The first night in the apartment, I moved just enough stuff in to stay there myself. Moving furniture by yourself can be tough, especially going down a steep set of stairs without a two-wheeler (which I apparently left in the Penske truck when I turned it in), but I suppose it’s better than going UP a steep set of stairs. [my now-ex-wife] and the kids were planning to come down from her mother’s house in Washington by about 5. My new assistant at work offered to come by and help, but I didn’t think it would be kosher to have a female there without [my now-ex-wife] around, so I was on my own. I tried to make sure I at least found the boxes that we had labeled “open first,” but despite my efforts while filling the storage unit, I found that some essential boxes were buried in the back. In fact, there’s still today a few boxes we kinda need that I haven’t been able to find. But I at least made sure we would all have beds to sleep on Saturday night. Our queen size mattress is one of the heavier pieces, so I brought the box springs, but left the mattress to pick up on Saturday after [my now-ex-wife] got there.
She made great time getting down from WA, and by 4:45 she was calling me to let me know she had just gotten off at our exit off I-5 and would need me to let her in the apartment. Unfortunately, I was on the appliance aisle at Wal-Mart at the time. I hurried up and finished shopping and headed back to the apartment. One thing that’s nice about Salem, but hard to get used to is that something can be “all the way across town,” and it’s still only 3 or 4 miles away. I’m used to driving 21 miles one way to work, a trip that used to take 40 minutes in morning rush hour. Here, it takes 7 minutes to get to work, and about 10 to get “all the way across town.”
[my now-ex-wife] took stock of what I’d brought and we went back to Lowes and Wal-Mart to pick up a few more things. It stays dark late up here, and so the evening can really sneak up on you. We piddled around until almost 9PM, so it was 9:05 when we pulled up to the storage unit gate to get our mattress. When my code didn’t work, that’s when I saw the sign that says the gate only operates between 6AM and 9PM. My mattress was about 100 yards away behind a locked gate! Being a Saturday night, there wasn’t even any manager on duty to call! Furious but powerless, we returned to the apartment and got the kids all set up for bed. I laid the box springs down, and found an inflatable twin mattress for [my now-ex-wife]. I gathered every quilt and blanket I could find and made a make-shift pallet on the other half of the box springs. After a few minutes of unsuccessfully trying to convince [my now-ex-wife] that it would be cozy and romantic to try sleeping on the twin mattress together, I settled in on the qu9ilts, about 6 inches lower than [my now-ex-wife] beside me. Not exactly the way I had planned for us to spend our first night together in our new home.