Saturday, May 14, 2011

Moving


It's been more than 17 years since I packed up my last home, married and moved into my husband's house. Moving was such a massive and exhausting job that I swore I'd never do it again.

But that hasn't stopped me from helping my BFF move six, count 'em six times, over the years. That's what friends are for, isn't it.

For the past two weeks we've packed, painted (and painted and painted and painted), schlepped carloads of possessions, directed movers for placement of the big stuff, painted some more, and unpacked her new home. And we still have miles to go before we sleep. Did I mention there's a lot of painting to do-- As in every surface of the entire house, some with as many as four coats of paint to cover the previous owner's love of very dark colors.

And it's going to be great when it's finished!

My BFF is a single, working mom of a young teenager-- my godson. This is the first home she has ever purchased and it's exciting and stressful all at the same time. She made a very smart purchase on a great house, albeit it paint-color-challenged, and I have no doubt they will live blissfully in what is really the perfect home for them.

She was pretty nervous about the move to a new neighborhood worrying that she'd be out of the loop for her friends to visit but that is far from the case. Every step of the painting way, gal pals have come out of the woodwork (No pun intended, but if you'd like to paint some there's plenty!) to help.

Bringing potted plants, casseroles and libations, gal pals have rallied around our friend to celebrate her new homeowner status. Every woman who crossed the threshold offered to paint, scrub or unpack to help make a dent in the task at hand. It brought heart-felt laughter, commodore and positive vibes to the home that filled Mom and son with joy you could actually see on their faces.

One afternoon, just after the move but with more boxes full then empty, Godson's school was dismissed at 12:30 so I picked him up on the way to a fast food run. When I explained to him that we needed to make a drive-thru detour for the houseful of mother hens back at the hacienda, his face lit up at the idea of "company" to "break in" their new pool-side patio furniture.

Upon arrival at his new home, Godson immediately went into "man of the house" mode and passed out burgers and fries to the all female gang and chatted everyone up about the joys of home ownership-- Which was actually thinly disguised as a pitch-- aimed at his mother-- for a new puppy.

The thing is, although they've known one another for countless years, some of these women have been email or Facebook pals with BFF but because life gets so busy sometimes, they haven't actually seen each other in way too long. All that changed when the home purchase was announced.

What was once a daunting task became a happy reunion between friends who rolled up their sleeves, pitched in, and reminded BFF that "girl power" is alive and well no matter where she lived and that they were only a phone call away. This knowledge renewed BFF's spirit and cheered her on through the emotional roller coaster of the process.

It reminded me of the importance of friendship and face-to-face contact too. I'm guilty of relying on email more than I pick up the phone to make a personal connection and I'll be working on that in the future-- Especially now that a landline with a speaker phone has been installed at their new house. I can talk hands-free.... and paint!

And that's a good thing because I'm pretty sure the paint color we put up in the dining room (all three coats of it) is going to be changed.

Welcome to www.TheFiftyFactor.com - Joanna Jenkins
PS I've been reading you all and catching up but thanks to Blogger's recent meltdown I wasn't able to leave comments. I'll be around again soon.
Photo Credit: © Anjark - Fotolia.com

51 comments:

Ocean Girl said...

There has been a meltdown? Since I saw no comments, I'll try publishing this first.

Ocean Girl said...

It worked :) I had been away and now trying to catch up. What a blessing to have a BFF and moving is stressful and exciting at the same time. And painting, that I think adds dimensions to both spectra x 1000 :)

Howdy Joanna.

Betty said...

Don´t worry about commenting Joanna. Sounds like you´ve been super busy! I´m sure your friend is so happy to have you as a friend. :)

Brian Miller said...

hey there jj! you just painted it and they are already changing color...why does this sound so familiar? smiles. glad you had so much fun doing it though...

Jeanie said...

I understand you BFF's trepidation. How great that you and all her friends came together to make it a celebration of friendship and well as a celebration of her new home.
I can't wait to hear about Godson's new puppy (I'm sure his pitch for a puppy will win his mom over).

Christine said...

what a wonderful story, glad everyone could pitch in, hope BFF and godson will be very happy in their new home!

Rebecca said...

I tell you, we moved about 2 years ago and it was hard. Luckily we had tons of help and that made all the difference.

Congrats to your friend on her home!

Ami said...

A friend will help you move. Your best friend will help you move bodies.

I'm glad you're only expected to paint.

:)

TechnoBabe said...

It is wonderful to read about friends who pitch in and help while catching up with each other lives. I wish them many years of happiness in their new home.

Cathy Clementz said...

Only YOU could make painting, boxing up and moving sound like fun!

Sightings said...

Oh man, you are putting me to shame. I started to paint our garage last September. Did some scraping and repairing. Got the primer on by November. Then too cold to paint. Now it's May ... and waiting for the first coat.

Next week. I'll do it next week. Promise.

savannah said...

lovely! what a great testament to friendship and women, sugar! xoxoxo

beth said...

wow....i think the next time we move (13 times now in 26 years) i'm calling you to help us :)

joanna....they are so very lucky to have you....you do know that, right?

DJan said...

Now that is a great story. And yeah, the recent meltdown of Blogger was a real wake-up call for me! I had no idea I am so addicted to all this. That BFF sounds like she's in a really cool new phase of life. Thanks for telling me about it! :-)

lisleman said...

I've noticed my adult daughters painting rooms in bold dark colors. Painting reminds me how much my back hurts after all the twisting, bending and stretching. Yours is a good friendship story.

Kristina P. said...

You are such an awesome friend!

ladyfi said...

Ah - what a great heart you have! And paint-covered fingers by the sounds of things too...

