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31 Days Not According to PlanPortland friends gathered in the kitchen at our farewell party to hear the latest update. The past few months had been a roller coaster ride no one could keep up with. I think even these free-spirited friends living in “the city where young people go to retire” were starting to think we were a little crazy.

“So, we don’t know what we’re doing anymore,” we explained. “But we know we’re leaving in three weeks. And we have friends in Baltimore who said we could live with them for three months.”

The obvious next question:  who wants to help us pack our pod?

the pod

Countless friends have helped us move over the past decade. I am immensely thankful to each and every one of them – from college guys who helped in a frenzy without boxes to a high school friend I hadn’t seen in eight years. Thank you.

Three contributions stand out in all the moves I’ve made:

  • the enormous moving truck a friend provided for no cost
  • the work interns who barely knew me but showed up when hardly anyone else did
  • the chef-turned-Alaskan-fisherman-turned-contractor neighbor in Portland who also happened to have experience as a professional mover

Our unparalleled neighbor – the one with the professional moving experience – became one of our closest friends in Portland almost the moment he moved in. (I cannot BELIEVE I don’t have a picture of him to feature here.)

There was a point when I used a chocolate fountain to draw neighbors out because I couldn’t seem to meet them otherwise. Not this neighbor – he showed up with plates of food before I could even make him a welcome meal.

We knew we’d be fast friends when this bearded, lumberjack-of-a-man knocked on our door to ecstatically tell us his little boy had just pooped in the toilet.

Both our families hated the thought of parting.

When moving day came, our neighbor strategically positioned every item as our army of help carried it out. He balanced the weight to prevent tipping, stacked to avert shifting, and filled gaps with what became endearingly known as “chatter.”

pod tetris

I had heart palpitations trying to keep up with the assembly line of orders for what to bring next.

I planned to write down everything I learned and maybe even write a blog post to share with others. In all the shuffle though, I never did get around to it.

All I remember is that next time, when the loading finishes, I want to have cleaning supplies, plates for the post-moving pizza party, and somewhere to sleep. (Thankfully, other generous friends welcomed us into their home as last-minute guests that night.)

Ten months later…TODAY!!!…we are finally unpacking our pod!!

Drumroll!!A whole new crew of friends and yet-to-be friends will help us set up in our beautiful Connecticut home.

Experienced friends have told us it will be like Christmas as we pull out one forgotten item after another from the pod.

After months of inventorying items I really-could-use-right-now, I wasn’t convinced. But when the pod arrived yesterday, I couldn’t contain myself. I kept thinking, our whole house is packed up in that little box?!

I took pictures of it y’all – and not just for the blog. That pod should have had a big red bow around it.

It wasn’t the items inside that excited me. It was the realization that we had finally landed. That I was going to be able to set up a home. That we had neighbors to get to know again.

It felt like one of the biggest gifts ever in a package smaller than I ever would have imagined could contain it.

And thanks to our Portland neighbor, not even the loose remote control moved during transit.

Not even the fan remote shifted.