The Move – Lesson 4: Have a Friend Help

Day 4 of The Move (90 year-old-parents relocating from Florida to Pittsburgh to live with daughter), Wednesday, the cleaners were back and the realtor arrived to inspect the house. She was impressed with the job the stager had done so far, as was I. The pool guy installed the robot thingy.

And my Mother in Law (MIL) discovered the pile of fashion magazines that I had pulled off the bottom shelf of the lanai end-table before the movers had packed that furniture on the truck.

“These are good magazines,” she said, scooting out in her walker and picking them up one by one to bring them inside. ‘Some I haven’t even read.” I glanced at one. “The best looks of 2007.” Right. She offered them to the cleaner who politely declined the joy.

Then a young Filipino man that my in-laws had taken under their wing dropped by to pick up an old desk that was too rickety to go on the moving van. My Father in Law (FIL) supplemented that with a bunch of expired food and half-empty cleaning supplies from the pantry and a few other things that the young man confessed when my FIL was out of earshot he would probably just throw away. Sometimes you need a friend like that. I have friends that I trust with that job, when I need help going through things that I feel too attached to throw away, and yet I don’t want them in my life. We all need friends like that. This guy was doing my FIL a mitzvah. “That guys making out good from our move,” My MIL chided my FIL.

I went back inside just in time for chapter 27 of the blue patio chairs. My SIL had begged me not to let the blue chairs on the moving van but my MIL was determined not to leave them at the house. Finally a neighbor agreed to take them and my FIL and I carried them across the street. Her house, also filled to the brim, smelled wonderful. “I’m baking you a cake to take with you to Pittsburgh. It’s a tragedy,” she said about my in-laws leaving her to live in a place where they could be supervised. “People say I should leave my house but I could never do what they’re doing.  I’ll drop the cake off in the morning.”

Wednesday was also my husband’s birthday and his parents felt guilty that I was with them instead of him. So, when we drove to pick up the Thai food – delivery being limited in Ocala – we stopped at the grocery to pick up a birthday cake and took a picture of them with it, for him to look at when we called him that night. “This is good cake,” my MIL said, carefully washing that night’s utensils and placing them in a plastic shopping bag. “We can squeeze these in somewhere,” she declared. “You say the car is full, but there is always more room.”

That night we went to bed later than usual. We were all asleep when the cell phones started going off. First my MIL’s phone, followed by her bellowing at my FIL to answer it (it was in the kitchen and she couldn’t get out of bed fast enough to get it). Then he missed that and his phone started going off. I dashed out and grabbed it. It was my Sister in Law calling from the last pre-move vacation they could squeeze in.

“Last night in their old home,” she said. “I just called because I can’t believe I’m missing it.”

“It’s almost midnight,” I told her. “We were all asleep. We have to get up early tomorrow.”

My FIL took the phone, told it to hold on because he didn’t have his hearing aids in, and handed it to my MIL who stayed up talking to my SIL while my FIL and I went back to sleep.

Here endeth the fourth lesson.

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