Sunday, May 3, 2009

College Has Changed

Back in the olden days when Hubby and I went to college, we took some clothes, our stereo (portable, with speakers attached), linens, and maybe a plastic storage cube or two, and it all fit in the trunk and backseat of our car. Our parents didn't go with us to help us move in and they didn't go to a parent's orientation (because there wasn't one). We shared a room with a roommate and the community bathroom was down the hall.

When our girls started college and moved into the dorms, they took their clothes, linens, and stereo, along with a tv, a refrigerator, a microwave, a computer, printer, bookshelves, dishes, and small kitchen appliances. Brownie's college specified the size of the refrigerator, but Lil's college only specified the amount of electricity it used, so she got one that was about five feet tall with a separate freezer compartment. Both girls lived in dorm suites, which is a living room and bedrooms, and in Lil's case, also a dining area. Brownie had a roommate in addition to two suitemates, and she and her roommate shared their own bathroom. Lil had her own bedroom and she shared a bathroom with a suitemate, and there were two other suitemates who had the same setup.

Brownie didn't like dorm living, so she moved in with the basics, and moved out at the end of the semester without much more. She still needed our help to move in and out, but it wasn't difficult. Lil's move-in, however, could have been titled "Ellie May Goes to College." Her freshman year, we had both the car and the pickup totally loaded, with the pickup loaded to the top of the cab. At the end of her freshman year, we came down in a pickup and van and it was still packed to the gills. When she went back for her sophomore year, we took two pickups completely loaded. She had summer internships the next two summer, and only had to move from one suite to another. Their last year, she and her roommates decided to get a full kitchen suite so they gathered up even more crap valuable items for the kitchen.

Saturday morning, Hubby and I got up early and rented a u-haul. We used it that morning to drive to the far side of the next county to pick up the living room furniture that Lil bought over Easter break. The neighborhood where she bought the furniture was having a community garage sale. If we had gotten there early in the morning, we probably could have found her a nice bedroom set. As it was, people had just the hard-to-sell stuff left, and a lot of them were packing up before it started raining again. As difficult as it is to drive around a crowded neighborhood pulling a trailer, people are much more willing to negotiate if it is near closing time, they don't want to haul it back inside, and they know they are going to get rid of the item on the spot. Some folks even tried to wave us down to load up the rest of their crap treasures. I bought a patio table and umbrella and two lamps, and from a free box, I picked up a bag of pillar candles, a metal poster-sized picture frame, and a nicely framed poster.

We also learned that when pulling a trailer down car-lined streets it is especially important to look at street signs before turning, and not to turn into any street that ends in CT, aka Court. Cul-de-sacs with no obstructions are a real pain to turn around in with our extended cab pickup, even worse while pulling a twelve-foot trailer. The other drivers in the cul-de-sac didn't seem any more pleased for us to be there than we were, but they finally figured out that they could back up and we couldn't. Or it could have been that they were afraid the peeling paint and many scratches and dents on The Beast were an indication that an uninsured driver was bearing down on their new, unblemished, and payment laden SUVs. In any case, they finally let us out and we started reading street signs.

This morning after it stopped raining, Hubby and I took the u-haul to pick up the contents of Lil's dorm apartment. Graduation is looming and we wanted to beat the rush since we were bringing a trailer this time, and the dorm has no convenient place to load a pickup, much less a pickup pulling a trailer. Luckily, we were the only ones moving out today, maybe it was the threat of rain, or maybe everyone else is waiting until the last day of school. Lil checked out a wagon-style dolly from the dorm, and we had our regular dolly, so we were loaded in record time. And I must say, as silly as it seems to use a u-haul for a college dorm, it is sooooo much better than trying to tie down a bulky load in the back of a pickup.

And with this move, the Mom And Dad Moving and Storage Company is coming to an end. As soon as Lil has procured a bedroom set and we have moved it to our house, we are hanging it up. Her new company pays for her move to Missouri, and it had better not be a POD delivered to our house for us to load.

Until next time, may you have blessings and children with strong friends,

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