The Behemoth

There we were…poised at the top of a staircase with a 275 lbs tube television set. We looked at each other and caught our breaths. Then we pushed.

When we packed up to move down from Michigan, we had to fit our entire house full of stuff into 5 U-Haul Boxes. While we hemmed and hawed and sweated and argued about what to bring, our neighbor helped us make up our mind on one issue. “Don’t bring your tube TV and entertainment center,” he said. “People are giving those away.” We followed that advice and ended up in Texas with only our 19 inch flat screen.

A big house and very little packing space!
A big house and very little packing space!

A month after our move, we decided that the 19 inch was not big enough for a family. It was small and not very conducive to watching from across the room. Mom put her Craigslist searching skills to work and found us a lovely 36 inch tube television that came with an entertainment center. The best part: it was FREE!

How wonderfully sweet these people must be! we thought to ourselves as my dad, mom, sister, and I loaded up in our two vehicles to drive across town to pick up this furniture. So generous and kind!

As we arrived at a snazzy house in Allen, we were greeted by a bubbly young woman and her fiance.

“My father and brother carried it upstairs,” she said. “We’re happy to get rid of it.”

The fiance sidled up. “Yeah, we figure anyone who can get it out of here deserves to have it.”

Armed with a piano dolly and loads of Holliday confidence, we marched up to the second floor. We had survived the worst Michigan winter in history, moved an entire house full of stuff from Michigan to Texas, and transformed a ragged mess of a house into a livable home in a week. No tube TV was going to stop us.

As we dragged the TV off of the entertainment center and maneuvered it across the room, we began to have second thoughts. Perching at the edge of the top stair, we looked at each other and shook our heads. How were we possibly supposed to get this TV that weighed a hundred pounds more than my father and more than my sister and I combined down a flight of 13 steps?!

The TV
The TV

We had come to far too go back now. With Dad assuring us he could take the brunt of the weight, we began to wiggle it. Step by clunky step, we scooted the heavy beast down the staircase. Sweat poured off of us as we tried not to damage the house, the TV, or do any permanent bodily harm. We could all imagine the television breaking loose and leaving my poor father squished and strewn along the walls and steps of a random house somewhere in the Dallas metropolis.

Finally, with bumps, bruised knees, and squished fingers, we made it down the stairs and hauled it onto the piano dolly. Out the door and down the front sidewalk it went without too much trouble. Reaching the curb, we stopped to catch our breath and decide on a plan for the next step. With all four of us grabbing a side, we lifted the 275 lbs. behemoth. Toddling along, we got it the three feet to the station wagon’s hatch. Then gravity kicked in, adrenaline abandoned us, and sweaty hands began to slip.

With a Thudthe huge television came to rest right below our car’s trunk hatch. We all collapsed around it to catch our breath. After conquering the flight of stairs and getting it so far, we were beat. Lifting the monster the four feet up and putting it in the trunk was just too much.

It was at this point that the fiance came trotting out the door. He had been a great cheerleader, but he had not gotten involved yet. Perhaps the prospect of us abandoning our endevour and leaving the TV sitting in the road in front of his house motivated him to action. Hurrying toward us, he offered his fresh strength to help us finish the project. Between him and my father, the TV made it inside.

The entertainment center was the second obstacle, and that wasn’t nearly as hard to move. Spurred on by the encouraging words of the fiance, the four of us family members managed to maneuver the other piece of furniture down the stairs, out the door, and into the van.

As we were driving home, we realized that it probably would have been wise to try out the TV before we brought it home with us.

Dallas House 004
The Finished Project

After a day of recovery, a valiant friend of ours came over, and between him, my dad, and the piano dolly, we got the television into our house and set up in our living room. While the process convinced us that this will be our last tube television set, we now have a wonderful 36 inch TV to enjoy for years to come!

 

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The Blame Game

After ten years in the frozen north, we have finally done it. Gone are the snow shovels, high powered generators, basements, and mittens. No longer are we concerned with snow tires, deadly icicles, or frosty mornings. God opened up a path for us to return to Texas, and we hightailed it out of there as fast as we were able. Of course, adjusting back to a southern city is going to take a bit of work.

The weekend of our reunion had arrived. Dad had been working for three months in Texas while we girls sold the house and packed up all our belongings. In a sixteen-hour marathon, we tag-teamed it down to Dallas and went to work repainting and reflooring our house in a race to finish before our stuff arrived.

Father’s Day 2014 found us mostly successful. After our first week, the painting was done; the flooring was in; and half our stuff sat stacked around us. The pets were enjoying finally being cool and settled. There was only one problem….

Dallas House 037We were locked out.

In order to help explain how we succumbed to this dastardly event, some friends suggested establishing a chart of blame. Here are everyone’s contributions to what caused my dad to spend his Father’s Day waiting for the locksmith and forking over $150 to get into our new home:

The former owner: When owning a house that has four sets of doors to the outside with double locks on each one, most people would have an adequate amount of keys for those locks. Somehow, when we purchased the house, we were only given two keys to the garage door and one garage door remote.

My mother: Due to our lack of keys and my mom being the primary driver at the time, we girls kept reiterating, “Take the keys with you!” On this particular Sunday, my parents had both left to return some moving equipment. On their return, they told us to be ready to hurry out the door so we could make it to church on time. As you can guess, my mom forgot something.

Amy: When the phone call came in saying that Mom and Dad were on the way home, Amy spurred us all into action. She took care of the animals, made sure all the doors and windows were securely locked, and raced us outside.

Michelle and Angela: With Amy already in front of the house, Michelle and I headed out the door to the garage. We secured the locks, and then we were faced with a conundrum. How were we supposed to finish closing the house when we didn’t have the garage door remote? This is where Michelle’s ninja skills came into play. Hitting the button to close the door, Michelle raced out of the garage and tried to step over the sensor. No luck. The door popped back up again. Handing off her purse and Bible to me, Michelle geared up for a second round. With a second plunk on the key, the door began crinkling down. As I shouted encouragement, Michelle tensed. With a spring and a duck, Michelle cleared the sensor and the door closed with a satisfied “Clunk.”

As Michelle and I stood in the driveway high-fiving and congratulating each other on how well we were able to lock up the house, Mom and Dad came hurrying around to the back. Apparently, they had been knocking on the front door while we were escaping and securing the back. Unfortunately, the keys hadn’t made it out.

We learned some interesting lessons that Father’s Day: (1.) Living ten years in a place where we never locked our doors has made us forgetful. We’ll have to get used to locks and keys again. (2.) Our house is quite secure. After much effort, we couldn’t figure out a way to break in. (3.) Having a collection of animals trapped in a house with brand new carpet is a great motivator to get things done more quickly.

So this was one of our first adventures back in the Lone Star State. Perhaps we have been influenced by Michigan a bit more than we realized….