Wherever the Road Leads

It Looked Bigger in the Picture

The Move

I know how much I brought up from the house in Georgia to be used or stored for the past two years in my mother’s condo. It came up in one move, along with room for the cat, and all fit into either the back seat or the bed of my pick up. So how big a U-Haul trailer did I need to rent to move this same stuff from Toronto to Niagara-On-The-Lake?

Granted, in preparation for living without the basics at my mother’s, a few things had been acquired on top of what I had brought up. But basic items; things like kitchen utensils, pots and pans, a toaster oven, a recliner, a wardrobe and a pull-out couch. Oh, plus a coffee and end tables. How big a trailer did I need?

I was able to make the U-Haul rental online and chose a trailer that I thought would be big enough: a 4 x 8 enclosed trailer. Being as I would be making the move on a long weekend, I rented it in plenty of time. When we got to the U-Haul yard to pick up the trailer, we were sent back into the compound and told to wait for a service guy.

I pulled the truck into the compound and saw a number of trailers. Here is what I spotted first, assumed I had rented and grimaced, wondering if what had to fit, would fit.



What I had my eyes on and was worried about, was a 6 x 12 trailer. Finally, I spotted the unit whose numbers matched what was on the paperwork.



A dog house on wheels. And this was a long weekend. Every other trailer was booked.

The original plan was to load everything into the trailer, park it overnight then pick up the newly-acquired couch on the way out of town the next morning. It was now time for Plans B and C… pack everything we could fit into this trailer the size of a ping-pong table on the first day, then return for the remainder and the couch the following day, making two trips from Toronto to Niagara On The Lake, instead of one.

Complicating things, though, was the long, celebratory, Canada Day weekend. All roads lead to Niagara Falls, where they were planning a huge fireworks display, which half of Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton and Grimsby thought they might like to see, and joined us on the highway. All this turned a single, two-hour trip into a two-day adventure in stop-and-go traffic alongside a rather disgruntled – to be polite – co-mover, who shall remain nameless except to say that her initials are Sue Clement.

Eventually it all got done.






I swear, though, that we are creating a generation of children who will never have skinned their knees and will be completely unprepared for the harsh realities of life. I’m still shaking my head in disbelief that Toronto area school boards have banned peanut butter from children’s lunches due to peanut allergies. Less than 1% of the population have peanut allergies, so 99% of children who don’t are made to do without the basic staple of a kid’s lunch… a PB&J sandwich?

Further proof… the new toaster oven wouldn’t plug into the electrical outlet in the kitchen. Closer scrutiny, trial and error plus more eye-rolling at the peanut butter philosophy, I figured it out. The kitchen outlets are ‘tamper-proof’. The only plug that seems to go in easily is a three-pronged plus which, I am assuming, the third prong pushes the plastic dam out the way, allowing the other two blades to slide in. Sure enough, it’s child-protection device.

Toronto-area contractor Kevin Hernden points out, tamper-resistant outlets originated in Europe, where the voltage is two times more powerful (220 volts—enough to “knock you right out,” he says). On this side of the pond, the zap kids get from sticking something into an outlet is generally mild—and instructive. “Once your child has gotten an electrical bite,” he says, “he never does it again.” (From the MacLeans magazine article, “Just plug it in – if you can.”)

If I really feel energetic, I’ll bring non tamper-proof outlets up with me next year and swap them out. In the meantime, a trip to the dollar store for a three-pronged electrical tap solved the problem.




A year in the making – and with a fully-functional kitchen thanks to the keen eye of my forward-thinking co-mover who has been able to spot a good deal before the Costco doors open to the madding crowd – it’s finally a fait accompli.

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  1. Tammy Burgess  July 18, 2016

    I sure do miss you


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