Moving the Fergusons

Moving the Fergusons

CCV Helps Ann and Alan Ferguson Move
by Tom Knudsen
August 9, 2013

Capital City Village members Ann and Alan Ferguson had been living in Steiner Ranch near Alan’s employer, 3M on RM 2222 near RM 620. With two adult children living in Central Austin and the long drive through the dense traffic, they decided to move into a smaller place closer to their family.

Their Steiner Ranch house sold so quickly, Ann said recently, that she hadn’t even started to look for a moving service. “I called Bonnie (Gilson, now executive director of Capital City Village.) As it turned out, it took The Village to move them.

Bonnie suggested Heavenly Care Moving Services, a service provider vetted by CCV’s Business Provider Committee. “We got a 15 percent discount from Heavenly Care,” said Ann. A special feature of the company, she pointed out on its brochure, is that it emphasizes its ability to work with seniors.

Ann explained that their biggest problem was downsizing — “We had a pretty large house in Steiner,” she said, “and a lot of furniture.” The movers came in took over, quickly packing up their belongings and trucked them to their new digs, the Post West Austin on Bull Creek Road just south of 45th Street. Not only was the moving crew efficient, said Alan, “They were affable.”

The owner of Heavenly Care Moving Services, Benny Latino, said he remembers the Fergusons well; “They are very nice people. They lived in my neighborhood,” he said, their houses were about a mile apart.

As Ann had noted, Mr. Latino’s business emphasizes its work with seniors. Mr. Latino said his moving business is influenced by a home care agency he owns. He’s learned that seniors need respectful attention. He said he trains his moving crews “to understand the emotional attachment people have to their belongings. A chair that was a present years ago, for example, can carry emotional weight.”

He trains his crews to be sensitive to those emotions and to ensure customers they’ll take care of their things. “There are also a lot of complicated emotions with some families whose members aren’t comfortable with taking care of mom and dad.” His goal is to smooth that transition.

One way he tries to ease the transition from one home to a new one is to photograph the original so the movers can mimic the layout in the new space, trying to keep the setting familiar.

Once the professionals had loaded up the household goods, Ann faced a second challenge. During Alan’s long career with 3M, they have lived in places as different as Norway and Texas, they have changed households a number of times. Ann said she’s learned to pack her family heirlooms and transport them herself.

She had them laid out on tables ready to wrap up when her realtor called, saying she wanted to have a photographer to go to their house the next day. Not only did she have a serious job of work before her, but also Alan had a medical appointment that day in South Austin. She needed help and a driver.

So, again she called Bonnie. The next morning, CCV volunteer Julie Bernett showed up to help her pack and Kay McHorse drove Alan to his appointment.

(Note — two calls so far, one service provider, two volunteers.)

The next stage was overwhelming, as the Fergusons found their new apartment filled with the stuff they’d accumulated over 50 years of home ownership. “This place is so small, and there were boxes everywhere,” she said. They started unpacking and putting the place in order, but the empty cartons and wrapping paper were filling the space.

Up came CCV volunteer Mart Hoffman, who, Ann said, “Do you have bin bags?” She said she didn’t. (It’s unlikely that Mart said “bin bag,” a Scottish term for trash bags.) So, Mart took off to get trash bags, came back, and they cleaned up the packing material. A few days later, Ann said, Sue Hoffman went over to help her set her home in order.

(Two calls, one service provider, four volunteers.)

The result is that the Fergusons are settling in to an apartment on Bull Creek Road near 45th Street, and very pleased with the friendship and help from CCV.