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From cat poop to a busted nut

By Joe Centers • Updated Aug 8, 2017 at 1:24 PM

The move is complete.

Our two youngest daughters are now out on their own and — minus a few boxes of stuff — the Joe and Jody Moving Co. is ready to close its doors.

Jody figured out over the last 14 years we have moved the three girls almost 30 times to and from, in order, Oxford, Columbus, Bowling Green, Chicago, St. Louis and Hunter’s Glen Condominium.

Most of the moves have been uneventful, but others have had their moments.

Now, I would like to rate the most memorable moments, in order, of the Joe and Jody Moving Co. over the years.

10. Cheap help: This move was the shortest. Megan was moving from one apartment to another in Bowling Green in the same complex on the same floor. All we had to do was get the furniture out of the door, down the hallway and into another door. She was director of operations of the men’s basketball team at BGSU and got some of the players to help with the move. They weren’t much help, but they cost us a bundle feeding them.

9. The F-word: This goes way back to Megan’s first move to Bowling Green in the fall of 2005. We bought her a futon for her dorm room. It came in a box and looked simple enough, until I opened it up and there were about 800 pieces. There is nothing worse then trying to put together a futon in a small dorm room with Megan’s roommate trying to move in at the same time. It was hot, crowded and miserable. We kept that futon for four years before retiring it to the trash pile on Manville Avenue.

8. Sure this will fit: Jordan’s first year at Capital University in Columbus meant her first year not in a dorm room. That meant buying a queen size bed and boxspring. That’s when I learned my most important rule of moving — split boxsprings. Her house in Columbus was very compact with a small stairway. We got the boxspring about halfway up before we got stuck. It will fit, I kept telling myself. It didn’t, and we had to bring it back to Norwalk, exchange it for a split and do it all over again.

7. Sofa bed in BG: Megan’s friend, a football coach at BG who was built like the Incredible Hulk, and I were carrying a sofa bed up the stairs when it suddenly popped open. Thank God the Hulk was helping and made the save or else we could have kissed the sofa bed good-bye. The next time she moved the sofa bed was retired.

6. No love for this love seat: It was supposed to be a simple move in Chicago — getting a love seat from the alley into the condo. The problem was the outside door was not the normal size. Our option was to go around the front, go up a flight of stairs then down a flight of stairs. It sure seemed a lot easier getting it through the small door. It wasn’t and the guy I got to help me didn’t help me again.

5. Bustin’ a nut: That same love seat got its start in Columbus. On a return trip after summer vacation we were bringing the love seat back to Capital in the back of our Jeep when we got a flat tire on I-71. We had to take everything, including the love seat, out of the Jeep. Call AAA Jody said. “I can do this myself,” I responded. I tried to change the tire and was doing pretty good until I broke one of the lug nuts. Finally, I called AAA and let them do it.

4. Cat crap fever: We were moving Megan and Ryan to the Manville house in BG. Megan was going to live in the basement so I came prepared to paint. When I got down there the smell was awful. The girl who lived there over the summer kept her cat in the basement with no litter box and she never cleaned up. I had to get a mask, a rake and a shovel to clean up. I have never liked cats since that day.

3. I can drive that: On Jordan’s move from Columbus to Chicago I got  my first shot at driving a box truck. “I can do this,” I kept telling myself. It was the first time I ever had to drive using mirrors and going from Columbus to Chicago was a tough way to start — especially driving on Lakeshore Drive in downtown Chicago. Fortunately, I never had to back up the entire way — except when I first picked up the truck the night before and parked it at Maplehurst Elementary. I kind of bumped the fence but never told anybody until today.

2. The door to disaster: This came on that first trip in the box truck to Chicago. After we had everything unloaded — everything but the stuff that was coming back to Norwalk — we headed home. But while we were sitting at a light on Belmont Avenue, a guy was waving his hands and pointing to the back of our truck. I forgot to close the back door. If it wasn’t for that guy, all of Jordan’s stuff that was heading back to Norwalk would have ended up on the Dan Ryan Freeway.

1. Are you kidding me: This came on Megan’s move back to Norwalk from St. Louis. She flew us out and had rented us a truck. A box truck wasn’t going to big enough so she got me a bigger one. When we got there, the only truck they had left was about one step shy of an 18-weeeler. I asked the woman for some driving tips. “Make wide turns and look up so you don’t hit any overhangs.” With that, I was driving  in downtown St. Louis. I got a lot of nasty looks and hand gestures that day. Now I know what it is like to be Teamster. Where was Jimmy Hoffa when I needed him?

Joe Centers is Reflector managing editor. He can be reached at jcenters@norwalkreflector.com.

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