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Chris' crew gets 'er done

On the Bright Side

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I've written about how it also took a village to get me through my knee replacements and various other surgeries. Indeed, what would we do without the help of friends in our times of need?

It turns out it also takes a village to make a major move (as in moving from one house to another); in other words, what would we do without the help of strangers, either, every now and then?

I made the decision to downsize and move to a smaller place some months ago, and I spent a great deal of the summer packing and getting rid of things and donating other things. And still I felt like I was hardly making a dent – I had a house full of 20 years of my own flotsam and jetsam (personal and business things), plus, because I had inherited the house from my parents, I had all their leftover stuff to deal with as well, in addition to quite a few things left by my grandma and my sister, all of whom are deceased.

Add in aging and a few health challenges of my own and I knew I needed to downsize – I can no longer take care of the big house I am in or the property it is on. I need something smaller and more manageable, hence my decision to make a move from Golden Hills into Tehachapi city limits.

Oddly enough, the idea of moving this time sort of threw me for a loop. Before I turned 50 I moved all the time; I had never lived in any house longer than 5 years, including throughout my childhood (and the longest I'd lived in any one city was 14 years all over the Denver metro area). Moving was just a thing I did relatively frequently. No big deal.

But this year, it IS a big deal for a variety of reasons and definitely one I cannot do by myself. I moved to Tehachapi in Y2K and have lived in the same house since then, setting all sorts of records for myself and making the idea of moving one that caused me numerous upset tummy aches and occasional palpitations.

Enter my real estate agent, Chris Morales (Access Realty), who kept telling me she could help out if I needed anything to make the transition, even though I declined that offer at first. A couple of her referrals, Austyn and Rachael did help me go through some things this summer, and my friends Karen and Bill helped me get some things packed up. Other friends offered, too, but in my mind I just couldn't figure out the best way to get things done; I was just overwhelmed.

Finally I asked Chris for help and she sent a crew over to my house and they performed what I consider to be actual miracles. I owe them a huge debt of gratitude and I want to take this opportunity to thank them publicly.

Dave, Elliott, Judy and Mary Jane (and Chris!) were whirlwinds of activity in my house, packing and sorting and lifting and carrying, and I don't know what I would have done without their help. And not only were they efficient and above and beyond helpful, they were cheerful and upbeat every day they spent at my place. They made a thankless and sometimes dreary job more fun and entertaining than I thought possible, and by golly, they got 'er done!

It's difficult for me to admit when I can't do something that I think I should be able to do, or that I have been able to do in the past, but I had to admit it this time. I had to ask for help, and Chris's crew was there to answer the call; Chris's crew came through big time.

Chris, Dave, Elliott, Judy and Mary Jane have now become more people in my most cherished and appreciated "village," people who not only helped me do what was impossible for me to do alone but who also made me smile and gave me hope and faith in the kindness and helpfulness of strangers (all of whom I now think of as friends).

Sometimes I think I just luck out for no particular reason, and this past month has been one of those times. I'm almost all packed up now and the move to a smaller place will be happening later this month, and I'm really looking forward to this new chapter in my life.

I'm so grateful for the help of other people, once again.

© Marilda Mel White. Mel is a local photographer and writer and co-owner of Tehachapi Treasure Trove, and she has been looking on the bright side for various publications since 1996. She welcomes your comments at [email protected].