Sunday was supposed to be the day we unpacked and started settling into our new home. But there was still a bunch of stuff back at the old home! Back at our old apartment, the mood was grim. Too much stuff. Not enough boxes. Clothes were shoved into plastic garbage bags. Everything else went in whatever boxes were left. Then Christie made some calls to score us a rental truck. The only available one was all the way down in Port Moody. She hopped on her scooter and made the 45-minute highway trek. The plan was to leave the scooter there, and both return home on it after we returned the truck. I got a call from Christie on my cell, this time from the U-Haul place. They wouldn’t rent her a truck. The reason? Her license was expired! Yes, what with the wedding and resulting name change, plus an address change, she’d deferred changing her license. But now it meant they would not let her drive their truck so much as a foot – let alone all the way back from Port Moody. She said she would ride back on the scooter, get me, go back down there, and bring the truck. I hung up. Realizing there was no way I wanted to ride all that distance on the highway on the scooter, with a very tired and stressed Christine at the wheel, I made an executive decision. I called friends until I reached someone who was home and who had a vehicle. That turned out to be Karen and Jason. I had only been thinking to ask for a ride to Port Moody, but Jason was quick not only to offer the use of his company van, but to help us take the remaining stuff over in it. I gratefully accepted, and when Christine arrived home, I was able to tell her some good news. Jason was our next Hero of the Weekend – tirelessly helping us to load up the van and carefully packing it like some sort of fiendish puzzle, with incredible skill, so that with only two trips he got all our boxes and clothes, plus three big furniture pieces, over to the new place. He was amazing. And only much later did we find out that it was his birthday! We treated him to a hot dinner from Safeway and will be taking them both out to a proper thank-you dinner soon. Were we done now? No. We needed to go back to the old place and do as much cleaning as we could, to try and avoid being dinged for extra cleaning charges and hopefully get our entire security deposit back. (Note: Christine worked equally as hard as me – I just don’t have photos of her!) Alas, despite our hard work, the management of our building insisted on an even more stringent level of cleanliness – and when their team was done, the stove indeed looked as if it was new, and the metal framing around the windows was not grey, not “sort of silvery” as I’d managed to get it, but shiny and sparkling like it must have looked the day it was installed in 1962. We did have to pay something, but I still got the bulk of my deposit back – with ten years’ worth of interest tacked on to boot! There were some last-day stresses, with concerns about cleaning costs, and our building manager getting some grief over our late departure from the building – but in the end, everything seemed to work out all right. Of course, our new place was a shambles, with my desk actually stuck in the doorway of my office for a day or so… But we are LOVING our new dishwasher! No more “whose turn is it to wash the dishes”, a task neither of us was fond of. Now, over a week later, the boxes have steadily melted away… lots of stuff is in place… and we have some great vintage furniture set to be delivered soon to help round out the new decor. The condo is about 50% larger than my old apartment was, so it’s been a delightful experience being able to find “just the right place” for so much stuff that formerly was just stuffed unsatisfactorily into some random cranny. We’re really savouring all the space! And the stress of our angst-filled, mentally and physically exhausting moving weekend is rapidly fading. Of course, it has provided us with some fantastic stories, ones we’ll be telling for a long time. That, and the life- and sanity-saving actions of friends and strangers; plus the knowledge that as bad as it was, it could have been much, much worse, all have us feeling, above all, truly and deeply thankful. We’re looking forward to life in our new home together.