I moved in the house I am renting on March 1 of this year. My furniture was all in storage, from when I lost my house two years ago, so I bought an air mattress and a sleeping bag to use until I could get my stuff moved in. This weekend being the end of August, I decided it was finally time to get my mattress.
The air mattress was beginning to feel a little too impermanent, and besides, it has developed a leak, which I can’t find. I have to get up after about an hour of sleeping on it and re-inflate it, unless I want to be sleeping on the floor with no cushioning. I might have done that when I was eighteen, but at my advanced age, that’s a good way to make the arthritis flare up and really cripple me.
I guess I should tell a little about this house. It is a two and a half story brick house built in about 1860 or so. The ceilings in the downstairs are just over seven feet, and the ones upstairs about six and a half feet high. Doors and windows, of course are equally undersized by today’s standards. Originally, it consisted of one large downstairs room, and two upstairs. Sometime around the turn of the century, someone added on a kitchen, and an upstairs bedroom, but whoever did that wasn’t the best builder in the world. There are two steps up into the living room, and two steps up to the second floor hallway from the added-on bedroom. I don’t know how high the ceiling is over the stairway, but I have to duck coming down stairs, or I will bump my forehead two steps from the bottom. I am five feet, eight inches tall in my bare feet. Normal entry is through the kitchen, since that is at the back of the house, and closest to the driveway.
So today, I had quite a day, moving my queen-sized mattress.
I went to the storage unit this morning, and loaded the mattress into the truck. That was quite an ordeal in and of itself, but I finally managed after some effort to get it into the back of the truck. The durn thing is just big enough that I can't pick it up, even though it weighs only about 100 Lbs. It keeps flopping, and becoming unmanageable.
So then I went to pick up Bill Deeton, who was staying at a friend’s, and who had promised yesterday to help me today. But I discovered he had decided to go back to his tent. He is a homeless person, who lives in a tent city, down by the railroad tracks outside of town. Of course, he has no phone, and I don't know exactly where the tent city is.
Since Bill was a no-show, it was on to Plan B.
I took the mattress and foundation back home, and hossed them out of the truck, and leaned them against my fence. Then I took a length of rope, and tied them together, reasoning that the foundation tied to the mattress would create a solid object that would not keep flopping around. 'Course, the two together weighed about 150 lbs. But I decided I could use the Garden Way cart to move them.
By the way, the Garden Way cart is great. It is about three feet wide, and has bicycle wheels, so rolls easily over uneven terrain, even when fully laden. The cart overhangs the axle, so that once fully loaded, the load is balanced slightly toward the front end, which tends to make it feel very light at the handle. My dad used to use it to move half of a cord of split oak firewood in one load. He also used it to move automobile motors around, but that is a different story.
Once I got them into the cart, it was a fairly reasonable chore to wheel them to the back door, where I managed to push them and pull them into the house. In the house, they slid easily on the hardwood floors, and I slid them to the door between the kitchen and living room. Then I picked up one end, and pulled them up the two little steps into the living room.
At that point, I untied them, and started to put the mattress up the stairs. It was too big to fit, even diagonally, so I hit on the bright idea of tying a rope between the two pull handles on one end to make a yoke, and using my rope and pulley fence stretcher as a pulley and falls, haul it up the stairs. I figured tension on the two handles would tend to make it fold lengthwise.
I went out to the shed, and dug out a length of pipe that was bigger than the width of the bedroom door. I chained one end of the fence stretcher to that, and the other end to the mattress. When I got it to the top of the first flight of stairs, I moved the pipe out the bedroom window, and hauled it up the rest of the way.
The indoor portion of the exercise took about two hours.
Needless to say, I now have plenty of sore muscles. A hot shower helped some, but I am going to eat some ibuprofen before going to sleep tonight.
But tonight, for the first time since March,I get to sleep on a real mattress! YAY!
Now, if I can just remember where I put all the sheets ….