Ordinarily, a move is a one-way transaction: A to B. But, in this case, to flood-proof our house, we are only moving out for a few months. So our goal was to keep it as simple as possible. Walking through the house with the movers, I pointed out what pieces I wanted them to load into the truck.
For example, we took mattresses, but no bed frames. A couch and a side chair, but left the coffee table. I noticed the movers sharing a few odd looks among themselves. “Something doesn’t add up,” I overheard one of them say. It was 9:00 am and it had already been a busy morning, getting my two older boys out the door to school.
In the middle of giving instructions to the movers, my builder showed up and then the plumber. They both had decisions that needed to be dealt with immediately. Trying my best to field everybody’s questions, my neighbor drove up asking if Luke, our 8-year-old, who I had just sent down the street to meet her, still needed a ride to school.
Then the building inspector showed up …
Have you ever seen the Tom Hanks movie, “Charlie Wilson’s War” where he’s sitting in his Washington D.C. office calmly solving several major issues simultaneously? I conjured up his persona, rolled my shoulders back, and took a deep breath:
To my neighbor: “Please find Luke.”
To the builder: “I’ll hang the building permit.”
To the plumber: “I’ll stop using the water, sewer lines, and gas right away and get you a notarized letter for the utility company a.s.a.p. As the moving company is here right now, I don’t happen to have a computer or printer connected at the moment.”
To the movers: “Wrap this, leave that.”
To the building inspector: “Nice to meet you, let me know what you need.”
Not exactly the war and peacemaking decisions of Charlie Wilson, but a private war – against flooding. And this was only day one.