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14 Hours of Moving

6/29/08
The day was supposed to begin at 7am.
It was agreed upon the night before. Clearly stated.
At 7am, Auntie and her husband would arrive with a van filled with boxes which had been in storage in the countryside.

Yet, at 6am the phone rang.
“We’re here. The guy with the truck has business. Come now.”
“Ok.”
Schäfer is woken by the phone. A diaper needs changing. Clothes need changing. Milk is desperately requested.

2 minutes later the phone rings.
“We’re here. The guy with the truck has business. Come now.”
“Ok.”
Schäfer is changed and ready to go. Milk is being devoured. Meanwhile, I’m trying to call Hubs who is out for his morning bike ride…he didn’t take his phone.

1 minute later.
“We’re here. The guy with the truck has stuff. Come now.”
“Ok.”
Must change out of my pajamas.

1 minute later.
“We’re here. The guy with the truck has stuff. Come now.”
“Ok.”
Must remember to get out of my pajamas.
Diaper change again.

1 minute later.
“We’re here. The guy with the truck has stuff. Come now.”
“On my way.”

Got baby. But wearing yesterday’s clothes – good enough. No odor.
Wrote hubs a note on the door. Got cell. Got house key.

What took you so long?
I was asleep.
Where’s your husband?
He’s out exercising.
Exercising? This early in the morning?
Yes. It’s his free time.
Are Kim and Katie ready?
I will go see. Please wait a moment.

I look at my watch. It’s 6:15am.

2008-06-29@07-31-00
This stuff belongs to some foreign teachers who left 2.5 years ago. Now, it’s on a train headed north.

2008-06-29@07-30-52
Auntie and her husband had been storing these items in the countryside until the teachers could return. Kim (right) and Katie (left) stored the rest of the items and made the McDonald’s run for a little Sausage McMuffin breakfast. Thanks Katie for remembering your camera so we can have photos of this momentous occasion.

2008-06-29@09-16-03
Once the train station shipping department opened (yes, we were there well before 8am since the driver “had business”) the articles were sewn into these heavy rice bags. Just look at this hand held sewing machine. I bet that could fit in my diaper bag! What a handy tool.

2008-06-29@09-30-30
Hanging out at the train station made me feel like I was on a homeschooling field trip. We even stood on the official baggage scale to see how much we weighed. (You know you’ve lived in China too long when you are willing to hop on a scale in front of everyone.)

2008-06-29@09-48-35
Finally, the stuff is all ready to be loaded on the train.

2008-06-29@09-52-02
Here’s the shipping crew after a successful 3 hour adventure.

2008-06-29@09-56-19

2008-06-29@16-56-46
After a mid-day break, Kim and Katie were ready to be packed and shipped south for their next teaching position. It was a joy to be of help to them. Here, their neighbors come to search through the pile of things waiting to find a new home. (Schäfer just loves this Nai Nai. She’s always outside with her dog so he talks with her everyday.)

2008-06-29@17-02-08
I loved watching Katie trying to convince Nai Nai to take her Hello Kitty headband from her Halloween outfit.

2008-06-29@17-02-24
Nai Nai agrees.

2008-06-29@17-46-35
More friends pop over in search of ???? precious treasures worth treasuring. Thankfully, they didn’t mind filling out 10 shipping labels. Kim and Katie decided to ship their belongings via EMS using the university student rate. It’s a good option unless you have any large items. In the process, we learned that they don’t ship furniture.

2008-06-29@18-19-10
Here’s everything! Two members of the shipping crew came at 5pm, but then said they would have to come back in an hour because their truck was too full…or maybe their stomachs were too empty?

2008-06-29@18-56-40
Hubs put an additional numerical label on each box as an extra precaution.

2008-06-29@18-56-51
The shipping crew arrived and suddenly everything was underway. Schäfer was a very helpful assistant!

2008-06-29@19-13-21
Each rice bag had to be sewn closed. The zipper was deemed untrustworthy. Check out the size of this needle!

2008-06-29@19-23-57
Meanwhile, Schäfer sneaks back into the “freebie” room to play with anything he can get his hands on.

2008-06-29@19-36-28
At 8pm, everything was finished. Did we really start shipping 14 hours ago?

About 9pm, Kim, Katie, Beth & Amy came to our home to say bye-for-now.  We’ve known Kim and Katie since December 24, 2004.  It feels like just last week we went to their apartment across the river to help them move to the university.

We’ve known Beth for 2 years. It seems like just yesterday Beth and I traveled to fabric alley to find a curtain for her apartment.

We’ve also known Amy for 2 years, but thankfully we don’t have to say bye since she’ll be around.

Our friendship with Kim, Katie, Beth and Amy has come at a special time in my life. They were the only girlfriends who: saw my belly grow…threw a baby shower…were Schäfer’s first baby sitters…gave him candy on his first Halloween…and came to his 1st birthday party, etc.

We are excited to see where the next part of their journey will take each of them.

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