Mutterings About Moving

by Greta Olsson

COST: the estimate and the final price can be worlds apart.

The agent wrote that my move from Port Townsend, Washington to Las Vegas, Nevada would be $2250. The driver, who is an independent contractor, thought $3200 - or even as high as $3500 - after he loaded my things from the apartment, and then saw the boxes of books that I had in storage. My final bill was $4256.

I complained via phone to my former college roommate in New York, who said that I'd been lucky. Her son and his wife were also given an estimate in the $2000's when they moved from New York to Florida, but ended up with a bill in the $6000's. They didn't have the money, and the company kept all their things - among which were the musical instruments he needed in his work. His father-in-law lent them the cost of the move.

An article mentioned an old couple who had received a reasonable estimate but finished with a bill in the $18,000's. They fought, and a court helped them out. Moving costs can be a scam. Fly-by-nights are the most dangerous, but I used Bekins and was still in for a shock.

I first moved from Los Angeles because of a series of burglaries and vandalism in my apartment. Other tenets thought that some of our large maintenance crew were playing games. For an example, they stole one lady's jewelry, but put a can of Coca-Cola in her fridge. She doesn't drink Coke, didn't buy any, and no friends who would give her a can.

In my case, I had four $100 bills hidden in a screw-bottom soup can. They found the money, took one $100 bill, left $300, wadded up a $1 bill and tossed it in the can. I don't wad my money and knew exactly how much I had had in the can.

Ladies, when you wear a gorgeous necklace other people enjoy it, but you don't get to see it. For that reason, I hang jewelry on my walls. My thief took a few pieces of cheap costume jewelry and left the solid gold which was on display.

When the thief took my B.A. Degree from UCLA, my Masters from the University of London, and some other summer school documents, my heart broke. What would someone in maintenance do with a degree in philosophy? Both UCLA and Bedford College (London) would replace the degrees for about $50 a piece, but the signatures would be different.

I decided to move to a very low crime area, a Victorian fishing village in Washington. I was burglarized seven or eight times there. The police came out five times but would not give me what I needed: surveillance. So I've now moved to a high crime area, Las Vegas. Maybe I'll be left alone here. Yes? NO!!!

I phoned the Royal Museum Gift Shop in Victoria, B.C. to order a Moose Mountain scarf (over $100 Canadian or about $75 US). It should have been here the first week in March. The gift shop claimed that FedEx delivered the item, and that I had signed for it.

After we faxed signatures back and forth, and a dozen phone calls, it turned out that someone else signed for it and misspelled my name. Eventually FedEx here admitted that my driver had been fired for similar incidents - the shop should put in a claim, and I will get a new scarf. The shop said that I will receive my new scarf next week. This burglary is my first in getting a stolen item returned to me.

I went alone to Bally's bar to celebrate and met a lovely lady, a Baptist from Texas, who invited me to attend a Baptist Church here. She stood me up on Sunday, and since my plans to meet new people here went awry, I went to Caesar's. I bought a cosmetic, received a ticket on the $1,000,000 free spending wheel, and won a $100 free spree. I was given a Visa card to use in any of the Forum Shops and took several days to pick my item. I returned yesterday to buy $100 of video cassettes only to learn that the shop has pulled out of the promotion. I guess too many people were picking DVD's and tapes, and they were losing money. I've also won four free passes worth $10 each to the IMAX. I sold them for $32, making someone else happy too.

I don't gamble, only when it's free. I like Las Vegas but the start has certainly been a mixed bag. Too much work. Too many problems. Bally's has great food and drinks at their bar. Now they are starting a $1,000,000 "free" pull. Must investigate.

If you read my article about a paranormal tale in the April/May issue of Port of Call, I mentioned a ghost that takes and then returns things. I own three, metal mini-trunks (7", 12", and 16"), one of which I used to hold the roller skates that were stolen out of storage. I then packed it with video cassette tapes.

Upon unpacking here, there were no tapes in the case, only some uninteresting, unimportant papers. Weeks later, in a cleaning and clearing process, I got to the bottom of the mini-trunk to discover my missing degrees. I sat there with my mouth open, not believing what I saw.

I'd told the ghost to put back my papers, but with a cynical, disgusted attitude. I knew they had been gone for more than a year, and that no one in Los Angeles answered my $300 reward for the return of either document. I myself would never have put them in a "trunk" that had been used for roller skates. I still can't believe that they're back in my possession.

I'd never heard about asking ghosts for anything when I lived in Los Angeles, and it never occurred to me to mention my degrees when I was in Port Townsend. I was too tired to read on the plane to Las Vegas, and thought of my ghost. Maybe I need to be up in the air to get the best contact. All that I can report is that it has worked again.

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