Halloween — two weeks from today — promises to be a bigger event than usual this year for the McGaughey family. The kids are super-excited to go trick-or-treating (particularly Zach, who has regularly worn his Darth Vader costume to dinner since we purchased it roughly 10 days ago), but this coming Oct. 31 will be about much more than candy — it’s also the day we move into our new house.
At long last — after the long-awaited sale of our home and securing the purchase of another Worthington residence we love — we’re “movin’ on up” (think “The Jeffersons” theme song”) to a new abode. There is, naturally, more than plenty to be done between now and Moving Day, and to suggest there’s a little bit of stress right now is certainly an understatement. However, we’ve already made what seems to be one infinitely wise decision when it comes to our relocation — we’re paying someone to do it for us.
After all, who enjoys the physical act of schlepping boxes upon boxes of personal belongings from one place to the next? I’ve done this enough times on my own to feel done with it — and this was before I had a wife and kids to add more stuff to the moving equation.
Looking back to my childhood, moving was something I could almost count on annually. That stabilized somewhat by junior high, as my father and stepmother rented a home they eventually bought and my mom found an apartment she (and my brother, Ian, and I) absolutely loved. Before that, though — over a period of six or seven years following my parents’ split, when I was about the Z-man’s age — Ian and I could count on at least one move a year. When Becca first visited my hometown of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., she was amazed at how many places I pointed to around town as houses where I’d once lived.
After I graduated from what’s now known as Binghamton University, I lived in three different Binghamton residences over the course of a year. I have a hilarious memory of finding a well-used couch in front of someone’s house that was obviously being junked and moving it across town with some college buddies — we didn’t have a vehicle we could fit it in, so we just carried it ourselves over the course of at least a dozen blocks.
I don’t think performing such a task would be remotely humorous today. For one thing, I’m 24 years older. For another, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve accumulated a lot more things that also need to moved. Plus, experience has offered a few painful lessons along the way.
For instance, I probably didn’t need to take the entertainment center I owned while living in a tiny studio apartment in New York City when I moved to Erie, Pa., to be with a girlfriend. When she and I attempted to get that (insert your favorite curse word here) thing up a long flight of stairs in Erie, my back — not hers — more or less gave out. It proceeded to do so it again when, after our breakup — she helped me move that (pick another word) piece of furniture to Silver Creek, N.Y., where I moved to take a job at a newspaper in nearby Dunkirk, N.Y., and re-start a journalism career that ultimately has taken me here. There are two important lessons there: don’t move a piece of furniture you don’t need, and don’t do any kind of move with an ex-girlfriend.
After that, I moved from Silver Creek to Dickinson, N.D., and then to Worthington, then back to upstate New York, and then to Jackson before coming back to Worthington, where Bec and I lived in a couple of different rental properties before buying the home we’re leaving at the end of month. So, the hope is that our next place of residence will remain such for a very, very long time.
First, though, comes the matter of getting rid of some of the things we don’t need. Ironically, we may have an entertainment center for anyone who’s interested.