As likely noted previously, because of the impending sale of WitchSchool.com by edthepagan & Co., the remaining stock from Eschaton Books is coming back into my possession. About 3 years ago Ed loaded all those up from my big storage locker in Chicago, and moved them down to Hoopeston, IL, where there was "plenty of room" and an on-line bookstore to sell them. Well, that space is soon to be liquidated, so Ed was asking what I wanted to have done with the books.
After first having a world-class panic attack (largely at the prospect of having to be paying for more storage space up here), I started to look at options, and found that Kankakee was sort of half-way between Chicago and Hoopeston, and discovered that I could get a 20x10' storage locker for less than half of what I was paying for one 10x10' locker in Chicago (let alone the prospect of two, plus two other storage lockers we were paying for up here). While the concept of moving so much stuff "downstate" was daunting, the numbers looked very clear, we'd be easily saving something over $300/month from what we're currently spending for storage, and well over $500/mo for the projected total with the books.
So, I cut a check for the storage facility, mailed it off, and rented a car for this weekend. Sure, a U-Haul or something might have required only one trip, but I hate having to pay for mileage, and it would have been 150 or so miles round-trip. So, I got a car from an Enterprise offering their half-price weekend special (hoping they'd give me a PT Cruiser like 2 of the past 4 rentals, but of course that's not going to happen when I could use the extra space!) at noon on Friday and ran over to one of the storage lockers. Now, I decided to "start small", and do our "easiest" locker (the one with my old P.R. agency's files) first, which had 30 "bankers box" #11 storage boxes. The only problem with that particular location is that the locker in question was a very odd size (about 4' deep by 4' high by 12' long), sits about 3' off the floor, and is up a half-flight of stairs. I figured I could get 15 boxes in the car on each trip, so carried 15 down to a cart (well, 9 and 6 in two trips) and down to the car, loaded 7 in the trunk and 8 in the back seat, and headed out.
Of course, neither Google Maps or Mapquest were figuring on the construction on the Dan Ryan, so the run down there on Friday afternoon was about a half-hour longer than they figured, but I got down to Kankakee, did the paperwork with the nice lady at the storage facility, schlepped the boxes into it, ran off to a local hardware store to get a couple of extra locks (the locker unexpectedly had one 10' gate on one end and two 5' gates on the other, and I'd only brought one lock), got those in place, and then headed home.
Saturday, Daughter #1 had a birthday party to go to out in the suburbs, so I dropped her (and a classmate, and the classmate's mom) off there, and took Daughter #2 back up with me to the storage place here ... due to the funky shape of the space, I was having the damnedest time getting into the locker to get to the last 6 boxes (which proved to be out of my reach when leaning in the door), so I figured that Daughter #2, being strong enough (at age 7) to lift her mother, should have no problem pushing a few 30-50lb boxes to where I could reach them. This took all of about 10 minutes, and then (after one or two more "since you have a car" errands for The Wife) we were off to Chuck E. Cheese's for a few hours before retracing our steps back out to the 'burbs for the last part (magician, cake, & ice cream) of the b-day party. We gathered everybody up, dropped off the riders, and then went in search of parking. As those who read this space frequently know, parking in my neighborhood, especially on the weekends, is a bitch, and it was doubly so this weekend, as movie production companies had several of the "prime parking" blocks shut down for filming parts of the new Batman movie. The Girls and I eventually "gave up" on the concept of finding anything near us and headed over to an area which is semi-funky, but has a lot of meter turn-over as Muslim cabbies go in and out of various restaurants/prayer-halls ... nothing quite like having to walk a mile or so home from the "nearest available parking", though!
Yesterday, I got up bright & early, figuring I'd miss the "weekend rush" at the storage place (which is a U-Haul facility), but found they'd extended their hours so were already open when I got there (did find a spot in their very limited customer parking area, though!), repeated the process of loading the other 15 storage boxes and hit the road. As it was still pretty early on Sunday morning, even the Dan Ryan construction wasn't slowing things down much, and I was in Kankakee, with the stuff all stacked up in the big locker, by 11am. I then decided that my "if I feel up to it" plan of running down to Hoopeston sounded plausible, and gave Ed a call to let him know I was on my way. Unfortunately, Ed had closed down the WitchSchool shop in honor of EarthDay, so nobody was there to get my phone calls ... which included the one when I was standing outside their building and wondering what sort of Pagan training center closes on Sundays!
Anyway, then spent most of the afternoon retracing my steps up I-57 to Chicago, which was (again) clear sailing until I got right up to the south end of downtown ... things had been tight on the 90/94 side on Friday, so I decided to try the I-55 to 41 approach ... wrong guess, as it took me something like 45 minutes to get from the MLK exit before McCormick Place up to the exit off of 41 to Ranolph just before the river (something which, when traffic isn't doing its best impression of a parking lot, should take 5 minutes or so!). At least by Sunday night the movie crews were gone, so I was able to find parking just 4-5 blocks away.
So, got up this morning, drove the car back to the hell-and-gone location that was offering the weekend deals (of course, none of the downtown Enterprises "participate"), and took an hour's worth of bus and el back home. Aren't you fascinated by all the details? Makes you ache for just some simple stupid meme, huh?