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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Packout, Day One

In my dining room is a pile of boxes.  Packed in those boxes is everything I have in Egypt except for four suitcases and their contents.  When we first moved into our apartment and had nothing but suitcases, it was bare and sterile, waiting for our things to come and make it home.  Now, with nothing but suitcases again, it just seems wonderfully clean and empty.

Our morning started well; after going to bed at one in the morning, Brandon and I woke up five hours later in time to get the children dressed and fed, the last load of towels dried, and a last few things hidden in the bathroom.  When we returned from taking the children over to a wonderful friend's house for the day, the movers were in front of our building and unloading rolls of cardboard, plastic, bubble wrap, and newsprint.

The first order of the day was our UAB shipment - eight hundred pounds of our things to see us through for at least the next six months.  Growing up, I always enjoyed watching The Price is Right.  When it was time for the showcase showdown, I guessed right along with the contestants, trying to get my bid as close as possible without going over.

This morning I played my own Price is Right, but with weight instead of money.  And so when I was able to get everything I wanted except my easel squeezed in right at eight hundred pounds, I may not have won a showcase, but I felt pretty darn clever for estimating my UAB weight so nicely.

After the UAB was weighed and safely crated, the morning progressed into the afternoon with box after box after box filled, taped repeatedly, and labeled.  While the packing was in a flurry, Brandon and I floated from room to room, labeling as boxes were filled.

A lot of our things didn't fit in boxes, so we got to witness the amazing overseas phenomenon of 'make your own box,' as the movers fit bed frames, plastic bins, and my favorite brown chair into their own custom plastic wrapped-boxes.  The most impressive sight of the day was our treadmill, boxed in layer after layer of cardboard and plastic before it was bodily carried down five flights of stairs.

By the time Brandon and I picked up the children and brought them home around 'sundown,' as Kathleen termed it, all of the house had been boxed except our storage room.  Rere, who is now officially worth her weight in gold, had been cleaning rooms after the movers, unpacking our suitcases into the newly-wiped dressers she had prepared, and washing the dishes of our welcome kit.

After finishing a delicious dinner, brought us by another kind branch member, Edwin hopped down from Brandon's lap (as the high chair had been packed) and bolted for his favorite toy - the kitchen drawers.  Brandon and I laughed and laughed as we watched him, with increasing consternation, open all of the drawers to find none of his toys in their usual places.  Later, when we told Kathleen that all of her books had been packed up, she buried her face in her hands and sobbed for quite a while before we could cheer her up.

And so now, time for bed in our green-velour-covered bed (thank you, welcome kit).  The movers return at ten tomorrow morning for a last lift-van full of boxes.  And then we'll be done, at least until the next move.


Nisa said...

I'm glad it went so well! Let's hope the same for the rest of the move.

UnkaDave said...

Remind Kathleen there are lots of books at Grandma's, but then again, 10 days is a lifetime for a kid.