22 October 2009

Packing Out - Where are my sunglasses?

We survived two pack outs! Even after a week of throwing things out and organizing, it was a whirlwind and several things were inadvertently packed into our Household Effects (HHE), a.k.a. the boxes stored in a warehouse until we depart DC for our first post. Rumor has it that we could be without our precious stuff for up to ten months depending on the kind of language training I might need. Admittedly, my Type A personality made it difficult to allow others to pack for us. Dave loved it! (No heavy lifting!)

The movers (from Miller Brothers - an agent of Nationwide) were frighteningly efficient. They packed everything and loaded it in a day. You can imagine the pace with which they worked. Here is a list of some of the things we forgot to take out of their devastating path:

Dave's sunglasses
Dave glasses (see a theme yet?)
Dave's winter coats
Aidan's lion and frog :(
Many pairs of shoes we could have used
Almost lost Dave's suits - he had to bargain to get them back out of the box

Our advice: don't even think that you will have the ability to "tell" them about what goes or doesn't -- separate in advance. We did that about 80% and still lost some things in the end. I feel the worst about the lion. . .ten months can be a long time to a one-year-old. But a newly discovered leopard at Nana's house fixed that situation for now.

Above is a picture of what the Unaccompanied Air Baggage (UAB) boxes look like. Since we are a family of three, we had 550 lbs to work with, or the equivalent of three of these boxes. Whatever we can fit in the UAB comes with us to DC. So hard to decide!

Here is Dave glaring at Jack. The dogs used the chaos to their advantage to sneak lots of "bed time" while we were packing. Moving them overseas will be quite the challenge, so stay tuned.

After everything was gone, we still spent two days cleaning, painting and doing little fixes to our condo. We're putting it on the market to see what happens. Since we may never see it again, we took a (tired) family photo as we were locking the door for the last time:

Right now we are homeless in Buffalo. We packed out some things from my parents house, and are staying at the family home before our drive to DC. We're hoping to say hello to my brother's first child, who should be making an appearance any day now!

On a final note, here's Aidan enjoying his goodbye cupcake at the going away party thrown by Dave's family:

A-100 starts Monday!! Wish us luck!


Miss Anne said...

I miss you guys - lots of luck!

Banoo said...

Miss you Jojo. I promise i'll come to see you in VA before you go to some exotic far away land :)

Banoo said...

P.S: Banoo is Golriz :)

Digger said...

Congrats on joining the Foreign Service. You are in for an interesting ride!

I have added a link to your blog to my blogroll of abou 150 Foreign Service blogs at http://lifeafterjerusalem.blogspot.com.