Sunday, July 12, 2015

There Was Nothing Amusing About Three Years Ago Today


Three years ago today. It's one we'll never forget. On occasion, it comes up in conversation...especially during the summer months when "swamp ass" is in the forecast. Hazy. Hot. Humid. We giggle as we reminisce. However, three years ago, we weren't exactly giggling. At the time, there was nothing amusing about what was happening. And it all had to do with timing. The weather.

On this date, three years ago, we moved into our current home.

The situation leading up to this date three years prior was slightly unexpected. We wanted to move from our previous location. Someplace bigger. Peaceful. Less stress. Lisa got in touch with a friend who knew a realtor. Exceptional lady who was enthusiastic about finding us a place that met all, or most, of the criteria on our list. Under $1,000. Fenced in yard. Pet friendly. Quiet neighborhood. Not located on a main road. Preferably a duplex. Two family. Bottom floor. Decent sized kitchen. Two or three bedrooms.

The process of finding such a place began the month before. We figured with our list o' demands, it would take several months. We were prepared and willing to wait. Once we moved, that was it. Our plans to reside at our new location were indefinite. Although we've talked about buying a house, it's not something we're in a rush to do. If ever.

We were quite surprised when the realtor called us in July with a suitable find. That quick? I was skeptical. Stuff like that doesn't just happen. Little did I know the universe was shifting. Fate stepped in. It was meant to be. That evening, after Lisa arrived home from work, we ventured to the address she gave us. At first glance, we liked it. Two family house. Fenced in yard. Front porch. Bottom.

While we walked through, I mentally went through our checklist. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. The only thing I wasn't thrilled about, although not mentioned on our checklist, was the bathroom. It's small. However, considering our realtor nailed it for everything else, it was a minor infraction. A tiny compromise I could easily live with.

After all, when you consider how much time you spend in the bathroom and why you use the amenities confined to this room...well, it was a no-brainer.

After the decision was made (Big. Huge. Yes.) there was a pivotal moment when Lisa and I stood in the living room. Our eyes locked. How the hell were we going to pull this off. Our wedding was less than 2 weeks away. Aside from wedding expenses, we now had to work in a move-in expense. And, how could we possibly squeeze in time to pack, move, unpack and get everything organized and made for the wedding?

Like with so many other times, our eyebrows raised. We sported a confident grin. Our heads nodded up and down while our brains raced. An opportunity like this wasn't going to surface again anytime soon. All criteria met. We immediately fell in love with the neighborhood. Quiet. This doesn't just happen on a whim.

We. Could. Do. This. And, we did.

On July 12 of 2012, Lisa pulled the U-Haul Truck to the furthest back portion of the driveway. The night before, we had raced around packing. With such short notice, I wasn't able to schedule a vacation day or two. Lisa was able to get a day off...if not two. I don't remember. What I do remember is it was hazy, hot and humid. We were in the middle of a heat wave. Even at 7 a.m. that morning, the temperature reflected that of a tropical jungle. The air was thick. Heavy. Soupy. Swampy.

I was half expecting to dodge mosquitoes the size of birds while hauling boxes and furniture to the truck. 

Due to the stream of events happening so quickly, we had very little time to plan...as in the little stuff. Like making sure we had adequate hydration and snacks to refuel. After only two hours of lugging stuff from our soon-to-be old residence to the U-Haul Truck, we realized there was nothing, except water, to drink. And, snacks consisted of what remained after packing the kitchen in boxes already loaded and barricaded with furniture. Our car was at the U-Haul facility. The nearest store was not walking distance.

While water, the foundation of all life here on Earth, kept us hydrated, we were in dire need of iced-coffee. Or juice. Anything.

We kept going. Lisa carried most of the burden as I was stuck at my laptop working between carrying boxes to the U-Haul Truck and assisting with heavy pieces of furniture. Our clothing was soaked with sweat. Swamp ass. Boob sweat. You name it. It was happening. Sweat burned our eyes. We stunk. There was no deodorant powerful enough to tackle perspiration. Even the hair on our head was drenched. It. Was. Miserable. Beyond miserable.

Between 1-2, we had everything loaded and were prepared for the short journey to our new home. However, between point A and point B, we made a pit-stop. Cumberland Farms. In the same plaza was our favorite take out joint. Nuccio's Pizzeria. We inched our bodies out of the U-Haul Truck. Groaning. Stumbling. Peopled stared at our grubby, sweat-drenched attire. They may have veered away after inhaling our scent.

We didn't care. We were oblivious to it all.

I made my way into Cumberland Farms for iced coffee and snacks. Lisa went the other way. Nuccio's Pizzeria for a large cheese pizza. After gathering 4 large iced coffees and snacks for later, Lisa paid and I made my way to the truck. Lisa fetched our pizza. A few minutes later, my eyes widened as I caught sight of her walking towards the truck. Pizza box in hand.

We ate our pizza in the truck while guzzling down iced coffee. The air conditioner was blowing. Silence. Never in our adult life has food and drink tasted so good. We inhaled our first slice. Pure bliss. There are no words in the English language to describe the 45 minutes we sat there eating, drinking and waiting for our brains to register there was food and caffeine in our system. Refuel. A new found surge of strength and endurance for what lie ahead.

Unloading.

Much to our surprise, unloading the U-Haul Truck wasn't as tedious or grueling. It went rather quick. Maybe that's the way it typically pans out. I don't know. It could have been the pizza and cheap iced coffee. Whatever the reason, we were grateful. We returned the U-Haul Truck, fetched the car and, on the way home, we stopped for ice-cream. Pints. To be later enjoyed after a much needed shower and cool down.

That evening, after long showers, when the sun was setting, we sat on the front porch. Feet up. Pints of ice cream in hand. Another pivotal moment. We did it. Amid the occasional spats brought on by hunger and depleting caffeine levels, we conquered the task of moving in a single day. Nine days before our wedding day. Seven days before we ventured to our wedding destination. We had a shit-ton of stuff to do between our ice cream fest and loading the car with wedding stuff.

We could do it. And, we did.

Sadly, I must insert a side note. Shortly after we moved, Nuccio's Pizzeria closed. Permanently. I'm still devastated. It takes a lot for a pizza establishment to earn my seal of approval. Two years ago, one local hole-in-the-wall come close, but last year, it closed. I can't take the heartache any longer. Now, we make our own homemade pizza. Enough said.



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