Slow down, Move over : Roaman Emperor moves palace
This week, the Caesars moved 200 miles from our San Antonio palace to a new palace in Katy. Unlike previous moves which have been corporate relocation, we had to fund and arrange this one. Since some the imperial family members has flown the nest, we took the opportunity to downsize. Like most in America, we have far too much stuff than what we need.
The Saturday was the garage sale. Plan was from 10-4. However, as we started putting things out before 9 am, we had eight people wanting to see our stuff. Not being ready for it, we had to quickly adapt as more kept turning up. Augustus went out to get the Garage sale permit (San Antonio are pretty strict on this) and some smaller dollar notes, while Mrs Caesar became head of palace sales.
One of the first things to be sold was Augustus’ beer and wine making equipment. The buyer was passing down the road in his truck and made a hasty u-turn to return. From a distance, he knew what they were – a true Foamranger. While Augustus was somewhat reluctant to see them go, he has not brewed for years and the equipment was just taking up space. Farewell carboys, you are going to a good home.
The crowd attending the garage sale were a mixed bunch. There were many grandmothers looking for kids items, scrap merchants wanting to take anything recyclable for pennies on the dollar (even trying to get me to sell my bike that I told them many times was not for sale), older couples looking for something to do that day.
Then there were the hardball negotiators that turned out to be annoying. For instance we were selling a folding table with 4 chairs for $10 and the couple wanted to pay only $5. We were all for giving it to goodwill instead as the husband was a gruff cheerless a’hole, when his wife chased after me to give me the $10.
A surprise was the interest from our next door neighbors to what we were selling. They bought our washing machine and drier, a good but very heavy TV (that we really didn’t want to carry around anymore)band finally a formal dining table that will seat ten. In one stroke, we had got rid of the really heavy items. A bit of a surprise was Mrs. Caesar didn’t sell many of her purses. Seemed that the crowd didn’t recognize the brands. She will now sell them online with other items.
The movers came on Monday and the leader told me very early on that the 26 foot u-haul truck we had was not going to be big enough. After packing the heavier loads, Augustus rented a second 17 foot truck from a facility 5 minutes away which luckily was available. We barely packed it all into 2 trucks and if we had not held the garage sale, we would have needed a third.
The time we scheduled for movers easily over ran and we agreed to pay them directly. They were efficient and a friendly bunch and we liked them. We used the same company on the Katy side to unload the first big truck, but the experience was not so positive. Only two turned up and they appeared to want to drag it out to extend their billing hours where much of the move was to simply bring it into the garage. Turns out that company we were using subcontracted the labor to anybody they can find and doesn’t pay them too well. Not recommended.
One of the difficult things we were not looking forward to was hooking the auto transporter to a fully loaded truck. The truck needed to be reversed to perfectly line up the hitch-ball to the coupler. Since this is a blind spot in the truck, we forsaw multiple attempts being needed with someone guiding the driver. Thus, we were pleased that we got there in three attempts. We could see some people taking many tries at this or not getting it right at all.
Since it is the first time Augustus has driven such a large vehicle with a trailer, we chose to start the journey before 4:00 am to avoid San Antonio rush hour. This was a good idea since top speed was now 55 mph and even if he wanted to drive higher, the truck would took forever to pick up to speed. There are also some horribly designed roads in San Antonio especially the 10/1604 junction that are tricky even in a car let alone a long vehicle : an inherretly stupid idea is that it is a very sharp turn but also requires the traffic from 2 separate lanes to cross each other. It is our opinion that this is one of the worst designed roads in Texas. We have seen multiple crashes here just because it is so confusing.
We reached Katy area around 9:20 am to drop off the auto-transporter. The u-haul rep attempted to reverse the truck & trailer into a space but couldn’t turn the wheel. He jumped out the the cab, popped open the trunk and look around. It turned out the power steering pump was defective. What a wimp ! Augustus had just thought the truck was difficult to steer because of it’s weight and hadn’t thought anything of it.
Driving the second smaller truck a day later was better. Augustus could drive at the speed limit and could take turns easier. It also gave him an insight into how bad some car drivers are in cutting up slower vehicles. Augustus was accompanied by Caesar junior, the Emperor- in-waiting’s hamster and the Imperial fish. Augustus had wondered how we was going to transport the fish: we found the solution by recycling two soda cups. The fish made it alive but their tank didn’t. Just before it was filled with water, a crack in the bottom was detected. Looks like they will also be getting a new palace as well.
So we are now in our new palace: unloaded but not unpacked. Tired and bruised but glad the bulk of move is over. It is going to take a few days to unpack but we are focusing on getting to the essentials: Since this is the 4th July, priority is the box containing the beer glasses and plates.