Moving, unpacking and Jar Jar Binks
Sunday, July 20, 2014 12:00 AM
Unpacking boxes is an incredibly tedious task.
My family and I recently moved, and the process of preparing for the move, moving and then unpacking all of our stuff has been interesting, to say the least.
I don’t think there’s anyone who actually likes the practical act of moving from one house to another, at least not anyone who is married with a family and has lived in the same house for a good number of years. The amount of “stuff” a family can collect through the years can make moving somewhat treacherous.
Now, for a young single person, moving can be less intense. If Index-Journal staff writer Frank Bumb were to move out of his apartment, he could just throw his PlayStation, Hot Pockets and back issues of Juggs Magazine in a box and take off.
Before we moved, we did our best to get rid of some of the stuff we collected through the years.
We had a big yard sale, which was an adventure in its own right. You haven’t lived until two older ladies wearing muumuu dresses are forcing their way into your living room at 6:30 a.m., announcing they “want to see what else y’all might have.”
We sold a ton of things -- table after table of items -- at that yard sale and, when it was over, the Hospice Store came by and picked up the rest.
Then, in the weeks leading up to the moving date, we took wave after wave of unwanted items to The Salvation Army donation center. Beyond that, we also “donated” untold bags of junk to the Greenwood County landfill. I was worried public works director Donna Sightler was going to charge me a tipping fee at some point.
Still, as I began cutting into boxes (with my wife’s handy pink -- yes, pink -- Ginsu knife) and unpacking at our new house, I found myself proclaiming out loud “Man, we should have done two more yard sales.” As much as it pains me to say it, I really don’t think I needed to hold on to that Jar Jar Binks cup topper that I got from KFC in 1999.
I’m also stunned by the amount of packing paper that was used in our move. I’m reasonably certain at least two entire rain forests were leveled to accommodate our move.
If you hold stock in packing paper companies, congratulations on the great week you recently had. Send all your “thank you” cards to: Chris Trainor c/o Index-Journal, P.O. Box 1018, Greenwood, SC 29648.
MANY PEOPLE WILL MOVE SEVERAL times as they go through their adult life. Each move brings memories -- good and bad --of the house that gets left behind.
My wife and I have been married for 12 years and just moved into our fourth house. I’ve had wonderful memories at each of the previous three homes in which we lived.
Our first house as a couple was on Highway 20 in Abbeville, right on the edge of the city limits. Cute little brick house. It was a wreck when we got it. We cleaned it up, put a new roof on it, had a driveway poured, added a front porch. We screened in the back porch and put a TV out there. It was a fun time.
One of our neighbors on Highway 20, Robert Hawthorne, kept a horse in the field behind his house. We had an apple tree in our backyard. I would often pluck an apple off that tree and sit it on one of the fence posts of Mr. Hawthorne’s field. Inevitably that horse would come by and snag the apple off the fence post. My daughter had not yet come along at that point, and I often think about how she would have gotten a kick out of feeding apples to Mr. Hawthorne’s horse.
After that, we moved into a house on Ridgeway Street in Greenwood. It was a deceivingly big house. It looked small and somewhat narrow up front, but when you got inside it just kept going back. It was a looonngg house. It had a big kitchen and the shower in the front bathroom had the worst water pressure in the history of Greenwood. It would just kind of sprinkle water on you.
I had a great neighbor on Ridgeway named Bob McCann. A tough-talking transplant from New York. He had a big, nasty looking Doberman named Brandi. But Bob’s tough-talking and Brandi’s mean looks were ultimately a façade.
Bob always looked out for us. He was also skilled at making stained glass features. He made us a stained glass cross that we still have today. Meanwhile, Brandi was a big ol’ sweetheart, always nuzzling up for a pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears.
After Ridgeway, we moved to a house Blyth Avenue, in the Old Greenwood Village. Now, this was home.
I’ve written plenty in the past about Blyth Avenue, the picturesque, tree-lined street just off Uptown. It’s the type of neighborhood that a Hollywood location scout would seek out if he was looking to film in a classic American neighborhood.
It’s a neighborhood where there are Friday socials during the summer, at a different person’s house each week. There’s a Halloween parade every fall and a neighborhood-wide yard sale each spring. The sounds of basketballs bouncing and baseballs pinging off aluminum bats are as common and predictable as the sounds of the trains rumbling past on nearby Seaboard Avenue.
The home on Blyth Avenue and the neighborhood in which it was located were all-timers. I’ll spend the rest of my life chasing that same feeling. Maybe we’ll find it again.
In the meantime, I’m up to my hips in boxes, packing paper and stuff I don’t need. If anyone needs a Jar Jar Binks cup topper, I’ve got one for you.
Trainor is a contributing columnist for the Index-Journal. Contact him at ChrisTrainorSC@yahoo.com. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisTrainorSC. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.