Saturday, August 22, 2009

Who's Always Eager to Extend a Friendly Claw?

I spent this morning helping my friends Joanna and Elizabeth move out of their house. For the next few weeks they are in a slight state of limbo until they can move into their new apartment (curse those incompatible leases and move-in dates!!!). Elizabeth is bunking at one friend’s house for the next few weeks, Joanna at another, and their stuff at yet a third friend’s house. It makes me tired just thinking about it.

Nine vehicles showed up at their house this morning, ready to carry off the mattresses, boxes, toaster ovens, shelves, lamps, and books that make up an existence. I was skeptical that we would need quite so many means of transportation, as we did, after all, have multiple trucks, SUVs, and even one trailer. What would they possibly need my car for? My helping hands, eager demeanor, and clever quips that NO ONE gets tired of at 9:30 in the morning on a Saturday, sure, but my Elantra? My zippy little car? Meh. We’ll never need it.

SELF, you have officially been proven wrong! I was absolutely aghast at the amount of belongings that continued to pour out of their house. Little tables and big framed mirrors and vases of big decorative sticks (BECAUSE WHY NOT?) and books -good Lord in heaven, the books- were carried out bit by bit until we had stuffed every nook and cranny in every single vehicle to the point where I was concerned we would even have room for the drivers.

But just over an hour after arriving, our ragtag caravan (SOMEHOW with me in the lead) pulled out onto the little country road to make our way across town. And friends, you should have seen this hilarious prossession. I nearly laughed out loud at one point when I glanced in my rearview mirror and saw the trucks laden with dressers and SUVs with boxes piled to the ceilings following valiantly behind me.

We arrived at the place where Joanna and Elizabeth’s worldly possessions will be living until they can move into their apartment with our convoy somehow still in tact (do you know how stressful it is to have that many follow you to a place they’ve never been before and have it be your responsibility to not lose anyone and get all helpers and all belongings to the same place???). The next hour blurred by in waves of directing cars to back in and out of the little driveway, unloading each of them in a flurry of arms and sweaty hands and perplexed faces (Q: What IS this thing? A: It's a paper shredder, of course. Of course.) with no one stopping or complaining, simply looking for the next load, heaving boxes out of the cars, and asking for a hand with the big awkward chair (because that sucker just did NOT want to fit through the dang door!).

I marveled at the speed in which we’d accomplished this- moving SO. Much. Stuff. In only three hours. Managing to fit it all into all of the volunteered vehicles. Cramming everything into one room in a Tetris-style feat of engineering ingenuity, actually utilizing the shelves we had just moved in, cleverly stacking boxes and bins on top of one another, and using teamwork to Make It Work.

More than once I found myself looking around at these friends of mine, so proud of the unassuming way that everyone cheerfully showed up, asking for nothing in return, ready to help and heave and sweat just because someone asked them too. They weren’t even helping me, and I was taken aback by all the unselfish and generous people that thought nothing of giving up a Saturday morning for their friends.

Because let’s face it- not many people enjoy helping other people move. It can be difficult and cumbersome and, HELLO, unbearably hot- welcome to Texas. But God just blessed it all. He did. He had His hand on the entire day; I am completely convinced of it. It was an uncharacteristically cool morning, nothing broke in transit, everyone remained in good spirits, and somehow we all seem to be ready to do it all over again.

Oh yeah, did you catch that? Yes. We’re doing it all again. Everyone will be back at the same place we just moved their stuff INTO so we can move it all back OUT in September when they are finally able to move into their new apartment. But we’ll be there. We’ll make it fun, and we’ll get it done. (Even though next time I hear they are throwing STAIRS into the mix.... Bring it on.)

I guess sometimes we just need a tangible way to show our friends we care. To demonstrate that we’re willing to do whatever they need us to do. Point me in the right direction and I will HELP (full-on "fists on hips, cheesy grin, superhero" mode). Yes, I will wake up before 9am on a Saturday. Yes, I will carry the big awkward chair. And perhaps most importantly, YES, I will join you for lunch at Taco Bueno when we’re through.

Because Taco Sauce Face. Is a very good face to have.

1 comment:

The Dishwasher Diaries said...

As much as I hate to admit it, I cried on Saturday. I looked down the driveway and saw all of the cars and had to go to my room for a minute or so.
zoey(my dog) was slightly worried as I cried over the fact that I am amazingly blessed(and thankful beyond belief) to have such great friends. We could not have done Saturday without them and I'm not sure I would want to. Between references to Tetrus, hysterical comments and pictures the day was wonderful.