It was a dark and stormy night for moving

Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor

Their are a few careers where relocation from time to time is almost a given. Military people, clergy, school teachers and journalists are among those. Much to my wife’s chagrin I have qualified in the last category for most of our married life.

Because of that, we’ve made quite a few moves in our 23 years together. You would think a person would eventually become a moving expert, but sadly, despite my experience, I haven’t gotten my union card yet.

We did the packing ourselves and had a moving company load and truck our accumulation of books, sweaters, and 23 years of garage sale treasures to Portales from Colorado.

We missed being able to move it all straight into the new house by exactly five days between the closing here and the one in Colorado. Therefore, we had to have a place to unload everything so it could be moved over later. My family’s shop barn would more than suffice.

The junk came out of the van and immediately expanded to fill the space we had cleared out for it. This caused several foul remarks from family members who knew they might be called on to help relocate it in a few days.

Indeed, I did tap family to help. Nephew, who is tall, broad of shoulder and easy to bribe and his friends were engaged, along with supervisory help from mom, a brother-in-law and sister to bring the first load over while I was at work. Neat how that worked out, huh.

It was getting late and starting to rain before they got started that evening and after they got the trailer loaded they called and asked if I wanted to send the load on over with weather coming. Someone said, “It’s just starting to sprinkle a little is all,” so I told them to send it over and I would meet them at the house to unload.

I reached the parking lot behind the newspaper through driving rain and howling wind, hopped into the pickup and tore out the alley. At the end of the alley I was suddenly struck by a vision of my worn furniture passing through the storm. Whoa — that’s no vision, it’s brother-in-law with the trailer — apply brakes quickly — slide to a stop as familiar dresser passes inches from my grill.

The stuff was a little damp, but nephew works fast in a downpour so it wasn’t too bad. The only downside was there was still a lot to be moved on a drier day.

I got another load on Sunday afternoon with help from mom and sister. While helping load, sister became a tad bit fixated on the number of boxes she picked up that were marked “books.” “I had no idea you two were so smart you needed this many books.” She kept loading books and before we had that load on the trailer, had concluded that somewhere between Portales and Carbondale, Colo. a library had been knocked off.

We still had at least another load to go last Monday, and with family now alienated after moving the Terry Library, it was down to just my wife and I to finish.Wife hopped out as I backed the trailer through the shop doors, I thought, to help guide me, but actually she had homed in on a box she thought might contain the lost family china.

As I backed in, I could see she was clear of the tail-end of the trailer but what I didn’t see was her feet weren’t clear of the wheels. Suddenly, in my mirror I see wife hopping on one foot and hear her yelling about something. My first thought was “she found the china”, my second thought was that “something is wrong.” Indeed, I had rolled the trailer wheels across her foot.

Needless to say she wasn’t in the mood to play Parchesi that night, but we learned a valuable safety lesson. From now on, all participants in any future Terry family moves will be required to provide their own steel-toed work shoes.