I remember how excited I was to move up north. To finally be done with the city. I had gotten to the point where I was holding my nose walking up Yonge Street, sick of the fumes, the dirt and noise. I was in a negative space about the city, hating how long it took to get out-of-town, the gridlock and the traffic. I wanted to be “living the good life”.
We sold our house on my 30th birthday. Oh what a celebration that was. I look at those pictures now, taken in the backyard of Ivy Avenue and marvel. “Still 29”, the caption reads under the picture dated August 29. Under August 30, the caption reads, “Now I’m 30”. Like some big prize had been handed down. And in a way it had been, I suppose. Never trust anyone over 30 was our youthful mantra. Now there I was, one toe in the new decade, and happier than I’d ever been; on my way to my dream come true, to leave the city, go live in the country, grow our food, maybe get some goats, focus on painting.
Much about leaving our jobs and packing the house up has faded from memory, but I do know it was a big deal to have actually hired a mover. Our neighbour Polly recommended Tom the Trucker who came by and gave us the best estimate. On the agreed upon date, Dick and I went out for a celebratory dinner, enjoyed a few martini’s and talked about plans for eventually building our own house.
I knew something was wrong the minute we stepped through the door. A pair of shoes was lying in the middle of the floor next to an end table and three boxes. A rocking chair was in the kitchen and the kitchen cupboard doors stood open. What the hell was going on? I was sobering up fast and getting angry. No sign of Tom. No note. No word. We called Tom, even though it was already quite late.
“Ya,” he said, “I couldn’t get everything into the truck. You’re going to have to find someone else to do the rest.”
“I beg your pardon?” I said “you’d better find another truck or another person to help because that’s what we hired you for.” I’m sure I was shaking when I got off the phone.
Next morning, Tom showed up with his packed truck. We had a pickup ourselves, which was to take the last bits of personal belongings, food and our bed. Then a big red pickup pulled up and Toms’ friend, Mark and his girlfriend spilled out, bleary-eyed and a bit disgruntled for having to haul out on a Sunday morning, and we loaded the rest of our things.
It looked like the Beverley Hillbillies were moving.
Then we set off on our 4-hour drive to “the country.”
A walk-out basement and all those people, made the unloading quite easy and quick at the 4-season cottage on Round Lake we’d rented for the winter. Finally, we were chillin’ with a few beers and hungry. I managed to locate my dutch oven and since the food was some of the last stuff to get packed, I was able to throw together a vegetarian pasta dish easily enough. We found a bottle of wine or two and before long the guys had the turntable hooked up and we were sharing stories around the dinner table. We were all relieved that the move had ended well, so we relaxed and enjoyed the evening and the beauty of our surroundings. As the night wore on there was no thought that these lovely folks should drive back to Toronto; the house was big with plenty of room and so we had our first house-guests. I love it when things turn out well.