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Step away from the moving van

Old people shouldn’t be allowed to move.

Now I’m not talking about moving in the ambulatory sense. And certainly not in gastroenterological terms.


Old folks, such as I, need to keep active, be it walking, swimming or just doing those sit-down exercises moving the arms, shoulders and head. Whatever is within your ability.


When I say old people shouldn’t move, I’m talking about loading up all the personal belongings and trucking it to another location.


OK, so Daniel Boone is famous for constantly moving, I suppose right up into his 80s. But let’s be real. Ol’ Dan’l only had to grab up his muzzle-loader and don a coonskin cap — or was that Davy Crockett? 


Anyway, Mr. Boone wasn’t moving so much as he was exploring new country. He could carry all his necessities in a couple of Wal-Mart grocery bags, kiss Becky goodbye and head his horse in a westerly direction. 


Downsizing and moving to a smaller home is OK for seniors. Ginny and I did just that five-and-a-half years ago when we went from a house in the country to a townhome. 


And lots of older people are wanting to move to senior apartments where they don’t have to be concerned about housework, maintaining the yard or fixing things that break. That’s certainly a fine reason for moving. 


When I say Ginny and I downsized a few years ago, I mean it literally. We donated eight boxes of books to the Friends of the Library, carried a truckload of junk to the landfill and had a yard sale.


OK, it turned out to be a yard giveaway. If a custom-er wasn’t sure about buying an item, I would give it to them. Even at that, we found that our slightly smaller home was creaking under the weight of necessities, things we thought we needed and those heirlooms you just can’t do without. 


Like, for instance, the baseball I was awarded for having thrown out the first pitch at a Copperheads/now Zookeepers game. 


Sure, a baseball doesn’t take up much space. Not nearly as much as the basketball that carries the logo of my college team, which, by the way, remains in my possession. 


It’s funny how those of us who downsize wind up upsizing. What we believed was the maximum amount of stuff to fill our house has somehow expanded without our having noticed.


That was the case with us when we, almost without the benefit of forethought, chose to move — again. It was a nice little place with a large deck and the possibility of deer coming into the yard. 


But then we had to move all our stuff that had some-how, miraculously, expanded from our downsizing. During the days prior to the “big move,” we carried dozens of boxes and bags to the new place, so much stuff that we would be hard pressed to find room for the large items. 


When the day came to really move, we rented a moving truck and begged a few relatives, who felt sorry for us, to help with the job. There were a couple of young guys whose main concern was to hurry up and load the truck and then hurry up and unload the truck. 


When the dust cleared, we found that we had more stuff than we had room for in our new place. And — this is important — we had more stuff to bring in our cars to add to the overloaded new home.


Ginny and I also had to clean our old home so it wouldn’t seem to potential buyers that we were slobs. It’s amazing how dirty a cleaned-out house looks after all the furniture is removed. 


Now we have an empty house where we used to live and an overflowing home where we’re now trying to pick our way through the detritus of human living. All the while we’re saying to ourselves, “Old people shouldn’t be allowed to move.” 


Even though we’re exhausted, we’ve managed to create a nest in our master bedroom. Meanwhile, the guest bedroom which will double as my office is filled with enough stuff that the spare bed has become a storage unit. 


Ginny repeated the refrain about old people not mov-ing, to which I responded, “Those who do should have their heads examined.”


We both have appointments next week.  


- Larry Penkava is a writer for Randolph Hub. Con-tact: 336-302-2189, larrypenkava@gmail.com.