John Hancocks

I'm trying to remember how many times we've moved since we've been married. Last time I counted, it was eight times. Eight times that we've changed our address with the USPS since we've been married. If you count the times MacGyver and I have each moved after graduating from high school (including marriage), that number heads up into the 20s.

Twenty times (or more) that he and I have had to change our address with the USPS. More than twenty signatures on more than twenty different change of address forms, and never a problem.

Until now.

We started packing out our old house on 1OCT. I wasn't sure when we'd actually wind up sleeping at the new house so I held off on submitting our change of address form until we were sure. It went in the mail on Thursday, 4OCT and was set to go into effect on Tuesday, 9OCT. Yet we stopped receiving mail on 1OCT. At first, I didn't really think about it until I received a notification that a check that had been mailed to me (yay for consignment sales!) had been returned as 'undeliverable'. And then we found out that MacGyver's absentee ballot had been returned as 'undeliverable' - all before the change of address was even put in the mail.

Originally, I had gone online to do our change of address that way but decided against that as they wanted my credit card for verification of identification and they wanted to charge me $1 for the processing. I balked at that idea - I don't trust the USPS to maintain security of my credit card number AND I see no point in paying $1 when I can walk the change of address form down to my mail box or drop it off at the local post office for FREE.

When I realized that there was an issue with our mail (we're now down 3 checks, 2 absentee ballots, three items I ordered online that have been returned as 'undeliverable' and a bunch of other things I do not know about), I went online and filed a request for an investigation. The woman that called me back was kind but basically told me I have to go into the local post office and talk to the postmaster to sort it out. Gee, thanks. Apparently, there's no way to check this situation out electronically. Guess I should have spent the $1 to do it online.

Then, today, in our mailbox at our NEW location, I get a notice from the USPS that our change of address request has been denied because "it did not bear a legible signature". I'm sorry...a 'legible signature'? Isn't that an oxymoron? Like 'jumbo shrimp' or 'military intelligence'? Who has a 'legible signature'? Isn't that why most places ask that you PRINT your name in addition to signing? And, if they can't accept our change of address request, WHY are we getting this notice in our NEW mailbox? It's not like either of our signatures have changed over the past 20 years. They both pretty much look the same as they did when we were signing our marriage license. These signatures were good enough to be accepted on no fewer than eight change of address requests over the past fifteen years but now they are unacceptable?

I have a feeling this is a tactic being employed by the USPS to force customers to fork over the $1 for the "privilege" of changing an address online. What if we don't have a credit card? Then what?

Needless to say, MacGyver will be in the post office tomorrow, raising a stink. I want to know where my ballot is. I want my checks. And I want to know WHO authorized the cessation of my mail service before I even submitted my change of address request...with the illegible signature.

And the USPS is raising postage rates...lovely.


- hfs



We made it. We survived a full DITY. It all fit...kind of. Mostly.

We're exhausted but glad to be done with that move. Now we have a few months to get things truly organized, boxed up, and ready for the next move. Whenever that may be. To where ever that might be.

We like the new neighborhood. In the first week, a handful of kids showed up at the front door with Nerf guns in hand, wanting to know if The Boy and The Girl could play. Add that to the fact that we are no longer driving 20+ miles each way to our activities every day and you have a happy family. And if you believe the folks around here that say that THIS winter is going to be a mean one...because last winter really wasn't a winter at all. We'll see. All I know is this...if Murphy is still hanging around for the next move, he'll bring lots of snow with him. Because that's how we roll.

In the meantime, MacGyver should have more time to get things organized and ready for this move as he is no longer slotted to take the F-model class. As disappointing as that news was (trust me, foul language was employed on my part), it makes sense from a financial standpoint. No sense in spending the money to train him if he's going to be gone 3 months later. We're looking forward to a work schedule that resembles something a little more normal in the weeks to come and he's planning to use that time to follow up on job leads.

So that's that. We're still here, buried in cardboard boxes. Have I mentioned lately how much I HATE cardboard boxes? Yeah...that.

Still working on tracking down information on the whole involuntary separation pay thing with regard to a full-time National Guard slot...and still accepting leads on CH-47 pilot employment (or any other aviation employment where MacGyver could train up on the airframe). Thanks!


- hfs


Moving with Murphy

DITY ('do it yourself') moves never go smoothly. They just don't. Otherwise EVERYONE would do a DITY move and the moving companies would go out of business. So I knew this move would have its glitches. Apparently, Murphy (as in Murphy's law...) has decided to tag along on this one. Lovely.

First, the good news: we are on schedule. Actually, we might be ahead of schedule but there is all of the minutiae in the rooms that we've packed and loaded so I'm not quite so how far ahead of schedule we actually are. The Boy and The Girl have been great helpers. It's much easier to move with an 11 year old and an 8.5 year old than it is to move with a 5 and 2.5 year old like we did the last time we had this hare-brained idea. And MacGyver's command gave him a pass rather than having him take leave (in addition to the upcoming 4-day holiday weekend) so that saves us beaucoup dinero. And we might have help this coming weekend if there is anything heavy left to move so that's wonderful as well. And the place we are renting has FAR more storage than we were led to believe (we saw a model unit, not the actual unit/floorplan we are moving into) so that has been a godsend.

However, it seems Murphy has decided to tag along on this move. The trailer we planned to borrow from our church (I love our church) was too much for MacGyver's old truck. In addition to the fact that it was uber windy on Monday here, it's too wide and a bit too heavy for his truck to handle safely. Thankfully, our church also has a shorter trailer that we were able to borrow. It means more trips but it's safer so that's good. 

Then, the first day we were packing/loading, a glass jug full of milk decided to fall out of the fridge and shatter all over my kitchen floor. Yikes. Thankfully, MacGyver was not injured, nor was anyone else. We grabbed beach towels to soak up the milk and, without thinking, I tossed them into the washing machine once we had things cleaned up. That shredded the pump on the washing machine. Dangit. We caught the leak early enough to prevent a problem but now my washer is down for the count until we get a new pump and install it. 

And, because moving isn't stressful enough, I have a wicked head cold topped off with a fantastic panic attack last night and I am about tapped out. But we still have 2/3 of a house to move. And I still need to clean before I hand keys over. So Sudafed and ibuprofen are my lifelines right now. And The Girl woke up last night with an upset tummy and we had NO toilet paper in the house (new house...it didn't get packed in that first load). Thankfully, my emergency kit in the car had a roll. Yay for preparedness! She and I are both feeling the effects of a lack of sleep. I think I managed to rack up about 4 but those were in small, dozing bursts. Might need to employ some NyQuil therapy tonight but I hate the hangover it leaves me with in the AM.

Hopefully, as I sit here at swim practice (trying NOT to watch because it's torture to be stuck up here in the stands and not down on deck, coaching) MacGyver is gathering up the last of the minutiae from the rooms we've already packed and loaded (kids', bathrooms, MBR, kitchen, dining room) and we can start on the living room and school area tomorrow. Hopefully. He has to work on Thursday so we'll spend that day cleaning the empty rooms, packing like maniacs, and running stuff to Goodwill in preparation for the final push on Friday/Saturday. 

Right now, it feels like my head is going to explode. I'd pay someone large quantities of money to take a drill and drill holes directly above and below my eye sockets to help relieve this pressure. Or I'll just take more Sudafed...

And we get to do this all again in a few months...yippee skippee...


- hfs


Wrote this six years ago. Nothing's changed.  One of my favorite movies is 'Bull Durham'. And one of my favorite scenes in ...