We woke early on our move-in day, deflated the inflatable mattress we’d been sleeping on, and waited inside the empty house. The big orange moving van rumbled up the street a little after 8:00. Happy to see it, we also felt nervous about whether all of our furniture and boxes would fit into this house. And the garage. And the basement. And the yard, if necessary.
The guys came up the walk after parking the van, with large bearded Wayne in the lead, followed by the even larger Joe and the short, stocky impassive Murphy. They tramped around the house for a few minutes, noting all the rooms, stairs, passageways, and odd twists and turns. Then Wayne asked me to call the police. “The police!”, I thought, wondering if it is a crime to have a doorway that is only six feet high, as is the one at the outer entrance to our kitchen. “The police?” I said. Wayne told us that his van had knocked down a low-hanging tree branch a few blocks up our street, and he would rather we report the incident than have the police arrive and arrest him for leaving the scene of a broken branch.
I found the non-emergency police number and called. A man answered, “Providence Police,” gave his operator number and said “What’s the problem?” After I explained, he said “You on Everett?” I said yes, and he said, “Yeah, that was reported at 8:20, and a cable was knocked down too. National Grid is already out there working on it.”
“Oh no,” I said timidly. “Is there anything we should do?” To which he replied, “Nah, stuff happens!” And then, “Hey, where are you moving from?”
Stuff happens? Where are you moving from?? Not the response I expected, but a very welcome one. “Bethlehem PA,” I said. “Bethlehem,” he replied. “I was there once, years ago. What brings you to Rhode Island?”
We chatted a bit, with him filling me in on various Providence and Rhode Island events, including Waterfire, the Seafood Festival, the Kite Festival, the Hot Air Balloon Festival. “There is so much to do here in the summer,” he said. “I hope the rest of your move goes well. Welcome to Providence!”
After I hung up, we all breathed a sigh of relief that there would be no repercussions for the damage sustained to limb. The rest of the move-in went well. Murphy even made a joke toward the end, something about a second truck on the way bringing the rest of our things.
Stuff happens, indeed. It’s good to know that kindness and reasonableness also happen. By the way, all of our furniture and boxes did fit into the house, garage and basement. Just barely.