Alison said...

What a heartwarming post! Aren't girlfriends so special??

slommler said...

Glad your friend has been surrounded by gal pals and encouragement during this time. Moving can be so stressful. I laughed out loud when you said a new paint color will probably be changed. Ha! Sounds like a woman for sure.
Enjoy
Hugs
SueAnn

Shrinky said...

Oh JJ, what a heart-warming, uplifting post - I love the picture you paint (oops, sorry - teehee).. so tell me, was Godson's puppy-pitch successful??

Attila The Mom said...

Sounds like you turned what could have been a really crappy chore into a great time! LOL

Fireblossom said...

I hate moving, but I love the sort of gathering of friends you describe. :-)

Willoughby said...

Congrats to your friend on her new home! She's lucky to have you and so many other friends who are willing to help paint. I hope she took some "before" pictures. They're so much fun to look at afterward!

Formerly known as Frau said...

You are an awesome friend! I can imagine the laughter and tears shared for years to come in your BFF new house. Have a wonderful Sunday!

E. K. Dunton said...

Yay for girlfriends!!

Cinner said...

Congratulations on her new home. It is great everyone is pitching in to help. you sound like you have been very busy. glad you are well. hugs my friend.

jane said...

so true. gal pals are the best! wish i lived closer. :)

noexcuses said...

When I read the title, I thought for a moment that it was you moving. I couldn't imagine anyone leaving your beautiful house overlooking LA.

It's wonderful to hear how friends can just pick up where they left off and always be there for each other.

You are a great friend and I'm sure that you will have many happy memories in the new house!

Gran said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog, Joanna! You are a great friend, and congratulations to your friend and her son.

Cloudia said...

you have great spirit




Thrilled to be BACK-

Warm Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral

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Pink Martini said...

You are both a saint and a very, very good friend indeed.

Rebecka said...

I'm so jealous!
My BFF will be closing (hopefully) on her first solo home sometime this week.
I wish so much that I could be there to help her paint and move furniture. We'd laugh and each junk food and drink too much coffee and stay up too late... all that stuff.

Alas, she live on the other side of the country so all I can do is cheer her on and admire all of the before and after photos that she better send me.

Lilly said...

How wonderful for your friend and your god son to move into their own home. Happy times. And you are so right about the importance of face to face friendhsips too.

I love painting I have to say although I am not so good at corners or ceilings. What fun you will all have designing and choosing furniture and colours etc.

I hoe they will be very happy in their new home and they have a great housewarming party!!

Pastor Sharon said...

This story just warmed my heart! I love this kind of story with a great ending. What a way to rally for your BFF!

If we ever move, do you think you could arrange for this kind of thing to happen?

Very loving and thoughtful!

david mcmahon said...

Painting and speaking on the phone is one thing - but I want to be the first to know when you paint, speak on the phone AND post a blog entry at the same time!

Kay said...

That Blogger meltdown really got everybody frustrated and upset. I felt so disconnected.

You are a very good friend, Joanna! Your BFF is lucky to have your support and friendship!

Ⓙ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

I love it when friends rally around one another and achieve great things! Where would we be without our friends? God didn't intend for us to go through life alone.

Ina in Alaska said...

Yes that Blogger meltdown was something!

Your BFF is one lucky lady to have such support (and help!!)- the moving story was, well, moving!

Joyce said...

I love when friends come together to help one another. A true meaning of friendship for better or worse in good time and bad... If I lived nearby I would for sure would have showed up with my favorite brush. I love cutting and I can do it without taping! She and godson have already made it a home and started one of many memories to come. xo
P.S. Hint to godmother- a new puppy would be a perfect gift for a godson in his new home.

Tara Rinaldi said...

Girl Power rules AGAIN!! This is a wonderful story: turning a stressful move to a new home into a team effort, a reunion of friends, a lesson on the importance of our communities, and FACE time!!

Great to read this - thanks JJ!

Chris H said...

ONYA for helping your friend move. That's so nice.

af1blog said...

Excellent post and you are so right - real friendship is what life is all about - and particularly so with women (why is that?) - AF

blueviolet said...

I'm glad you were there to share in all the joys of their new home, paint and all!

Shug said...

A great post and a great testimony of true friendship! Wonderful story..
Color...don't you just love it? I will say that painting is not one of my best atributes, so I am very impressed that you are taking the time to help your BFF Paint...
Enjoyed...
shug

Mike Smith said...

Painting doors? I think you should gloss over that...

secret agent woman said...

Fantastic - there is nothing in the world like friends.

CC said...

This is so awesome! I wish/hope I have friends like you!!

Anne H said...

What's the puppy's name?
I'm sure GS's logic won through!

Nancy Wurtzel said...

Wow, you are a super friend! I love the godson and how you bring out his personality. I am having my two bathrooms painted and right now agonizing over little color swatches...yikes!

Unknown Mami said...

I wish them much happiness in their new home.

Lately, my husband and I have been making an effort to socialize with our friends more and I have to say it really does put a certain joy back into life to commune with your chosen loved ones in person. It is restorative.

RNSANE said...

How wonderful for your friend, finding the perfect house and having such great friends to help her get it all ready to make it a home. I wish I had someone around to help me pack up and move. Of course, I can't even find a place! This darn retirement incom leaves me without enough for first and last month's rent and my shoulder and knee arthritis is so bad lately, I can barely get the boxes packed. I did start physical therapy a month ago which has improved my shoulder range of motion a little bit but I am still in a lot of pain.

Have to do something soon, though. I'm thinking of just putting things in storage and renting a room for a few months to get a little more ready cash.