Thursday, June 30, 2011

moving day

You might remember that I've been helping my sister pack and move the last month. Yesterday was moving day.

All the packing was done, she closed on the new house, we moved the 8 truckloads of potted plants and yard art that we could handle on Tuesday and yesterday her movers came. A trailer, 1 young man and 6 boys.

My sister and I looked at each other wide eyed. She knew that the owner of the company was going to be on vacation with his wife and he had told my sister that if she wanted him on the job, he couldn't move her til the following week. She asked him if he trusted his crew, he said yes and that was good enough for her. What she didn't know was that his 'crew' was a gang of boys.

When they all got inside the foyer and my sister was explaining how a section of wall* came down and we would be taking that with us to the young man, I guess early 20s, standing there with these kids behind him ranging in age from 11 or 12 to about 15 (also a guess), I'm running through my head a house full of heavy antique furniture.

Excuse me, I don't mean to be rude but we were expecting men and not boys,” I said.

This young man, so polite, said he understood how we felt, other customers had felt the same way but that he would rather work with these boys than men because these boys worked harder and faster and didn't complain whereas the men were slower and complained more. And if we wanted men we couldn't move today.

I have a lot of heavy antiques”, she said.

They'll be real careful, ma'am.”

So the move began.

The first trailer load was stuff from the barn, lawn furniture and the heavy yard art, benches and trellises. All that was unloaded into the backyard of the new house while I waited for the new appliances to be delivered. They were joined by another younger young man and a medium box truck at the new house and later a young woman showed up at the new house to help as well.

It took them three trips in all. During the final unloading, one of the youngest of the crew told my sister, “You have a lot of stuff, ma'am”. She agreed with him. “Yes, I do.”

I have never seen a group of men, much less a group of boys, work that hard all day long without complaining, taking only a 10 minute break for pizza for lunch. They started about 8:30 in the morning and I don't think the last piece was unloaded before 5 PM. And it was hot and humid yesterday. Both houses hot since all the doors were open. Those boys worked hard.

The back story is that this is a family operation, which my sister knew, but we didn't realize it was a family operation in the truest sense of the word, the parents and their 7 children. When we were at the old house getting the last truck loads I asked one of the younger boys how many of them here were related. He looked at me and said, “there's 7 of us and 6 are here”, so it was them and a couple of local boys that don't mind working hard to make some money.

And did I say how hard they worked? I was amazed. I didn't take my camera with me cause I didn't think there was going to be any reason to and I was going to be busy. Now I wish I had. I wish I could show you pictures of these boys. I wish I could show you pictures of these 12 and 14 year olds moving buffets, dressers, tables, chairs, bookcases. And they didn't slow down til the end of the day but even then there was no dawdling. They used these very cool things called arm straps that slipped under the heavy item (one on each end) and had cuffs that slipped onto their forearms that enabled these kids to safely pick up and carry these heavy items.

And so polite. Everything ended with ma'am.

Does this go, ma'am?”

Excuse me, ma'am” when I would inadvertently step in their way.

Could I get some ice, ma'am?”

Where do you want this ma'am.”

May I use that screwdriver ma'am?”

Thank you ma'am.”

I told the oldest young man at the end that I was very impressed with his crew, that now I hesitated to call them boys.

All the city boys I know would have flaked out after an hour.

* The section of wall is a mural about 6' x 8' that my parents had an artist friend paint on their wall. The family home was sold to be torn down so our parents had that section of sheetrock removed and it went with them every subsequent move until they passed away. My sister has possession of it now.


  1. It sounded like an amazing crew. Don't we wish all our youth were that hard working and polite?

  2. I worked with teenagers for alotta years...yeah I wish I had seen more than a handful of respectful, honest, hard working ones.....most of them were wankers....sorry to say. Yay for your sister having a good crew to move her. Yay for the family raising "good" kids.
    The Olde Bagg

  3. Kudos to that hardworking crew. As family, they have lots vested in that business. Your sister must be relieved to settle in now.

  4. glad all went well--says alot for the futre generation and what is possible

  5. So cool that someone is handing down a sense of work ethic. More kids should work that hard and be that polite. Now I'm curious to see what that mural looks like. Sounds cool.

  6. Great post, Ellen and wonderful to read about such a hard working and inspirational family of boys, no girls, I take it. wow.

  7. Great post, Ellen and wonderful to read about such a hard working and inspirational family of boys, no girls, I take it. wow.

  8. When I read this story, I had to check out again where you live because I was thinking some place like Texas. I have a love/hate relationship with this part of the country. If nothing else, you can say they are good workers and they are polite to their elders.

  9. Wonderful story, ma'am. I don't know if I could ever get my brothers to work like that (although they have helped me move a few times). :)

  10. I'm surrou*ded with kids like this - so it is*'t surprisi*g to me - I'm thrilled they did surprise you & your sister - Good for them & you. Hugs to you & your sis.

  11. I have a couple of young men who work for me. They are the hardest workers by far. Glad you were in good hands. Moving is very difficult!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  12. As you know I have moved a lot and the best workers were family crews - Chinese. Those skinny little guys could shift huge heavy stuff without breaking into a sweat, the other end you would have big burly Europeans taking at least four times as long to do the same thing (in reverse) - its all in technique and dedication!
    Glad that this move has now been completed!

  13. What a lovely story to share, i would like to se the mural.I am impressed with kids working always and often wish I had a few close.See you in a week, i hope all goes well.

  14. I have to say that I sure wasn't that hard working when I was a teenager (nor am I now). I'm glad your sister had a good experience with them - & good for them for working so hard!

  15. Those kids will go far. I am sure you and your sister will recommend them to anyone locally who needs anything shifting. I would certainly make a point of it myself.

    Bit of luck that your sister didn't want to move far. With that many trips the actual driving time could have been a factor.

  16. It just goes to show that first impressions should be scrapped! They sound like a lovely family with very well turned out young men. :)

  17. Hi Ellen!
    Lovely post!!! I guess the boys deserve it!
    Bravo to them all! They should be a good example for all the lazy and spoiled youths who don't know what to do to "kill" their time.
    I'm glad I've visited you. You' ve got such a nice blog!
    Have a nice weekend!


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.