A Move, A Reunion + A Big Kaboom - Part One

 Part One: The Move

This weekend I cried three different times: Once for feeling overwhelmed and demoralized. Once for feeling like an asshole. And once from laughing so hard I nearly wet myself.

The Demoralization Cry was a direct result of The Move. Day Two, I stood 9 months pregnant in the middle of a tornado-strewn house, furniture and boxes stacked and toppled, piles, projects and papers everywhere and couldn't find a single place to sit or lie down. I completely gave in to a hormone-fueled freakout, sat on the floor (despite wondering how I would ever get up) - and lost it. I felt much better afterward.

This weekend was utter chaotic mayhem - from the influx of my brother, his wife and two kids ages 1 and 4, a half-dozen fabulous galpals dropping in to hang out and attend their (and my ... sort-of) 20-year high school reunion and the rip apart, rearrangement and relocation of our entire household and office. Sound like fun? Um... yes, believe it or not. And, hell no. But mostly yes, absolutely.

The Move deal? The kid's room is in the final stages of prep prior to our being able to load it with anything, so baby crap has taken over the house. Floors, paint touch-ups and floorboards are all on the to-do list. The living room is torn apart to accomodate the workguys finishing up the new windows and store stuff from all the other rooms in transition. The new studio is an unspeakable catastrophe with equipment, wires and cardboard boxes filling every square inch of space. Our business is shut down. We no longer have a dining room. Our bedroom currently looks as if a half-dozen ADD toddlers were let loose and locked in, unsupervised, with only baseball bats, a truckful of shoes and 10 full laundry hampers for entertainment. (Fortunately, The Varmint is currently sleeping on the sofa, due to my nocturnal fidgeting, toilet and fridge runs - and yes, his wildebeest-style snoring. Flying solo, I managed to carve out enough space in our bed to accomodate myself and THE BELLY.)

Three long, hard days of labor, strategizing, discussion, panic, and pain later, things are still in total upheaval. I write this from my former dining room. We decided yesterday that it would have to become the household office. I am surrounded by piles of books, papers, milkcrates, two computers, a small ocean of bubblewrap and countless displaced items yet to find a place to settle.

The new floors and cabinets and marble desktop for this room are sitting somewhere: I'm guessing in the garage, or maybe the side of the house, or potentially under the bed where apparently All Things Tam Doesn't Want to Think About go to die.

Beneath it all, however, is progress. Big-time progress, thanks to the arrival of my brother John, whom I like to call Mr. Muscle, with his big truck, big tools and can-do attitude. He and The Varmint hammered this weekend for all three days, exhausting themselves to the point of incoherency and lactic acid buildup. (See pic, below right.)

"I know you said it was bad, Tam, but I didn't expect this - and it's pretty much all must-do's," says my brother the construction job-site manager as he flops on my sofa, his eyes narrowing at our to-do list.

"Uh, yeah," I reply, "it's kinda overwhelming."

He whistles and tosses me the list. "Well," he says, wiping his burrito-juiced hands on his shorts, "let's get crackin'. More slappin', less flappin'."

Two days after he made that comment, everything's geographically in the vicinity of where it needs to be. All thanks to John, The Varmint, a huge, deeply sacrificial Goodwill dump (The Varmint and I both bid farewell to several items with deeply sentimental value) and a four-figure IKEA run.

Yes, the house still looks like hell and there is gobs to do. However, the train is on the tracks now. Previously we were just sitting atop the station platform, hoping for a ticket - or even the existence of a train - to get us where we needed to go.

Apparently, news of my freakout got out, because The Girls were rallied as well. Plans are underway for a Pizza for Work party this weekend. Choo-choo! I think that might be a light at the end of the tunnel - or another Bad Luck Schleprock locomotive.

Either way, we're hanging tight.


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I am a writer and lazy artist who loves travel, architecture and design. Right now, I'm into photography. My fabulous husband (a.k.a. The Varmint) and I are also the principals of a San Diego-based creative agency - and new parents to the divine Baby Mak. Read More >