Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Moving and Moving On

Packing up and moving our daughter Sara last week reminded me of other moving experiences. I confess that I LOVE the packing part. Finding just the right box, cushioning breakable items carefully, placing books the right direction, and filling in every available space—all this gives me a thrill of satisfaction. My daughter thinks that is really weird, and I’m guessing most of you reading this think it’s a bit strange too. But in the six moves we’ve made during our 33 years of marriage, I have never packed a single item that arrived cracked, chipped, or broken.

My family has a story about moving that has been handed down to me. The year was 1953—before I was born. My father was recovering from a serious bout with rheumatic fever. The Iowa farm had not done well, and my father had decided that southwest Missouri was the place to be. He bought land in the rolling hills not far from Branson and prepared to move our dairy operation and his family to what he hoped would be greener pastures.

From what I understand, my mother was a bit dismayed at leaving her Iowa roots and extended family. But she supported my father and never looked back, even though I know it must have been very difficult to say goodbye to the people and places she loved.

Moving day came. The cattle were loaded into one truck, household possessions onto another. My brother and two sisters wandered through the empty house. Dad shut the tailgate of the truck—or tried to. A solid oak dresser had a top that stuck out two inches, and the gate wouldn’t close.

Dad stepped back and surveyed the situation. It would take a major re-shuffle of furniture, appliances, and boxes to fit that dresser in. Time was short. Daylight was burning, and a long trip lay ahead.

Never one to contemplate for long, Dad located the handsaw and quickly sawed two inches off the offending dresser’s edge. The gate slammed shut, and Dad yelled, “Let’s go!”

All during my childhood, that dresser sat on the screened-in back porch that served as the laundry room for our farmhouse. With a nice coat of paint, the dresser’s sawed-off edge wasn’t that noticeable. But it was always there to remind us that sometimes you just have to deal with the things that hold you back and then move on.


Amy in Edmond said...

I think there is a dresser in WI that was to tall for a move so the legs were cut short by a hand saw. Do you think the two people that did the sawing were related?

David and Linda Gregersen said...

Must be a McClurg thing! Keep the hand saws hidden when you move.