By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Outdoor Living: New outdoor sport offers recreational opportunities
Alvin Richardson

I have long been a participant in all the outdoor endeavors known to mankind. There’s nothing I won’t try at least once if it offers challenge, competition or the opportunity to enhance my physical and mental state. My wife and I have always enjoyed camping, hiking, biking and many other forms of recreation but we have recently discovered a new endeavor that provides us with all of the attributes listed above.

Down through the years (mostly in between college semesters) we have discovered that apartment moving can be an exhilarating experience. Our new-found form of exercise has virtually taken the place of the aforementioned camping, hiking and biking expeditions. Let me explain because a new day is dawning in this sport.

Our two daughters have, at long last, finished their formal education and are currently seeking employment. The leases on their apartments have run out (again) and they have no place to put their belongings while their search for suitable jobs and accommodations moves forward. Thus we are moving their stuff back to its original place – namely our house.
It is at this point where our new sport kicks in with a dramatic new twist.

Apartment moving, we have found, is kind of like a football game or perhaps an African safari across the Kalahari Desert on foot. One must be tough and resilient in order to participate. It is physically demanding and is at its most interesting when done on the hottest days of the year. An apartment moving game is divided roughly into four quarters of play. The travel and preparation quarter, the loading and securing quarter, the unloading quarter and the final quarter which consists of re-packing and moving the furniture to a new abode.

The first sector of the game is not too bad. Kind of like a pre-game warm-up. Pick a blistering hot day with no rain in the forecast and make sure you have plenty of bungee cords, blankets and plastic with which to secure and protect the goods then ride to your destination. Protection of the possessions is pretty important I’ve discovered especially when it comes to bedding. My wife gave me a lesson in that skill when she covered the mattress and box springs in plastic wrap. Those parcels were covered in such a manner that not one bacteria would be able to penetrate the casing. She’s good at this game.

The second quarter is where the rubber meets the road. Getting sofas, refrigerators and other heavy objects from a third story apartment to the truck can be problematic. It certainly fulfills the requirement of a challenge which is what you want in any worthwhile outdoor sport. My skinny legs have become much stronger during this stage of the game even though they have been know to tremble violently while trying to lug a two hundred pound chest of drawers down a stairwell. I would give myself a grade of C- on this portion of the contest.

Once the junk is loaded it must be secured so as not to spill off in the middle of I-285. I am not very good at this part of the game but luckily my wife is quite gifted in this area. We took fifty bungee cords on our most recent adventure and used them all to great advantage. When the fifty cords were all strapped strategically in place she asked me if I thought we might need to go purchase some rope just to be safe. I told her that my knot tying skills probably wouldn’t pass muster and thus we avoided an overtime period in the game. Nonetheless my truck looked like a cross between the Beverly Hilbillies and a group of 49’ers headed for gold rush country.

Of course accidents can happen in any dangerous sport and we had our share of mishaps. I suffered from dizziness, leg cramps and mild heat stroke requiring several quarts of Gatorade, a unit of IV fluid and a quick trip to the Dairy Queen for a vanilla shake. My wife also suffered a misfortune. While standing on the tail-gate of the truck and bent over at the waist pulling on a bungee cord to tighten it to maximum capacity, the cord popped. Not good. You know the old law of physics: For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. How true it is. She twanged into a group of gardenia bushes at just under the speed of sound and the velocity of her entry crushed the poor bushes. I found the other end of the bungee cord under an oak tree fifty yards away. Her accident resulted in some leg scratches and wounded pride but she carried on like a trooper. Like I said, you’ve got to be tough and resilient to play this game.

We took all this stuff home and proceeded with quarter number three of our new and exciting exploit, namely unpacking it all under the carport and in various nooks and crannies of our house. We now live in a place that is more akin to a Haverty’s Funiture store than a place where people actually live.

Quarter number four has yet to unfold. The re-packing and moving to places yet unknown will, I’m sure offer us another challenge and I look forward to that day with great enthusiasm. After all, how often do you get to go on a new and exciting outdoor adventure?

    (E-mail comments to