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Moving to Santa Cruz

Started: 2021-07-06 22:33:51

Submitted: 2021-07-07 00:37:02

Visibility: World-readable

In which the intrepid narrator completes his move to Santa Cruz over one long and busy weekend

By the time we moved into our house in Santa Cruz, after fumigating and refinishing the wood floors and replacing the carpet, it had been one month after taking possession of the house, two months after closing on the house, and three months after we first saw it (while obsessively reloading my saved search on Zillow, as one does when trying to buy a house).

Boxes packed in living room
Boxes packed in living room

To make unpacking easier, we exhaustively cataloged every box we packed in our box database and printed labels for every corner, clearly identifying the box's number, its location, and its contents, plus a QR code encoding the link to the box in the database. (By "database" I mean "a bunch of lightly-structured text files in a specific directory on my server, with some scripts to manipulate them".)

This time, to avoid numbering conflicts with boxes that had been packed and unpacked earlier, we started packing new boxes with box 600, and incrementing the box number with each new box packed. By the time box 666 was up to be packed, I carefully timed my packing so I could apply the box number of the beast to the TV, which seemed adequately auspicious.

Box 666: The box of the beast
Box 666: The box of the beast

We have a couple of boxes, mostly my old journals and yearbooks, that haven't been unpacked for years; we have enough books that it doesn't really make sense to unpack these boxes. By the time we moved we ended up with 158 boxes in our box database, not counting the boxes that Calvin and Sharon packed themselves that were not formally counted in the database. The last box entered in the database is box 695; plus we moved a bunch of previously-packed boxes with lower numbers.

I think that every box in the database actually existed at the time we moved (and wasn't just an old box from a prior move that hadn't been purged). We moved some of the boxes ourselves, in the weeks leading up to the move, and some of the last boxes (when we entered the "just sweep everything into boxes" phase of packing) didn't get numbered or labeled.

I had Friday, 18th June off as a holiday for Juneteenth, a holiday that Apple decided to observe starting this year, which proved convenient as it was designated a Federal holiday with several whole hours to spare before the day itself. (Kiesa got her Juneteeth (Observed) holiday ten days later.) I moved my compost bin and compost (which was a little awkward, but basically worked, until a skunk decided to take up residence inside the bin — but that's another story for later), then drove back up the mountain to pack Julian's room and head back down the mountain with the rest of the family, including Willow.

Kiesa holds Willow in the front seat
Kiesa holds Willow in the front seat

To have a place to stay away from the houses while we were moving, we stayed at The Inn at Pasatiempo, conveniently located across the highway from our new house. Kiesa took the kids to the pool on Saturday and Sunday, now that we'd gotten far enough out from under the pandemic that outdoor hotel pools were open again.

Our movers showed up at Loma Prieta on Saturday morning, 19th June, with five men and three small trucks (so they could actually negotiate the winding mountain roads and the tricky turns on the driveway). I drove up the mountain from Santa Cruz; I caught up with the movers as they were trying to negotiate the turn from the street onto the driveway, then met them once the made it up the driveway. I hurried around trying to pack the rest of the things; I was anxious that we were only 95% packed, so the last 5% stuck out. The movers were happy that we were 95% packed so they could get started loading. (I told them that we were going to pack ourselves, but they were prepared to help with the packing anyway because they usually have to.) By the time I finished signing the contract, they had already picked up all of the boxes stacked in the entry hallway and were working their way into the living room and bedrooms.

Boxes packed in the kitchen
Boxes packed in the kitchen

I mostly stayed out of the way of the movers as they picked up everything and loaded it into the trucks. Every once and a while I'd go look at their progress and find things uncovered by the boxes and furniture they'd moved — Legos, Nerf darts, scraps of paper, dust bunnies, a lonely sock, a bust of Bach — and collect them in the kitchen to be packed at my leisure. Once they were done with the rest of the house one of the movers volunteered to pack the stuff I'd collected, and I was happy to let them take care of it.

By early afternoon, the movers had emptied out the house and had begun on the garage. I swept and vacuumed the house, getting it into a state where it wasn't clean exactly but at least it wasn't deeply embarrassing how much dirt had clearly collected behind all of the furniture; the movers wrapped up the garage and finished off the third truck before I'd finished vacuuming Calvin's room in the loft. I cleaned out the rest of the garage (including the tent set up in the garage loft).

I wasn't sure if I'd be back so I bid farewell to the top of Loma Prieta, to the view stretching from Santa Cruz in the west, over Santa Rosalie Mountain (and the mountain bike trails at the Soquel Demonstration State Forest) to the south, through the Pajaro Valley and the Salinas Valley, across Monterey Bay and the city of Monterey.

Santa Rosalie Mountain and the Salinas Valley
Santa Rosalie Mountain and the Salinas Valley

Then I drove down the mountain to my new home in Santa Cruz.

Moving truck unloading at Nanna Ct
Moving truck unloading at Nanna Ct

The movers showed up bright and early Sunday morning at our new house. I walked them through the house, showing the plan for the furniture, and watched and waited as they unloaded everything into the house, working in the opposite order from which they'd loaded everything the day before.

Boxes unloaded in the garage
Boxes unloaded in the garage

The side effect was that they unloaded the garage first, then had to navigate around all of the boxes in the middle of the garage while they unloaded the rest of the house. They were able to unload the furniture first, and organize it according to the plan, before unpacking the boxes to fill around it.

Couches unloaded in living room
Couches unloaded in living room

The movers wrapped up by the middle of the afternoon, after unwrapping and assembling all of our furniture, leaving me in my new house, surrounded by boxes waiting to be unpacked.

Closet full of boxes
Closet full of boxes
IIS on NT is like a screen door on a submarine made of Swiss cheese.
- Jaeger