Planes, Trains and UHauls

The other day, Claire and I drove by the gas station where we stopped to fill up the UHaul after arriving in Portland. I remember sitting there and thinking how miraculous it was that we had made it. I wrote a bit about that trip in an earlier post, but, as we drove by that gas station, I realized how precarious each of our moves have been.

Moving to New York, we were too cheap to get a moving truck and didn’t particularly want to make the drive, so we decided we’d take everything on the plane with us. JetBlue, at the time, allowed each passenger to have three bags. Since Julia technically qualified, we planned on nine bags. We didn’t think about how we would move ten feet with two kids and nine pieces of luggage carefully packed so as not to exceed the weight limit.

When we got to the airport, this kid appeared from out of nowhere and threw our luggage on this rack. We looked like the Beverly Hillbillies with this cart piled to the sky, threatening to tumble to the ground if we made any sudden movements. We were a sight to behold at JFK as well: two adults, two tiny kids, and a mountain of luggage.

Claire’s friend was waiting for us with a house-warming gift, looking as though she might hold the door for us and then we could go have some lunch or something — but quickly realized the situation and cleared her schedule for the day. We also had the most helpful porter ever. She was this sassy big-bosomed black lady whom we knew only as “Shortie”. It was as though angels had heard the family was moving and were scrambling to have people in place to prevent a catastrophe.

We dropped off the suitcases and I drove to New Jersey to pick up a bed for Julia and to stock up at Costco, thinking it was my last chance for cheap groceries. I don’t remember how many shopping carts I had, but I got as much as I thought would fit in the truck. The cashier stared at me trying to inch forward multiple shopping carts and could not comprehend the fact that I was not an executive member. If he had only seen us wheel nine suitcases into the airport, he would have known this was no business trip.

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