So, we moved recently.
It always sucks to move but this was particularly terrible, because it happened during that massive PNW heatwave from four weeks ago. Here’s a short version of the story.
At the beginning of June, we chose Monday, 6/28 as our move date so we could be into our new place (and out of our old) by July 1. Our old landlord was nice enough to hire a moving company to help us out.
The Thursday before, we started hearing about the heatwave that was coming. We were supposed to be getting temps in the upper 90s on Sunday, then hit a high of 108F on Monday. I contacted the landlord to suggest we reschedule to a day where the movers were less likely to fall over dead as they carried our sofa up the back stairs, but he said they still wanted to do it on that day.
Boss wouldn’t give up an earning day, I guess.
By Saturday, I got an email saying the movers would start an hour early and knock off before temperatures got too hot, like noon or one. I don’t remember how things work in other cities, but in Seattle, the hottest times of the day come in late afternoon, around 5ish. That still seemed ridiculous, but whatever.
That weekend was a nightmare of packing up the last of our things in 98F temperatures, guzzling water, sweltering. We’d do one thing, sit down, then get up and do one more thing, then sit down again. Also, the heat was getting on top of me, making me woozy and a little nauseated.
Then moving day came, and mere moments before the movers were supposed to arrive, they cancelled.
I immediately got online to find us an air-conditioned hotel room for the night, but everything was all booked up. We sat in our apartment and sweltered.
One piece of advice they give you during a heatwave is that you’re supposed to leave your windows open all night, letting the cool air in. Once the run rises, you close everything up and pull the blinds to trap the cool air in place and keep the heat out.
Except our Seattle apartment had little cross ventilation. The windows were tiny and the air flow was minimal. What cooling we did get–which was not a lot because night time temps didn’t drop that much, another deadly aspect of dangerous heatwaves–was quickly overwhelmed by body heat and carbon dioxide.
Having prepped a bunch of ice cubes, we put steel bowls full of them in front of our box fan. We sat and we did nothing. We hid in the dark.
I didn’t do that well. I felt sick most of the day. My hands swelled up a bit, and my feet swelled up a lot. Like, a scary amount. I had a hard time keeping awake (not that I really wanted to) and I found myself in a kind of thoughtless daze through much of the day.
The best remedies I had for the temperature was to wear a soaking wet T-shirt (and not in a sexy way) and to put my head under the shower with the water set at its coldest.
The latter was a revelation. It was the best possible kind of pain, making my skin tingle down my back, and I could actually feel the cold water drawing heat from the inside of my skull, along with lethargy, confusion, and exhaustion. It was a really strange sensation.
The movers didn’t finish completely until Saturday. They managed the boxes on Tuesday, but were short-handed and couldn’t bring over the furniture. The landlord, knowing this wasn’t going well, helped us by driving over the mattresses in his jeep (we don’t have a car). At least we had something to sleep on.
That’s the short version. Things sucked for about a week and a half, and over on my 20 Palaces Kickstarter, I had mentioned that I thought our move would interrupt my writing for a few days before and after the move, but that turned out to be a terrible guess. Laughably terrible. The disruption was much longer and more profound. Luckily, I’m back to my old, pre-pandemic pace. More on that in an upcoming post.
As for the new place, it’s newer and brighter than the old, with larger windows that allow for actual air circulation. It’s also slightly smaller than our old apartment, especially the fridge, which drives my wife to distraction.
Also, although we’re farther from the train yard than the old apartment, that place had a smaller front slope with lots of greenery, so we had foliage and buildings across the street to block the noise. The new apartment sits on a bare hill and has a nice terrestrial view, and it’s the loudest place I’ve ever lived.
Anyway, I’m still settling in. My wife is trying to, but she hates to settle for anything. As for my son, well, this is officially the second place he’s ever lived in his life, and he’s about the right age for this move, so he’s doing pretty well. Except for the ants. Did I mention that the new place has ants? Bugs give him the willies, so we’re dousing the outside wall with vinegar and…
Well, this blog post could go on and on, but I’m going to stop typing about it so I can write today’s pages. As I mentioned above, I’ll post about my improved productivity and the pandemic soonish.
Thanks for reading.