January 15, 2016

Nick and I are in a tough situation.

This week, we moved into our new place in Connecticut, and the movers came to deliver our household goods. I absolutely love our new home. In the days leading up to the movers’ arrival, Nick and I planned out where everything would go and were getting excited. We have been without a home or things to cook with for 2 months now and were so ready to get back to normal.

I went food shopping so that I could be ready to cook once all of my kitchen appliances were with me. I made a meal plan for the entire week. I got a bottle of wine to drink on the couch in celebration of our new home. I scrubbed the house so that our furniture would have a clean place to live. My dad took off from work and drove many hours so that he could be an extra set of eyes and hands for me, since Nick had to work. Everything was falling into place to start our new adventure in Connecticut.

The movers came and everything seemed to be going great. The three men who were delivering my things were nice, helpful, and professional. As they started bringing boxes and our furniture into the house, it started to feel like home for the first time.

They brought our kitchen table inside and asked where it should go. After I showed them, they started unwrapping it so they could put it together.

The entire table was covered in black mold. The movers said they had never encountered anything like this before. They opened up my other crates and saw that everything was wet, smelly, and covered in mold. All kinds of colors. All kinds of smells.

Within an hour or two, after talking to the moving company and people who work for the military, it was decided that every single item we own was going back with the movers. Everything we own, every sock, every book, every piece of furniture, has to be professionally inspected. Some stuff will be saved, but I suspect most of my things will be beyond repair, based on what I saw. Our entire house has to be professionally cleaned and tested to make sure nothing has been contaminated. I had to call my landlord and deliver this awful news.

I wasn’t going to blog about this yet. Nothing is resolved yet and I wanted to wait until I had everything sorted out so that I could maybe help this not happen to anyone else. I also have a lot of feelings about losing my stuff. But today the purpose of this post is to tell you about a woman I met the very next day.

This morning, I had just gotten off the phone with a bunch of people and was feeling frustrated. I can’t talk to Nick at all when he was at work so I figured I would just go to Panera and work on my post about my word for 2016 (coming next week – hopefully!).

I went up to the counter and ordered an iced coffee. The girl at the counter handed me a cup, smiled, and said “You’re all set. Have a good one.”

I was so shocked and surprised that all I could say was “thank you.” I walked away, then turned back to look at her, probably with a surprised/confused look on my face. She smiled at me again and started helping the next person.

Maybe it was my facial expression. Maybe I looked worn down (because I am). Maybe I looked upset (because I was thinking about what a battle I have ahead of me). Maybe she recognized me from coming in the past few days. Maybe she saw my Navy sweatshirt. Maybe she does this all the time. Maybe it was totally random. But I suspect she knew that this was what I needed. This woman changed my entire day, gave me hope that things can and will get better.

There is a saying that goes:

Be kind. The Two Year Honeymoon (1 of 1)

In this new year, let’s be kind to each other. Let’s be especially kind to strangers. Let’s lift each other up. Let’s end our jealousies. Let’s listen to people we don’t understand. Let’s be kind to people who annoy us. Let’s reach out to our friends and ask them if they need anything. Let’s be patient. Let’s show each other love. Let’s look out for small things to be grateful for.

You don’t have to buy a stranger a cup of coffee to make someone’s day, but why not spend the $2.50 once on a while? You never know how this could affect someone’s life. I know I will be talking about this for years to come.

I was just talking to Nick about how the world is filled with such hatred. About how the news sickens me. About how rude the people here seem to be. It was really wearing down on me. It was making me start to hate living here. But this woman reminded me that the world really is a beautiful place, if only we choose to act in love. If only we choose to see it. If only we choose to recognize the small miracles.

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9 responses to “She knew.”

  1. Jenny burke says:

    Beautiful post Carolann. I’m in awe of your strength and positive attitude right now. I’m taking this in and hope to spread more “Carolann positivity” around. Thinking of you lots and sending aloha vibes your way. Miss you!

    • Carolann says:

      I absolutely need the Aloha vibes! Miss you so much, friend. Thanks for your sweet words and for listening to me rant when this happened. You are my military expert and the person I go to when I have no idea what’s going on in this crazy military life! Trying to be positive and hoping that good things are coming.

  2. Emma says:

    Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes.

  3. Alan says:

    Lovely post. Sorry about your stuff. Will the moving company or someone pay to replace it?

    Miss you and Nick. I hope you’re having a good new year.

    • Carolann says:

      Yes they will! The military makes sure we have replacement insurance to replace anything that is damaged. I don’t care too much about replacing a couch but I am sad about my scrapbooks and things my dad made for us. Right now we are just waiting for an appointment with an outside company to assess what can be cleaned and what must be discarded. I can go and oversee everything, so if there are sentimental items I can see if anything special can be done. Miss you so much – hope to see you soon in Connecticut or California!

  4. […] The second we found out that mold had contaminated our household goods, the movers packed up everything and took it all back to their warehouse. They didn’t want mold getting into our home, and they sure didn’t want to breathe it in. Nick and I didn’t get to see the rest of our goods until a few weeks later, when professionals went through each item with us (you can read more about that here). […]

  5. Barbara says:

    Hello, I am in the middle of this situation and I was wondering how your problem was resolved? Our belongings were also moldy from a military over and they were brought in our new home. The moving company wants to reimburse us for the belongings we are discarding, but I am also worried about cross contaminated items or potential for more to grow later as spores can spread very easily.

  6. Barbara says:

    Hello, I am in the middle of this situation and I was wondering how your problem was resolved? Our belongings were also moldy from a military move and they were brought in our new home. The moving company wants to reimburse us for the belongings we are discarding, but I am also worried about cross contaminated items or potential for more to grow later as spores can spread very easily.

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