Independently

I’m feeling independent today, even if it’s only just temporary.  For the first time in four years it feels like I’m living in the United States again on our national holiday.  I’m actually spending this holiday weekend moving a family member.  That means drama—almost by definition.  It began two days before.  U-Haul sent us a text telling us our truck would be in the wrong city, over an hour away.  We called to correct the mistake and were told the truck would only be available five hours later than scheduled in the city where we actually were.  We had no choice but to accept.  The next day the saga continued.  We’d hired a local company to help us find a home for furniture no longer needed.  They arrived late, but there was a reason—the owner of the company had had a family tragedy that day and had to scramble to find help for the job.  They did a good job, though.  I’d use them again.

The day of the move our hired help called.  They were going to be late.  We went to U-Haul only to discover that their automated check-in software wasn’t working.  We had to stand in line for over an hour total before someone figured out they had to override the instructions so we could pick up the truck.  In the middle of this, the movers called again to tell us they still weren’t even in the state.  They were pre-paid a very pretty penny to help move the big items (we are small people, and I have a bad back; we need burly friends), but they would be several hours late.  We couldn’t put the smaller items on the truck when the big stuff was the unknown quantity, space-wise.  Hire-a-Helper, the company we’d used, sent a text saying our two hours were up and they were going to be billing a significant fee for extra hours.  The help had not yet arrived.

They turned up seven hours late.  We had arranged for help to unload on the other end, supposing that we wouldn’t have suddenly grown stronger or bigger in the intervening day.  Today, however, is our travel day—the one day we weren’t relying on others to do their job.  Our independence day, as it were.  We don’t need any fireworks.  Indeed, we hope for none.  All the careful planning collapsed under unforeseen circumstances.  But today we have the truck with the cool Colorado NASA image on the side and the open road. It’s quite cheering, actually. I’m always in the market for burley friends, but today it feels good to be independent.

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