Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Stand close together and lift where you stand

A man whom I admire recently told the story of a group of inexperienced movers tasked with moving a grand piano. They tried many approaches but none seemed to work until one of the group offered the simple suggestion to "stand close together and lift where you stand." Using this technique, they were able to move the piano.

Kris made a comment on yesterday's post about the amateur help I had moving into my house, including moving a piano up the front steps and into the house. I intentionally limited yesterday's post to a review of the professionals who facilitated the move, because I wanted to dedicate a post to thank the "amateurs" who have graciously offered so much assistance.

My mother maintains that the difference between a professional and an amateur is not in the level of performance, but simply that one gets paid and the other doesn't. As I mentioned yesterday, not all the professionals performed at a level commensurate with their pay, while others went above and beyond. The "amateurs" in every case along the way have gone well beyond what would reasonably be expected of them, and for that we are truly grateful.

I'm fearful of naming names because I risk leaving someone out, so if you're not mentioned here, please know that it's not because your contribution was not recognized or appreciated. But I did want to mention a few knowing full well that the list is not complete.

First and foremost, thanks to Kathy and Kirk (and Julia and Jon) who have graciously allowed me to stay at their house during the workweek for the lest two and half months. I was treated like royalty and never asked for anything in return. As nice as it is to be in my house with my wife and kids, I'll miss spending time with you and am glad you're just down the hill from us. Kathy is my oldest sibling, and I realized while I was there that at one point or another four of Kathy's six siblings have stayed in their home on an extended basis and a fifth is currently storing much of his stuff at their house. I'm sure all were treated as wonderfully as I was. It says a lot about their generosity to have welcomed so many of us over the years.

A huge thank you also goes to my parents and in-laws who have helped in countless ways and have helped keep us anchored during a pretty stressful period. Rachel's family has been a great support network for her as she simultaneously dealt with being a single parent and getting a house ready to sell and then move. My family has been equally supportive, and I can't thank my parents enough for driving to Boise, loading all our stuff and cleaning the house, and then driving the moving truck back, all in one day and with two days notice.

To our many friends, we are so grateful. My job and our home are direct results of friends reaching out and offering assistance. As much as we hated leaving our good friends in Boise, we have been made to feel so welcome in Draper. Last night when I got home in a nasty snowstorm, I caught Jon J snowblowing my driveway. And it wasn't the first time. So many people have been so kind to us, we don't know where to begin thanking you. And to Mark N, Kris, Curtis, Sam, Charlie, Steve, Ryan, Josh, Seth, Davis, Paul, Brad, Mark P, Byron, Jim, Scott, Henry, Devan, and Jacob, thanks for the help loading and unloading our stuff. We're yet to find a scratch or dent. Which is more than can be said for professional movers, some of whose motto is "it ain't our crap."

Our experience over the last few months has been one of many friends and family members standing close together and lifting where they stood. It seems as if everyone we know has contributed in some way or another. I hope we'll be able to repay the kindness, but I also know that's not why you did it. Thank you.