Post # 14
Days to departure from Western Canada = 0
This is it! Today I am flying on WestJet from Edmonton to Toronto, a 3.5 hour flight during which I lose two hours. I am writing this on the plane and so far it’s a smooth, smooth flight.
The adventure is about to begin in earnest!
The best part about the actual moving part of a move is that the time pressure is off. I want to find an apartment in Toronto by December 1, but if I don’t find it until January 1, it is not the end of the world (thanks to my friend Pat who is allowing me to camp out in her basement suite for as long as I need to!)
The 13 boxes and suitcases full of stuff that I shipped by Greyhound from Saskatoon to Edmonton, where I have had them with me these past two weeks (thanks, Bev and Phil, for putting up with me and them!), and have now shipped to Toronto, should arrive mid-week, and then I will have the basic requirements for survival until I am able to send for (or go and get) the rest of my books, furniture, clothes, etc. from the storage unit in Saskatoon.
For the first time in about two months, at the moment I have no urgent deadlines (I even managed to get two freelance jobs done on time, one in Calgary and one in Edmonton—both for clients in Saskatoon), and the relief is enormous. All my responsibilities have momentarily been attended to, all my goodbyes have been said. I feel as though once again I can start thinking about the future. And the future is looking good.
I will continue to post my thoughts here, more regularly I hope now that I have some time, and will let you know my impressions of Toronto. At the moment I am consciously aware of the fact that I am returning to the province where I lived from age 2 to age 15, but I have no idea what that means emotionally, financially, creatively or in any other way. It will be an interesting exploration.
I am not, however, concerned about feeling isolated: aside from the many friends who have assured me they will be coming to visit me before I know it (including those Edmontonians – ahem! — who said they would come to visit me in Saskatoon, but never did; they insist that Toronto is “different”), several friends who live in the Toronto area want me to get in touch with them soon, and two friends (including one I ran into at the airport in Edmonton today!) have trips to Toronto already scheduled in the next month! Solitude is not likely to be an issue.
Some Moving Tips
On a more practical note, I have a few tips to share with any of you who are planning moves. They are totally unrelated to one another for the most part, and this is certainly not an exhaustive list – just thoughts that occurred to me during the past few weeks where I thought others might benefit from my experiences:
- Avoid scheduling a move for a Monday. Aside from the fact that the movers’ truck might not work on a Monday morning (which the one scheduled for my move did not), in the final hours before your move, you are likely to think of at least one and possibly several administrative things you need to do before your move. These might include, for example, getting your household insurance transferred to your new location, returning equipment to your phone company, acquiring more boxes, finding an auctioneer at the last minute or taking household items to a Salvation Army store. These are all chores where, depending on the town or city where you live, you may have problems getting business done on a Sunday–or even a Saturday;
- To prevent the loss of those little pegs that hold up the shelves in your book cases during moves, put them into a Ziplock plastic baggie and tape the baggie to the top of the bookcases or a horizontal surface on the inside—like a non-removable shelf.
- When listing the contents of boxes, mark the room (e.g., office, master bedroom) where the boxes should go as well as what’s in them (thanks, Merna), and be as specific as possible (without calling too much attention to particularly valuable items) so that you can find things when you need them at the other end. E.g., if you toss the coffee grinder into a box of Christmas decorations, mention the grinder on the outside of the box—or, unless you moved on December 1, you are guaranteed to end up buying a new one (thanks, Gordon);
- Acquire more than one black thick felt-tipped pen for marking boxes (and a finer-tipped one for making lists of box contents. I used big label stickers for this) because if you only have one it will disappear in the uproar several times an hour;
- Eat. On two days of my move, I didn’t get food into me until about 4 p.m. This does not pan out well when you are also likely to get increasingly edgy as the day wears on and you become more and more convinced that you are never going to meet your deadlines;
- Look carefully around all the floors and check every rug before you leave. I am missing one diamond stud earring. I am sure that by now it has been sucked up into some steam-cleaning machine and is gone forever. This is (as far as I know) the only major Unfortunate Incident associated with my move. My one remaining hope is that I vacuumed it up myself and when I am reunited with my vacuum cleaner, i will rip the bag apart with fingers crossed.