The Incredible Lightness of Moving

Pam is real­ly excit­ed about the idea of cast­ing off all these old and inher­it­ed poses­sions. She sees them as encum­brances: We nev­er use that sec­ond pitch­er. We’ve used that Fon­due pot 3 times in 15 years. I nev­er liked those can­dle­sticks or that set of cups. (Some of that was from me, too) Away they go, tossed aside like so much extra cloth­ing by a per­son enter­ing a nud­ist colony. Pam claims that she won’t miss any of them, and I’m hop­ing that she does­n’t change her mind. I’m cer­tain­ly not some­one who hangs on to every item I’ve ever come to own, but I have to admit that it will be some time before I can be as ruth­less regard­ing the shed­ding of mem­o­ra­bil­ia as she can be.

As we sell off these pos­ses­sions (often at just a hair above giv­ing them away), our poundage on the van mov­ing across coun­try goes down and down. Soon it will be just the liv­ing room fur­ni­ture, some books, com­put­er equip­ment, and some small appli­ances. This is good because as I’ve men­tioned before, movers charge by the pound.

We lost some major poundage today, but not by sell­ing it. It became clear that the bed can’t go. Well, it could, but it would be high­ly imprac­ti­cal. Here’s what happened:

We have a water bed. Not one of those groovy vel­vet bags that sloshed their way through the Ford and Carter eras, but a wave­less vari­ety that had a ‘shell’ that fit over a wood frame sit­ting on a plat­form and a plas­tic bag with­in the frame filled with many gal­lons of water. We got it 15 years or so ago from ‘Big John’s Beds’ in Cam­bridge short­ly after mov­ing into our present home. The ‘bag’ for the water is the orig­i­nal that came with the bed (nev­er replaced, as often is the case) and is well beyond its pro­ject­ed life expectancy.

The bag was a pain to fill and even more of a pain to drain. In fact, when you drained it, the poly­ester (or some oth­er poly­mer) fibers that negat­ed the wave motion inevitably would get tan­gled up and we’d have to bring it into Big John’s shop to have some­one unknot the gnarled ball they had become. So we thought: great, we’re due to get a new bag, and we’ll just get a brand new one, drain the old one on the morn­ing we leave, and leave it on the curb, for the garbage men to pick up, and take a new bag, with 15 years of life now to go.

Would­n’t you know, our bed’s man­u­fac­tur­er real­ized what a pain it was to move the bed (with the afore­men­tioned knot­ting of it’s innards), and if it sprung a leak, the whole bag had to be replaced, etc. . So they stopped mak­ing them years ago and start­ed mak­ing the bed out of a series of sep­a­rate­ly fil­l­able tubes. OK, we thought, why not just replace the big old bag with the new tubes. No dice, Big John (or rather his help­ful sales­per­son) said. The frame and shell for the new tube-style beds are com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent. We’d essen­tial­ly have to buy a brand new bed. So we could buy the bed here, and pay for the shipping/moving of it, but it hard­ly makes sense. So, we are going to leave the bed here and buy a new one in Cana­da. We can’t even legal­ly sell the old bed in Mass­a­chu­setts because of health reg­u­la­tions. So our load just light­ed con­sid­er­ably. No mat­tress, no bed, no bed frame. We’ll buy that when we get there. In fact, it does make some sense, because we’ll prob­a­bly arrive and start set­ting up house at least a week and a half before our fur­ni­ture reach­es the Cana­di­an bor­der from Wash­ing­ton State. Every day that we can stay in the apart­ment and not in a hotel is mon­ey saved. So a new bed pays for itself in a fair­ly short amount of time.

Still, I loved that bed. Hope we can find one that is at least as nice.

One Reply to “The Incredible Lightness of Moving”

  1. LOL! I’ve been through the waterbed mat­tress thing a few times myself. Although the frame has last­ed (our mat­tress just sits inside the frame, noth­ing too spe­cial about it) we’ve had to replace the mat­tress when­ev­er we made a major move. The baf­fling inside the mat­tress becomes the tan­gled mass you men­tion when we drain and move it. So for instance, when we moved from Texas to Mass., we tossed the mat­tress and bought a new one. Got to keep the frame, though. (For cross-town moves, we’ve only part­ly drained it and man­aged to keep the baf­fling straight.)

    But, all this ram­bling is just to say: Go for it. Nev­er as com­fort­able on any bed as a wave­less waterbed. Also, bet­ter for aller­gies because it’s eas­i­er to con­trol dustmites–they can’t live inside a plas­tic sac of water. Good luck shop­ping in Vancouver!

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