If you’ve never participated in a military move, you might not know about it, so here’s how it goes:
They pack everything for you. You leave all your stuff where it sits and they come in with boxes and packing paper and tape and go to work.
Of course, this is a million times better than packing up your stuff yourself (I’ve done it myself a few times, believe me!) but the process does come with a few little problems.
For one thing, professional movers pack quickly. They don’t have the time to try and see what should or should not go in the box. Therefore, everything gets packed up.
If there’s garbage on the bottom of your trash can, it’s going in the box. That dirty toilet brush in your bathroom? In the box. Don’t even ask me what happened to my neighbor’s cat a couple of months ago during their move!
So the rule is: if you don’t want it packed, put it away! Get it out of the packing area! Preferably in a special “Do Not Pack” room with the door closed and clearly labeled.
So you can imagine, when I saw the (other side) neighbor’s two-year-old climbing into a packing crate during their move, I rushed over to pluck him out.
I ordered a pizza one day last week with a “plan-ahead” order.
I know what you’re thinking: Me? Plan ahead? That’s crazy talk! But on this occasion I did.
But I digress…
The pizza was supposed to be delivered at 5:30. By about five p.m. I was getting hungry, and at 5:30 I was looking out the screen door every five minutes to see if the pizza guy had arrived yet.
At 5:45 I looked out and saw the Papa John’s delivery car parked on the street. “Yes!” I thought. “Finally!”
Then I saw the delivery guy walking BACK to his car from my next-door neighbor’s house. With an EMPTY insulated delivery bag!
“Oh no,” I thought. “Oh no no no no no. The neighbors STOLE my PIZZA! And I’m flipping STARVING!!”
I thought about how I’d have to point out to the delivery guy his mistake, and how he’d have to go all the way BACK down to the Papa John’s store and get me a new pizza. Which would take FOREVER. (Did I mention I was hungry?)
Then I thought about the neighbors eating MY pizza. Grrrr. I envisioned walking next door and confronting them, ripping my six-cheese-thin-crust right out of their greasy little hands.
And then… Oh joy of joys!!… The guy took a new, FULL, insulated delivery bag from the back of his car. He waved cheerily at me, fortunately unable to see my glowering face through the screen door.
I hopped out there as quick as a rabbit with my new, happy, I’m-getting-to-eat-finally face on. Yay for dinner!
The neighbors are lucky they didn’t steal my pizza.
We lived on a closed Army post, and so we have to go through a checkpoint gate several times every day. I kind of feel sorry for the MP’s who have to stand there all day and look at people’s ID’s. I’m sure it is boring.
We were going through the gate late at night once when I met the most cheerful guard yet.
We live on an Army post. Living here is not like living in the civilian world.
In many ways, it’s better. We get to know our neighbors, welcoming newcomers and watching out for each others’ kids. Everyone has something in common, and it really builds community.
But there’s also the downside of all this military togetherness, and that’s the RULES. When everyone knows everyone else’s business, both work and play, breaking rules can get you into big trouble.
The military police (the MP’s) are a big presence on post. NO ONE speeds or runs stop signs here. Really.
Once an MP stopped me and accused me of talking on my cell phone while driving (15 mph) just because I HAD MY HAND NEAR MY EAR. I had to get out my phone and let him examine my call log to prove my innocence. I’m not making this up.
This is why I’m terrified of the MP’s. Unfortunately I seemed to have passed this fear on to my kids.
Yesterday my five-year old son was riding his new bicycle up and down the sidewalk in front of our house when an MP vehicle pulled onto the street. Little Boy got so nervous at the sight of the police car that he jumped the curb and fell off his bike. Then he just lay there and cried until I picked him up.
He said, “Next time I fly off my bike I want to land in your hands. Run fast and catch me, Mommy.”
(Aw. Poor little guy. Doesn’t he know his mommy can’t run that fast? Or run at all, actually…)
It looks like I need to remember that the police are there “to serve and protect,” and pass THAT message on to the kids. I’ll try…