Ah! I’m finally here! My own piece of paradise. Safety Harbor, Florida. In a deed restricted 55+ community. Homes are scattered amid mature live oak trees dripping with Spanish Moss. The roads wind and rise slightly suggesting hills here and there.
The path here was circuitous at best. If this is your first visit to “Rogers Girl Rides Again,” please take a quick tour through previous posts to get a feel for what I mean.
My retirement date from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine was February 26, 2016. Almost twenty-nine years since I began my amazing career at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. (Details in previous posts.)
Original plans for the actual move were greatly modified. My sisters’ winter visit was cut considerably short due to drastic medical conditions/episodes which I will explain in a future posting.
Suffice it to say, plan B needed to be formulated. Options included renting one of those PODS to park in the yard to pack myself. Then call for transport accordingly. After a brief investigation, I decided that would not be conducive to my “bulging discs” which could easily be over taxed and leave me unproductive. Scrap the PODS.
Pack up stuff. Hire strong, young bodies to load a rental truck. Drive the truck, trailer my car across the state; hire more able bodied persons to unload. Too much trouble with my “trust” issues. Nope.
Get bids from professionals. With a warning from my sister, Sue, who recently experienced a nightmare from the crew she hired.
The internet really streamlines research. Some folks responded to my electronic inquiry while others did not. Some came to the house for a “look-see” estimate; some did a bestimate via phone. How many boxes would I have? Any stairs? A piano? Ok, so no flights of stairs, just a coulpe at the front door. No, no piano. How the heck do I know how many boxes I’ll have. As many as it takes!
The estimates varied by total weight, distance, etc. Some of the quotes were vague. One was precise. The more packed boxes ready the better; but the crew would pack if necesarry. How many rooms? Stairs? Piano? Where is the pick-up point and what is the destination? When do you want the truck/team to arrive?
By way of introduction, they are a military operation. “Oh, but I’m not military.”
“That’s okay, m’am, we also move civilians.”
“And we donate a portion of the fees to Wounded Warriors and other charitable organizations supporting military veterans.”
In my mind it was a done deal after hearing that.
Delta Force Movers use active duty, retired, reserve personnel on their crews. They charge an hourly rate based on accurate estimates, time of arrival, time to load, time to travel the distance, time to unload.”
They called me back with their proposal. Sounded great. Three men on the crew. Three hours to load. Five hours to destination, including, fuel, tolls, etc. Three hours to unload. Two hundred dollar deposit to secure the date/time.Sign when they arrive and at the end. Balance due when job complete.
They came in as the low bidder. It didn’t matter because I was sold on the concept and the donation.
They arrived promptly at the designated time, 8:00 a.m.,Sunday, February 29, 2016. Finished exactly at 11:00 a.m. Arrived ahead of me and my travel crew – only because one of the two was from Sweden and wanted to see the Everglades. We took the slow road.
Luckily, because I locked myself out of my new dwelling the night of the closing, I had a hidden key. I told the man in charge exactly where, and they began unloading.
Crossing through the ‘glades we spotted deer, gators, birds, the usual sightings.
The unusual included an almost road block by multiple sheriff’s department vehicles and men trying to round up a cow on the wrong side of the fence.
After that we got on the interstate without further incidents until we were moments from our destination.
Again, involving a sheriff’s department vehicle, rushing through a busy intersection with lights and siren. Traffic light changed. First car stuttered mid-intersection to avoid emergency sherriff-in-a-hurry. Second car slams into first car. First car proceeds through intersection, once the sherriff’s car cleared it and pulls into parking lot across the street. Meanwhile, driver of the second vehicle jumps out, opens the back door and her little dog jumped out into the intersection. Lady driver didn’t see the dog. But she appears to be in a panic, searching the car, rushing from one side to the other opening doors. Clearly concerned about something/someone.
Luckily, the little dog didn’t bolt away. Seemingly stunned and confused stayed nearby the car – alway just out of sight of the frantic lady driver.
Driver of third car accesses the scene, calmly gets out, walks to the dog, speaks to the lady who now finally sees the dog and the car she smacked parked across the street. She scoops up Toto, thanks driver number three, clicks her shoes together, closes all but her car door, climbs in with dog secured and all doors closed she drives away.
The traffic light changed. Everyone proceeded as though nothing unusual had occurred in front of them. Moments later, we arrived at my destination. Truck was unloaded in less than three hours.
Only wrinkle was the driver had to call in to get instructions on how to accept the cashier’s cheque I had ready to pay the balance. That approved, they made their way back to Miami with an almost empty truck…details on that in a future post.