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Moving day marathon arrives at Ole Miss

For the past several months, I have been scratching my head asour living room slowly filled up with college stuff, or morespecifically, dorm room stuff. It was a week ago Saturday that Ibegan to realize the mini-van was not going to handle the load andadditional resources would be needed.

It was last Sunday evening that the loaded question was thrownout to me, “Do you think I am packing too much stuff?” As I startedto respond to the affirmative, my life flashed before my eyes asthe fire storm I was about to step off into began to swirl. “Oh no,dear. You will need all of this,” I quickly responded, proud ofmyself for holding my tongue.

The Jacobs caravan left out at different times during the day onTuesday but all in all, one mini-van and two cars packed to theroof were heading up I-55 in preparation for moving day earlyWednesday morning.

It was when I pulled into the hotel parking lot Tuesday eveningthat I got the first inkling that other fathers across the statewere having similar concerns as me and maybe I was a lucky one.U-Haul trucks and trailers were everywhere. Tires were bulging asboxes and stuff filled every square inch of space in cars and vans.A kinsmanship was immediately formed as all of us dads just smiledat each other. Words were not needed.

Little did I know that this was the calm before the storm.

It all hit Wednesday morning. I got up early, but I quicklynoticed the parking lot that had been so full the night before wasalmost empty. It was as I pulled up near the dorm that I foundwhere all the other dads had gone – they had apparently sneaked outduring the night to stake out their territory.

I was a rookie, a freshman you might say, in moving. The otherfathers had done their homework, and I was already behind.

When I left for my first year at Ole Miss so many years ago, Iremember taking two duffel bags of stuff – probably both filledwith dirty clothes! I am sure I had a stereo, but that was aboutit.

It was standing in line, a long, long line, waiting my turn forone of the three elevators, that I realized how lucky I was. Youwould not believe the stuff that came out of those U-Hauls. Thereare four-bedroom homes that do not have the furniture that wasbeing unloaded.

Having long given up on the elevator lines, I started climbingthe stairs. I tried to help one father who collapsed under theweight of the entertainment center he was trying to negotiate upthe flight of stairs. As he took his last breath, he asked me totell his daughter that he loved her.

Many hours later, with the merciful help of my brother-in-law,we were finished. All the boxes were unloaded and moving day wascomplete.

It was then that it hit me, not the reality that my first-bornwas now in college, but the reality that what goes up must comedown and another moving day is looming next May!

Write to Bill Jacobs at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven MS 39602,or send e-mail to bjacobs@dailyleader.com.