Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Luck Was Not A Lady Yesterday

I had a hell of a time last night.

Yesterday was the day for us to move out of our first Portland apartment, and into a new one because the first was too small, and frankly was not very nice. Now that the house is sold, we figured that it would be ok to move into a slightly more expensive place so that we would have plenty of room, and a cleaner, more pleasant stay.

I got off of work at 3:00 and went to the U-Haul place on Powell and 48th. I pulled into the driveway and asked a guy standing outside where I should park while I used a truck, because I didn't see a parking lot, or any parking spaces for that matter. He told me that I had to park in the street, and so I did. I had two boxes in the back of the car which had come back from Lafayette with us. We had to use boxes to put a number of our larger Christmas presents in, and check the boxes with our luggage. When we came home on Monday, we simply left the boxes in the car because we knew we'd be moving the next day anyway, and would wait to unload them when we got to the new apartment.

I parked the car, took my bag, which I always carry, and left everything else. I went inside, talked to the U-Haul guy who'd told me to park in the street, and got the truck, and what a truck it was. A 26 foot monster of a thing that was not too easy to drive around in, but I managed.

By 4:00 I was at the apartment loading our stuff in. Scott helped for a while to help me get the big heavy stuff in, but then he had to go to work. Lindsey and I worked for a few hours, and then she went and picked up Elise. The three of us finished the packing at 8:30. Four and a half hours it took to load all of that crap. Then I had to drive that behemoth into the hills and to our new apartment.

When we got to the new place, it started raining. Not just raining, I think you could almost call it pouring. Scott and I spent the next two hours unloading the truck into the apartment lobby while Elise and Lindsey hauled everything down a flight of stairs and into the apartment. We finished around 11:00 or 11:30 and said thank you and good night to Scott and Elise. I don't know what we'd have done without them last night. That is why having good friends is great. Thanks guys!

We were exhausted and ready to collapse. Every part of my entire body hurt and was soaked to the bone...especially my socks and shoes. But alas, we had to return the U-Haul truck before the end of the night.

Lindsey and I went outside, got in the truck and started out of the parking lot. We were stopped very short however when we saw that someone had parked their car in the fire lane, effectively blocking us in ahead. We called the building management's emergency number and they said there was nothing they could do. The best we could do according to them would be to call the Washington County Sheriff's Office to have the car towed. I really didn't want to tow away a neighbor's car on my first night in the complex, assuming that it wouldn't win me any friends, so I gave some thought to an alternative plan.

The path behind me was fairly clear, with another car parked in a fire lane, but with enough room for me to navigate the truck through. The problem there was that I would have to do it in reverse, because the truck was huge and there was no room for me to turn it around.

We spent the next 45 minutes with poor Lindsey standing in the rain, trying to direct me while I backed the truck up, trying not to hit the car on my right, the fence to my left, and the fire hydrant and lamp post behind me. Finally, with mere inches standing between us and the chance to leave, we knew we'd been beaten. With just a little more space I could have gotten it, but as it was there was going to be no way for me to back out without hitting the lamp post. Once again, I decided that destroying apartment property would not help me win any popularity contests, and we gave up.

At this point, the only good thing of the night happened: the car that had been parked in the first fire lane left, freeing the path out. Lindsey hopped back into the truck (dripping wet, poor thing) and off we went to the U-Haul place. It was 12:15.

We finally arrived back on the other side of town and dropped the U-Haul off at the store. I put the keys in the drop box and we headed to my car, which was still parked in the street.

I unlocked my door as Lindsey was walking around to the passenger side. As we walked up she made the comment, "Well after all that, at least your car is still here, it didn't get towed or anything crazy like that..." then she paused suddenly, "but there is that..."

I looked inside and sure enough, the front passenger side window was completely smashed and the boxes with our Christmas presents were gone.

We climbed in the car, weary and defeated and drove to the old apartment, only a few blocks away to call the police, who said they'd send someone out. This was around 12:30 or so.

Once in the apartment, we changed into what dry clothes we still had laying around (most of our clothes were at the new apartment already) and waited for the police while sitting on the floor since all of our furniture was also at the new apartment. I laid down on the floor, using a coat as a pillow and kind of fell asleep for a while. Finally, close to two hours later, a very nice policeman showed up, took my info and my story, wrote up a report and left.

We headed back to the new apartment and straightened enough stuff out so that the bed could be laid on the floor and finally, went to bed at 3:30 am.

I had to get up at 6:30 this morning to come to work, and here I sit writing this story. I'm pretty tired.