time. They are called the Circus or the Military. She reminded me that we are neither. Also, we do not own a tiger.

Touché.

As previously mentioned in an older post, I have moved my entire life (father’s job, my job, etc.). Therefore, I inherited a subsequent skill – the relocation process.

If you have moved, or are about to, this step by step guide may be of help:

1)      The Yard Sale.  One week prior to yard sale, you must run around the house collating things you no longer need, use, or care about. If you have children, this involves some ninja selling tactics. My daughter will all of a sudden develop a fondness for an item she has not played with or seen in years. It once happened with an old nose suction thing they give you when you leave the maternity ward at the hospital.

Day of Yard Sale – People show up at your house the day before (or three hours before go time) wanting to check out your wares ahead of the crowd. Then they ask to use your bathroom, want to know what’s inside your house, and to where you are moving. I always tell people we don’t have a bathroom and we are moving to Botswana to work on my knife sharpening skills. Yard sale people are funky and make me want to brush their knotted hair.

2)      Giving away stuff.  Whatever doesn’t sell must either go to consignment or be given away. I was so tired of lugging around dresses I didn’t wear anymore, I chucked them into one of those bins of, “Donate to help animals/whales/other children/addicts/nobody really but you won’t have to look at your crap anymore.”

3)      Packing.  There are so many ways this can go. One, you hire professionals to do it for you. This is expensive, but the least amount of headache. Two, you haphazardly pack up your stuff. If you are moving directly from one dwelling to the next, within the same city, then you can afford to put some crap in garbage bags when you run out of the boxes you ganked from behind CVS. Or three, you pack up your own stuff and put it in storage, or move it yourself.  All of the above suck. There are no winners here.

4)      You get there. Get ready, because even though you have arrived, you are not done yet. Break out the scissors because now you must unpack everything. Usually, this is accompanied by moments of clarity, (Oh look, we have three colanders, or, Why did I pack all of these burnt out candles?). Also, most of your old stuff does not work in your new location. Which leads to…

5)      …Buying new crap! Even after all that selling and giving away, you will somehow end up with more stuff than before. But you will love it and wonder how you survived without it for so long.

Once all settled in, breathe a sigh of relief, give yourself a pat on the back, and crack open a beer. You made it! Enjoy your new space.

Then invite me over for dinner because I have no idea where I put all of our spatulas.

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Am I Really Tearing Up Behind my Red, White, and Blue Snow Cone?

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The Fourth of July is upon us, which means it will be a day of grilling out, drinking beer, and listening to that Katie Perry song over and over while we watch the sky explode with color.

The emotionality of the day never ceases to get to me.

Every year, all over the country, we honor our military and celebrate our freedom on the fourth. I lose it every time I see the older veterans who fought in WWII, or the likes, dressed in their uniforms waving to parade crowds.  Some are able to walk the parade, while others are being pushed in wheelchairs.

As many of you know, I love old people. And since I grew up in a military family, a seeing a retired veteran is like a two-fer for me. I want to run up to older vets, thank them and hug them, and then buy them an apple turnover.

When I watch this older generation who fought for our country, it really brings home the point that we have always had to fight for our freedom. Realistically, we always will.

I poorly akin it to weight management – you have to always stay on top of things, and constantly work at it.

Bad example, I know, but you get the point.

            Usually the fourth means wearing some form or red, white, and blue; paying the Boy Scouts to place flags all over your neighborhood; and singing Lee Greenwood’s, Proud to be an American in sync to the booming of fireworks. For me – this usually includes a mustard stain on my I Heart the USA t-shirt.

            Even among the swatting of flies away from the potato salad, the gassing of your children with mosquito combating OFF, and watching the drunk guy in the carnival parking lot yell at his buddies, “You guys just don’t get what it’s like to be me;” it really is a special day for all Americans.

            This Fourth of July, be thankful for the freedom to read tabloid magazines about Miley Cyrus’ twerking; to be able to (in most American cities) drink a soda the size of a mid-sized dog; and for the freedom of speech to post on Facebook, “Crumb cake – so yum!” And of course, the freedom to write silly blogs such as this one.

            But most of all, be thankful for all the men and women who have gone before us, and those who continue to do so, to keep this crazy, loud-talking, soda-drinking, nation free.

So I’ll gladly stand up, next to you, and defend her still today.  ‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA!*

*Lyrics from Proud to be an American by Lee Greenwood