The moving van is due here on 12 May and packing is coming along fine, a few boxes each day. I'm being ruthless about what to keep. No one needs 38 coffee mugs many of which were Secret Santa gifts at work over many years (nothing ever breaks in my kitchen), so I whittled them down to eight. I'm also getting rid of half my clothes and a whole lot of shoes along with the general detritus that accumulates in four years.
But downsizing and packing are the easiest part of preparing to move – nothing to it but time and energy. The harder part is untangling life in one city and re-establishing it in another. Look at the list:
Safe Deposit Box
Social Security Direct Deposit
Medicare Part D
Postal change of address
Snailmail subscriptions changes
It's not that it is particularly difficult, but it is a horrendous time sink with the large number of phone calls to make and return, many of them in two cities with a lot of wait time on hold or tracking down the right person to speak with.
But some of it almost took care of itself. I had opened a checking account in Lake Oswego when I was there a few weeks ago. It's a small, local bank where I can call the vice president I met when I have questions or needs.
Water/sewer/trash is covered in the homeowners association dues at my new home. The electric companies in Maine and Oregon handled the change with a minimum of conversation. Telephone is not an issue; I dumped the VoIP a couple of years ago for cell only.
I become more impressed with government bureaucracy every time I deal with Social Security. It took less than five minutes on the telephone to find out what to do about SSA direct deposit.
The day of the last deposit I want to go into my Maine account, I just phone and give them the information about my bank account in Oregon and they assure me the change will be made in time for the next month's deposit. And, they take care of notifying Medicare of the change of address. I haven't checked yet, but I think this can be accomplished online if I choose to do it that way. I need to contact my Medicare Parts B and D providers separately.
Cable TV and internet here in Maine are more complicated. The two people I've spoken with so far at the provider had difficulty understanding the concept of “cancel” and gave me conflicting instructions on returning their equipment. I'm still working on that. I'll be in a hotel here in Maine for five days after the moving van leaves until the closing. The hotel has free WiFi, but I need to work out how to reconfigure my email for that period of time.
My Maine insurance agent easily handled ending my homeowner's policy here (auto insurance remains in effect until I purchase new coverage in Oregon - within 30 days), so there is the necessity of finding an agent there. I've got a line on that.
I had notified my doctor, dentist and the veterinarian that I am leaving and they prepared copies of medical records which I picked up last week. None have recommendations for me in Oregon, but I'm making inquiries and it should not be difficult.
The prescription switch is much easier than I thought it would be. I picked up a 90-day supply last week and the pharmacist tells me that all I need do in Oregon is have the new pharmacist call him and the remaining refills will be honored.
Travel to Oregon took some time to work out because Ollie the cat is going with me on the plane. It costs an extra $100 for him and the airline is picky about the size of his carrier. Fortunately, Ollie's meets the requirements.
I can't take a carry-on bag for me because – well, Ollie is the carry-on bag. And I don't check bags when there is a plane change because they never arrive with you. Instead, the day before we leave, I'll pack up all my things in a box and ship it by overnight delivery service to my brother. That way, my toothbrush and clothes, etc. will already be there when our plane lands in the evening.
Meanwhile, the veterinarian has given me a sedative for Ollie so he'll doze during the long flight – almost 12 hours with the need to be at the airport two hours before departure and the plane change. The doctor suggested I do a trial run to see how he reacts to the drug and determine if he needs a larger or smaller dosage. Haven't done that yet.
So although the list is long, most of it is relatively easy. The important part, I realized, is having the list with columns for each city to check off as the tasks are accomplished. Thank god I don't have young kids; imagine what the list would look like then.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Johna Ferguson: Tibetan Quake Victims