Last week I took a little time away from the office. I spent my nine days away working harder than I would have been if I had been sitting here at my desk. Not to say that I don't work hard every day, but interviewing someone and writing a story doesn't usually require the lifting of heavy objects.
Last week I spent my days moving. My husband and I just recently purchased our first house and last week was moving day. But the clincher here is my husband was working and I was the one with the time off, which meant I was in charge of moving things, like our furniture, from one house to the other.
When I first learned we would be gaining possession of our house on a Monday I was a little worried, but I was excited enough about the prospect of it to not think about the consequences of a Monday move.
But, believe me, I now fully understand the consequences of a Monday move without the help of your husband.
I called around and managed to put together a fairly good sized moving team for that Monday. The only catch was they were all women. At first I thought we would rent a moving truck and my all-girl team could work on moving boxes and other not-too-heavy things out of the house. I figured that once my husband did arrive home from work that night he could gather together a few guys to help move all of the big stuff.
Well, the first challenge we faced was actually getting the rental truck. It had never occurred to me that I would have to drive the 17-foot moving truck, but I managed to do that without incident.
The next challenge came as my moving team arrived and we started loading light furniture and boxes into the back of the van. After a few trips between the house and the van, all of the girls stood in the truck, looked at each other and scratched their heads - no one knew how to properly load a truck. We didn't know if the furniture should go in first, or the boxes. We quickly solved that problem, just shoving things in where ever they would fit.
After loading up the truck with all of the light furniture and boxes we could find, we drove across town and unloaded it all at the new house. For some reason, the unloading didn't seem as difficult as the loading.
Then in typical girl fashion, we decided to break for lunch at a little cafe downtown. It was during lunch that we made a critical decision. We were all feeling so confident in the load we had just delivered that we decided we would try to tackle the rest of the furniture - things like the bed, dresser and sofa. We decided we would try to lift and move the heavy furniture.
Looking back, I have no idea how we did it. But all five of us would put our hands under a heavy piece of furniture and manage to maneuver it out of the house and into the truck.
Before you begin to think about how great and strong my little all-girl moving team was last week, you had better hear the rest the story. After loading up all of the heavy furniture, we all just stood there and looked at the truck. We were spent - there was no way were going to be able to unload the items we had just pushed into place. That's when we decided that the boys could do the unloading that evening.
So that night some husbands came around and together everyone helped unload all of the heavy items. It was one tiring day, and the next morning I was as sore as I can ever remember being.
The lesson I learned here is never volunteer to take a week of vacation to move, at least not unless your husband is doing it, too.
. Elena Olmstead can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org