Our Own Bed

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Our travel trailer was cluttered. Our truck was cluttered. We didn’t know where to put anything when we moved back into the Coffee House. The trailer had been parked for a month while we lived in hotels in Victoria, BC and then Halifax, NS. It was hard to relax, but at least we were back in our own bed. If I had to do again, I would tell myself we need more downtime for a move across the country. I don’t know how we squeezed in visits and appointments and moved from Vancouver Island to Nova Scotia in 23 days.

We stocked up on food for the week, bought some locks for the U-Boxes we rented to ship our belongings across Canada, and picked up more Rubbermaid bins to stack in the truck with all the loose and little bits that had nowhere else to go. We dashed from our coffees at The Stick in Sooke (Thanks, Wilf!) to the bank to go over our finances with our advisor. Then we went to U-Haul and learned we didn’t need a van rental to move our items in storage to the U-Boxes. We could pull the U-Boxes over to the storage unit with our truck. We paid our last month of storage and had a look at the items we had to ship.

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We needed time to pack the U-Boxes, and we needed room left in the truck and trailer to make our trip across Canada comfortable. I still needed to write a crisis for the scene I was delivering at the end of the week. I was on the “hot seat” with members of an author mastermind, and my scene was being critiqued. I was in crisis about a crisis!

We were concerned we had packed too much into the first U-Box. We filled the second one and made the call not to use the third one. We left some items in the storage unit to pick up later, and we figured we would put those Rubbermaid containers into the trailer with lighter items we hadn’t packed into the U-Boxes. We had no idea how much weight we had packed into the U-Boxes.

If our load had only been uniform sized boxes, arranging them by weight would have been easy. We had shop tools, a few pieces of furniture, and a 4-drawer filing cabinet that was full.

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We got the call on our way to dinner. We had to authorize the charge to our credit card, and we had to repack the two U-Boxes into three. Both the credit card and the U-Boxes were over limit.

I was so tired from lifting and moving and making decisions that I crawled into bed after dinner and slept for four hours. When I woke up, I worked for two hours on my scene and then went back to sleep for another four hours.

The next day we started the repacking by 9 am and finished four hours later. We took another load to the dump after downsizing further. We were already late for a visit with my sister. The wind had been blowing all morning. We got about five minutes down the road out of Sooke when the traffic stopped. A tree was down on a power line.

Jamie and I were sick about the weight of the U-Boxes. We wanted to feel like we were making progress and inching closer to our new home that was almost 6,000 kilometres away. There we sat, stuck beside Stickleback West Coast Eatery. Their power was out, but we could use their washroom, and they offered us chicken sandwiches. The windowless washrooms had to be lit by our cell phones, and the lunch, although very good, cost us $30 — nothing on the side of the sandwich, just what the kitchen could throw together in a bun.

The traffic was still not moving when we finished eating, so we went to Plan B. We’d had some time to recharge and think about our situation. Jamie’s sister, Karen, was at home in Sooke. We could drive to her place and wait for the BC Hydro crews to work on the power line. We turned the truck around and headed back to the neighbourhood where we had been living only nine months before.

Karen made us tea, and later she made us dinner. Clean up crews still had to clear the tree debris and get the only road out of Sooke open again. We were offered a bed for the night. Karen’s family was stuck on the Victoria side of the road closure.

We monitored the news and felt hopeful that Sooke might let us go by 6 pm. We never planned to be there that morning. What should have been easy, moving our belongings out of storage and into shipping boxes, was not. News sources were reporting that single-lane rotation had begun to clear the traffic stuck in Sooke. We drove out and visited with my family next. We were exhausted by the wait and still felt covered in grime from repacking the U-Boxes in a windstorm.

We had lunch with our daughter and her boyfriend the next day, and then dinner with friends. Jamie had emptied the storage unit that morning with the last few things we had left there. The truck was full and we couldn’t move in the trailer. Next, we needed to get organized and repack the truck.

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We had another visit with our daughter and her boyfriend the following day. They came out to our campsite after we emptied the truck out and repacked everything. We didn’t want to say goodbye.

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What I saw in our storage unit were the decisions I hadn’t made. There was too much weight for what I hadn’t had time to let go of.



Janet KittoComment