The Container Arrived! – Magic Moment #3

My first two magic moments posts have been about things that have recently happened but I came across this picture which reminded me of a magic moment in our emigration journey.  This was the day our container arrived.

On July 19th 2011 we packed all of our worldly goods except 6 suitcases, three shotguns and two tortoises (but that’s a story for another day!) in a container, bid our loved ones a tearful goodbye and set off for pastures new in Canada.  We had booked ourselves into a hotel for a few days while we rushed around like crazy people sorting the last few technicalities before our house purchase completed on July 25th  and buying a few essentials like beds. We moved into our house with just the 6 suitcases we brought on the plane plus a car full of things we had bought in the previous few days.  We  had a couple of sofas, some kitchen stuff and a TV and that was pretty much all while we waited for our container to cross the Atlantic.  It was a pretty nerve wracking time, I’d heard stories of containers falling off ships never to be seen again so we waited nervously for some news.

We were pleasantly surprised to hear from the shipping company after about three weeks but our joy was short lived when they told us our container had been taken off the ship in Montreal by customs and was being ripped apart as we speak.  We cringed as we thought of our carefully packed container with our methodically numbered and packed boxes being unpacked by uncaring strangers.  Not only did this delay our container by weeks as they cleaned everything that had already been disinfected we also had to pay $1400 for the privilege! After days of stress, delivering paperwork to customs making phone calls and trips across the city we got the call that the container had been released, then we had to wait while it was loaded on a truck and transported to us by road.  Finally on 29th August our container arrived at our new home. Our contents had been battered, some things had been broken, a few bits went missing but nothing could dampen our spirits at finally having all our things in our new home.











16 thoughts on “The Container Arrived! – Magic Moment #3

  1. Kathryn

    It must have felt like Christmas!!! – even if you knew what was inside I can imagine your joy at rediscovering it all! In our ‘if we win the lottery (subtext) if we move to Canada) conversations we have talked about what we would do with our things – R is of the idea we leave it all here/get rid of it and start again – but I know I just couldn’t – I would want all our things/furniture etc with us

    1. Lou Post author

      We did leave a lot behind but in hindsight we shouldn’t have done we wasted so much time, effort and money replacing things we should have kept. Plus it’s nice to have familiar things around you it makes a house feel like a home. Thanks for dropping by x

  2. Dragonsflypoppy

    What a fantastic moment that must’ve been. I can’t imagine cramming just 6 suitcases full and being without all my bits and bobs for so long! Sounds like, given the long haul, there wasn’t too much damage/loss, which must have been a worry for you. Great post! Do love learning all about your emigration….although I’m still thinking about those bears…;) x

  3. Zhu

    It must be so stressful to wait for your belongings! I only had a small backpack, so I didn’t really “move”–I had nothing!

  4. kathy

    all the times that i’ve moved from one province to another or from one house to another …long distance or short, the best move was the time we moved with just a pick-up truck full and a car full of the most essential can’t live without stuff. Left everything else behind for the dumpster. It didn’t take long to replace everything and it was so much better with the new stuff. We were ready to replace stuff anyway so it was a good excuse. The only thing I regret leaving behind are the plants in the garden as it was March and the ground was frozen and I managed to collect many rare plants. But everytime we go back to visit (the son still lives in town) I always want to take a shovel and dig up my plants under the cover of darkness. My kids were finally on their own by then so didn’t have to drag any of their stuff anymore. It was so liberating. We bought a little bistro outdoor glass table and two plastic chairs for our dinner table and used it for prob 6 months. I still have it, but it’s actually on the patio where it belongs now. It was great fun to shop and decorate as adults without kids. And living in an empty condo was sheer joy after 3 teenagers with all their stuff. Moving from a 4 bedroom three story house with full crammed attic and basement with self contained furnished suite (where oldest son lived with his g’friend) to a teeny tinny 2 bdrm condo, with a tv, bed and suitcases, computer and sewing crap. (and no kids). It was kinda sad when the couch was delivered from the store a month later. It was nice to see the rooms empty. I can’t imagine dragging stuff around from continent to continent. I used to work for a container company in Vancouver back in the day. Can’t imagine anything of value in the long run worth all the cost and agrevation.

    1. Lou Post author

      We did take the opportunity to get rid of a lot of clutter but we’ve always done our best to buy quality items that would last so it didn’t make sense to throw away perfectly good things to then waste time and tens of thousands of dollars replacing it all a few weeks later. Most of the container was full of hubbies tools which he has been collecting for over 20 years and he uses them daily for work, to replace them would have been completely out of the question.

  5. Jaime Oliver

    wow i cant imagaine how stressed you were waiting for this to arrive! I am so glad it arrived in almost one piece (no dropping off a ship!)

    thanks for linking up with #magicmoments

  6. Jill

    I can well imagine the sight of those things from the uk must have made you smile. I’m glad it didn’t fall in the water lol xx

  7. A Patchwork Life

    Must have been so good seeing your things again, makes me think of my sister who’s impatiently waiting for her container to arrive at the moment. They took one suitcase with them to Melbourne, and have just moved into an empty house. They know the container is now in Australia, but it’ll be another few weeks before it reaches them. She’s been in the same clothes for months and says she’s never wearing stripes ever again! x

  8. Molly @ The Move to America

    This is so exciting! I will be the same when I get to the US – I got a real feeling of butterflies when I read this! It must have be so much fun outting things in their special spot in your new home.

  9. Jess

    That is such a big move Lou!All your belongings on a ship sailing across a ocean,I bet it was quite weird seeing all your familiar things in a new home 🙂 great photos xxx

  10. Sara (@mumturnedmom)

    Oh, how this brings back memories… although we only shipped 500kgs – so no furniture etc – but did end up travelling with nine suitcase, three car seats and two buggies…! I actually still can’t bring myself to write about the day our shipment was packed, although I have managed to write about the move, just missing out that day! It was a lot easier at this end 🙂

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